Oy

Here's a rant from the AOL classical music board; ranter in bold, with my responses:

Over the Muzak in a store this afternoon: "Here comes the rain again. Falling on my head like a memory. Falling on my head like a new emotion." Uhhhhhh..... Do memories "fall on your head"? How does THAT work? What's a "new" emotion? What would be the difference between a new one and an old one? Is it 'New" just because YOU never felt it before? And if the rain is coming "again", how can it be "like a NEW emotion?" then, of course, to top it all off, it's "melody" consists of the smallest possible interval, the minor second, simply repeated over and over again. Like... gee, I hope I have the range needed to sing this "song". Yeah, yeah, I know. It's Annie Lennox and it was popular about 20 years ago. But it's still stupid. Imagine... once people like Cole Porter and Ira Gershwin, and Larry Hart made up lyrics that were completely appealing to the general public and managed to be free of psuedo-poetic posturing, often quite touching and/or clever, and genuinely intelligent and most of all free of pretension. Today..... we're about to get Miley Cyrus's 3rd Platinum CD.

There's nothing quite like an utterly literal-minded crank bitching about poetic matters. Might as well ask the family dog to critique a Mondrian.

I'm not a Eurythmics fan, and have an indelible dislike of Dave Stewart for his inept intrusions throughout the first half Robert Palmer's otherwise great documentary Deep Blues. But as pop songs go, "Here Comes the Rain Again" is not bad. The repetitious melody is evocative of rain falling (but Mr. Unpoetic couldn't figure that out), and implicitly lumping that song in with work by the likes of Miley Cyrus is absurd.

I will attempt to answer Mr. Cranky Unpoetic's questions. To do that in a way he will understand, I will have to be as literal as him. Forgive me.

Do memories "fall on your head"? How does THAT work?

Since memories are information stored in the brain after receipt of sensory perceptions, most often received via eyes, ears, nose, or mouth, they usually enter through your head, yes.

But analyzing the lyric that way is awfully literal, and the question suggests a mind-boggling inability to understand the uses of "like." I would guess that the rain falling on the singer's head recalls to memory a previous occasion during which she was rained on. The rain falling is like her memory of when the rain was previously falling. Is that bluntly plain enough for you, Cranky?

What's a "new" emotion? What would be the difference between a new one and an old one?

Somebody apparently needs a dictionary.

Is it 'New" just because YOU never felt it before?

Yes, obviously. If I come back from the record store and my wife sees I've once again succumbed to my irrational compulsion to buy CDs (irrational because I've already got some forty thousand or whatever), and my wife says, "Why do you need to buy new CDs? Don't you have enough already?" when using the word "new" she is not referring to the date the CD was issued, but rather to the fact that I didn't previously have it. It is new to me.

And if the rain is coming "again", how can it be "like a NEW emotion?"

Apparently Mr. Cranky Unpoetic always has exactly the same reactions to any given occurrence. Maybe I should call him Mr. Static instead. Maybe that's why he's so cranky.

...once people like Cole Porter and Ira Gershwin, and Larry Hart made up lyrics that were completely appealing to the general public...

"Here Comes the Rain Again" hit #4 on the pop singles chart and stayed in the Top 40 for 14 weeks. Apparently it too was "completely appealing to the general public."

and managed to be free of psuedo-poetic posturing, often quite touching and/or clever, and genuinely intelligent and most of all free of pretension"

You spelled "pseudo" wrong, Cranky. That's awfully pseudo for someone touting the "genuinely intelligent." And I would hardly call the lyrics of Cole Porter "free of pretension." Not that I'm criticizing; his pretensions are deliberate and hilarious.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.