Bite the Bullet

To adjust to unpleasant circumstances.

e.g. “The severe drought is forcing everybody to bite the bullet and use less water.”

A few days ago, a drought was declared in half of England. Crotchety County falls within the drought area and this part of the English midlands has sizzled to 30+ degrees C. Our once green garden lawns are yellow and brown but, so far, we haven’t been subject to a hosepipe ban. The local farmers have been harvesting their crops several weeks earlier than usual, and their yields are well below normal. Wildfires have been reported at several locations in the region, and some properties have been damaged. Nothing like this has been seen in the U.K. since 1976 when some poor souls were forced to get water from standpipes in the street.

It seems appropriate, then, to pick a Burning Shed recommendation for this Track of the Week.

Bite the Bullet is credited to Saro Cosentino and Karen Eden. Cosentino is an Italian composer and musician who has worked with a host of well-known names in the music business: Peter Gabriel, Peter Hammill, Trey Gunn, Tim Bowness, Tony Levin, Jakko Jakszyk, Gavin Harrison, and many more. Eden is a songwriter and session singer who has made a living singing on TV advertisements and film soundtracks, as a sound-alike for pop singers (Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Olivia Newton-John) and working alongside the likes of Stephen Stills and Beth Orton. Together, Cosentino and Eden have created a rather splendid pop/art rock song that transcends what either of them could have produced alone.

A muted bass manufactures a solid foundation for the multitracked vocals, as if we are walking on a soft deep-pile carpet laid on a concrete floor. Sparse synthesiser and guitar chords scatter occasional cushions around the studio. Woodblocks clack in the next room, embroidering the sounds. And a voice fills the air with an admonishing message. “You saw bad things happening”, it says, “and you kept your mouth shut”. When you should have been protesting, you clenched your teeth on the cold metal casing of a bullet rather than face the danger of getting involved.

That is a very different interpretation of “bite the bullet”. In fact, it’s almost the opposite of the dictionary definition. Instead of bravely enduring the inevitable distress of a difficult situation, you chose to avoid it by pretending it isn’t happening. Perhaps the effects of climate change – the heatwaves and droughts, the storms and the floods – will convince Jack, Jill and Joe Public that it is now time to change their behaviour. Save water, save energy, save themselves money, and ultimately save the planet.

2 thoughts on “Bite the Bullet

  1. We Aussies (including captured Brits like Ms Connection) have been both amused and appalled by the drought images in the news. It’s like the grass has gasped “FFS!” and just carked it. But bushfires are another level all together. Stay safe and don’t smoke outdoors.

    Liked by 1 person

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