Thursday, 15 March 2012

31 Songs - Song 6

Song 6 - The Flaming Lips - Do You Realize??

It may be the 21st century but there is still a fair share of taboos that exist in polite conversation. For instance I dream of the day that two men can discuss the merits of self fellatio without fear or impunity. One other such taboo is death. Music can be a great ice breaker to these taboos. (I'm no longer talking about self fellatio for the record).

It's something which will happen to us all, sure as Madonna's proposed Malawi school will never see the light of day, we all will meet our end at some point or another. Quite a solemn thought really. No wonder we don't talk about it. But does it need to be that way?

Well no, it doesn't. And The Flaming Lips will tell you why in a way that only they know how.

'Do You Realize??' is one of the most affirming tracks ever made. The juxtaposition of lines such as the soppy "do you realise that you have the most beautiful face" and the dismal "do you realise that everyone you know someday will die" is rivals Morrisey. And it is the latter realisation that is our fear, spawned from the unknown, a throw back to times where religion did put the fear of hell and eternal damnation into the faithful flocks.

Let's face it, we're all probably scared of dying on some level. If you listen to the lyrics in this track Wayne Coyne, for me, turns that fear on it's head with the line "you realise the sun don't go down, it's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round". Wow.

Now I'm not wanting to put words in Wayne Coyne's mouth, what I read from that little couplet is that death is only as real as you want it to be. People we love die, much like the sun goes down. Yet the sun doesn't go away and neither do those who have died. Sounds all a bit circle of life doesn't it? But hey, some moments call for it.

And peppered around this taboo buster are other little dots of genius. From the innocent opening refrain of "one, two, three, four" which is so childlike it helps convey the lightness of the subject matter, to the humongous observation that yes we are indeed floating in space. That for me is almost a near perfect one line dismissal of God, religion and heaven.

Hell I even love the quirky double question marks and the fact that Americans can't spell realise.

The key message behind the song is to enjoy the little time we have in this life, summed up in a nutshell with the line "let the know you realise that life goes fast, it's hard to make the good things last". And if you've ever seen The Flaming Lips live you'll know that they make fun there primary objective. Why don't you?

1 comment:

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