23 februari 2012

Rock Your English! (12c) - Lucky Fonz' kijk op James Blunts 'You're Beautiful'

Buffi Duberman (@rockyourenglish op twitter, ook te vinden op Facebook): 'Niels, this is brilliant and it's EXACTLY what I was hoping would happen: a real dialogue on lyrical interpretation. It just shows that if you hold that lyrical prism up to the light, you never know how many rainbows you can catch. I'm thrilled that Otto took the time to write this, and delighted with his analysis.'

Lucky Fonz III (want hij is Otto) reageert op Buffi's veelgelezen vergelijking tussen James Blunts tekst en die van Ray LaMontagne. En hij verschilt flink van mening met haar: 'I only wrote this as as part of a discussion on lyricism and as a reply to Buffi. James Blunt touched a lot of people with this song and I have nothing but respect for that. As a matter of fact, I even think that, despite its strange lyrics, this song has a underlying sense of honesty which makes it likeable.'
Dear Buffi,
Someone told me you had written your reaction to the lyrics of James Blunt’s song ‘You’re Beautiful’ in the form of a dialogue. Before having read it, I thought I’d do the same, just for the hell of it. We notice the same things (even use the word ‘bummer’), but draw different conclusions. I feel James’ mysterious ‘plan’ is the song itself. And to me, the angel is the problem. Not James. As a songwriter I feel the need to defend James. After all, rational incoherence and dumb-ass rhyming are only misdemenours to the feloney of grotesque pretension. The angel should have treated him better.

You’re Beautiful, by James Blunt,
Reimagined as a dialogue by Lucky Fonz III,
As an attempt to prove to Buffi Duberman
That rational coherence in lyricism
Is always inferior to emotional coherence and therefore
James is falsely being accused of not being a genius.

My life is brilliant.
- That’s great for you, James! If only more people could say so.
My life is brilliant.
- Yes I know. You just said so. But I also know that important things should always be told twice. In case anybody wasn’t paying attention!
My love is pure.
- That’s wonderful, James. So much love is impure these days; glad to hear yours is not!
I saw an angel.
- No way! Wings and shit?!
Of that I'm sure.
- Glad to hear that too. I saw an angel myself once, but I wasn’t sure at all. It could well have been a girl out on a stag night with one of these halo-like tiaras.
She smiled at me on the subway.
- An angel smiled at you? On the subway? Your life IS brilliant!
She was with another man.
- MEGABUMMER!!! Angel my ass! She’s a slut for being with men other than you or me! Just kidding, James. Perhaps his love was pure as well. You should have asked. Sometimes I feel like all the best angels are either gay or taken.
But I won't lose no sleep on that,
- And right you are, James! Sleep is important, to say the least. I should know. I learned the hard way, having lost a few too many nights of sleep over angels with boyfriends.
'Cause I've got a plan.
- Way to go!!! Instead of losing sleep, why not work on a plan! This is the kind of attitude that makes your life so brilliant probably. I’d be interested to hear more about the details of your plan. Does it involve prayer? She is an angel after all. They love that shit! You can’t send flowers to heavenly creatures, or can you? I am asking you, James!
You're beautiful.
- What? Me?! Uhmm…
You're beautiful.
- Oh wait… Haha, I get it now… This is like when the camera moves to a point-of-view perspective and you’re speak directly to her now… Haha… Sorry James… Aaaawkwaaard haha!
You're beautiful, it's true.
- Pffewww… For a second I thought you were going to say ‘You’re beautiful, it’s false’. Haha, you wouldn’t do that. After all, your love is pure.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
- Wow - internal rhyming. You’re like a rapper, James! I guess you really mean it this time. The crowded place, that was the subway right? Fucking subways. Always so crowded. If angels can fly you wonder what they’re even doing there. Maybe her asshole boyfriend couldn’t fly and then made her take the subway like some earthly being. Guys like us wouldn’t do that.
And I don't know what to do,
- Uhmm… James… I thought you had a plan. You just said so. What the fuck is going on here?
'Cause I'll never be with you.
What? Yes you will!!! Your love is pure, your life is brilliant: you were practically BORN to date an angel! Jesus James, pull yourself together. Or is this confusion part of the plan? Yes, that must be it! Haha, genius James! Fuck with their angelic minds. Go for the pity fuck first and THEN steal their hearts.
Yeah, she caught my eye,
- Not literally, right? Imagine that, an angel catching your eye! Like it would pop out and then almost fall on the floor and then she catches it and starts squeezing the blood out of it while you’re left there with a gaping hole for a socket and then having to tell your friends about it… Pfewww!
As we walked on by.
- Uhm… You were on the crowded subway right? Why were you walking? Who is ‘we’ by the way? You can’t both be walking by, not on a subway. Perhaps you mean the royal ‘we’. I wouldn’t mind if you do, James - I’m on your side!
She could see from my face that I was,
Flying high, [ - video/radio edited version] Fucking high, [ - CD version]
- Ah yes. The drugs. I get it now. What was it? MDMA? Ketamine? I see angels all the time on that shit. Are we getting into Allen Ginsberg-territory here? If you were burning for the ancient heavenly connection, you got pretty close there on the subway, James.
And I don't think that I'll see her again,
- Probably not. Who cares really. The high’s over now, you never even spoke and, to be honest, the plan never really came together. She has a boyfriend anyway. Seriously, you don’t even want to go there. Maybe she doesn’t deserve it. Just because she’s an angel doesn’t make her perfect. Lucifer is an angel too, you know.
But we shared a moment that will last till the end.
- Till the end of what? The end of your high? The end of the world as we know it? The end of the song? Tell me James. I am depressed. I need to know, in very specific terms, how long the moment will last.
You're beautiful. You're beautiful. You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.
You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
- We’ve been through this. Tell me new things, James. I grow weary. Your song reminds me of my own failures.
There must be an angel with a smile on her face,
- And she must be a sadist. Flirting with a human being and then leaving him in his K-hole in a crowded place. When they sang Heaven must be missing an angel, did they mean Satan?
When she thought up that I should be with you.
- AHA!!! You almost lost me there James, but I’m wide awake now! All hail the inevitable twist! I see it all now, James; the camera moving to the other ‘you’, perhaps James’ actual girlfriend, some bitch sent up from hell by the sadist angel. Look at you, James! Placed so firmly within the great tradition of Greek theatre. We all look up and ask: what is a human being but a plaything to the gods?
But it's time to face the truth, I will never be with you.
- James, I admire your fearless staring into the bleak void. By now, the ‘you’ is neither human nor angelic. ‘You’ is the all-compassing other. Here we are, left with no doubts about the impossibility of connection.

James teaches us that brilliance and purity are not a given. To mortals they come only at the highest of prices: solitude, followed - as ever - by loneliness.'

Prachtig verhaal, Otto. Heerlijk weerwoord op Buffi's kritische analyse. Ben het roerend met haar én met jou eens: in muziek en teksten bestaat geen universele waarheid. Wat voor de één Kitsch is, is voor de ander Kunst. Dat laten jullie verschillende interpretaties mooi zien. Dank daarvoor!

3 opmerkingen:

Mike zei

Briljant! :)

Het deed me een beetje denken aan dit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKmnKEjHSSk

Hanneke zei

Haha, heerlijk dit!

Herre zei

Ik las het bij het ontbijt en de vlokken deden een vrolijk dansje op deze conversatie. Fantastisch!