Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Musings on Music while on Medication (oh alliterative joy)

There is a little known song by R.E.M. called The Great Beyond that resonates with me on contradictory levels. The words are likely to make little sense to others-- the band has been known to make fun of the ethereal sometimes nonsensical lyrics by Michael Stipes-- but they make sense to me:

I'm pushing an elephant up the stairs
I'm tossing out punchlines that were never there
Over my shoulder a piano falls, crashing to the ground.

I'm breaking through, I'm bending spoons,
I'm keeping flowers in full bloom.
I'm looking for answers from the great beyond.

These lyrics say, "I'm desperately trying to keep these fragile eggs in the air, three at a time, I'm a circus all by myself, look at me go!" Yet, the eggs fall to the ground, a crunchy-slimy mess, and the singer tap-dances, pointing to the great beyond as a means of escape from the onlookers he imagines are disappointed in him. I know that's not what he meant it to mean, but it's what I hear.

BUT. The music is the opposite. The music floats confidently, calling out, "I've got this!" It has a victory sort of swagger to it, especially in the chorus.

It makes me feel honest -- owning what I am, seeing whom I wish to be.

I think if we were ever able to see music the way God does, it would be in its own dimension, all color and wavy lines, treble clefs and whole notes on staffs suspended in the air around us.

Okay, Darvocet, you've made your point. To bed I go.

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