Thursday, June 01, 2006

What Is There Is a Prayer

You'd have to have been living under a rock this last week to have missed the blogspherical uproar over the publication of the list of "Top 50 Conservative Songs," compiled by John J. Miller at The National Review. Amanda, Lance, Blue Girl and Kevin have all posted amusingly on it, and there's no need to add my own loud braying to the collective horse-laugh -- save to say that there are peabrains in this world who wouldn't know irony if it came up and bit them on their beDockered asses.

Tom Watson has also commented on it, and from his post there comes this little gem: Pete Townshend got wind of this list, and the appearance of his "Won't Get Fooled Again" at the top of it, and responded with a lovely little treatise on the dangers inherent in the interpretation of songs:
I am just a song-writer. The actions I carry out are my own, and are usually private until some digger-after-dirt questions my methods. What I write is interpreted, first of all by Roger Daltrey. Won't Get Fooled Again - then - was a song that pleaded '….leave me alone with my family to live my life, so I can work for change in my own way….'. But when Roger Daltrey screamed as though his heart was being torn out in the closing moments of the song, it became something more to so many people. And I must live with that. In the film Summer of Sam the song is used to portray white-boy 'street' idiocy; a kind of fascist absurdity, men swinging their arms over air-guitars and smashing up furniture. Spike Lee told my manager that '…he deeply understood Who music….'. What he understood was what he himself - like so many others - had made it. He saw an outrage and frustration, even a judgment or empty indictment in the song that wasn't there. What is there is a prayer.

5 comments:

The Viscount LaCarte said...

I think they thought Bush liked the song.

"There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again."

blue girl said...

Spike Lee told my manager that '…he deeply understood Who music….'.

That line just cracks me up.

:)

Kevin Wolf said...

"beDockered" will be in the next edition of the OED. I know it will.

Anonymous said...

Townshend refused to let Michael Moore use "Wont Get Fooled Again" in Fahrenheit 9/11. To be used at the end after Bush says :
"There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again."

A shame really since it was so apt.

darwin524 said...

I love Pete, but I believe this recollection of his about as much as I believe John sez "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" wasn't about acid.

It is the artist's perogative to say whatever s/he wants to about "what that song was about".

But, that said, I *am* firmly convinced that John was visited by God on a flaming pie saying "From this day forward thou art Beatles with an 'A'." There are some things so obvious they must be true.