A different POV

I have a tendency to try to take a look at the basic essence, the core of things that have too much furnishing or are presented/supposed to be perceived in a specific way (think politic/patriotic/religious speeches that don’t say anything). If this does not make sense to you, it’s because I’m not good with generalizations. So let’s dive into example right away.

Recently I had a listen of Katie Melua‘s Nine Million Bicycles. It’s a great song, and I like it, just in case anyone gets the wrong idea. However, when you take a look at the lyrics in a simple, uncomplicated way (as opposed to juxtaposition of a trivial idea (“Nine Million Bicycles”) against an important idea (“I will love you till I die”)), a different picture appears.

Let’s put down some basics — every song is either a) a text that conveys a message or b) a barely sensical or nonsensical poetry, meant to create images or feelings within the listener, without having a literal meaning. Nine Million Bicycles is the A, I would think obviously. Now, take away the music, and you’re left with a text that can be read either as a monologue or a dialog. I’ll do the dialog, and here’s what comes out (with a few surrogate words added to make it sound more prose-like). For better effect, imagine KL flipping through a “100 things you didn’t know” or something similar.

Katie’s Love(r): Huh, it says here there’re 9 million bicycles in Beijing. It’s a proven fact!
Katie: Like the fact that I will love you ’till I die!
KL: OK, I love you too, hon. But listen, it seems the universe started about 12 billion years ago, though they don’t know it for certain [this is actually an error, see the Wikipedia link]…
K: But I know that I will always be with you!
KL: How can you be so sure?
K: So don’t call me a liar, just believe everything that I say! [sic]
KL: OK, I won’t. Imagine, there are more than 6 billion people in the world…! Doesn’t that make you feel small and insignificant?
K: But you’re the one I love the most of all!

I think Kate Nash said it (sarcastically) in another song: Intelligent input, darling. The reason I chose to go with the dialog is because if you look at it as a monologue, you’ve got one schizophrenic Katie on your hands, and I don’t want to be harsh. :D

This might not be the best example, but it’s a nice one. I still enjoy the song, even more so than before I realized this, as now I can have 2 songs instead of one — a romantic juxtaposition (I don’t know why, but the word just seems funny to me. :D) or a humorous account of a crazy/schizo girlfriend. I feel enriched. :D

Another good example of what I’m talking about is found at beatriche’s blog. I’ll give the detailed translation here, as the short version seemed to piss people off. :)

A farmer, a hunter, a soldier, a reporter, even a philosopher, may be daunted; but nothing can deter a poet,. Ever heard of writer’s block?
for he is actuated by pure love. I’ll take that sentence as more than just smoke when someone gives me the one true definition for love. Otherwise it’s something so subjective and variable, it can be easily substituted with just about anything equally ethereal, say “God”, “Soul”, “World”, “Beauty”, etc.
Who can predict his comings and goings? That’s a “do/work when, where and how much or little I please” right there.
His business calls him out at all hours, even when doctors sleep. Unlike, say, police or firemen? And, ironically, emergency medics.


~ by Shadowbird on 2008-10-19.

2 Responses to “A different POV”

  1. I would consider a division such as the A/B mentioned a specific case of logical fallacy “false dilemma”. The whole following analysis as well as the conclusions seem, therefore, quite arbitrary.

  2. True the split is very limited and maybe unnecessary, but it was there mostly for emphasis. Unless you disagree that in this case lyrics are actually meant to convey a message, taking the division out does not change anything. The argument doesn’t depent on there being A and B, it only depends on the song matching the description of A.

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