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Yellow Ledbetter

Pearl Jam

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Soms vraag je je af bij poëzie waar een gedicht of een tekst over gaat. In een aantal gevallen gaat poëzie ‘nergens over’ maar is de klank van een gedicht of de muzikaliteit, het ritme en de loop van de tekst belangrijk en niet zozeer de tekst zelf (zeer bekend voorbeeld Oote van Jan Hanlo). In de muziek komt dit ook voor en dan wordt dit meestal versterkt door de instrumenten die daarbij gebruikt worden.

In het nummer Yellow Ledbetter van Pearl Jam is de tekst ook niet of nauwelijks relevant. Op dit nummer improviseert Eddie Vedder de tekst in woorden en zinnen die schijnbaar geen relevantie hebben maar als je dan goed tussen de regels doorleest lijkt het toch misschien ergens over te gaan.

Op de zeer informatieve website http://songmeanings.com/ staat over dit nummer te lezen:

For the most part the lyrics in this song are irrelevant. The song was written by Mike McCready and Eddie just made up the words as he went along. Eddie’s voice is supposed to be more of an instrument by using improvised words, the words are never the same in concert. Ledbetter refers to Eddie’s friend from Chicago named Tim Ledbetter. If there is any meaning to the lyrics I think the letter in the beginning of the song refers to the telegrams that we sent to the families of soldiers KIA in WWII. The telegrams were so distinct that many families didn’t have to open them to know what they said. In the song I see a family sitting on a porch when a man comes to deliver a telegram and the family is so devestated about their loss that they cannot even bear to open it.

De stem van de zanger dus als extra instrument, of als ‘ poëtisch kunstwerk’ te plaatsen in de categorie waarin ook zovele gedichten vallen die schijnbaar zonder een duidelijk onderwerp zijn.

Hier de tekst en het nummer.

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Yellow Ledbetter

 

Unsealed
On a porch a letter sat
Then you said I want to leave it again

Once I saw him
On a beach of weathered sand
And on the sand I want to leave it again

On a weekend want to wish it all way
And they called an I said an I want what
I said an I call out again

And the reason oughta leave her calm I know
I said I know what I wear that a box or the bag

Oh yeah can you see them?
Out on the porch
Ah, but they don’t wave
I see them
Round the front way, yeah
And I know and I know
I don’t want to stay

Make me cry

I see
I don’t know there’s something else
I want to drum it all away
An I said
“I don’t, I don’t know whether I was the boxer or the bag”

Oh yeah can you see them?
Out on the porch
Ah, but they don’t wave
I see them
Round the front way, yeah
And I know and I know
I don’t want to stay
I don’t want to stay
I don’t want to stay

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yellow

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Muziek en poëzie

Eddie Vedder : Into the wild

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Ik schreef hier al eerder over Into the wild en het gedicht van Sharon Olds dat in de film voorkomt. Vandaag een stuk over de muziek van Eddie Vedder en de poëtische kracht van zijn teksten. Een prachtig nummer uit de film is Guaranteed, hieronder kun je de tekst lezen en de muziek via Youtube beluisteren.

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Guaranteed

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On bended knee is no way to be free
Lifting up an empty cup, I ask silently
All my destinations will accept the one that’s me
So I can breathe…
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Circles they grow and they swallow people whole
Half their lives they say goodnight to wives they’ll never know
A mind full of questions, and a teacher in my soul
And so it goes…
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Don’t come closer or I’ll have to go
Holding me like gravity are places that pull
If ever there was someone to keep me at home
It would be you…
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Everyone I come across, in cages they bought
They think of me and my wandering, but I’m never what they thought
I’ve got my indignation, but I’m pure in all my thoughts
I’m alive…
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Wind in my hair, I feel part of everywhere
Underneath my being is a road that disappeared
Late at night I hear the trees, they’re singing with the dead
Overhead…
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Leave it to me as I find a way to be
Consider me a satellite, forever orbiting
I knew all the rules, but the rules did not know me
Guaranteed

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Into the wild

Poëzie en film

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Into the wild, de film van Sean Penn uit 2007 is behalve een bijzondere mooie film om nog een reden een aanrader namelijk om de filmmuziek van Eddie Vedder. Heel anders dan de muziek die hij maakt met Pearl Jam maar nog steeds prachtig.

In deze, op een waar gebeurde verhaal gebaseerde, film met Emile Hirsch in de hoofdrol komt het gedicht ‘I go back to may 1937’  uit The Gold Cell (1987) van Sharon Olds (1942) voor.

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I go back to may 1937

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I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks,
the wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips aglow in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don’t do it—she’s the wrong woman,
he’s the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you have not heard of,
you are going to want to die. I want to go
up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don’t do it. I want to live. I
take them up like the male and female
paper dolls and bang them together
at the hips, like chips of flint, as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.
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Uit: Selected poems 1980-2002
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Wil je dit gedicht beluisteren? Surf dan naar http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/176442
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Olds
into the wild 2
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