'Under Lime'

Pretty self-explanatory
bronxapostle
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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby bronxapostle » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:35 am

:D :D
Last edited by bronxapostle on Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

bronxapostle
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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby bronxapostle » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:36 am

verbal gymnastics wrote:
bronxapostle wrote:Like that group of people that hear BOWIE on the single word "confessed" on this same track.


Top balcony wrote:However I do confess I hear Bowie intonations....

Colin Top Balcony


You can count me in on that group as well!


Oh, it is there indeed, that db intonation...and one more time, TO NOT BEAT A DEAD HORSE:

I aver: SOMETHING ABOUT THOSE 4 WORDS EXACTLY REPLICATES THE TONE, DELIVERY or PHRASING OF THOSE SAME 4 IN THAT VERY OLD SONG!!

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Stuart Gardner
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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby Stuart Gardner » Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:33 pm

Poor desperate Jimmy is so skilled at pretending to care about the women he wants to lay that "He asked her boyfriend's name, then her whole family tree," and, as usual, he gets what he thinks he wants. But it's another hollow, unsatisfactory win.

Keep telling the women you leave in your wake that you don't get a record if you never get caught, Jimmy. You've been telling yourself that for so long that sometimes you almost believe it, but in the pit of your gut you know that you were convicted long ago.

Keep chasing skirts and hiding your misdeeds, but listen closely at 5:26, because that's fate laughing at you.

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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby Hawksmoor » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:32 am

Stuart Gardner wrote:Poor desperate Jimmy is so skilled at pretending to care about the women he wants to lay that "He asked her boyfriend's name, then her whole family tree," and, as usual, he gets what he thinks he wants. But it's another hollow, unsatisfactory win.

Keep telling the women you leave in your wake that you don't get a record if you never get caught, Jimmy. You've been telling yourself that for so long that sometimes you almost believe it, but in the pit of your gut you know that you were convicted long ago.

Keep chasing skirts and hiding your misdeeds, but listen closely at 5:26, because that's fate laughing at you.

All true, but as always in an Elvis lyric, life's never quite as black-and-white as it's portrayed. Nobody comes out of it well. The line that really wrenches my gut is the female protagonist's 'oh, you know, I wouldn't mind'.

How sad is that? A shag, not because you really want to, but because, on reflection, it might not be quite as bad as you first thought it would be. God help us all.

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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby stricttime81 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:57 am

I agree it's not a black and white song, and at least makes some attempt to understand what drives men to behave the way Jimmy does. Older men, facing mortality ("the clock on the wall tick tocks the time away"; "Allow me to just dictate my dying will") often react by seeking comfort in younger women, using money/power/fame to get women who otherwise wouldn't give them a second look. And women, for their own reasons, sometimes go along ("He's Given Me Things"). It's no coincidence those two songs start and end the album.
AKA: Mike the Lawyer

Hawksmoor
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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby Hawksmoor » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:59 am

stricttime81 wrote:I agree it's not a black and white song, and at least makes some attempt to understand what drives men to behave the way Jimmy does. Older men, facing mortality ("the clock on the wall tick tocks the time away"; "Allow me to just dictate my dying will") often react by seeking comfort in younger women, using money/power/fame to get women who otherwise wouldn't give them a second look. And women, for their own reasons, sometimes go along ("He's Given Me Things"). It's no coincidence those two songs start and end the album.

Absolutely. And as always with Elvis, he's throwing so much more into the mix, including genuinely funny stuff. The 'dick/dictate' gag is always a winner, of course, and Elvis underlines it here by having him 'passed that pill' before he can perform. Richard Thompson uses it brilliantly in 'Why Must I Plead' with the line 'you've been sitting in his lap, and taking his dic-tation'.

So with Elvis there's always humour - sympathetic humour and dark/innuendo humour - and that's what makes him a brilliant lyricist and not just a polemicist. How easy it would be to throw Jimmie to the lions as a whipping-boy for the #metoo generation. But Elvis - always - does something more complicated, more clever, and reminds us (as he does in every single lyric on the LP) that these are not heroes or villains, they're human beings. Their lives are messy, and difficult to interpret.

None of the characters on this LP deserve our praise. None deserve our outright condemnation. All deserve our sympathy, and most deserve some degree of understanding. In the era of Brexit, Trump and #metoo, how easy it would have been to make an LP of obvious, grandstanding condemnation of certain people. Instead we have an LP which says 'nobody's perfect, nobody is beyond redemption. People are going through some shitty stuff out there, so let's at least try and understand what they're going through'.

Every song, pretty much every line, takes you down a new path of how it might feel to be in a particular situation or emotion. This is a mature, experienced songwriter at the absolute peak of his powers, and we should treasure it.

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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby bronxapostle » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:09 am

Me...i like TOM VERLAINEs classic the best:
You complain of my dic-tion, you give me FRICTION

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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby Poor Deportee » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:21 pm

Did you notice the drawing in the liner notes of 'Jimmie transfigured' - into EC? :lol:

This seems to a sardonic reference to Bob Dylan's preposterous claim to Rolling Stone that he was the 'transfiguration' of an old Hell's Angel called Bobby Zimmerman.

It may also be a tacit admission that EC has been more like Jimmie than he'd explicitly admit. But hopefully it's merely a sly wink at Dylan's silliness.
When man has destroyed what he thinks he owns
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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby docinwestchester » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:57 pm

Poor Deportee wrote:Did you notice the drawing in the liner notes of 'Jimmie transfigured' - into EC? :lol:


The pictures in the CD booklet are really interesting. But way too small for my (getting) old eyes. Probably look better on the vinyl version?

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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:40 pm

Poor Deportee wrote:Did you notice the drawing in the liner notes of 'Jimmie transfigured' - into EC? :lol:

This seems to a sardonic reference to Bob Dylan's preposterous claim to Rolling Stone that he was the 'transfiguration' of an old Hell's Angel called Bobby Zimmerman.

It may also be a tacit admission that EC has been more like Jimmie than he'd explicitly admit. But hopefully it's merely a sly wink at Dylan's silliness.


What is that old admonition to young writers, PD? Oh yes! 'Write what one knows.' In this instance I hope not. When I ventured a possible interpretation of this song's predecessor all those years ago all hell broke loose. I do hope he is capable of a nod to conjecture and a wink at self-knowledge. I, too, was struck by that photo in the cd booklet. Immediately thought good on him to stir the pot.........
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby Man out of Time » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:03 am

Song of the Week in Die Presse in Vienna. This article by Thomas Kramar published on 14 October 2018 explains why:

"Diese Show kennt keine Gnade

Declan MacManus, geboren 1954 in London, nannte sich 1977 Elvis Costello und wurde zum klugen Nerd der New Wave. Sein neues Album (mit den Imposters) heißt „Look Now“.

Die Presse, October 2018.jpg
Elvis Costello – (c) Beigestellt
Die Presse, October 2018.jpg (50.46 KiB) Viewed 3064 times


Elvis Costello: „Under Lime“. Niemand kann so bitter und scharf zugleich klingen wie Elvis Costello. In seinen Anfängen galt seine Bitternis seiner eigenen Person, später lernte er allmählich, sein tiefes Selbstmitleid auf Mitleid für andere auszudehnen. Hier erinnert er sich an eine Figur, die er 2010 im Song „Jimmie Standing in The Rain“ gezeichnet hat: einen abgestürzten Vaudeville-Entertainer in den 1930er-Jahren. Nun versucht dieser 20 Jahre später ein Comeback, soll in einer TV-Show als „mystery guest“ auftreten, doch blamiert sich nur, wird auch vom wohlmeinenden Showgirl verlacht. „The clock on the wall tick-tocked the time away, when the band starts to play“, singt Costello, und die fröhliche Blasmusik der Band klingt wie böser Hohn, als paraphrasierte sie die wiederkehrende Zeile: „It's a long way down from the high horse you're on.“ So wird das „limelight“, das Rampenlicht, zum Kalk, unter dem Hoffnungen ersticken. Böser Song."

or in "English" via Google Translate:

"This show knows no mercy
Declan MacManus, born in 1954 in London, called himself Elvis Costello in 1977 and became the smart nerd of the New Wave. His new album (with the Imposters) is called "Look Now".

Elvis Costello: "Under Lime". Nobody can sound as bitter and sharp as Elvis Costello. In his early days, his bitterness was his own, and later he gradually learned to extend his deep self-pity to compassion for others. Here he recalls a character he drew in 2010 in the song "Jimmie Standing in The Rain": a downed vaudeville entertainer in the 1930s. Now, this 20 years later trying a comeback, should appear on a TV show as a "mystery guest", but only embarrassed, is laughed at by well-meaning showgirl. "The clock on the wall tick-tock the time away, when the band starts to play," sings Costello, and the band's happy brass band sounds like bad mockery, as if paraphrasing the recurring line: "It's a long way down from the high horse you're on. "That's how the" limelight ", the limelight, to chalk, under which hopes suffocate. Bad song.

MOOT

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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:14 am

Man out of Time wrote:Song of the Week in Die Presse in Vienna. This article by Thomas Kramar published on 14 October 2018 explains why:

(...)
"That's how the" limelight ", the limelight, to chalk, under which hopes suffocate. Bad song.

MOOT

Bad song?
Better translation is “angry song”.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby Poor Deportee » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:51 am

Jack of All Parades wrote:
Poor Deportee wrote:Did you notice the drawing in the liner notes of 'Jimmie transfigured' - into EC? :lol:

This seems to a sardonic reference to Bob Dylan's preposterous claim to Rolling Stone that he was the 'transfiguration' of an old Hell's Angel called Bobby Zimmerman.

It may also be a tacit admission that EC has been more like Jimmie than he'd explicitly admit. But hopefully it's merely a sly wink at Dylan's silliness.


What is that old admonition to young writers, PD? Oh yes! 'Write what one knows.' In this instance I hope not. When I ventured a possible interpretation of this song's predecessor all those years ago all hell broke loose. I do hope he is capable of a nod to conjecture and a wink at self-knowledge. I, too, was struck by that photo in the cd booklet. Immediately thought good on him to stir the pot.........


Leave it to EC to do something like that. The drawing is simultaneously an obscure in-joke in its Dylan reference (i.e., an Easter egg for music nerds), witty in both the reference and in the more direct implication that there is a link between author and character, and deeply disturbing in the possibility of its being an implied confession. After all, Jimmie is basically a rapist. Yikes.

For my part, I can certainly see the EC of the 'near stardom' years, who seems to have been close to being out of control and intoxicated by the sexual, financial, and power possibilities or rock stardom, using women in unseemly ways. This is not an accusation at all, just an unsupported personal impression (albeit one that the ambiguous attitudes towards women in some of those early lyrics tends to reinforce). He may have been a perfect gentleman at all times, and if so, then I am wholly and apologetically wrong even to imply otherwise.

Then again - and now we're really tip-toeing out into uncomfortable territory - maybe the real problem is not the ethics of any specific male at any specific time. It has been noted, for example, that many popular movies from the 1980s played rape and sexual assault for laughs. In my own field, which is post-secondary education, it was wholly commonplace - even 'progressive' and 'enlightened' after the 'sexual revolution' of the 1960s - for professors to treat students as sexual opportunities. This seems only to have ended in the 1990s when the practice put careers in jeopardy. One suspects that sexual assault ranging all the way up to rape was basically routine in many walks of life. It may still be. In which case the culprit is not so much Jimmie, or Elvis Costello, as all of us - which might be as good a summation of the message of EC's entire body of work as any, really.
When man has destroyed what he thinks he owns

I hope no living thing cries over his bones

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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:06 pm

I am with you re: avoiding a 'specific' individual or individuals tag. If we men are honest, who among us can say definitively that we have never made a woman feel uncomfortable. Perhaps not consciously, but definitely something we said, did, inferred, or alluded to caused some woman discomfort. I applaud EC's effort to portray such a situation in a fictionalized lyric; I won't place him specifically in that situation. My faith in his moral intelligence however allows me to think that he, just like you and I and any sentient male, must be grappling with and questioning one's own personal history. Only in that manner would I slip him under that 'persona'.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby taramasalata » Sat Oct 27, 2018 4:18 pm

sweetest punch wrote:
Man out of Time wrote:Song of the Week in Die Presse in Vienna. This article by Thomas Kramar published on 14 October 2018 explains why:

(...)
"That's how the" limelight ", the limelight, to chalk, under which hopes suffocate. Bad song.

MOOT

Bad song?
Better translation is “angry song”.


The German word "böse" would be best translated in this context as "wicked" or "vicious".
So that would mean "Under lime" being a "Wicked song".

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Re: 'Under Lime'

Postby Man out of Time » Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:51 am

taramasalata wrote:
sweetest punch wrote:
Man out of Time wrote:Song of the Week in Die Presse in Vienna. This article by Thomas Kramar published on 14 October 2018 explains why:

(...)
"That's how the" limelight ", the limelight, to chalk, under which hopes suffocate. Bad song.

MOOT

Bad song?
Better translation is “angry song”.


The German word "böse" would be best translated in this context as "wicked" or "vicious".
So that would mean "Under lime" being a "Wicked song".


Thanks to both Taramasalata and Sweetest Punch for pointing out the limitations of Google Translate in rendering German into English. Whenever I post Google Translate versions of articles in languages other than English, I always put "English" in inverted commas, to signal its limitations. In English slang, oddly, both "bad" and "wicked" can also mean "good" - cf Michael Jackson's song and album titled "Bad".

MOOT


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