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Kate Bush – This Woman's Work Lyrics 5 years ago
I think you're right, that the ending was ambiguous. Her appearance to him earlier was just his own dreams and memories. We don't know what the nurse said at the end.

Except... to me, the way she deliberately closes the piano says that it's over. The action leaves the outcome open, but it's an illusion, her story has already ended.

Leonard Cohen – Famous Blue Raincoat Lyrics 6 years ago
A thought which I haven't seen in a comment - though may have missed, since this song deservedly has a huge number of them.

I thought for a while that this was a letter from another - Jane's lover, husband - *to* Cohen. But I couldn't make sense of the closing signature.

Now I see it as a letter from Cohen to himself. The private man who's been left behind while the extrovert takes over. He sees his public persona as fake and destructive. I doubt Jane is real or that he'd identify her with a particular romance; she's a symbol of why his relationships are doomed, because the public side interferes. "My brother, my killer": Cohen the extrovert is denying the true Cohen the chance to live his own life.

A couple of hints that the song is addressed to himself: Cohen was briefly a Scientologist. "Did you ever go clear?" is a dig at his motivations. He wasn't in it for the religious trappings, but (according to the Wikipedia article on the song) to meet women. And the raincoat (also according to that article) was his.

In my reading it's a more introspective song than it would be otherwise, because he's dealing with the failings of both parts of his life, public and private.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand Lyrics 6 years ago
That was my exact thought when listening to the song carefully today. The references are clearly and explicitly to Paradise Lost, demon / evil god, but the presentation seems so close to Randall Flag that I have to wonder if that's part of it, with King's own ambiguity about Flagg's identity.

Peter Gabriel – The Barry Williams Show Lyrics 8 years ago
What's left out seems to me quite disturbing. Someone's gotten the better of Barry Williams, master manipulator. He's lost his show to a pretender, and is now "drowning" in emotion, when he always stayed above the fray. In that context
"... the one more time I take the floor
just one more Barry Williams show
we're gonna take you where you want to go"
seems very final.

There's always one song on a Gabriel album that *seems* lightweight, but has hidden depth. "Steam," "Sledgehammer," etc. This song seems like a tongue-in-cheek look at a fairly revolting Jerry Springer-ish social phenomenon, but I think it's also about What Comes Next. And to top everything that the Barry Williams show has done before, What Comes Next will be extreme.

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