I dug a grave for the poet, asked: "Your final words?"
He bit his own tongue.
I built a home for the hermit, said: "Here, live inside."
Then he locked me out.

So I cursed his warm night as I slept outside.

I asked a priest: "Where can a man find a decent meal?"
He said: "Son, come inside."
I asked a girl: "What is the nature of love?"
She kissed me, then she began to cry.

O, is it up for me to decide the way to live my life
when all I know are all these things that I've been shown-
and nothing satisfied me anymore!
And if this is all and all is now:
let those in need of rest lie down.

But can I wait another day?

A homeless man asked: "Oh boy, what kind of man are you?"
I said: "I'm whatever the weather tells me to be!"
Bummed him a cigarette and walked on by.

Then he called me something I didn't recognize.

A good friend asked: "Oh, how can you be so distant?"
"Man, I'm just inconsistent- I only know my path.
How could I imagine yours?"

But I'm still young enough to ask for more.

…I wrote a song for the Singer said: "Here, sing it loud!"
He forgot the melody so I'll sing it now,
and it goes:

"We fall, we fall, we follow!"

Lyrics submitted by Zarathusta

A Song for the Singer song meanings
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  • 0
    Song MeaningThe song, as a whole, is an homage to the late and/or great Italian-American cello builder, Stromboli Paparazzo. Originally entitled, "Song for the Stringer," this crafterpiece depicts the very docks Stromboli entered the States upon. Tragically, his parents fell fell victim to the customs officers, and were forced to board the next steamship across the Atlantic. The Paparzzo elders would return to Giave, Italy as Stromboli took on work first as a ditch-digger, then construction worker for a smalltime home architect.
    The lyrics point to Stromboli's frequent use of the telegram. Every few weeks Paparazzo would continue brief correspondence with friends and a lover, the daughter of a wealthy olive farmer to the the north of Giave.
    Given the change in song title, it appears the lyricist is struggling to choose between cello construction and musical arrangement for a profession; a dilemma we must all face.
    Renminbion March 14, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationA Song for the Singer: A Dissertation by Zarathustra

    The rhythm and melody of this song is so up-beat with reckless abandon you almost miss the shrewdness of these lyrics. It seems, to me, an exposition of the "singer" archetype and his schism from past to present zeitgeist. Add a monotone and a minor key and this could be a response to L. Cohen's "Tower of Song" which shares self-grandeur, irony and wit.

    It brings to mind the conversation between Tanner and Tavey in George Bernard Shaw's "Man and Superman" in which he relays the artist's tragedy:

    "The true artist will let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his art..."

    M.H. wanders through the artistic sages and caricatures, in a credulous manner that seems as if he wishes to learn from these masters but, of course, the point of a teacher is to be overcome. First he must learn and overcome the poet- so he "digs him a grave" asking of his "final words": the Great Poets' cause célèbre. In turn, the Poet bites his 'own tongue'. This implies that the writer attempted to give the Poet meaning but was left with nothing, M.H. knows not Poets.

    Subsequently, M.H. turns to the antipodean, the Hermit. Like his impertinent romantic predecessors M.H. attempts to flatter and provide for the Hermit in hopes of receiving his solitary acumen- this metaphor is attempted with, "I built a home for the Hermit, said: "Here, live inside". Aloofly or perhaps obliviously the Hermit, not unlike the Poet, leaves our protagonist stranded and in an ironic twine one surmises that M.H., himself, was the aloof one to trust a Hermit; he damns the dormant man while spending his twilight hours in the wilderness, which has become an understood metaphor in American literature since the metaphysical implications of Thoreau's "Walden".

    With an uproar of musical festivity M.H. then turns to the sacrosanct, where he asks a priest, "Where can a man find a decent meal?" a facetious question as most of M.H.'s work implies a sense of atheistic or agnostic tendencies- in other words, we can conclude that M.H.'s request has material implications but provides an assertion that one often seeks a mental sustenance at the gates of divinity of which the priest mistakes M.H.'s earnest inquest by replying, "Son, come inside."

    It is obvious to the listener that our protagonist, indeed, does not oblige the priest but instead turns to the affectionate tenderness of a girl- of whom he begs: "What is the nature of love?" The girl, in-turn, bestows our protagonist with a kiss and then begins to weep- perhaps a metaphor for the capriciousness of love (though a Nietzschean scholar would supplant love with "women".)

    This brings us, to the penchant of pop: the Chorus. Where the writer must attain an amiable enough verse to be repeated throughout the piece and enduring enough to stay with the listener beyond completion- all the while transcending the constraints of repetition. The ulterior motive of the Chorus is to provide the listener with the song's précis, raison d'être.

    M.H. provides in the ode form of a Shakespearean troubadour: "O, is it up for me to decide, the way to live my life!" The ironic Hegelian response imbued is: "Yes."- yet one often seeks the advice or criticisms from these higher literary paradigms: the Poet, the Hermit, the Priest, the Woman on whom M.H. resounds "when all I know are all these things that I've been shown and nothing satisfies me anymore"- a vernal longing. The following is perhaps the most obfuscatory lyrical content of the piece, which one may mistake as 'artistic liberty' but let's litigate this assumption. "And if this is all, and all is now", the writer's resolution to fate, "let those in need of rest lie down", lending sympathy to those M.H. shares a camaraderie in inquiry, "but can I wait another day?" the oppressive anxiety that resides with the notion of time. Putting together these strands, the Chorus finds M.H. in a sort of Nietzschean Amor fati: while deducing that his freewill is inherent he must acknowledge his inescapable inquest suffers him the exploitation of naiveté.

    Following this rollicking lyrical fusillade the musicians give the critical mind a digestion period before our protagonist returns from the wilderness to the urban, where he is greeted by a denizen of the mean-streets: a bum who demands "Oh boy, what kind of man are you?" which seems simple enough but could imply a number of explanations: like Nietzsche's "Zarathustra" M.H.'s intellectual revelation is scorned and ridiculed by the intimidated common man or simply seen as superfluous to essential life, though the contextual critic may interject the bum's vituperation could be reliant upon the fact that M.H. has a penchant for wearing white-suits and greasing his hair consequently inviting the persiflage of common folk who ascribe the fashion to a ponce. (One also would be remiss to notice the dynamic shift that following the chorus's revelation the questions are now turned on M.H. who is now seen as his poetic and hermetic predecessors- an ironic device that will be touched on later.) Our protagonist responds with "I'm whatever the weather tells me to be." an off-hand unwritten cliche that implies that the writer is fickle but cognizant enough to recognize so but also like his Poet he delivers a phrase that is lofty enough to be vapid (more on the ironic shift). The offering of a cigarette finds M.H. in fear of seeming disingenuous but the vagrant unimpressed utters a profanity as M.H. walks away.

    Leaving the street, M.H. is greeted by a good friend who inquires into the nature of the protagonists detachment "How can you be so distant?" which M.H. responds in disillusion, "Man, I'm just inconsistent- I only know my path- how could I imagine yours?" The colloquial usage of "Man" again finds M.H. attempting geniality but ultimately he conveys to the friend the fact that he feels imprisoned by his knowledge and is seemingly unable to communicate his insight. He then follows, "but I'm still young enough to ask for more." an admission that while he's gained wisdom he is still in genesis, the duality of enthusiasm and restlessness. We then return to the chorus, which has become a sort of Mantra for our protagonist.

    Following this last return to the chorus we are greeted by a moment of musical tenderness which implies an air of clarity, in which our lone troubadour intones: "I wrote a song, for the Singer said: 'Here, sing it loud!' He forgot the melody so I'll sing it now" in this crucial moment of the piece, our protagonists moment of "ecce homo", M.H. actualizes himself as his role: a singer as he closes with a chorale of "We fall, we fall, we follow." The repetition of this line ingrains in the listener a sort of triumphant resoluteness of precaution that all men are seekers but our searching can be our folly as the woe of overcoming beseeches all who take on a teacher.
    Zarathustaon March 18, 2013   Link

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