Saturday, March 04, 2006

I Started A Joke

Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb (BMI) The Bee Gees Atco 1969
I looked at the skies running my hands over my eyes And I fell out of bed hurting my head from things that I said 'Till I finally died which started the whole world living Oh If I'd only seen that the joke was on me Oh no that the joke was on me
2003/01/03: Maurice Gibb died yesterday. I suddenly realized that I had not gotten 'round to including any of the Bee Gees' wonderfully quirky lyrics that I so enjoy.

I won't claim to understand all of their songs. Who does? Their songs are often true poetry, requiring us to imagine the flesh and bone from the marrow served us.

Poetry like this is not easy. It makes us work to understand it. I think that's why many folks are not overly fond of poetry. They're unwilling to invest the study required for understanding. More's the pity, because several layers of meaning may be hidden within.

I confess that I suspect the Bee Gees sometimes tucked in a line or two just because they sounded right, without regard for meaning. How else to explain some of the really inscrutable stuff? "Red chair, fade away" is readily explained, but what of this:

Just my dog and I at the edge of the universe. Well, I didn't wanna bring her and I know it'll make her worse.
They sure made some beautiful, memorable music! Like Words. Like Islands in the Stream. And the wonderfully multi-textured Odessa (City on the Black Sea). (review) Then there is their little-known instrumental work, like Seven Seas Symphony or With All Nations (both also from album Odessa.)

Beautiful music, indeed!

Trivia: Maurice Gibb's first wife was the Scottish singer/actress, Lulu (To Sir With Love, 1967 film and song).


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