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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

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Jay

unreal

I am now an even bigger fan of yours.

Julie

That's the CD I'm listening to on my iPod even now. Love that song. My favorite line is "Let their mistakes be their own."

Amen and selah.

Great deconstruction. Ever thought of being a professor of song lyric deconstruction?

Julie (in Italy)

Scott

Sure, I'd love to analyze music for a living, and I've even thought of going back to school to get an advanced degree in pop culture, but it's not in the cards at this point in time, alas. Or not alas--I'm mighty happy with my life as it is right now. :)

Couple things about the song I wanted to point out earlier but which didn't really fit in anywhere: the earlier song is set entirely in the city, with the exception of one small reference to the swamps of Jersey--not a positive view of nature. The sequel, however, reverses things, with lots of beautiful nature imagery while the only mention of the city relates to his deadbeat dad. Meanwhile, the climactic moment of the song takes place as they're camping out beneath the stars. It's another interesting journey the narrator's taken along the way.

Also, while the earlier song has something like nine different chords used--I should grab my guitar and count 'em but I'm too busy...or, more accurately, too lazy--the sequel has only four chords, one of which is only used very briefly, but to great effect, in the bridge. The verses consist of just the root and the subtonic. But, and this is really interesting, Bruce goes back and forth between a straight tonic chord of A and a variation, of Asus2. Now, that's not a terribly uncommon chord--REM has used it a fair amount, for instance--but it's pretty uncommon for our boy. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, he's only ever used a suspended chord fewer than a dozen times in his something like 250 songs, and most of those uses came before 1980, before he stripped his songs down to the bare minimum of chords. Off the top of my head, I can think of only two times in the past twenty-five years when he's used one: "Brilliant Disguise" and "Youngstown." Oh, and he used a sixth chord in "Dancing in the Dark," which is also slightly odd. Otherwise, it tends to be just a regular ol' major or minor chord, with the occasional dominant seventh thrown in. So, again, I find his use of an unusual chord in this song not completely lacking in significance.

Finally, this line just slays me every single time:

I reach ‘neath your shirt, lay my hands across your belly
And feel another one kickin’ inside

That's something that, I suspect, every guy who's ever gone through a pregnancy has done--felt his new child dance around inside his sleeping wife--while the experience, even the simple act of it, is probably unimaginable to a guy who hasn't gone through it. The verisimilitude of that line, that image, that act, just blows me away.

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