Song of the week- "Home"

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Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Aspiemom on March 7th, 2011, 3:43 am

The song up for critical analysis this week is "Home" from Everything that Happens will Happen Today. It is selected in honor of those who have lost their houses in Christchurch New Zealand and other natural disasters as well as those who have been dragged from their houses in Libya for allegedly participating in the uprising. And let's not forget the foreclosure victims in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Here's my first stab at the lyric. "Home" seems to be a song about perception, from the first line to the last. "The dimming of the light makes the picture clearer." That's odd, normally dim light would obscure a picture. Perhaps its a projection like in the video for "This Must Be the Place?" But the lyric says it is an "old photograph." Could the dimming of the light be aging? ("Do not go gently into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.") Is the singer looking at an old photograph in a new light because he is more mature? The picture seems to be of someone who is separated from the singer, either by death, dispute or distance. Death seems the most likely, as it is an "old photograph" and associated with the "wind whistlin'." Is the singer wishing for a departed family member to return? Nice topic for Ash Wednesday- ashes to ashes etc.

There follows a list of things that suck about home: it's boring ("always so exciting" is sarcastic); people don't talk; you get photographed for no apparent reason; even the neighbors fight; and then there's the whole world breaking in two problem (divorce?). But even this kind of place can be "home" if viewed in the best light: "The eye is the measure of the man. You can fly from the stuff that still surrounds you. We're home." Then some transcendental stuff that I can't wrap my brain around. If it makes sense to you, please post a response.

I thought it might be fun this week to catalog "home" images in David's other lyrics, to see whether they have evolved over time and whether they shed light on this song. "Home" can be a loaded concept, even more so for an immigrant whose parents probably used the word to refer to their country of origin. How weird would it be to have parents who did not refer to the place your family was living as "home?" Maybe that's why "home," "houses," "buildings," and protection from the "cold and the rain" turn up repeatedly.

Also, what do people think of the sound of this song? I think it drags a bit. Should we blame Eno?

Here's the lyric:

The dimming of the light makes the picture clearer
It's just an old photograph
There's nothing to hide
when the world was just beginning

I memorized a face so it's not forgotten
I hear the wind whistlin'
Come back anytime
And we'll mix our lives together

Heaven knows- what keeps mankind alive
Ev'ry hand- goes searching for its partner
In crime- under chairs and behind tables
Connecting- to places we have known

(I'm looking for a)
Home- where the wheels are turning
Home- why I keep returning
Home- where my world is breaking in two
Home- with the neighbors fighting
Home- always so exciting
Home- were my parents telling the truth?
Home- such a funny feeling
Home- no-one ever speaking
Home- with our bodies touching
Home- and the cam'ras watching
Home- will infect what ever you do
We're Home- comes to life from outa the blue

Tiny little boats on a beach at sunset
I took a drink from a jar
& into my head
familiar smells and flavors

Vehicles are stuck on the plains of heaven
I see their wheels spinning round
& ev'rywhere
I can hear those people saying

That the eye- is the measure of the man
You can fly- from the stuff that still surrounds you
We're home- and the band keeps marchin' on
Connecting- to ev'ry living soul
Compassion- for things I'll never know
There's no way to communicate.
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Oedepus on March 7th, 2011, 4:48 pm

Do Miss America next week, please!!
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Oedepus on March 7th, 2011, 10:41 pm

Thank you :D can't wait, these song of the week reviews are an awesome read.
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Aspiemom on March 8th, 2011, 3:36 am

s!mbells wrote: Strangely - I feel the first verse is about looking back in time through a telescope.

One line that I am intrigued by is "Home- were my parents telling the truth? ". As a parent, I find this interesting.

Home also says to me it's ok to have those imperfections each families have.


I think the first verse is vague enough to be open to multiple interpretations, and I like the telescope idea. Any astronomer knows that "the dimming of the light makes the picture clearer." Aren't some astrophysicists trying to look back to "when the world was just beginning" at the moment?

"Home- were my parents telling the truth?" has a wry ring to my ear. We parents lie about a lot of things- Santa leaps to mind. But we also create an illusion of safety so that children can feel secure. Any child who grows up will discover that this world never really existed, like the Garden of Eden ("there's nothing to hide, when the world was just beginning"). After this realization, can we go "home" again? :hippy:

Is the "home" at the end of the song heaven or a more mundane shift of perspective? And why would a vehicle be stuck there? For the second time in two weeks, I'm perplexed by "the car that got stuck" ("Waters of March"). :?:
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Aspiemom on March 8th, 2011, 3:41 am

s!mbells wrote:I enjoy the psychology in "Home- will infect what ever you do"


This line sounds like a more polite version of "Mom and Pop, they will fuck you up" from "Sax & Violins." Wonder what lasting impressions I made on my kids today? :|
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Aspiemom on March 8th, 2011, 3:42 am

Oedepus wrote:Do Miss America next week, please!!


I enjoyed your essay on the song. Good pick! :jumpyjumpy:
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Oedepus on March 8th, 2011, 5:00 am

I'm glad you enjoyed it, thanks 8-)
Howdy-do? This is Peter McCalister, the FATHER. I'd like a hotel room,
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Aspiemom on March 8th, 2011, 9:34 pm

Here are the lyrics of "Home" arranged by Wordle. http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/3271723/Home

Taking a look at it, I noticed that all five senses are included in the song. The singer looks at the picture, and looks for a home. But the "familiar smells and flavors" that rush to the singer's head after the "drink from a jar" allow the singer to find it. Is he just tripping from some kind of Alice in Wonderland-type drink? Or are taste and smell just triggering him to remember that home is right here? (LIke Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz! :o ).
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Aspiemom on March 9th, 2011, 3:44 am

s!mbells wrote:And those vehicles huh - aren't we vehicles for our souls? Passengers along for the ride - "round and round and round it goes where its stops know body knows uhuh" :breakdance:


That's what I was taught, but I have my doubts. Look how Prozac changes minds by changing brain chemistry, or how yoga can have such a calming effect. Maybe it's the spinning that's important, as an image of time or eternity. Wheels are turning at "home" and also spinning in heaven in the song. Or maybe spinning is just cool. My autistic son loves to watch things spin, and I kind of do too. :hippy:

Here's another toughie: "Every hand goes searching for its partner in crime under chairs and behind tables." Have you seen David's chairs on Oedipus' post? This is a loaded image. I'm envisioning siblings as children conspiring against their parents to break family rules. Who else could even fit under a chair?
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Aspiemom on March 10th, 2011, 3:19 am

s!mbells wrote:- i agree wheels turning - im still trying to work out "turn like a wheel inside a wheel" (slippery people), eternity? (like ur connection) Buddhism or something ...
- is there an essay on Miss America? I dont want tor read until after a few days of posting next week (so im not infected with oedepus thoughts (i look forward to reading it)...
I just had a thought, why do we care about this stuff! (Scientifically the answer is dopamine). Watever the answer Im a DB/TH/ENO (and a few others) junkie! :rockdude:


I can help a bit with "Slippery People." "Turn like a wheel inside a wheel," along with a reference to "living creatures" has to be a reference to the first chapter of Ezekiel. Talk about a strange trip! Ezekiel described a vision of heaven with four living creatures each accompanied by a wheel turning inside another wheel. The wheels levitate and move in different directions, and the creatures have multiple faces, including animal faces and many sets of wings! Some people think Ezekiel was psychotic, but the speaking in tongues folks think he found a mystical connection to God. If we're dealing with the same wheel metaphor in "Home," there has been a radical shift in perspective between the two songs. We've gone from singing "what's the matter with him?" to the singer being one of them ("I see their wheels spinning round")! Uh-oh. But "Home" doesn't sound ecstatic like "Slippery People" or Ezekiel, so maybe we're not dealing with a charismatic vision in the last two verses after all.

"Familiar smells and flavors" connote memory, but the next line describes heaven, as if it were a place remembered. "Trailing clouds of immortality, we come from heaven, which is our home." Wordsworth, I think. Still, I don't get all this heaven talk. "One Fine Day" sounds like straight-up gospel to me, even though Byrne and Eno claim it's secular spirituality or something. :?:

Re: Miss America essay- Oedipus wrote a long post on the song. Scroll down a few topics and you'll find it.

Music junkie- yep, me too. I'm reading "This is Your Mind on Music," and the title implies that music addiction is at least recognized. The book has a lot to say about perception too (including how the mind reacts to strange overtones, hmm).
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Aspiemom on March 10th, 2011, 9:45 pm

s!mbells wrote: I should have asked my Dad as he may have known the answer to that (well a good chance anyway). But he passed very recently :bawling:


I'm sorry you lost your dad. :(
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Oedepus on March 10th, 2011, 11:47 pm

s!mbells wrote:- i agree wheels turning - im still trying to work out "turn like a wheel inside a wheel" (slippery people)


And there's also "Turned to wooden and rolled like a wheel"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9clnPGD4D8

This is from Byrne's "Between the teeth" concert

And really sorry about your dad.
Last edited by Oedepus on March 10th, 2011, 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Aspiemom on March 10th, 2011, 11:49 pm

Okay, time for a brighter interpretation. What if "home" is a tour bus ("home- where the wheels are turning")? Reminds me of one of my favorite movie scenes. This is from Almost Famous. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHH3FoJUEbg
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Oedepus on March 11th, 2011, 4:37 pm

Nice to know you are doing alright :D

Make sure to share your opinion on that song on the link when you hear it. On a related note, I just read the song of the week-Blind thread last night, it was great!
Howdy-do? This is Peter McCalister, the FATHER. I'd like a hotel room,
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Aspiemom on March 11th, 2011, 6:35 pm

s!mbells wrote:
Some lyrics from Why:

We have our own kind of universe
Sometime but not always true
How come? Wait! Maybe I think it is
The view is very nice and it's big through and through

I got skills and I got secrets, I can part my hair
I feel an empty space where love could be
In adjoining universes
Touching here and there
I stick my head outside and I can see - that

Particles spin 'round a nucleus
Planets encircle the sun
Further out there is the Milky Way
The coolest part of all cracks me up, Ev'rytime

What is it with circles? DB also plays with quantum physics with adjourning universes touching here and there....What is the coolest part that cracks him up do you think? (I know I'm on the wrong song but it's still linked via circles, wheels turning etc...)


You're not off topic. We're trying to get to the bottom of this spinning reference! I had a dream that I asked David what time it was, and he showed me this incomprehensible watch, with circles spinning in various directions, and I still didn't know what time it was. Spinning could be a metaphor for time passing- day to night, spring to winter, ashes to ashes- or it could be a metaphor for eternity ("I gave my love a ring, it hadn't any end"). If the wheels have a connection to time, that would be another parallel between "Home" and "Naive Melody" ("I love the passing of time.") I still think the overall theme of "Home" is the way families change over time, including the death of parents and grandparents. It's difficult. :cry:

I hear the "Why" lyric as a humble acknowledgement that what we perceive differs from what's actually out there in the world. Much of what we perceive is a construction by our own minds, which "sometimes but not always" correlates with what is "true". I agree that the song pulls in ideas from quantum physics. Are there similar connections to quantum physics in the repeated references to people "moving out in all directions" as in "And She Was" or "What a Day that Was"?

BTW- I think the "coolest part of all, cracks me up, ev'rytime" is that our galaxy is called the Milky Way. When you look up on a dark night at the Milky Way, it looks like little milk droplets, which is kind of funny. :coffee:
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Aspiemom on March 12th, 2011, 3:21 am

Oedepus wrote:
s!mbells wrote:
And there's also "Turned to wooden and rolled like a wheel"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9clnPGD4D8

This is from Byrne's "Between the teeth" concert


This performance is a cover of a song called "Well" written by an artist who went by Captain Beefheart. Whatever's going on in this song is not good. I think the singer's brain is rolling away. But I tend to just hear the rhythm on this one, and wonder how anyone could sing it with just a drum machine and still stay in tune. :breakdance:
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Oedepus on March 12th, 2011, 4:23 am

The imagery on "Well" is quite amazing, although in the original version the words say "the mane went last, then disappeared the tail" which sounds impossible to me.
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Aspiemom on March 13th, 2011, 3:39 am

Before we leave "Home" for "Miss America," I'd like to return to "Home's" sound. (Plus, I read the lyrics of "Well," and I got nothin'.) The song structure of "Home" is a little unusual. I'm guessing ABCAB, and while the song seems to start with verses, the following sections are hard to label as choruses or bridges. A chorus can be like a home- familiar, somewhat boring. Does the lack of one in this song underscore the difficulty of finding home after a certain age?

The "Home- where the wheels are turning" section sounds tense yet durge-like to me. I think the tension comes from the melody's avoidance of the tonic note (the "do" in a "do, re, me, fa, sol. . ." system). The opening verses establish a strong tonic, even reaching the octave. (When a melody reaches a tonic note, supported by a chord with that note in root position, the music sounds resolved to the listener. This is how most songs start and end, including this one). But in the middle section, the tonic note virtually disappears. While the singer keeps repeating the word "home," the melody fails to arrive "home," except briefly on a phrase-ending "ooh." In effect, the song makes a circle, as many do, establishing its key and tonic note at the beginning, leaving it in the middle, and returning for a resolution at the end. Nice when the words and the music are sending the same message. I stole these ideas from "This is Your Brain on Music" by Daniel J. Levitin. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. :ugeek:

Wheels are turning. My clocks are springing forward an hour tonight.
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Aspiemom on March 16th, 2011, 2:25 am

s!mbells wrote:IRe: Home:
Is your ABCAB chords? As I have it as Verse: G D C G, Pre chorus: C G D C G, Chorus: G D C. Some of my G's over lap and there's a country lick with he G (like in an a Elvis song - I think...). I might be on the wrong train with ABCAB reference - correct me if I'm wrong. What blows my mind is the mixing of the acoustic guitars - what a sound!


Sorry, I was unclear. I used ABCAB to try to refer to the sections of the song. The beginning melody would be A, the next B, and the section that starts "Home- where the wheels are turning" would be C. I played piano since childhood, so I don't think of chord progressions in terms of GDCG when I hear them. I think of I, IV, V and V7 chords that can be played in any key. That works on a piano, but I'm finding it doesn't work for guitar. I'll try out your progressions on my new guitar though. You listed, like, five of the seven chords I can play. Thanks! :D
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Re: Song of the week- "Home"

Postby Aspiemom on March 17th, 2011, 2:20 am

Well, I've got the three chords. . . . I've tried composing, but so far it's pretty lame. :(
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