The old savanna calling

In my “One After 909” post, I showed that the titular number is 11/11 (that is, 1), which comes after 10/11 (that is, .909), and that moving over twice from 11/11 brings us to 9/11. I also mentioned, but didn’t discuss in any detail, the fact that the song ends with “Oh, Danny Boy, the old savanna calling.”

That the song ends with the word “calling” is significant, since 911 is also a phone number. A reference to a phone call also appears, together with the “move over once, move over twice” pattern, in another Beatles song, “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window,” which includes the line “Sunday’s on the phone to Monday, Tuesday’s on the phone to me.” (9/11 was a Tuesday.)

But in this post, instead of focusing on “calling,” I want to look at the significance of “the old savanna.” The original version of “Danny Boy” doesn’t say anything about a savanna; the first line is “Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling” (meaning, presumably, the bagpipes calling Danny off to war). But in the Beatles’ version, it’s not pipes but a savanna. This made me think of Magritte’s famous “this is not a pipe” painting:

As it happens, there’s another Magritte painting with the same concept, only it uses an apple (sorry, a non-apple) instead of a pipe.

The apple, of course, is a symbol of New York. It also occurs in several other Magritte paintings, including this one, which also includes shapes evocative of the Twin Towers.

The same apple appears in the Magritte painting below, which is called “The Son of Man” after a biblical figure who appears in the Book of Daniel.

So by conspicuously not being a pipe, the Beatles’ “savanna” leads us to Magritte and the Big Apple, a connection which is reinforced by the use of the name Danny. But there’s more to it than that. A savanna is, as I mentioned before, a kind of plain (sounds like “plane”). More specifically, the savanna is the natural habitat of the lion (or, in Arabic, osama). “The old savanna calling,” then, could refer to a phone call from a lion — or, as it says in the They Might Be Giants song “The Guitar,” “Hush my darling, be still my darling, the lion’s on the phone.”

I’ve mentioned the 9/11 references in “The Guitar” in a previous post. In addition to the phone reference (the number the lion is calling is of course 911, and the music video cuts to footage of buildings collapsing right after the word “phone”), it contains the line, “In the spaceship, the silver spaceship, the lion takes control.” The lion hijacks a spaceship rather than an airplane because this song is from the 1992 album Apollo 18, which has a space travel theme. (The year most closely associated with space travel is, naturally, 2001.) Here’s the album cover.

The reader will perhaps already have noticed the significance of the number 18 (9/11 = .8181818…) and the similarity of the words Apollo and apple. The name Apollo also resembles Apollyon, which in fact is an anagram of “Apollo NY.” This connection is reinforced by the giant squid on the cover. It brings to mind that other giant cephalopod, the North Pacific Giant Octopus. The standard scientific name for this species is currently Enteroctopus dofleini, but dated synonyms include Polypus apollyon, Octopus dofleini apollyon, and Octopus apollyon. Apollyon is the angel of the abyss, which is probably why the name was chosen for a deep-sea creature; as such, it would actually be more appropriate for the giant squid, which frequents much deeper waters than the octopus. What’s the big deal about Apollyon? Well, you see, the name appears in the Bible only once — in Revelation 9:11.

Aside from the apple/Apollyon connections, the Apollo 18 is clearly meant as a reference to the lunar missions of NASA’s Apollo program. The use of the number 18 in connection with the moon is significant, because the 18th tarot trump is called “The Moon” and features two towers.

If we move over once, move over twice, from XVIII to XVI, we find an image even more obviously evocative of 9/11.

A well-established occult tradition, derived from mapping the 22 Major Arcana to the 22 Hebrew letters and their astrological correspondences as given in the Sefer Yezirah, associates Arcanum XVI with the planet Mars. Nostradamus’s 9/11 quatrain (quoted here) mentions Mars, and Tuesday is also the day of Mars (diēs Mārtis). In most English-language decks, Arcanum XVI is called simple “The Tower,” but in the Tarot de Marseille its title is, oddly, “La Maison Diev” — that is, the house of God. If the god in question is Mars then the Tower represents the House of War or Dar al-Harb, the Islamist term for the infidel world. Another old name for this trump is “Sagitta,” the arrow, which brings us back to Apollo.

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Filed under Coincidence / Synchronicity, Music, Tarot

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