June 19, 2009

What is this song really about?

I was listening to a song by U2 today and remembered reading what Bono said the song was about. But I've heard other people explain their ideas on what he was talking about when he wrote it.

The true inspiration for song lyrics are often argued by the listener, and really, we will never know for sure unless we hear it straight from the lips of the songwriter. But its fun to hear opinions.

Here are some songs that people seem to have a hard time agreeing about, do you have an opinion on what they are about or what inspired them?

Achilles's Last Stand, Led Zeppelin

Angie, The Rolling Stones

Radar Love, Golden Earring

Hotel California, The Eagles

Baba O'Reilly, The Who
Where The Streets Have No Name, U2

1 comment:

tad said...

Layla: I thot "Angie" was like a cheer-up song 4 David Bowie's 4mer wife Angie. "Baba O'Riley" is sposta B a play on words combining the names of Maher Baba -- who was Who guitarist Pete Townshend's guru -- & Terry Riley, who in the late-'60s created hypnotic synthesizer music similar 2 (but nowhere near as good as) the keyboard riff that starts out this song. I think "Radar Love" & "Where the Streets Have No Name" R kinda obvious, at least on the surface. I thot "Hotel California" was sorta a metaphorical song about what California Cmd like & felt like 2 Don Henley & Glenn Frey. & (some Classic Rocker I am) I don't remember ever hearing "Achilles' Last Stand" -- I'll havta dig it out.
There R LOTSA songs where I'd liketa know less about what they "mean" & more about where they came from, what inspired them, how the writer/musician put the parts 2gether. But the creator can't always Xplain this. Ask Van Morrison where his classic songs "came from" -- he doesn't know. He "channels" them. If he could Xplain them, he wouldn't havta write & sing them.
& sometimes U really don't wanna know where a song came from, the mystery is so much better: I just finished reading a (fairly bad) book that claims Eric Clapton's "Layla" is partly based on an ancient Indian myth; that's funny, I thot it was based on Eric's then-unrequited passion 4 Patti Boyd Harrison....
There R also some songs that I don't think R "about" anything, they clearly Xist mainly 4 the music that's in them -- the Stones' "Jumping Jack Flash" is about the guitar sound in it; I don't think the words R important. Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" is about the HUGE SOUND of it. Zep's "Carouselambra" is about that merry-go-round organ sound -- I don't remember NE of the words, they don't matter.
What do U think about this stuff? -- TAD.

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