April 11, 2006

Don't you say a word unless you're pretty sure that you want it analyzed.

So says the wise, and attractive, John Nolan of Straylight Run. I'm about to prove his point by ruthlessly picking apart another song lyric that just caught my attention. It's Iron & Wine, from a song called "Fever Dream".

"I want your flowers like babies want God's love."

Let's consider this. How exactly do babies want God's love? It may depend on the definition of a baby. Excluding my mother, who will continue revising her definition of a baby as long as I continue aging, and the Christian Right with its conception fixation, most people would probably agree that a child between zero and three years could be reasonably called a baby. That's a fairly large span of time, development-wise. At the young end of the spectrum, infants don't seem to want much except food, clean diapers, and shiny objects. And possibly the attention of a few adults who have been identified as important and/or present. The older end of the spectrum, three years, is a point at which these babies are old enough to understand simple explanations given by adults, but as I understand it they rarely do much philosophical thinking on their own. So if one were to take a survey of babies, asking in what way exactly they want God's love, what kind of answers might one get?

  • "Waaaah."
  • "My grandma has a cat."
  • "Um... I don't know?"
  • (silence and trying to hide behind the nearest parent)
  • "Waaaaaah."
  • "POOP POOP POOP POOP! Hee hee hee hee!"
  • (sleeping)
  • (attemping to eat the microphone)
  • "Brrbrrbrrgahbahmmmmv."
  • "Trucks are yellow."
  • "Mom said I had to."

So, to apply these answers to the song lyric: I want your flowers because Mom said I had to? I want your flowers brrbrrbrrgahbahmmmmv? I want your flowers like POOP?

I have to conclude that it's probably best not to try to give this man any flowers at all. There's just no telling how he'll respond.

Edit: For a more in-depth analysis of the relationship between babies and God's love, please see The Law, in its Majestic Equality.

Posted by dianna at April 11, 2006 07:43 PM