1. Hey Guest !

    Welcome to the new Higherside Forums. To start participating, you'll need a password for the system. You can get one established by clicking the "forgot password" link, and a URL to create one will be sent to your THC+ email. Your username should be the same, but these are now two independent systems. As a result, changes to your THC+ username/password will not be reflected in your THC Forum username and vise versa. Also, as a bonus, your ability to participate in the forums will continue beyond the life of your THC+ membership.

    Enjoy the upgrade! Users can now make a full profile, start conversations (private messages) between each other, give and track likes, utilize trophies, conduct polls, write public statuses, comment on statuses of others, subscribe to forums, receive alerts, see latest activity, share media, and much more!
    Dismiss Notice

R.E.M. Begin The Begin -Lyrical Translation

Discussion in 'Wild Card Forum' started by fifthcolumn, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. fifthcolumn

    fifthcolumn Active Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    136
    Submitted for Peer Review:

    If you think any of this is wrong, or I've missed something, I'd be much obliged if you let me know.






    "Birdie in the hand"

    A bird in the hand beats two in the bush. A phrase that cautions against losing what you have in the attempt to get more. Referencing our tendency to not appreciate what we have and to seek more than we need.

    "For life's rich demand"

    What does life demand? Sex and resources. It's proximity to, and position after, "Birdie in the hand" suggests he's equating "Life's Rich Demand" to "Two in the bush." The desire for more. The use of the word "rich" lends credence to this interpretation, as everyone want's to get rich. To have more resources than they need. And if you have these resources, the sex follows.

    "The insurgency began and you missed it"

    This insurgency is Satan being cast out of heaven. The creation of evil and the war of heaven against hell. Satanists like to portray God as this controlling prick to justify their revolting against him. This insurgency began a long time ago, little birdie, and you missed it. You didn't cause it, it started long before you got here, but it's the world we live in now.

    Insurgency also implies a coordinated effort- more than just random assholes acting alone.

    "I looked for it and I found it"

    Was he looking for life's rich demand (his two birds in the bush), or was he looking for the insurgency? The two are equatable, as finding one often means finding the other. Especially for a rock star.

    "Miles Standish proud, congratulate me."

    He's not proud of it. Miles Standish was a pilgrim military commander who employed preemptive strikes and terrorism to achieve his goals. Worried that a tribe might seize the opportunity to attack them while they were battling another, he'd send men to horrifically murder innocents and leave them to be found to deter said tribe from seizing said opportunity. Immoral, yet effective, tactics. He got the job done. Congratulate him.

    "A philanderer's tie, a murderer's shoe"

    Clue! Clue! Lipstick on the tie and a bloody footprint are nothing if not clues.

    "Life's rich demand creates supply in the hand of the powers. The only vote that matters."

    Your desire to have more than you need empowers those that rule over you. "Supply" and "demand" are economic terms. Along with "rich."

    "Silence means security, silence means approval"

    You will be safe and garner the approval of your peers as long as you don't speak up against those that rule over you.

    "On Zenith on the TV, tiger run around the tree, follow the leader, run and turn into butter."

    In astronomy, your zenith is the point directly above you. It also means the highest point that something reaches. There are a couple of interpretations here that both work together. The first is that even the best that television has to offer is still just portraying childish games and mindless following. The second is that there are messages coming from the television that go over your head - you don't notice or understand them - and they promote childish games and mindless following.

    "Run and turn into butter" suggests the end result of these childish games and mindless following. It is taken from the children's story Little Black Sambo, where the vain and materially possessed tigers are turned into butter and eaten by Sambo's family.

    "Let's begin again. Begin the begin."

    Let's start over. Start a whole new beginning. It is word play on the song "Begin The Beguine" which speaks of the power that music has on memory and emotion. Much like Boston's lyric "More than a feeling when I hear that old song they used to play."

    "Let's begin again like Martin Luther Zen."

    Martin Luther and Martin Luther King Jr. were peaceful revolutionaries with balls as big as church bells. Zen Buddhism is characterized by calm awareness, meditation, and unorthodox thinking. Let's start over as brave, calm revolutionaries and out-of-the-box thinkers.

    "A mythology begins the begin."

    From Jesus to America to Star Wars, massive new paradigms and trains of thought begin with unverifiable stories that lend a mystique to the endeavor. Longfellow contributed to the creation of the American mythology by writing "The Courtship of Miles Standish," where he portrayed Standish as an intellectual, a valiant warrior, and a romantic.

    You combine that story with the story of Thanksgiving, Paul Revere, and some asshole chopping down a cherry tree and you've got a mythology. A mythology that is taught as history to the youngest children in the american public school system.

    "Answer me a question I can't itemize
    I can't think clear, you look to me for reason
    It's not there, I can't even rhyme in the begin."


    People have a tendency to idolize celebrities and look to them for answers. The author understands and predicts this, so he cut's off the questioner by asking him to answer a question. The lyrics get faster and jumble together here as if the author is trying to steamroll the questioner before he can look to this important celebrity for answers. It is as if the author is saying "That's all I got. I know we need to start again and why, but I have almost no idea how. Start with a mythology (because that is what many paradigm shifts begin with) but what this new mythology or paradigm is, or how they operate, is beyond me. I'm a lyricist and I can't even rhyme in this new beginning we're talking about."

    "A philanderer's tie, a murderer's shoe"

    Clue! Clue!

    "Example, the finest example is you."

    Are you an example of the man who is always chasing the two birds in the bush? Or are you an example of the Zen revolutionary? Either way, the author seems to suggest that the key to this whole puzzle is you.


    Knock, knock, Neo.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. enjoypolo

    enjoypolo Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2016
    Messages:
    1,048
    Likes Received:
    487
    Thanks for sharing @fifthcolumn that, and nice video too! Nothing like pop culture to subvert the minds with subtle double-meanings.

    I remember recently, when this covid thing had just started "spreading" in the western hemisphere, a rather mediocre cover of John Lennon's Imagine by Hollywood celebs made the rounds of the internet, and got bashed (rightfully so). I must confess, that it hadn't dawned on me until that event, that the lyrics to the song are, in fact, also full of such questionable double-layered innuendos.

    On the one hand, and that's the interpretation I had for the longest time, is a world where the world can come together for peace (and love). All cute and stuff.
    Now, seeing that the song literally starts with "Imagine there's no heaven"and it goes on "it's easy if you try"..
    What's more, the chorus: "I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one".

    And I could see how this song, could be interpreted as hymn to a new world order type of scenario at the same time (don't get me wrong, I'd like a world of people living peacefully and in harmony too, but I hope y'all catch my drift here).

    Again, the reason I mention this interpretation, is because I'm highly suspicious of anything coming out of tinseltown.. ;)

     
    fifthcolumn likes this.
  3. fifthcolumn

    fifthcolumn Active Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    136
    Agreed. Never trust a tinseltown scumbag. If there's one questionable message in the above translation, I think it's "Use a mythology to start this new beginning." Is there a way to create the desired "mystique" of a mythology without feeding people a pack of lies? Cause that's the "Begin" I'm looking for. I make no claims as to whether Stipe's a saint or a scumbag- I was just interested to know what in the hell I've been singing for the last 30 years. :) And the message sounded pretty good to me.

    I only came into the knowledge of the double meaning to "Imagine" recently, too. Good call, man! It's one thing to create something that comes off as jumbled nonsense but really has a coherent message underneath (like REM does). It's a whole other thing to create a song with a coherent surface message and a coherent, yet totally different, underlying message.

    Imagine there's no heaven (Full Stop)
    No hell below us (Not "No hell." No hell below us because it'd be all around us)
    Above us only sky (Ruling over us would be the angel that rules the air - Lucifer)

    It is both fascinating and insidious high level sorcery. "Eye In The Sky" by the the Alan Parson's Project is another example of such - less expertly hidden. Are you familiar with it? On one level it's just a break-up song. On another level, it's just another IllusionNazi flexing on the uninitiated. And it's so sickeningly sweet, it's played in elevators all over the world.

    At the risk of losing my man card-- I really like "Daydream Believer" by the Monkees. Got a soft spot for mindless teeny-bopper bubble gum when it's done well. But that song is misogyny on parade! "Don't worry your pretty little head about it. What would a daydreaming beauty pageant finalist know about real world, problems?"

    Daydream Believer also has capitalism programming in it.

    And our good times start and end
    Without dollar one to spend
    But how much, baby, do we really need?

    When this song comes on, and I'm torturing my wife with my amateur and way-too-enthusiastic falsetto, I make it a point to sing:

    And our good times start and end
    Without dollar one to spend
    So how much, baby, do we really need?

    It is the subtlest of changes that subverts and perfects the intended message. I love that kinda shit.

    (I don't know if you're giving it, man, but I can't take credit for the REM video. Somebody more talented than me made that.)
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. enjoypolo

    enjoypolo Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2016
    Messages:
    1,048
    Likes Received:
    487
    :D I can't comment on Daydream Believer cause I literally just heard it for the first time, but I do love Alan Parson's Project, and yeah, that makes a lot of sense!! Will have to check it out again.

    In fact, the song Sirius is one of those songs that get me in a trance state, maybe that wickedness is working its magic! Just the name Sirius, a reference that comes up time and time again, and their album cover is literally, the Eye of Horus. At least the Devil's got some talented musicians!


    seriously though, this riff is too wicked:p

    PS: It just dawned on me, the the Beatle's song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is another one of those wicked inversions. Thought it was a reference to LSD, but now I'm pretty sure it's an ode to the demiurge! :eek::rolleyes:
     
    fifthcolumn likes this.