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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:42 pm
Posts: 1
I have always liked this song. I was in seventh grade and going into the eighth in 1966 and the song hit me in ways that few songs did. I remember “Ferry Cross the Merzy” touched me in a similar way. Both songs resounded in what Jung would have called the “collective unconscious,” or what seems to be our instinctual memory as a species. The symbolism is open to multiple interpretations, but as a poet and painter, I’ll venture to give it a Jungian reading.
There are always several ways to see the narrator. He could be an idealistic youth who has come upon the dreams someone else abandoned. The dreams could have been left to him by a parent, a loved one, or an entire culture in general. If the narrator is simply one aspect of a literary characterization, then he could be addressing other forms of himself: the young self, the former self, or the wise, old self.
If the narrator is talking to a parent and/or loved one, then he could be letting them know that he has happened upon the same dreams of love and life and the future they once pursued. This is a kind of handing-of-the-torch that happens when a father leaves a legacy for a son. It symbolizes maturation. When a man comes across the discarded dreams of a woman, there is always the possibility that she no longer shares the dreams that he still has. This brings on grief over the losses felt from emotional abandonment. Hence, sorrow. But when a man comes across the left over dreams of his culture, then there is the need to understand them, to translate and synthesize them, and to make order of what seems to be meaningless. It calls for a new song. This is called by many names: myth-making, poison-changing, transcendence, atonement. Popular culture has it that we make lemonade from lemons.
None of this accounts for the ambivalence and longing we all feel in the tune. Some things can’t be accounted for and I will simply say that music has its own language. Music critics would surely have much to say about the melody which runs the song. However, the lyrics have their own story: whose shadow is glimpsed, what is the American horizon, what floats on wings (angels, birds, insects, dreams, hopes), who is the sleeper (all of us?), and why would footsteps be heard in an open field? All of this imagery is enigmatic and could be interpreted till doomsday. To say that it all fits well together is my small tribute to the artist. It came from a mind which allowed images to rise up without censorship from a controlling ego.
I was young in the 60’s and it felt to me like there were ideals left to me by my parents that simply weren’t being regarded. I thought that freedom was important to us as a nation and I heard that we were trying to keep others free, but it seemed to me at the time that our will was being imposed on cultures that simply hadn’t asked for our interference and I didn’t understand how it was warranted. I think of the Shaw of Iran and the reaction after the US-backed regime fell. Religious fundamentalism stepped in in a big way. All of this is only to say that I was young. My parents were both Army veterans and there was a great deal of debate in our home as to what we, as a country, should do.
I think young people felt that. Our poets certainly did, and hence, this ephemeral song. I applaud Mr. Lind and thank him for it. Thank you. It will always be one of my favorites because it speaks to something in everyone without pronouncing a political agenda or need for aggrandizement. I, as a child, felt what the singer felt. Didn’t we all?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:38 pm 
Declaring Lindependence

Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 8:03 pm
Posts: 258
Welcome to the board Jmosby. Good to have you with us.
You've clearly given this way more thought than I have.

Hope you're aware of my new songs too. The machinery didn't shut down after 1966.
Stay close to the forum. Nice to have your input.

All the best to you.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:01 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:41 am
Posts: 416
Location: Central Victoria, Australia.
I feel that a song can be like a painting. The artist puts his ideas and imaginings on display, explained in word and/or pictures, and the audience/viewer absorbs the offering.

Sometimes all of the artist's message is realised, sometimes some of the the message is realised, sometimes a different message is realised.

I often think (not unkindly, mind you) that an artist does not always understand the different interpretations that someone else can have of their work - that is, the artist can make a comment like "Aw, it's just a song...", whilst a fan can feel much more deeply about the piece.

I reckon there are millions of us, like jmosby, who are affected/have been affected thus.

The beauty of my understandings is that, yes, "the machinery didn't shut down in 1966" - that is, the intellect, the artistry, the insightfulness into people, the poetic/musical flair to see, know, then relate, in Lind, is just as keen and strong NOW, as it was THEN.

All by way of saying...gotta LOVE that new stuff...!!

"Some may call it wanderlust, some may call it crazy.
I don't call it anything - I Just Let It Take Me."

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