Friday, September 09, 2011

Lyrics matter

More great comments on Hey Dullblog—on favorite unreleased tracks, Seinfeld and nothingness, and the theory that "Yesterday" and "The Night Before" are thematically identical—from Devin, Nancy, Glavin (Garvin? Gavin? Garmin? Glaven), and Mr. Levi Stahl. A smattering:

Devin: "Seinfeld": it was fatuous and lazy for commentators to use that phrase "show about nothing" as if it spoke the whole truth. But I think it was legitimately used by some to encapsulate the show's peculiar and innovative charm -- that unlike "The Brady Bunch," say (which like all children of the '70s I LOVE), episodes didn't require a moral or even a resolution. The "something" we'd all been spoonfed (by shows like "The Brady Bunch," which did I mention I LOVE) was the real nothing: bourgeois values and stale homily. (LOVE.) Whereas "Seinfeld"'s "nothing" was really "something"--the vigor, absurdity, and random magic of ordinary life, heightened and tweaked to perfection.

Glaven: As for "Yes It Is" ... Formally, it's a lot like "This Boy", in that the chord progression of e verses is exactly the same as TB, just transposed from the key of D to E; also, the rhythm guitar strumming pattern is exactly the same. This suggests that it may have started out as a rewrite of TB, but I agree with you that it is far superior to the earlier song, and, taken all-in-all, is a far different and far richer song. And Ithink the only way one could conclude otherwise, could see it as a mere knockoff of TB, is by ignoring the far superior lyrics. Lyrics matter. Sometimes I think people forget that.

Nancy: My favorite unreleased Beatles track is Lennon's "Child of Nature." I read somewhere that it was left off the White album because it was too close in subject to "Mother Nature's Son," but I think these two songs would have made a great double A-side.

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