Don’t let today’s earworm bring you down

Perhaps this should be a regular feature, even daily. It would be a gift to my readers, a helpful explanation. They could say, No wonder he says all this stupid stuff; look what he’s got running through his head.

The reason this was lodged there is stupider than most. I was playing a video game that involves blowing up castles. Really. I’ve got a blog post I want to write that will explain. My time-wasting pursuits are growing dumber and dumber.

Anyway, I’m not sure what the song is supposed to mean.  Without having really thought about it, I’ve assumed subconsciously that it was a sort of leveling, sixtiesish nod to social equality: Who cares if castles are burning? Most of us don’t live in castles, and those who do deserve to be burned out. Anyone who lives in a castle is The Man.:

Don’t let it bring you down,
It’s only castles burning
Find someone who’s turning
And you will come around…

But maybe that’s not right. The song contains a number of alarming or at least dark images, things I don’t think people would shrug off easily — the dead man lying by the side of the road, the red lights flashing through the window in the rain. Are we not supposed to be brought down by any of that?

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just meaningless rhymes. Maybe it’s like “I am the Walrus,” which Lennon composed from random lines he would write down and stick in a drawer to use later. One day, he just pulled them out and jammed them together.

Anyway, that’s today’s earworm…

neil young

9 thoughts on “Don’t let today’s earworm bring you down

  1. bud

    Don’t let it bring you down,

    Difficult advice to follow today of all days. One of the great animal rights activists of our time passed away today. Doris Day will be greatly missed.

    1. Bart

      Agree bud. Doris Day was always one of my favorites and in particular, her animal rights activism. I guess I feel differently about her passing. She went from a big band singer to one of the most popular female actors of all time and then spent her time after “Hollywood” as a passionate animal lover and rights activist. She lived a full life and leaves behind a great legacy, who can be sad about that? I am glad I was able to enjoy her time in the movies and her television show.

      1. bud

        Maybe bittersweet is a better word. Doris Day lived a very long, active and productive life. Her last movie was 50 years ago. Yet she remained relevant until the end. I especially appreciate the way she stood by Rock Hudson in his final days. Just a fine human being.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    By the way, I may be wrong about the way Lennon wrote “I am the Walrus.” I remember him telling it that way many, many years ago, but I can find no reference to it online.

    Of course, none of the accounts I find online claim in any way that the song should be perceived as a coherent whole, so what I’m saying is more or less true — we are not supposed to think there’s a central message. It apparently really is just a bunch of lines Lennon liked strung together…

  3. Bart

    Forgot to add comment about Neil Young. Thanks for the reminder of how much I didn’t like his music. The only person I thought understood his music was Neil Young himself. There were many of his generation who were great, produced great songs and music with a message one could understand. Never got anything by Neil Young.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oh, I really enjoy a lot of his early stuff, such as ““>Old Man” and “Helpless.”

      But I’m not that crazy about, for instance, “This Note’s for You” or “Rockin’ in the Free World”…

  4. Bill

    I thought Doris Day was already dead.If they’d made a movie out of NY’s,A Man Needs A Maid,she and Rock would have been perfect.DLIBYD was Neil ahead of his time.He was singing that warning song about video game brain rot when PONG was just on the horizon.Still,I find Doris Day’s music more depressing than Neil’s.
    God Rest Her Soul but she was no Peggy Lee…

  5. Doug T

    What!! I have over 2,400 songs on my stick (no iTunes etc) and what did I listen to taking my wife to dinner Saturday night? Rust Never Sleeps and Sleeps with Angels albums (it was a long trip). Harvest Moon is a great album.

    There’s no accounting for taste I suppose.

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