Saturday, September 8, 2007

Song of the Week 9/8/2007 Supertramp - The Logical Song

Studying medicine can be pretty time consuming some days. Well anyway, this was a choice between two songs again. Oh and someone still owes me a song of the week.

Supertramp is supposedly a "progressive rock" band from about thirty years ago. Suffering many lineup changes in their later life as a band, their earlier material seems more solid and brought them stardom for a while.

It's a bit different from many traditional progressive pieces: there are no crazy solos in this song, only a catchy keyboard tune. The song is brilliant musically and lyrically. The keyboard tune syncs up to the heavily rhymed lyrics. The song does turn into progressive instrumentality after the first 3 minutes, but it only gets a bit conceptual and no crazy instrumentation is involved.

Supertramp nailed a chart hit with this song, with reflexive lyrics and nice melodic background. I'll try to land on the lyrics with a correct interpretation.

Supertramp - The Logical Song (and my interpretation)

When I was young,
it seemed that life was so wonderful,
a miracle,
oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees well they'd be singing so happily,
oh joyfully, playfully, watching me.
But then they sent me away and teach me how to be sensible,
oh responsible, practical.
And then they show me a world where I could be so dependable,
oh clinical, oh intellectual, cynical.

This part is about how we can't appreciate life and beauty as children. All it's magic, and there's nothing to hold us back, and most of our parents took care of protecting us from all the crap in the world. However, when we get to schooling age, they send us away. They teach us how to be sensible, standardizing our point of view in beauty, art. They teach us how to be logical, and not emotional, responsible so we can work for the rest of our lives, and practical so we can get rid of all the unappreciated things in life: beauty, emotions. We then turn into being dependable of our world, thinking rationally, and most of the times we tend to act cynically towards our world.

There are times when all the world's asleep,
the questions run too deep for such a simple man.
Won't you please, please tell me what you've learned,
I know it sounds absurd,
please tell me who I am.

Pretty straightforward as well, when our identities from childhood and adulthood clash, we find ourselves stuck and not knowing who we are.

I say, now watch what you say,
or they'll be calling you a radical,
a liberal,
oh fanatical,
Won't you sign up your name,
we'd like to feel you're acceptable,
oh presentable,
a vegetable.

Now that we are grown up beings, we must watch what we say or we could get in trouble. Freedom of speech is mostly an idea, not a practice, and people can use our words against us.
We become beings dependent of our name, we need fame in order to be trustworthy. And we become slaves of the social system, respectable, presentable, and as irrelevant as a simple vegetable. The song is all about not losing all the beautiful parts of humanity we lose while growing.

I think I'm getting good at transcribing lyrics, hopefully, no one from those misheard lyrics sites will come and attack me:P

2 comments (Click to Show/Hide):

Dr. Andrew said...

I agree with you, Sooki, YES is one of the greatest bands of all time!

A lot of so-called "Progressive Rock" has really gone by the way of Prog-Metal. We are doing our best to bring back the "Symphonic Prog" type of music.

We'll be happy to send you a free copy of our CD to review when it comes out!

Dr. Andrew Colyer and Daniel Aggers

Sooki said...

Well at first I thought that comment was spam but you have a point, even though if it's not related too much to this week's song :P

YES is simply my favorite.

On prog-metal. It's not particularly bad (I like Dream Theater) but other than that there's not much to pick from. I've listened to Queensryche and it's pretty plain to me. Also other bands don't really please my musical taste. I like metal, I like prog. But I can't get to like prog-metal. I'm not the only one who feels this, this "sub-genre" is pretty much like an unwanted son :P. Some may like it, but metal fans don't accept it, and prog fans aren't particularly crazy about it either. I like a bit of other "prog-metal" bands like Bozzio, Levin, Stevens and Liquid Tension Experiment. But there's no real comparison when thinking of the older prog. bands. Maybe Spock's Beard had a little something and Snow (2002) is one of the last albums I like from prog. that doesn't sound like metal at times. It's a hard moment for prog. fans, hah.

I read your site it's pretty interesting, I would be glad to check out your music.