Deconstructing songs I don't understand.

After listening to Spandau Ballet’s True and Earth Wind and Fire’s Reasons many, many times, I find that I cannot make heads or tails of what these songs are trying to say.

Here is my attempt to take these songs apart and glean the True and deep Reasons.

After trying sanity and being dissapointed by it, the singer discovers he likes to fight and listen to Soul II Soul while writing lyrics. This distracts him.

So he (the singer) turns to Marvin Gaye and drugs-- yet he still hears the club music.

You (the listener) need to bathe and finish doing your homework because time is short.

My conclusion: People who listen to this song need to take a bath, listen to some R&B and do drugs.


I want to have sex with you.

I’m afraid I’ll be horny forever.

After we have sex, let’s go down to 5th Ave and watch the St. Paddy’s day parade.

Do you wake up with morning wood?

Can’t we just have sex?

My conclusion: I want to have sex with you, then I want you to go away after we watch the parade.
I dunno. These songs seemed so much deeper before.

I think it’s “Head over heels when toe to toe,” and while I don’t understand the song any better for that information, I’ve always admired the courage of any writer, song or otherwise, to put down on paper the line, “Why do I find it hard to write the next line?”

I think it’s about a guy who’s in love but doesn’t want to say the words, even though he wants to tell the truth about how he feels.

Slight hijack:

I took my E W & F album for Show and Tell in kindergarten, and played Reasons for my class.

My teacher must not have understood it either, because she only played the first verse before she took the needle off the record, handed it back to me, and never let me Show and Tell again. :frowning:

Now, with all due apologies for not being able to help you, Big Girl, I’d like to throw another song into the Deconstruction Mix for your consideration, one that’s been driving me crazy for years…

Never mind the sounds of a cat being tortured towards the end of the song… what the hell does it MEAN???

It’s a song about writing a song. Or rather, being up in the middle of the night but being unable to write a song. So, he’s trying to stay awake, trying to get the song down, and he’s really frustrated.

OK, I can get with that, but:

a) Sounds like he’s having a HELL of a time (sounds, in fact, more like a bad trip or the flu than like an attempt to write a song), AND

b) What does “25 or 6 to 4” mean?

Doesn’tit refer to the time? 25 or 6 to 4 in the morning?

Yep. It’s easy to misunderstand because the rhythm of the song creates a false division. It sounds like he’s singing, “twenty-five … or … six-to-four,” but it is indeed “twenty-five or -six … to four,” as in 3:34 or 3:35. The same way you might say, “He was middle-aged, forty-five or -six.”

I’m still a little lost. If 6 to 4 means that it’s currently 3:54 a.m., OK. If it means he’s been awake from 6 pm to 4 in the morning, OK. If it means he’s been awake from 6 am the previous day to 4 am today, poor sucker, but OK.

But the 25 fits nowhere in any of those equations.

Maybe I’m just bad at math.

Now I’m feeling guilty for hijacking this thread, so Big Girl

I think the bit about illusions being a parade has something to do with an acid trip. When they start “coming down” from it, each suddenly realizes the other is butt-ugly, thus the reasons they had sex in the first place (because while they were hallucinating, each saw the other as a beautiful, magical princess) “start to fade”.

All the reasons were a lie, as it were.

Well, auntie em, what do you expect the teacher to do when the first verse asks her to have sex with you?
Twenty-five or Six to 4 are the odds that Mike Piazza will get hit in the head at any given moment.

(It is either twenty five minutes to 4 or twenty six minutes to 4. It’s late, his eyes are blurry, he can’t see the clock too well.)
Nights in White Satin, a Klan orgy?

I think the lonley man, the senior citizen and the bedsitter are all the same guy, upset that he has to do the one-handed love lube all alone yet again.


I get it now. I really GET it! Holy crap, I feel like a new woman! I have a new outlook on LIFE! My rebirth has begun in the blessed warmth of The Light!!!

Still, I would have been spared A LOT of wasted brain power had the motherfucker just sang,

“It’s a-bout quarter to foooo-OOOOO-OOOOOOOOOUR!”

It works rhythmically, and my life would be so different now.

Regarding the Chicago song, the Master covered it here. It’s not any different than what’s been said here, though…but that’s the first time I’ve gotten to do that! Whee!

First person to mention American Pie gets a visit from “Knuckles” if you know what I mean.

Wait a minute? I mentioned it!
Ow. Hey. Stop that. No, I didn’t mean me! Ow.

“Nights in White Satin” a Klan orgy? Ummm…no.

First of all, you’ve listed the spoken-word outro from the Moody Blues’ Days of Future Past album. While “Nights” did appear on this album, and just before the spoken word outro, it is important to remember that there was a spoken intro to the album as well–remember such lines as, “Wake up your steeds. Bring the warmth the countryside needs”? The spoken intro and outro “bookend” the concept of the album.

Days of Future Past is a concept album–it is (to me, anyway), the Moody Blues’ rendering of an ordinary day, told musically. Other songs on the album include “Peak Hour” (morning rush hour), and if I recall correctly, "Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)), which is about the afternoon. In this context, “Nights” is about night.

What about night? Listen to the lyrics:

Nights in white satin, never meaning to end,
Letters I’ve written, never meaning to send…
And I love you…"

My take is simply that the songwriter is lamenting a lost love.

The spoken outro (again, this is my impression) lists things people do at the end of the day: feed the kids, make love, think and reflect on what might have been had the day (or one’s life) been used more wisely. Maybe some are doing the “one-handed love lube,” but this is not explicitly stated.

The word “bedsitter” does not refer to a person; rather, a bedsitter is a kind of apartment: a bed-sitting room, or more commonly in my neck of the woods, a bachelor apartment. Thus a bedsitter person is one who lives in a bedsitter, or more likely one who lives alone in a small apartment because they have nobody with whom to share their lives.

I’ll give 25 or 26 to 4 that someone will take my silly deconstructions seriously.

For a more recent song, what about Feel It, which contains this chorus:

I think the singer is threatening to knock a chimney on the “other woman”. Or she’s inviting her to dance across the English rooftops with Dick Van Dyke. Either way, I don’t understand it.

I hate to be picky, but “mailbag” reports are not written by Uncle Cecil, but instead come from specially deputized assistants to The Master, in this particular case “SDSTAFF Songbird”.

Well, last semester my roommates and I seemed obsessed with making fun of “Africa” by Toto. I dug up the lyrics and posted them by the phone, and we wrote our comments all over them. I’ll try to remember as much as possible:

There was more too it, but I can’t remember. I guess we had a bit too much time on our hands.

Ah, the hell with it then.

Jeez, and I noticed the signature, too.

Biggirl wrote:

…I don’t understand it.

I’ve always taken this to mean that:


Okay, here’s the scenario: A guy(the author/narrator) is tripping on acid. He has been grooving on said acid most of the night and is overwhelmed by the experience. He looks over at the clock; because his vision is askew because of the acid, he cannot tell if it says 3:35 or 3:34a.m. In other words, it’s 25 0r 6 to 4(if you read it as 25 or 6 'TIL 4 it makes more sense).
This is the explanation I read in an interview with Robert Lamm, the songs author.

Hope this helps

Chris W

No matter how you slice it, it’s not as (dare I say corny) as “In the Beginning”, from On the Theshold of a Dream…the intro to “Lovely to See Again”

I have a hunch Chicago wasn’t the only band doing acid back then. Everytime I hear it, I’m reminded of some really bad dialouge from an off-off-off-Broadway play.