Peacock Dance

I first heard “Peacock Dance” by the New York, New York, USA singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and composer Matt Kanelos sometime around the middle of last year. The song captured my heart and soul; I have loved listening to it since then, and today it’s time to share it with you.

“Peacock Dance” is one of the most beautiful and expressive songs I’ve heard about intimate love and sexual connection. It’s rich in imagery and soulful symbolism in an almost primordial way, as if wanting to leave the human form to live and dance as animals (“We’ll live where foxes run”), and yet it has an underlying gentleness. I picture a couple, perhaps on vacation in some ancient place, singing songs, dancing, and privately savouring each other’s company; meanwhile, the noisiness of the world continues outside the universe that is the two of them in that blissful time.

The poetry of the song is brief and minimal, and it couples with intricate musicianship to create a piece that invites the listener in as it slowly builds a powerful tension toward the end. Then it finishes as it began, with Kanelos’ delicate, sensual piano playing. It is beautifully written, played, sung and produced.

“We’ll stop in Babylon
You’ll pull your stockings on
I’ll wash your shoulders clean

Your eyes move with the spin
Of girls and boys women and men
I’ll do a peacock dance

You won’t be understood
I won’t be all that good
We’ll sing your favorite song

We’ll live where foxes run
We’ll wait for the morning sun
You’ll walk on virgin snow

My head holds in the noise
Of girls and men women and boys
You make a peacock sound

My tears don’t mean a thing
Your tears, beautiful thing
We’ll stop in Babylon”

“Peacock Dance,” by Matt Kanelos.
Lyrics retrieved from the song’s Bandcamp page.

There is very little information online about Kanelos, though I found scattered bits of information about him on various sites. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, started playing music at age seven, and took classical and jazz piano training before moving to New York, where he lives and plays music. He has worked in jazz, alternative folk/rock and experimental music genres for over 20 years.

“Peacock Dance” is the opening track from the album Silent Show (2009 on Apple Music, 2010 on Bandcamp) by Matt Kanelos & The Smooth Maria, a band he formed in 2008. It’s fabulous, with several styles of music on it. I bought the album some months ago from the Bandcamp album page (buying on Bandcamp Fridays is best, as that’s when all proceeds other than card processing fees go to artists). The earliest recording I could find by Kanelos’ was a 2005 EP, followed by three solo albums (the latest in 2021) and a collaboration.

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here.

Please enjoy the audio from the Bandcamp song page:

With my best wishes,


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