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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:29 am 
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Mr. Lind's signature song, "Elusive Butterfly", has been analyzed here from a variety of perspectives. These have included the Freudian, the Marxist, and even, somewhat absurdly, the mystical/metaphysical. However, these viewpoints exclude what I consider to be the most compelling of all - the Darwinian.

It is surprising that such an obvious interpretation has not been explored until now. Then again, all great insights appear evident, once one has the benefit of hindsight. One need look no further than Copernicus, Newton, and Galileo to be reminded of this fact.

Let us proceed, now, to the analysis. It is no accident that the predominant image in the song is a butterfly. Clearly, Mr. Lind chose this symbol because it is a powerful representation of the inexorable march of nature from the basic to the intricate. The inorganic yields to the organic, the simple to the complex, the base to the sublime. From what, after all, does the resplendent butterfly originate? What life form? What is the butterfly before it becomes a butterfly? As we all know, the butterfly, in one of nature's most transcendent miracles, ascends to its winged glory from the lowly caterpillar. Yes, the butterfly originates from a sticky, slimy, clinging worm.

The transfiguration of the caterpillar from a clumsy centipede into a graceful butterfly mirrors man's primeval emergence from ponds of sludge and ooze. We must always humbly remember that man's origin is far from majestic. The great-grandfather of us all was a tiny organism akin to a virus. Yet this germ, in a poetic turn of nature, was literally the germ of life. It was the seed which gave birth to consciousness, innumerable millennniums later.

Which brings us to our next point. What major characteristic (apart from the aesthetic), distinguishes the butterfly from the caterpillar? Its method of locomotion, of course. The butterfly is not tethered to the earth. It flies, it floats, it (in the apt imagery of Mr. Lind) "glides". The caterpillar, in contrast, moves in a torpid crawl. The symbolism here is clear. The crowning achievement of evolution, instilled in man through eons of painful adaptations to changing and indifferent enviornments, is intelligence. It is this prize which allows man to "fly" above the other beasts.

Finally, the song affirms that man is still being transformed by evolution. We do not know everything about our destiny, but we know the trajectory is always upward. In like manner, the singer in "Elusive Butterfly" is unsure of his final destination; he is pursuing "something I'm not sure of". So too is man. Although man's ultimate fate is a profound enigma, natural selection continues to shepherd us through the darkness of the mystery; evolution is our Savior, as it were, from mediocrity and stagnation. The Promised Land awaits our arrival, and it is in man (so to speak) that the gods are truly becoming incarnate.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:09 pm 
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This is a bit brief, Cecil, I don't suppose you could expand on it a little?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:36 am 
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See here, my good man, whatever do you mean? I was trying to clarify the meaning of a pop song, not explain the genesis of the universe or the purpose of life. Shall I write book for you?

On second thought, perhaps I shall. Perhaps I shall write a treatise on that classic song by The Ohio Express, "Yummy Yummy Yummy". The metaphysical implications are profound. At least book-length.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:33 am 
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As the honey Samson drew from the lion's breast, so too the sweetness of The Ohio Express. Not merely as sweet as sugar, but even moreso - a challenge to the boundaries of human experience.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:16 pm 
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grant wrote:
As the honey Samson drew from the lion's breast, so too the sweetness of The Ohio Express. Not merely as sweet as sugar, but even moreso - a challenge to the boundaries of human experience.

Not only sweet, but also chewy. The Ohio Express were certainly... ummmm... challenging.

The best that can be said of the songs of The Ohio Express is that they were short. They would have been even better, had they been shorter.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:46 am 
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Hey Cecil - have a crack at Dylan's lyrics on "Wigwam" - there's a task for you...

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"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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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:01 am 
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Very amusing, Mr. Harris. Perhaps I shall paint a portrait of the empty air, as well.

Speaking of portraits, that crafty American Mr. Dylan was not so clever in his album "Self Portrait", was he? It was quite poorly reviewed, as I recall. And the instrumental "Wigwam" is a masterpeice of incoherence, albeit (it must be admitted) convivial incoherence. Its inclusion in the film "The Royal Tenenbaums" - which is a mere vulgar bastardization of the Glass family, conceived by J.D. Salinger - did little to redeem it.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:04 pm 
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Elusive Butterfly, while a great song and one of Bob's best, if not THE best, has been discussed and analysed at length. I'd like Cecil to have a go at deconstructing "I Love To Sing". :D There's profundity for you.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:19 pm 
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You kids stop this bickering. You hear me? Stop it this instant! Sit back there and play nice or I swear I'm going to turn this car around and we will NOT be visiting DISNEYLAND.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:14 am 
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Lind wrote:
You kids stop this bickering. You hear me? Stop it this instant! Sit back there and play nice or I swear I'm going to turn this car around and we will NOT be visiting DISNEYLAND.

(T)rusty Morris Minor?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:54 am 
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I wish to thank Mr. Lind for halting the sarcasm regarding my article. This affirmation of my analysis is much appreciated, and instructive, I hope, to the members of the forum. Incidentally, I do not necessarily believe "Elusive Butterfly" to be the best song performed by Mr. Lind. It is a beautiful composition, and certainly his most popular, but I consider his newer songs to be far better poetry.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:09 am 
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Chill, Cec., me ol' mate...

You've done well.

An artist's offering is served for us to feast, and we all taste a different flavour...

Dine on, my little gastronome, while I'm fine...

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"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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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:59 pm 
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Funny how the forum seems fixated on matters of food lately. That time of year, perhaps?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:45 pm 
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can't talk - eating...

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"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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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:37 pm 
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As it is that time of year.....a very merry Christmas to Bob and everybody on the board. Eat, drink and be merry.... And be safe.


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