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Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen Lyrics 1 year ago
Heard this again recently. Chernobyl was the big event- the big wreck of 1986. This was several months before Ellie was born. For UK and Europe, there was a tremendous concern over the radioactive fallout. "We held our breath to see our names are written." So much so that many considered or received abortions. "That was the year I knew the panic was over" either meaning the panic was over 86. Or that when Ellie was born the panic over whether she would be born healthy was over.

"Cover your eyes so you don't know the secret I've been trying to hide."- the industry depends on the illusion of usual quiet running- although the reality is that "anything could happen" since it is inherently dangerous.

After the war we said we'd fight together.. but...the nuclear old war ensued.

On a personal level, I read that Ellie has panic disorder. Much of the song resonates on that topic. Stripping to the waist to reveal oneself, disclosing our true selves, rather than the image we try to project. Of course, she still is not explicit about what she would disclose here. The usual contradiction of public figures such as performers. Maybe someday when the panic is over.

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Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen Lyrics 6 years ago
So what does Ellie say? "'I've been with the song a long time." It started with random things, childlike and innocent. It is thought provoking. Everything can change in an instant. "I'm hoping it will make people go out and propose to their girlfriends or go on that holiday they never ended up doing. She describes this album as weird and dark, and it was written during a breakup with her boyfriend. There is the song, and there is the music video, directed by Floria Sigismondi.

The lyrics are sparse, so readily open to projection.

It is stated that there is a secret. People look to "the wreck of 86" for a key. The most well known and literal wreck of 86 was the Circus Train wreck of 1918 which immedialty killed 86 people on their way to entertain. The engineer fell asleep at the wheel. The deceased people and animals were so badly burned as to be unidentifiable, with descriptive names on tombstones and monument.

1918 was also the closing of WWI. It was also the year of the panic of the great influenza outbreak. "That was the year we knew the panic was over."

So putting these historical events together you have a series of tragedies, when one would keep thinking, " So what could happen next?" Well, anything. Fate can be a cruel and senseless hunter.

The video nails it home, with a personal tragedy familiar to many, the car wreck. My loved one was recently in a head on. I watched this and cried my eyes out, later sharing it with my loved one. The emotional impact of the video is heightened by the surprise ending, beginning with the hint of the nose bleed. I was enjoying the heavy synth and counterballanceof her sweet voice, difficult to achieve. I was not familiar with her music besides Lights, and was blown away.

We were confirmed, in a great healing way, the mark of a wonderful song. For we had learned that anything can happen, and we are making every day that beautiful holiday of celebration and devotion to each other. That is our projection. Thank you so much Ellie.

The combination of heavy, driving synth, and Ellie's sweet, breathy voice portrays the fragility of an individual ife in our great and terrible world. The secret which we hate to admit to ourselves is that it ends at any time. Live it while you can.


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Bob Dylan – Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) Lyrics 8 years ago
And....Iron cross still...etc. would most probably refer to Eisenhower's famous 1953 "Iron Cross" speech about the military industrial (he coined the phrase) complex. Very prescient and still good reading about the waste of US spending on military. "This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."

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Bob Dylan – Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) Lyrics 9 years ago
Gypsy with etc.- One more nuclear connection. In 1978 Canada, with much controversy, sold nuclear technology including CANDU reactors to Romania. Romania engaged in known human rights abuses. Canada was desperate for cash. Also a move against Soviet bloc.
OK, taking a break.

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Bob Dylan – Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) Lyrics 9 years ago
Go back to the melodic structure. Mixes major and minor chords, Dramatic and different feeling between the bridge and rest of song. Powerful mixed feelings of heartbreak, dread, warning, loss. Too heavy to be just a surreal meandering.

Now to the lyrics. Writers are deliberate and recording is a very involved process. Nothing about the song seems less than serious. The song is about more than one tale, so can have multiple referents. It is titled Yankee Power. So what power? And who is Senor? There are numerous very specific references in the song, start with them.

Yankee Power- Protest against expanding Yankee Power plant was in news at time of writing song. US power.
Senor- 1) Louis Slotin. Jewish nuclear physicist from Canada who said he had served in the Spanish civil war but didn't-"Senor." A member of the Manhattan project, he was the second casualty of nuclear criticality, from holding two hemispheres together by hand to go critical. Reaching criticality was called "chasing the tail of the dragon." He could smell the event. It took time to die, during which he probably spoke with his assistant, who also died. See Wiki.
2) Jerry Garcia, a collaborator and also recorded the song. 3) Phil Ochs, Dylan’s idol and rival, who committed suicide in 76. Dylan styled his band at the time of recording after Phil’s weird big band phase. Phil called this part Che Guevera and part Elvis. Theme of drugs/mental illness destroying talented persons also in Pink Floyd’s Shine on You Crazy Diamond (re Syd) of the time. Garcia’s version of Senor heavily influenced by Floyd and Jerry played that album during breaks at his concerts at the time.
Smell the tail of the Dragon- Not that common, “tail of the dragon” is slang in drug, biker or the above.
Marching band still playing on that empty lot- U Chicago patriotic band played on Stagg field, site of first criticality. He highlights duplicity, note how he sings this sarcastically in live performance from 90’s on Youtube.
Flashing ring- nuclear explosion (see photos, particularly hydrogen bomb)
Trainload of fools bogged down in a magnetic field- Critics often reference nuclear industry proponents to being on the train. Train shipments of nuclear fuel to plants. Magnetic field referring to electricity.
This ain’t a dream no more, it’s the real thing- achieving fission, reality of living with nuclear power.
Broken flag- duplicity of US as protector of freedom annihilating Nagasaki and Hiroshima
Hearts is hard as leather- more of same
Disconnect these cables- literal, unplug from the grid. Bobby used to be completely acoustic.
Overturn these tables- “Turn the tables” on someone. Table of elements. Christ turning over the tables of money changers in temple.
Wicked wind still blowing on that upper deck- nuclear wind hits ships from Bikini atoll tests and others.
Iron cross still hanging down from around her neck- Biker chick. Others have referenced Peckinpah but his movie was Cross of Iron and nothing else about it applies here. Iron cross is very specific to Nazis. Could be the reaction to Hitler which drove nuclear fission and continued cold war. It’s a weight around the neck of US, Israel and other nuclear nations.
Armageddon- Annihilation of everyone, not just the personal realm of suicide, drug abuse, biking. Nuclear Armageddon fits. What else?
How long must I keep my eyes glued to the door- Door of fallout shelter, very real memory to Cold War kids like Robert. Watching out for dangers outside. From there, pretty broad.
Lincoln County Road- There are Lincoln County Roads in Colorado, Oregon or Wyoming. But could also be any roads in Lincoln Counties (a few more). One is in Nevada, home of the Lincoln County Nuclear oversight program (one of 3 in US) where they post “Lincoln County is likely to serve as the gateway for most shipments of high-level radioactive wastes entering Nevada and destined for storage and disposal at the Nevada Test Site.” Assistant coordinator Elaine Zimmerman. Related? Don’t know.

Biker and drug themes probable, but limiting, what is he saying about them in the song? Castaneda way off, no references to the books at all, I just reread most of them. Other ideas advanced on this site are possible but very vague.

In summary, I think the message is the heartbreaking legacy of nuclear power in the US. “Tail of the dragon” first led me there and the rest keeps me there. Where is the comfort? How long will we live with the burden? And what are we waiting for to end our dependence on it? Prove me wrong. This was a, if not the big social issue in the US in the mid to late 70’s after Three Mile Island, China Syndrome and Silkwood case. Elevates the song to the greatness it deserves. It remains relevant today, and unfortunately, for millennia.

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Bob Dylan – Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) Lyrics 9 years ago
Good guesses.

However, there are three major clues which should help.
"smell the tail of the Dragon" nuclear connection
"Tales of Yankee Power" nuclear connection
"Senor" personal connection

This leads to Louis Slotin. Look up in Wiki. He was a Jewish nuclear physicist from Canada who said he had served in the Spanish civil war but didn't-"Senor." A member of the Manhattan project, he was the second casualty of nuclear criticality, by holding two hemispheres together to go critical. Reaching criticality was called "chasing the tail of the dragon." He could smell the event. This was a fascinatingly horrible event. Read the wiki or other good stories on him and it all stands together.

Just put this together at midnight.

Thus a brilliant anti nuke and beyond song. And we need it now more than ever with Obama's plan in Georgia.

Caveat.. I haven't confirmed with Bob.

Yep,love the song and love Jerry Garcia a la Pink Floyd version I just heard on soundtrack of that recent Dylan movie. I am going to work this up with buds for our get together. To be sung in protest also.

Severn

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