Sunday, October 01, 2006

# Posted 1:49 PM by Patrick Belton  

FUN WITH ITUNES: In the department of Straussian hidden meanings, is it just me or is a perfectly valid alternate reading of Bridge over Troubled Water, at 2:12 - 'When you’re down and out, When you’re on the street, When evening falls so hard... I'll take your car.'

Also, in Lola, last verse, doesn't the text only give us enough evidence for saying that Lola is glad the speaker (here presumptively Ray Davies CBE) is a man? The relevant piece of the document: 'But I know what I am and I'm glad I'm a man / And so is Lola-Lo-lo-lo-lo-lola-lo-lo-lo-lo-lola-lola Lo-lo-lo-lo-lola-lo-lo-lo-lo-lola.' (I think I've transcribed that right.) As Bertie Russell would say, not enough evidence.

Finally, and tangentially related because the last song seems specially written for One Song to the Tune of Another candidacy, can I note in hopeful antidote to reality telly - pitting Welsh monolinguists against Tourette's syndromees in a way to make Diane Arbus blush - Clue's suggestion of 'Who Wants to Be a Milliner'.
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I have found the pearLyrics widget for Mac OS invaluable for learning which lyrics I have misinterpretations going back many years.
Curiously, Mr M sir - per OED, 'milliner' derives from 'Milaner' (c. 1530) as principal importers of headwear into Britain. See, I can procrastinate just fine even without fancy schmancy hi-tech widgets. :)

It seems Windows Vista will be bringing Widgets to non-pretty computers in the near future.

Alas, the OED will not yield the etymology of my name. You will need a Czech dictionary for that, at least, if you wish to learn about the form applied to me. It is a common Yugoslav name, also.
There goes another hour.
Well, obviously several interpretations of "Lola" are possible: the speaker is being deliberately ambiguous--about a situation which is itself ambiguous. Not sure what Leo Strauss would have made of that.
I've always heard the line:

"I know what I am and in bed I'm a man and so is Lola".

But thinking about it, that sounds a little weird too.
I had the same thought about the Lola lyrics many years ago, but never thought to write them down. But someone now has thought to write those thoughts down. This is the meaning of blogging in a nutshell.
Not sure what Leo Strauss would have made of that.

But we can be a little more confident what Allan Bloom would've made of it!
Mention of "Lola" makes me think of Weird Al Yankovic's Star War's parody "Yoda," which someone with amazing editing skills set to scenes from the movies:


And the live version, with accordian music, audience participation, and a Jerry Lewis reference:


This live version of "Lola" from the Kinks is full of "deliberate amiguity" (whoa, even Weird Al's audience participation is a parody):


A more mellow version that someone has (imperfectly) subtitled for karaoke:


Writer Ray Davies sings "Lola" accompanied only by his own acoustic guitar and a piano. The words are pretty clear.


Ray has fun with the audience:


I've got to stop this. A more recent video-maker takes a studio version and resolves the ambiguity (very funny in parts):

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