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Ribbons (re: Marx)

 
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slicepack
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PostPost #1  Posted: Wed May 14, 2003 5:48 pm    Post subject: Ribbons (re: Marx) Reply with quote Back to top

"I tried to tell her 'bout Marx and Engels..."

A sub-textual reference to Gary Marx?
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PostPost #2  Posted: Wed May 14, 2003 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Nah Wink
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geochrim
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PostPost #3  Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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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markfiend
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PostPost #4  Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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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mugabe
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PostPost #5  Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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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PostPost #6  Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"-be there or wait another five years for God and all His angels to make that funny exploding noise in your head again"

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ailime
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PostPost #7  Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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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lazarus corporation
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PostPost #8  Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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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mugabe
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PostPost #9  Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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

Quote:
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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PostPost #10  Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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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DarkAngel
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PostPost #11  Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:17 am    Post subject: "I tried to tell her..." Reply with quote Back to top

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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PostPost #12  Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"god and angels" is likely hegelism, the transition to Marx and Engels is reasonably obvious.
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