Lyrical, more lyrical, Jon-Anderson-lyrical?

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Lyrical, more lyrical, Jon-Anderson-lyrical?

Post: # 797Post Ra
Tue May 14, 2002 6:50 pm

Hello there!

As you may have noticed I come from Germany . This doesn't automatically mean that I'm not able to speak and understand the English tongue and word - no sir and madam!

I do love english. Since youth it has become my second native language. And I learned quite a lot by enjoying and translating the lyrics of my favorite songs.

And who would have thought it ... the songs of YES have been a constant source of learning and inspiration for me through 25 years (my gosh, I'M OLD!!!) - from WONDEROUS STORIES & Co. up to MAGNIFICATION's wonderful pieces.

BUT ...

yes, there is a "but in the YES". (Oops, don't read it vice versa!)

If a friend of mine asked me what the songs of YES are about, I was ... knocked out in a way.

Jon Anderson's lyrics are wonderful - poetic - miscellaneous - sparkling - full of beauty ... etc. etc.

But time and again I find it hard to really find a thread, a topic, a "storyline" etc.

I always follow sparkling-big-eyedamazed lines like

"Danw of the light line / between the silent suns song sources / chased amidst fusions of wonder ..."

I enjoy the melody of the fragile construction of words ... but I can't really put a stringent meaning into them!

Of course this is not so in all and every case. OLIAS OF SUNHILLOW for example, being a clearly definded concept album (written under the magnificent influence of THE LORD OF THE RINGS) - the story was clearly to be followed, no matter what twists and turns the lyrics took.

But especially in cases like e.g. TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS (all pieces), SOUND CHASER and others mor I "stand, staring bewildered at the lines" and think:

"Wonderful - but what the heck is the author trying to tell me?"

The words are clear, like dots in a painting in pointilism style - but somehow I simply "can't stand far away from for the coulour dots to mix" and finally discover the complete meaning of the text of a song / piece.

Therefore my question:

Is this a "german listener problem"?
Is this a universal problem?
Is this ... a problem at all?

No, "problem" is the incorrect expression for what I feel.

=> Question, version 2.0:

How are you dealing with Jon Anderson's magnificent (and sometimes DISTURBINGLY magnificent) lyrics?

May your answers be as long as this questioning posting, may they be short as an SMS - I don't mind.

And please don't get me wrong:

Being german DOESNT'S atumatically mean "being a control freek" etc. This is not the reason for my question.

It's the "strive for knowledge", the "universal need", you know?

You know. I knew.


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Post: # 20062Post Ra
Tue May 14, 2002 6:53 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
<b>Ra wrote:</b>

<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>

Sorry: "Automatically" was meant. But I think you knew this, too.

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Post: # 20074Post Ed Schaum
Tue May 14, 2002 8:36 pm

Aside from "what will the next lineup be", that's the biggest Yes question there is!

There are a bunch of books written about this stuff trying to decipher what's been written.

To complicate things, Jon's voice is also an instrument, and he's said that sometimes the sound of the words is more important than which words are used.

Rarely do things flow clean and smooth in Yes lyrics. Overall song meanings are sprinkled with one-line philosophical wonderings, and they also tend to talk about things that aren't so well-known.

I'm afraid we won't really be able to answer this here, but we can point you to various books, some of the sites Jon reveals himself on, and ponder some of the finer points together.

Think of Tales as the history of the earth and mankind. Then, go and check out some of the Yogi's writings and you'll soon start understanding bits and pieces.

Close to the Edge - the meaning and progression of life, coming face to face with god, seeing and accepting your own mortality, and crossing over.

Yours is no Disgrace - this one is about the Vietnam war!

Search around the net for Divine Mother and Jon and when you find the site, read the story of him, Jane and the kids getting involved with her. Then go listen to Magnification.

Obviously, I'm just scratching the surface here, but the point is that Yes lyrics are generally NOT gibberish, even though they usually aren't easily understandable.

Plus, with Yes, you can sometimes write a whole thesis from a single Yes line. Take something like "Leave Good Footprints Behind". Wow, what a great line- be sure to live a good life and make sure that you leave a positive impression everywhere that you go.

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Post: # 20076Post Altair
Tue May 14, 2002 9:02 pm

Ra, like you, I completely adore the lyrics of Yes. Also, I'm am occasionally stumped on the meaning behind the music.

Ed is correct in saying that Jon (especially in the 70s) simply through words together because of their harmonic qualities.

Now, his writing is becoming more pointed. IMHO, this means more spiritual, introspective, humanitarian, and generally about love.<img src=pix/luv1.gif border=0 align=middle>

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Post: # 20077Post Ra
Tue May 14, 2002 9:03 pm

I remember hearing Jon Anderson state that the sound of the wirds in the lyrics is fo major importance.
This idea really pleased me when I heard it. And it surely is true: the lyrics develop a melody of their own, adding up to the musical lines that transport and support them.

Don't apologize for "just scratching the surface". Nothing else would be of interest for me. Because these "scratches" open up new paths and territories that are splendid fun to explore myself.

So: Thank you for your thoughts and ideas! And keep on "scratching the surface!


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Post: # 20081Post YesJo
Tue May 14, 2002 10:13 pm

Ra, I think so many of us feel the way you do, it's universal being English speaking doesn't make me any smarter about Jon's lyrics for sure, but I love them as well, so much so that Yes is the only band that I have ever bothered to delve into and try to find out the meanings behind everything. So much is still unaswered. I think what Ed wrote is very helpful, I have listened to so many interviews with Jon over the years, and his explanations sometimes confuse me even more. All I know is that I get a spiritual "high" from his lyrics and the music. Just even the titles of the latest albums like "Keys to Ascension" and The Ladder have powerful spiritual themes. "Ascend and create" "Children of Light" "I will always need you inside my heart" are some lines I can think of recently that have deep spiritual meaning.

I love to try to figure it all out, one of the million reasons I love Yes.<img src=pix/icon_yes_yes.gif border=0 align=middle><img src=pix/icon_yes_yes.gif border=0 align=middle><img src=pix/icon_yes_yes.gif border=0 align=middle><img src=pix/icon_yes_yes.gif border=0 align=middle>Yes music is timeless it will never sound dated or boring.

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Post: # 20094Post jackalz
Wed May 15, 2002 1:11 am

Well, I've dug deep, steadily for 30 years, and used alot of free time that married people with children just don't have. And I'm still finding lots of interesting new stuff about Yes lyrics. But I find the most satisfying interpretations have to do with the mystical wonder of life, and the most powerful love force source.

I would suggest, Ra, that you go to the lyrics page at Yesworld. Some of your interpretations are a little bit off, like from RSoG. I think it's hidden link-wise in YesWorld, so here it is.

<hr>Dawn of our only to teach love as to reveal passion chasing late into corners, and we danced from the ocean.

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Post: # 30102Post HeartOfTheSunrise
Tue Sep 10, 2002 5:06 am

does anybody want to make another crack of interpreting YESlyrics or passing on what we heard or read in books about YESlyrics

i red all these postings and i thank all for your shareings as i too so love Jon's Words and voice as an instrument alone, i have all his solo stuff too

He always is talking about light, purity, peacefullness, and taking control of one's life and walking with a higher power (it seems)

the whole Children of Light - Everyone Is One type of thing

always going to the sun
dancing in the light
dancing with the spirit of the age
listening for the sound that your ears won't hear

even the group name YES is so possitive

you got the way to make it all happen


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