Monday, January 12, 2009

A Logical Song

The “Logical Song” symbolizes the loss of individuality. From reminiscing about young childhood to the transition of becoming an adult, the world begins to grab hold of us, establishing social norms that we must live by. We become dependable, clinical, intellectual, and cynical. Or, at least we think that is what we are becoming.

The song begins with nostalgic thoughts concerning youth. Life was wonderful with those small “stabs of joy” C. S. Lewis often expresses in his writings. It was magical, a miracle, and nature sang in harmony, the birds vocalizing their merriment in the trees. However, we are sent from youth into adulthood. A transition takes place altering our childhood innocence into a mature jadedness. The world wraps us with commitments and loyalties which we seemingly cannot escape. No longer are we able to feel the beautiful simplicity of joy, but have been desensitized by the social laws of our culture.

With this transition, often our behavior becomes predictable. We forget our identity and give into the routine and function of societal norms and appropriateness. As C. S. Lewis writes, “too easily are we pleased.” We settle for conformism versus individuality. Each person may desire to be uniquely individualistic, but they are prevented by their fear of breaking or going beyond the social norm. And, if in fact a person may break normality, they are immediately labeled a radical, liberal, fanatical, or criminal as the song says. Stepping outside of the culture leads to an automatic response by the masses. Bulverism rears its head, scaring away reason and sensible conclusions. Our personal opinions label us as freaks, causing us to run back to the comfort of the masses, abandoning our individuality. Thence, we often join in the slumber of conformity in which the world sleeps, for we are too simple a man.

Not only do words carry meaning in a song, but the music itself. It is interesting to me how the instruments reinforce and complete the message found in the words of the song. The keyboard establishes a steady, monotonous beat. It symbolizes society and its norms and appropriateness, what is acceptable; everything is in order. Then after the verse containing the lines “Now watch what you say or they’ll be calling you a radical, liberal, fanatical, criminal” bursts a saxophone. The saxophone’s sound is quite out of place; it is unexpected just like the reaction of the masses when you speak your own thoughts. The saxophone symbolizes breaking the norms, “quidity” in life.

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