Ribbons (re: Marx)

Got any interesting thoughts on a set of lyrics? Any that don't involve the word "indeed"? Find yourself struggling to decipher all those obtuse references Von makes? Read "1959 And All That" and still no clearer? Postcards found lying in a skip around the back of the Chemists can be found here... Don't say you weren't warned.
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slicepack
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"I tried to tell her 'bout Marx and Engels..."

A sub-textual reference to Gary Marx?
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Nah ;)
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geochrim
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I always thought the parallel structure between the lines

"Marx and Engels
God and Angels"

had something to do with selflessness. Marx, of course, preached a redistribution of the means of production. And there is a reference to the early Christians sharing in Acts 4:32:

"There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need� (Acts 4:32-35, ESV)."

I think the "speaker"* of "Ribbons" is trying to bridge the divide between himself and the "she" of the song--and is using historical and religious allusions, rather than personal anecdotes, to bridge the gap/strike up a conversation/persuade her to let him "in"--take that any way you like ("Her lovers queued up in the hallway ... Just walk on in ... Incoming.")

Having been inarticulate, drunk and lonely on more than one occassion, I've always found it easier to have impersonal conversation about politics and history when drunk rather than personal conversations, so this song speaks to me.

In a similar vein, "ribbons" might also serve as another binding device to connect the speaker with "she," transcending separation and loneliness.

At least, that's my read.

Gah. English degree. Been a while since I wrote like this.

g

*(to reference the usual "textual" narrator). Again, Gah.
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Interesting take on it geochrim.

I always like to think it's a dig at Patricia; not much point trying to talk intellectually to her, but, hey, she looked good in ribbons...
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In a radio interview circa 1990, Eldritch spoke about the connection between the phrases "tie a yellow ribbon" as in "the Americans waiting for their hostages to come home, which, of course, they won't" and "cut to ribbons" as in sliced to pieces. My recollection is rather hazy, though. I have it on cassette here, somewhere, but no cassette deck.
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So this song has nothing to do with Karl Marx and a prostitude having aids ?

red ribbon being the simbol and "lovers qued up in the hallway" being a reference to it.

i really thaught this song was about this guy who had sympathy for a prostitute (who was already comdamned by aids) and wanting to save her or at least convice her that were still was "ok" things in life.
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As Markfiend said, I think it refers to him trying to find some sort of intellectual capacity in the woman in question (don't know if it's Patricia or not - I'd never considered that option. It sounds more like disappointment in a lover) but finding her lacking.

The particular choice of
"Marx and Engels
God and Angels"
is probably more for it's scanning/lyrical quality rather than any precise reference.

I'm not convinced it's about a prostitute - as I said above, it feels to me more like disappointment in a lover, followed with "hey, she'll do for the sex for the time being, anyway"
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ailime wrote:So this song has nothing to do with Karl Marx and a prostitude having aids ?

red ribbon being the simbol and "lovers qued up in the hallway" being a reference to it.
The red ribbon was introduced in 1991
i really thaught this song was about this guy who had sympathy for a prostitute (who was already comdamned by aids) and wanting to save her or at least convice her that were still was "ok" things in life.
"Think of all the great things in life. The Communist Manifesto, for instance."
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geochrim
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Not to muck it too much, but I had the song going through my head today and heard a pun in "for"

I tried to tell her
about Marx and Engels
God and Angels
I don't really know what for ...

And I heard the "for"as "four," lending a nonspecific, indifferent attitude to the littany--as if he's hearing it through her ears.

Great to hear the analysis on AIDS, too ... The lyrics are layered. I've been missing a lot.

He must have fun writing this stuff. No wonder it takes a while between albums.

Thanks,

g
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The tip off - not what he told her, but that he tried to tell her and the anticlimactic "I really don't know what for" - he wishes for his true darkangel but only finds someone who can't identify him - intellectually or spiritually.
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"god and angels" is likely hegelism, the transition to Marx and Engels is reasonably obvious.
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