Saturday, October 8, 2011

Well it was up to me.

"Up To Me"

Take you to the cinema
and leave you in a Wimpy Bar --
you tell me that we've gone to far --
come running up to me.
Make the scene at Cousin Jack's --
leave him put the bottles back --
mends his glasses that I cracked --
well that one's up to me.
Buy a Silver Cloud to ride --
pack the tennis club inside --
trouser cuffs hung far too wide --
well it was up to me.
Tyres down on your bicycle --
your nose feels like an icicle --
the yellow fingered smoky girl
is looking up to me.
Well I'm a common working man
with a half of bitter -- bread and jam
and if it pleases me I'll put one on you man --
when the copper fades away.
The rainy season comes to pass --
the day-glo pirate sinks at last --
and if I laughed a bit to fast.
Well it was up to me.


My youthful interpretations of the Aqualung album ring true today. Ian Anderson once introduced this song as a bit of nonsense. And so it is, just a song of nonsense, and I have always loved it. My interpretation as a child was that this is the song of a mad man, which fits very well with the other Dickensian characters on side one of the album. I thought the song to be a comment on society and freedom. Everything in our world really is dependent on one person's thoughts, one's own.  As long as our thoughts stay within the norms of society, then we are deemed to be sane. But if we come to believe that everything is totally dependent on how we think about it, and we are free to believe whatever we like, then we either arrive at a grand realization of the nature of God and being, or have gone mad. It is another of Anderson's songs that tweaks the listener into thinking by forcing interpretation of difficult lyrics, and it does this with the literary tradition of nonsense. It is beautifully arranged, as are all the songs on Aqualung. It would widely known as a classic, if it were up to me.

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