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As well as being the third suit, the Circle is a powerful symbol. Stafford sings all the vocals on this Latin ‘a cappella’ experiment suggested by his 1991 interview with a hospitalised Brazilian Yanomami who spoke (via a circle of translators) of cycles of life, death, nature and time.

lyrics

Circles of straw surround me, in this house of dust where I lie
wasting away, so far from healing waters,
ever flowing, growing with life
Always coursing, swirling round in …

Circles of light, on pools left humming with the swarms of your
invasion of gold… skin pale, eyes bright, entranced with treasures coldly glowing with greed… no sense, no thought, no need,
racing round in circles

Don’t understand your apology, can’t comprehend your thanks
No farewells to another time, somewhere beyond the banks of swirling…

Circles of eyes surround me, voices so polite but still
invading my space, my dreams, stirring,
seeking prizes in confusion of worlds, mis-translations,
talking round in circles…

credits

from 4 Characters, released March 31, 2011

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