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!)

1 comment:

  1. I think you're getting overly specific with your interpretations of song lyrics, IMHO.

    One thing you might want to bear in mind is that all music is, in a sense, a rorschach inkblot. In that sense it makes a lovely metaphor for the belief systems or lenses via which we view "reality" and, in the process, project much of our internal brain workings outward. You know, when you're a hammer etc.

    But in terms of "Hello, Goodbye", here's MY take: It's a simple clash of worldviews, or if you prefer,approaches to things. Yes vs. No, Stop vs. Go, Hello vs. Goodbye.

    Uptight, repressed, angry, bleak, negative vs. Relaxed, liberated, happy, joyful, positive.

    Open vs. Closed, if you will.

    Glass half empty, or half full.

    And, to throw in the de Rigeur Dylan quote, he not busy being born is busy dying, that kind of thing.

    It's timely, too. There's a lot of "NO" people running around this planet right now. Running the planet, in fact. We could use more folks like the Beatles, nowadays.

    Oftentimes the simplest sentiments contain the deepest wisdom, because they aren't bogged down in specifics.

    In terms of overly psychedelic references in Beatles lyrics, I would rank this one pretty low- which isn't to say the song wasn't influenced by levels of awareness brought on or aided through psychedelic use, in this case specifically openess to the universe, positivity, and the limitless possibilities of the infinities which surround us...

    That and writing specifically about psychedelics are not the same thing- the experience could be likened to someone who takes the first balloon ride and sees not only that there are towns outside and far away from his or her own, but also that the entire world can be viewed from an additional perspective.

    Therefore, one wouldn't need to be writing about baloons all the time to incorporate that extra awareness, which I think is pervasive through much of the Beatles music of that era.

    JMO. Peace.

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