I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Modern vs. ancient

POP EXPLORED, part seven. Time to create some perspective: hence Coldplay’s Viva la Vida (current) vs. the Bee Gees’ Night Fever (Feb 7, 1978), a gap equivalent to several pop lifetimes.

Coldplay. Slickly controlled conventional structure (Eight bars repeated, middle eight, eight bars again), conventional instrumental line: guitars produce “train” sound (probably based on no more than four chords) later augmented with strings, lyrics that scan, hummable tune, chorus of la-las for good luck, and the inevitable execrable drumming.

The song is an update of Shelley’s Ozymandias:

One minute I held the key,
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand.

Includes an excellent couplet:

Once you go, there was never,
Never an honest word.

Hilariously middle-class line-up: Christopher Anthony John Martin, William Champion, Mark Buckland, Guy Rupert Berryman. Success based on all the self-evident virtues. Plus lots of polishing.

Bee Gees. Having seen, and unexpectedly enjoyed, Saturday Night Fever (albeit thirty years on) I was familiar with Night Fever. Most pop enthusiasts have difficulty identifying the different genres but this is quite definitely “disco”. Which I take to be heavily rhythmic, melodically staccato accompaniment to predominantly single-syllable-word lyrics eventually lapsing into repetition. Typically:

Then I get night fever, night fever.
We know how to do it.

As with ballet, the primitive nature of the music is lost (ie, becomes critically invulnerable) against the dancing. Which can be surprisingly chaste in the movie – almost like square dancing.

Conclusion: It’s apples vs. purple sprouting broccoli. One’s a song the other’s a toe-tapper.


  1. Unrelated to your post, LdP - just wanted to wish you and yours a happy new year.

  2. The Crow: And a happy one to you, dear M. I see your wishes arrived at 04.16 at which time we were out in the garden (you would call it a yard) checking out the fireworks and looking anxiously for flaming Chinese lanterns. There'd been talk of banning them because of the danger to cattle, etc. But eventually they came in their dozens. The great thing about living where I do relative to where you do is I can get this away while you're still dozing - say 03.21.

  3. Shelley, when in his early 20s,and living in North Devon used to make Chinese lanterns out of silk, suspend little fires beneath them and send them glowing in the dark across the Bristol Channel bearing subversive political messages

  4. Same here, unrelated... a hearty wish for much health and 'joie de vivre' in 2012 to you and Mrs LdP.