RSOG - interpret this line

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RSOG - interpret this line

Post: # 779Post perpetualchanger
Sun May 12, 2002 4:00 am

Been listening to this song a LOT lately. Keep wondering about this line:

<i>What happened to this song we once knew so well
signed promise for moments caught within the spell
I must have waited all my life for this moment moment</i>

Since I'm not at all familiar with the shastrick scriptures, I have no idea how this line is related to them. However, if you wanted to look at it in the context of other things Jon's written more recently, I think this could be construed as a slam on record execs.

<i>What happened to this song we once knew so well</i>
Sometimes producers, etc., want changes in the song that will make a song more profitable, right? Sometimes the song is unrecognizable when the meddling is done.

<i>signed promise for moments caught within the spell</i>
"Signed promise" could imply a contract. "Moments caught within the spell" - when you're creating, you go into a kind of trance (spell).

<i>I must have waited all my life for this moment moment</i>
You start dreaming of being a musician as a kid. Then finally, that moment comes when you finally get your first record deal. Hmm.

Of course, I could be full of it, as usual. Food for thought. Discuss.


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Post: # 19815Post psychopomp95
Sun May 12, 2002 10:23 am

Very interesting, PC! I would imagine Jon might've wrote the line about that very situation you just suggested (that verse is one that really sticks out for me from RSOG), and then found that it also worked in a different, deeper context with the rest of the song!
I love it when lines just fall into place like that! <img src=pix/icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle> Note that whatever I've said about TFTO musically, I think Jon wrote some excellent lyrics for it!

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Post: # 19845Post IngnoZac
Mon May 13, 2002 12:01 am

Remember they wanted to do a double album since fragile....

Renato

<hr><i>He seemed like his normal self, though it's hard for me to say what normal was for him.</i>

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Post: # 19847Post Ed Schaum
Mon May 13, 2002 12:34 am

Nice one, Meesh!

I've always believed that a good deal of Yes music deals with the celebration of playing music..the songs are about themselves in a way.

That's not to say that there aren't other meanings in there also, but I find references to their own playing on just about every album.

On a similar subject, I think it's a pretty well known fact(?) that Release, Release was a direct F.U. to the record company and the whole commercialism of the industry.

But getting back to your reference, I think you're right on the money with this.

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Post: # 19850Post Ed Schaum
Mon May 13, 2002 12:40 am

I think Release, Release also talks about the bands' own frustration and lack of direction.

The feelings about the industry REALLY come out in Second Attention on ABWH.

Also, I've always thought that Awaken was about themselves too.

Sorry, this topic has such wide-ranging implications :)

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Post: # 19862Post perpetualchanger
Mon May 13, 2002 4:20 am

That's why I instigated it - oops, I mean, <i>started</i> it.

Ed's right - it does have major implications. I tend to like the "FU" type of songs more than most Yes songs for some reason. Hmm. So why not take a harder look?

So much of "Release, Release" is FU, but this makes my point:
Release all, release all, or abandon your hope for your brother
Release all, release all, or abandon your hope for your sister
Release, release, enough controllers
Show some signs of appreciated loyalties

That's a definite "bite me" kind of statement. Makes me wonder what might have been forced off Tormato that the band wanted on it.

And of course there's the very first spoken words on ABWH:
Be gone you ever piercing power play machine
cutting our musical solidarity
For those who would break the windows of our true reflections
And perceptions of the world
For I am out of thee with a vengeance

If that's not FU I don't know what is. Jon is really good at writing righteous rage, just as good as he is at writing about truth and light.

And this example from The Ladder, Finally:
Make no mistake to the mainstream
music be the master planner
Just like the books you read
you'll hear it on your radio scanner

I'm sure there's more examples but these are the ones that come to mind. RSOG was subtle, others are not!




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Post: # 19864Post perpetualchanger
Mon May 13, 2002 4:30 am

This snippet from Awaken might be directed at someone in particular:

Master of Images
Songs cast a light on you
Hark thru dark ties
That tunnel us out of sane existence
In challenge as direct
As eyes see young stars assemble

I've always kind of wondered about this verse from GFTO, which is one of my favorite in all of Yesdom:

Now the verses I've sang
Don't add much weight to the story in my head
So I'm thinking I should go and write a punch line
But they're so hard to find
In my cosmic mind
So I think I'll take a look out of the window
When I think about you
I don't feel low
N'should I really chase so hard
The truth of sport plays rings around you
Going for the one

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Post: # 19874Post guilddigger
Mon May 13, 2002 5:16 am

<font face='Comic Sans MS'>i take that as proof enough that jon does not take himself too seriously.</font id='Comic Sans MS'>

<hr>stay awaken

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Post: # 19877Post jackalz
Mon May 13, 2002 5:28 am

Well you may be right, but for me this lyric has a different reality.

What happened to this song we once knew so well, is a question to the Self(which can be interpreted as God), how is it that we knew this song (of living in a loving state) and now have lost the ability to realize it.

signed promise for moments caught within the spell. In my mind, in Shastric history, there was a time when there was an agreement to have the spell (living in a loving state) always available to those who committed to it.

I must have waited all my life for this moment moment. In my life, this love (respect-full, unconditional, infinite love) is the only reality that is worth living. So when I get there, it's like I've waited forever for it to be. And when it really is there, it stays in the continual now, moment to moment.

I know... BORING!<img src=pix/icon_smile_dead.gif border=0 align=middle>

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Post: # 19882Post perpetualchanger
Mon May 13, 2002 6:01 am

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

I know... BORING!<img src=pix/icon_smile_dead.gif border=0 align=middle>

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

No, not boring, just different! Take 5 of us on this board, give us a line to analyze, and not one of us will come up with the exact same answer. Similar, maybe, but not the same. In fact, Jack, I think you are probably closer than I am to what Jon/Steve really meant. But it's fun to think of them giving the record execs the musical finger sometimes. <img src=pix/icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>

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Post: # 19894Post IngnoZac
Mon May 13, 2002 7:04 am

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote><b>perpetualchanger wrote:</b>
Take 5 of us on this board, give us a line to analyze, and not one of us will come up with the exact same answer.<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>

Hey don't make yourself that important. <img src=pix/icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>
Take five people on the world...

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Post: # 19920Post fragilesi
Mon May 13, 2002 3:12 pm

Wow Meech, that has shed an interesting light on some old old lyrics . . . The original ones that you quote from RSOG would never once have struck me that way at all but everything you say does have a ring of truth about it. I have to confess though my guess - and that's all it is - is that it doesn't mean that.

It would be a strange time for Jon to be writing such things given that he's getting the freedom to write a double album with four twenty minutes songs on it particularly after the albums that had gone before. It could be that they were under some pressure to change the album but in the end they won through.

Looking at the same lines in a more religious context another possibility could be . . .

<i>What happened to this song we once knew so well</i>
Religions are often twisted and metamorphasise with the times, compare the christian Old and New testaments for example. The song could be a religion and this could be a statement of regret that it has changed and not for the better.

<i>signed promise for moments caught within the spell</i>
Typically religious practitiioners will make a promise to their God, never more so than when they are caught up in a moment of high fervour, trance or meditation.

<i>I must have waited all my life for this moment moment</i>
Reaching the point of enlightenment?

It would seem kind of odd to me if Jon had chosen to have a dig at the music industry in a song called The Revealing Science of God so my take would be similar to Jackalz. I have a similar feeling about the verse from Awaken that you mention.

However, the snippet from The Ladder and Release Release have to be spot on the money surely. <i>Show Some Signs of Appreciated Loyalties</i> is a particularly stinging phrase and even more valid today than when it was written.

But, as I'm in Rush mode waiting for their new album to come out I think that they summed it up best in <i>The Spirit of Radio</i>;

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
One likes to believe in the freedom of music
But glittering prizes and endless compromises
Shatter the illusion of integrity - Yeah!
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>

This is of course the live version hence the Yeah!<img src=pix/icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle>

Simon.

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Post: # 19925Post perpetualchanger
Mon May 13, 2002 4:38 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
<b>fragilesi wrote:</b>
It would seem kind of odd to me if Jon had chosen to have a dig at the music industry in a song called The Revealing Science of God so my take would be similar to Jackalz. I have a similar feeling about the verse from Awaken that you mention.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>

I am sure you two are closer to being right than I am. I was thinking the "signed promise" could refer to the action of putting scriptures to paper, but then for some reason I thought of a contract. And it was off to the races from there. But that's another song ...

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
<i>Show Some Signs of Appreciated Loyalties</i> is a particularly stinging phrase and even more valid today than when it was written.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>

I find myself listening to this song a LOT lately on my way to work lately ... and that's one of my favorite lines. Hmm ...

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Post: # 19938Post fragilesi
Mon May 13, 2002 7:02 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
<b>perpetualchanger wrote:</b>
I am sure you two are closer to being right than I am. I was thinking the "signed promise" could refer to the action of putting scriptures to paper, but then for some reason I thought of a contract. And it was off to the races from there. But that's another song ...
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>
I suspect that the only sure thing about this is that we will never know for sure. Jon's mind is not something easily read at the best of times let alone through lyrics.

Simon.

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Post: # 19944Post perpetualchanger
Mon May 13, 2002 7:16 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
<b>fragilesi wrote:</b>
I suspect that the only sure thing about this is that we will never know for sure. Jon's mind is not something easily read at the best of times let alone through lyrics.

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

How right you are! And here I thought I was good at reading men's minds ... oh, wait a minute, it's at WORK I have to do that! <img src=pix/jestera.gif border=0 align=middle>

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Post: # 19968Post YesJo
Mon May 13, 2002 11:08 pm

You sure are right about that Fragil, I have heard Jon on many interview trying to explain lyrics and I had no idea what he was talking about and neither did the interviewer. But just the same I could listen to him go on forever about it.

I like the very last line "For you and you and you" When I watched them perform that a few years back in a very small place it was so personal, it was like they were singing for all of us that were there, just for us. I'll never forget it and I love the song even more for having seen that.

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Post: # 20200Post yesman90125
Wed May 15, 2002 9:08 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
<b>perpetualchanger wrote:</b>
Been listening to this song a LOT lately. Keep wondering about this line:

<i>What happened to this song we once knew so well
signed promise for moments caught within the spell
I must have waited all my life for this moment moment</i>

Since I'm not at all familiar with the shastrick scriptures, I have no idea how this line is related to them. However, if you wanted to look at it in the context of other things Jon's written more recently, I think this could be construed as a slam on record execs.

<i>What happened to this song we once knew so well</i>
Sometimes producers, etc., want changes in the song that will make a song more profitable, right? Sometimes the song is unrecognizable when the meddling is done.

<i>signed promise for moments caught within the spell</i>
"Signed promise" could imply a contract. "Moments caught within the spell" - when you're creating, you go into a kind of trance (spell).

<i>I must have waited all my life for this moment moment</i>
You start dreaming of being a musician as a kid. Then finally, that moment comes when you finally get your first record deal. Hmm.

Of course, I could be full of it, as usual. Food for thought. Discuss.


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<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>
one of the main themes of the album and of hinduism is that weve forgotten ourselves and who we are-so what happenned to the song we once knew so well-is a metaphor for that forgettein
the seperation between man and God at one time there was no seperation we sang in unison so to speak and we knew the song of God well- but we have forgotten it because we are covered in the veil of maya -or illusion. because we live in dualism while the song of God is not dualistic.
the story of genesis of the Garden of eden can also be seen a s the same metaphor - the seperation from God
we were once with God in the Garden but we are now seperated- we forgot the song of God that we once knew so well
what happenned to it ?
we need to remember ourselves what we are and where we come from
as divine beings (high the memory)

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Post: # 20284Post Altair
Thu May 16, 2002 2:23 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
<b>yesman90125 wrote:</b>one of the main themes of the album and of hinduism is that weve forgotten ourselves and who we are-so what happenned to the song we once knew so well-is a metaphor for that forgettein
the seperation between man and God at one time there was no seperation <hr height=1 noshade id=quote></font id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>

In other words, we are God? Interesting concept, isn't it? Afterall, who is the "living one?"

This is heavy shit!

"So, in answer to the prayer, the one you want is there, the one you feel so close to, the order of the sun, and everyone is 1, and all the pieces fit together."

Can you admit to being alive?

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Post: # 20632Post YesJo
Mon May 20, 2002 10:01 am

It is very heavy and can be mind boggling but that's why I love it.

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Post: # 20902Post altodds
Wed May 22, 2002 10:09 pm

AMEN to all of your great opinions...so cool <img src=pix/icon_smile_cool.gif border=0 align=middle> YES<>ROCKS

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Post: # 61939Post stevehoweistheMAN
Wed Jan 07, 2004 12:28 am

Is it really "for moments"? I always thought it was "four moments" like "four movements" because of the four tracks.

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Post: # 62013Post Chris2210
Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:50 am

Yes it is "for moments".

Well done for bringing this terrific thread back around - I'm afraid to admit I didn't remember it from the first time around.

I must say that although I like the more seemingly 'concrete' implications of Jon's quite recent lyric writing, the cryptic nature of his 70s stuff gives you more of the fun of participating in the process of drawing meanings from the words. I did used to approach Jon's lyrics as fairly abstract 'sound-painting' and enjoyed them from that fairly limiting (or should that be <i>limitless</i><img src=pix/icon_smile_tongue.gif border=0 align=middle>) point of view. Once you've had a few pointers towards his sources it becomes a little more obvious how his thought process is formed.

From (even recent) interviews I've read and seen with him his lyrics can be just about as precise and lucid as his answers to direct questions on 'issues cosmic'. I think it's just the way the guy is wired - would we want him to be any other way?

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Post: # 63708Post OB1kenOB
Mon Feb 02, 2004 4:52 am

the line from tales is a prophecy, like one of those nostradomus things. here is how it happens...

As TFTO is being conceived, the band has an epiphany
Projecting their vision into the future when Tales is no longer appreciated…
“What happened to this song we once knew so well”
then further in to the future to the night of the millennium napkin incident…
“signed promise for moments caught within the spell”
then finally into the 21st century with Rick, Steve, Jon, Chris and Alan on stage performing songs from TFTO and the cheering masses approval
“I must have waited all my life for this moment moment”


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Post: # 96688Post Whitefish
Sat May 06, 2006 9:35 pm

What happened to this song we once knew so well'

The "song" being our Natural Innocence as God's children.

[I]signed promise for moments caught within the spell[/I]

Getting caught up in material life, human desires and selfishness.
"Signed promise" being having to sign something as a guarantee of trust and honesty, which should not be necessary. "Caught within the spell" being caught within the influence of evil and greed in the world.

[I]I must have waited all my life for this moment moment[/I]

Being no longer caught up in the material, mistakenly lived world and being one with God. In other words, "Awakened"! [:yes]

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Lyrics and Jon

Post: # 97661Post thesage
Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:24 am

Actually I've heard it said mainy times that Jon's lyics during that period were written by way of selecting words that had a certain sound rather than necessarily having meaning - thus we get what TR courtiously desscribed as "cosmic lyrics from Jon" others may be less kind. I have certainly always had a degree of frustration at some of the nonsense he has written, yet at other times that nonsensical approach can delivery majetic lyrics such as those found on the Going for the one album- title track and parrallels not included

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Post: # 97663Post fragilesi
Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:06 am

I see it both ways you know. I used to think that CTTE was just nonsense but there's some incredibly clever stuff in there as we've talked about a few times in the distant past on here.

So, sometimes maybe it is nonsense but I don't think you can write Jon off completeley in terms of meaning. I've said it before but the opening lines of on't Kill The Whale are to me awesome, spanning generations in a single quote.

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Post: # 97839Post psychopomp95
Sun Jul 09, 2006 9:14 am

You know, despite not ever being a big fan of Tales in general, I have to admit that the lyrics on "Revealing Science..." are rather brilliant. Yes, they probably WERE written, more or less, at random as Jon often does, but either he put more effort into them than we realize, or his subconscious was making sense of his randomness ;) because the lyrics really make SO much sense, and even they on their own, without the music backing them, are quite 'exhilarating' to hear! It's words like this that make you realize just how much Jon was responsible for Tales turning out the way it did (and how much of a shame it is that the rest of the band didn't match his level of inspiration on this album). ;)

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Post: # 97874Post Chris2210
Mon Jul 10, 2006 4:42 pm

[quote="psychopomp95"]You know, despite not ever being a big fan of Tales in general, I have to admit that the lyrics on "Revealing Science..." are rather brilliant. Yes, they probably WERE written, more or less, at random as Jon often does, but either he put more effort into them than we realize, or his subconscious was making sense of his randomness ]

Actually Trev, a lot of those words are actually Steve's originally. If you go to his Homebrew albums you can hear demos of some of the 'songs' as sung by Steve fairly early in the compositional process. (I know how much of a fan of his singing voice you are [:;]). It came as a surprise to me to discover this - so perhaps a lot of the 'sense' you detect, are Howe's thoughts before the lyrics were 'Andersonified'.

Having said all that, I used to be of the school of thought that loved Yes music in spite of the lyrics. I've since modified my opinions. It's pretty obvious if you look (or hear) early drafts of songs, the lyrics do develop throughout the process. Anderson does appear at many stages to be deliberately breaking down linearity and 'obvious' meaning. It sounds incredibly pretentious (far more so than I think it practically is), but much of the thrust is transcendental - expressing something which goes beyond the bounds of vocabulary. Music, much more so than poetry, is very good at conveying what is emotional or instinctive, as opposed to the concrete or logical. Yes often the lyrics do simply concern themselves with the sounds they make which reinforce the impact of the music. The hints at the exotic/mystical/out of reach are very much in keeping with this search for what is outside of common/mundane experience. It's perfectly consistent that this fragmented approach allows a massive breadth of personal interpretation - to each a 'unique' understanding encompassing the breadth of anyone's potential perception (or perhaps narrowness - but at least that is not being limited to any large degree by an imposed prescriptiveness).

I think if you look at the extreme ends of his lyrical output (say, Survival and We Agree), you can see that Anderson is very capable of writing that is more traditionally poetic - and not the sort of hackneyed crap common in pop music. It's certainly a huge mistake to write him off as just a spaced-out hippy...
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Post: # 100008Post tardistraveler
Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:56 pm

I personally think Anderson is a master of imagery - selecting words that convey the image, tone, mood, more so than their literal meaning.

I used to spend HOURS stoned in the 70's contemplating the lyrics to CTTE until I realized this . . . :rolleyes:

fragilesi
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Posts: 4523
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2001 3:54 am
Location: Portsmouth, United Kingdom.

Post: # 100032Post fragilesi
Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:57 am

Don't give up, there is tons to find in CTTE . . . just read "Siddartha" by Hermann Hesse and you will be well on your way.

I never though that the opening lines about seasoned witches and the re-arrangement of livers could mean anything but shock horror . . . they do!

In fact there was some really good analysis posted on here a year or two back I think.

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