Friday, August 05, 2005

Leisure in America: analyzing Beatles lyrics

"Rocky Raccoon is a particularly clear expression of conflict relating to sexual impulses," says Dr. Michael A. Brog, MD, in Psychiatric Times.
The song tells the story of the gunfighter Rocky who seeks vengeance against a rival who has stolen the affections of the woman he desires, Nancy. He angrily bursts into a room where the two are dancing (the primal scene, we may say), only to be wounded by his rival, who turns out to be the better fighter. While losing Nancy, Rocky is not left empty-handed, for upon returning to his hotel room, he receives consolation by coming across Gideon's Bible, which will presumably teach him to give up revenge and envy in favor of higher ideals. I imagine Freud might see the song as describing the resolution of Rocky's Oedipus complex, where his unobtainable love object is relinquished out of threat of bodily injury from a better fighter. At the same time, moral values become consolidated as a kind of consolation prize."
May I try this, too? Here's the first stanza of "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds":
Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.
Clearly, the "boat on a river" is Lennon's Id, and "tangerine trees" are his Ego-Ideal. "Marmalade skies" represent Smucker's domination of the world jam market, of which Lennon was particularly apprehensive. "Somebody calls you" refers to his agent's nephew, who was known to call Lennon frequently, earning him a citation for stalking in 1967. Lennon "answers quite slowly" because he is drunk. The "kaleidoscope eyes" are, of course, ridiculous.

Any questions?

(hat tip to Robert Benchley and his "Dream Analysis")


Anonymous Tom said...

How about an analysis of Wilco? From Ashes of American Flags:

"I want a good life
With a nose for things
A fresh wind and bright sky
To enjoy my suffering"

I sense an entire series of Friday night posts...

7:38 AM  
Blogger Cathleen said...

marmalade skies. Smuckers. *snicker*

6:33 AM  

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