28 years ago, on 18th March 1990, the world’s largest art theft took place in Boston, MA. It took 81 minutes to extract $500M+ worth of art. ┬áSince we were both unusually in the same place at the same time last week, we took our proximity to the location of the heist and its anniversary as a challenge to write a song featuring the titles of the lost artworks.

Recorded while away from our usual studio facilities, and filmed on location at the Isabella Gardner Museum, here’s our rapidly-created commemoration of the robbery. The museum retains the empty frames on display to this day, marking the losses, and in the hope of the works’ eventual return.

Lyrics:

Did you find what you were seeking?
Did you write your study for the programme?
Did you see reflections in a
portrait of the artist as a young man?

Mounted jockeys three are leaving
From the paddock
, breaking down the last fence.
Did you see them joining the procession
on a road near Florence
?

Eighty-one minutes, the concert will be free
Lost like an eagle in the storm upon the sea
Eighty-one minutes, men in blue are round the back
Coming to liberate a lady and gentleman in black.

Did you fall into the landscape
Where the needle
pointed to the sky?
Did the ghost of Isabella
Come and look you in the eye?

Did you eat your fill of doughnuts?
Did you drink a magnum of champagne?
Does your legacy in total
Just add up to thirteen empty frames?

Eighty-one minutes, the concert will be free
Lost like an eagle in the storm upon the sea
Eighty-one minutes, men in blue are round the back
Coming to liberate a lady and gentleman in black.

Observers are left contemplating
These spaces left silently waiting,
Hanging on elegant walls that were once picturesque.
Reminders of costly mistakes,
The errors that good men can make,
Are mocking you now from the chair sitting under your desk.

Eighty-one minutes, the concert will be free
Lost like an eagle in the storm upon the sea
Eighty-one minutes, men in blue are round the back
Coming to liberate a lady and gentleman in black.

(Bold elements refer to the titles of artworks – italics refer to elements of the heist or other historic events connected with the museum, such as the opening banquet.)