Monday, August 22, 2005

Song Interpretations, Part 3; Hello, Goodbye, Have Sex with Me?

All right, you know the drill. Random stuff from my brain, no research done, sorry for any potential intellectual property issues but I didn't steal it.

Beatles - Hello Goodbye

You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go, go, go
Oh, no
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello
This song has always struck me as having a narrative of a failed carpe diem poem. You know, gather ye roses while ye may, if we had world enough and time, and so on - life is short, so have sex with me now, before it's too late! See also Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young", although when I'm in a non-feminazi mood I tend to see that song as being a broader interpretation, more of a "get out and have fun and enjoy your youth while you can, part of which could be having sex with me" message. More obscure is Jon's favorite singer's dirtiest song, Jackson Browne's "Redneck Friend", another lovable carpe diem message - at least he promises to make sure she has a good time.
Anyway, I don't know if this song truly fits, but damn if I'm not going to make it fit!
She says yes - perhaps asking for a commitment; he says no; she says stop, it's not going to happen, he says go pushing the carpe diem. She bails on him for not respecting her feelings on the matter, and he misses her and wishes he could start over.

I say high, you say low
You say why, and I say I don't know
Oh, no
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello
Perhaps he tries to get her to try some psychedelic fun so she'll loosen up, and she says no, asks him why it has to be this way, and he realizes he doesn't really have a good answer - he's just following the trend. Again, repeated, that she leaves, and he doesn't really understand, but wishes he could start over and get another chance.

Sorry for the short analysis. Back to work for me - I shall return. Possibly with a crosspost linked to Jon Maxson's America (link above) on my specific story-based take on why calling Harry Potter a Satanic device is lame, to pair with his more general social commentary on it. Because, dude. Seriously. I'm more of a Satanic device than Harry Potter, and I don't even believe in Satan outside of Dante and Piers Anthony. (I recently discovered that apparently I'm a Unitarian - how fun! - but more on that later. Go Sister Cattle Prod of Reasoned Discourse!)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Someone, somewhere, is in band camp.

I got a funny feeling to that effect just now.

More on that later.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Song Interpretations, Part 2; Dark Side of the ... uh... Political Commentary?

Same disclaimer: All I looked up on the internet was the lyrics to copy over, so if this is BS or someone else's already said it, I take the Han Solo. ("It's not my fault.")

Us and Them
And after all we're only ordinary men
What does this have to do with us normal people? Why are we taking sides against each other? More specifically, Vietnam? Why are we here?

Me, and you
God only knows it's not what we would choose to do
Again, we wouldn't be doing this if we had any say. We aren't the ones who wanted to go to war, figuratively or literally.

Forward he cried from the rear
and the front rank died
And the General sat, as the lines on the map
moved from side to side
The ones who choose to make war aren't the ones who die in it. They sit back and basically play Risk with real armies.

Black and Blue
And who knows which is which and who is who
So wait, what's the difference between us and those people again? Wait, they're kinda brown, I'm thinking about not caring! But does it really even matter anymore? We just get told 'those guys' and we have to shoot or be shot, since their generals are doing the same thing.

Up and Down
And in the end it's only round and round and round
No matter what they try to tell us about how things are going, nothing really changes.

Haven't you heard it's a battle of words
the poster bearer cried

Listen son, said the man with the gun
There's room for you inside

Down and Out
It can't be helped but there's a lot of it about
Poverty supplies troops, but also motivated the people we're fighting.

With, without
And who'll deny that's what the fightings all about
Yup, Marxist - the real source of conflict is class struggle. But more to the point, it's a matter of those who have nothing being used as cattle by those who have everything, and that happens on both sides of the Communist/Capitalist divide. So, again, why are we fighting these guys instead of helping them?

Get out of the way, it's a busy day
And I've got things on my mind
As my friend Marie once put it, "Were you thinking? Zap zap!" Don't question me, you're wasting my time, just go shut up and kill.

For want of the price of tea and a slice
The old man died
This all comes down to letting people starve over ideals they don't necessarily share in. Proles don't really care much about the Party as an idea, usually; they just follow the guys who promise to feed them and not kick them as much as the last guys.

I'm not taking this into any sort of modern commentary at this point - I may come back after I've completed my tour through Pink Floyd Land (or at least Dark Side of the Moon Land) and try to sum it up, but for now, I'll leave it at that.
Watch for further parts to the Floyd later, and let me know what you think.

Song interpretations, Part 1; or, the Tiny Dancer's Funeral

Ugh, way to not post for ever and ever, but hey, job, and cat, and sick, and yeah. Anyway.

Note: I didn't internet-research this at all beyond copying the lyrics in, so feel free to call BS or unoriginal on me, as this is all just out of my head.

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you'll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

Jesus freaks out in the street
Handing tickets out for God
Turning back she just laughs
The boulevard is not that bad

Piano man he makes his stand
In the auditorium
Looking on she sings the songs
The words she knows, the tune she hums

But oh how it feels so real
Lying here with no one near
Only you and you can't hear me
When I say softly, slowly

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
you had a busy day today

First off, as many before me have said, the Tiny Dancer is a music box figurine. Hell, I have one of those musical jewelry boxes at home, from when I was little.
*However*, I think that there is more to it than that - the 'seamstress for the band' is a person. Clearly, the 'she' in the line before the first mention of the TD does not refer literally to the TD it/herself. The TD reminds him of the woman he used to know, and probably love (whether romantically or not doesn't matter, so no 'omg but Elton John's queer!!1!') It's a memento of their time together, when she was there for him and his band, supporting them in any way she could, by making their costumes or being their audience or just being there.

Now, here's the jump. The song is clearly a reminiscence, set in the past despite its use of present tense verbs in the verses. I think it's a eulogy of sorts, as the woman the TD reminds him of is dead.
'Lay me down in sheets of linen' - why specify this unless it's significant what kind of sheets they are? Symbolically speaking, linen is used for death shrouds.
He lays next to her in the sheets of linen, and speaks to her but she can't hear.
She's had a busy day today - her full and rich life, but can't hold him anymore, as she's been taken too soon.
'Now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand' - she's clearly gone, the language indicates finality, but nothing else in the song suggests that she left him because she stopped loving him or didn't want to struggle along with the band anymore.
And the song is much too gentle and bittersweet (at least in terms of EJ style) to have been for a lover who left - think "Candle in the Wind" - clearly a eulogy, vs. "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues", which is clearly for a leaving lover/failed relationship, and has much more of a tone of sadness, whereas "TD" has the sense of missing someone, but not really in sadness anymore.

Any thoughts? And any guesses as to who the woman is?