Rachel Sermanni is a Scottish folk singer-songwriter. There’s an originality in her compositions that reminds me of Laura Marling and fully justifies the ‘indie’ rider in many articles about her style. Tiger, from her 2019 album, So It Turns, is a particularly fine example of both her lyrical and instrumental abilities.
This is a song about passion and longing, and how it blinds us. Eyes full of desire focus so sharply on heaven that the only alternative must be hell. For the tiger who fails to catch its prey, there is only a nagging hunger. Or, as Rachel puts it:
Desire is a tiger …
She’ll never understand the middle way.
So you put her in a cage.
She cries until you answer.
All your tears and all your rage
Won’t help her understand the middle way.