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Meat Loaf – Bat Out Of Hell Lyrics 11 years ago
I love this song too, but I think it's possible to over-analyse about it. Personally I don't think Jim Steinman or Meat Loaf are sophisticated enough to write songs with hidden meanings, or even non-obvious meanings. Steinman uses some pretty transparent techniques for his songwriting, such as the constant religious references to try to make things sound more dramatic and grand - sinner, gates of heaven, pure and good and right, hell, pit, tolling a bell... it goes on and on. Another of his techniques is to start with a phrase that has two meanings and write a whole song around it, e.g. For Crying Out Loud (meaning "for Pete's sake" or "for crying out with passion"), Left in the Dark (meaning "left without light" or "left uninformed"), You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (read it and see). It's quite clear that Steinman is just stringing together various songwriting techniques, and should not be taken too seriously.

Note also the way he writes for his market! It's all bikes, sex and rebelliousness, and don't get me wrong, those things are great, but if you think Steinman writes like that because that's who he is, forget it. He writes that way because he knows how to give his market what it wants.

Bat Out of Hell is a great song, but unless you're aged 17 and an impressionable biker yourself, you'll take it with a pinch of salt.

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Don McLean – American Pie Lyrics 11 years ago
Why does everyone keep saying Don McLean refused to explain what the song meant? What he actually said was that he couldn't explain it any better than anyone else. I think what that means is that it's about the political and musical events of America in the 60s, and all he can hope to do is flash a few nostalgic images and memories at you - that's the limits of what you can do with a song.



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Mark Knopfler – Stand Up Guy Lyrics 11 years ago
I was very surprised to read the above theories, because surely it's obvious what this song is about - the "doctor" is selling an aphrodisiac! There are plenty of hints, starting with the title of the song, which has a double meaning. Here are a few more giveaways:

Who puts the doh-re-me in our pockets, keeps the party going on?

They usually rub it in

We was going through the motions ‘til the doctor came along

These days miracles don’t come falling from the sky ("these days" meaning "now that we've reached a certain age")

He says the French for your lovesick blues, la maladie d’amour

He gets the chumps all laughing

Now we’re going to West Helena to gamble, drink and whore

Let’s you and me all make whoopee

Here’s to all the gals you ever want

I accept that some of these are rather indirect, but in their totality, they add up to the only explanation.

Either that or else I have a one-track mind.

submissions
Mark Knopfler – Our Shangri-La Lyrics 11 years ago
Yes, amazing song - actually the live version is better, with a more interesting introduction on the piano.

The point of this song is not a nice location - that is completely missing the point. Yes, Shangri-La means a paradisical location, but it's wrong to read too much into that in this case. Shangri-La is actually the name of the studio where Knopfler recorded the whole album - URL here: http://www.beejtar.com/#

This song is not about a place but is actually about love, youth and companionship. The singer knows youth doesn't last for ever - "it's here and then it's gone", "we may never love again". All the "surfer boys and girls" are the spirit of carefree youth, and the singer is one of them. Not only that but he has his lover with him, and all the friendship, passion and freedom blend into a Shangri-La of the emotions - there is a place, but it's a place in his head/heart.

The pleasure is not unalloyed - that would make the song shallow. There's a pang of pain there as well, because the singer knows that tonight is the best it can be, and that there may never be any more moments in his life like this.

But that doesn't mean it is a one-night stand, as someone says above. Why spoil it by saying that? "We may never love again" doesn't mean "This is a one-night stand"; it means "We may never love anyone else as much as we love each other at this moment."

submissions
Mark Knopfler – Stand Up Guy Lyrics 11 years ago
I was very surprised to read the above theories, because surely it's obvious what this song is about - the "doctor" is selling an aphrodisiac! There are plenty of hints, starting with the title of the song, which has a double meaning. Here are a few more giveaways:

Who puts the doh-re-me in our pockets, keeps the party going on?

They usually rub it in

We was going through the motions ‘til the doctor came along

These days miracles don’t come falling from the sky ("these days" meaning "now that we've reached a certain age")

He says the French for your lovesick blues, la maladie d’amour

He gets the chumps all laughing

Now we’re going to West Helena to gamble, drink and whore

Let’s you and me all make whoopee

Here’s to all the gals you ever want

I accept that some of these are rather indirect, but in their totality, they add up to the only explanation.

Either that or else I have a one-track mind.

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