Dishonor the Stars?

Pretty self-explanatory
Poor Deportee
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Dishonor the Stars?

Postby Poor Deportee » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:55 am

I quite like this song except for the refrain, which strikes me as melodically clunky and lyrically precious. How can the sky dishonour or disown the stars? What does that even mean? Help me out. As it stands, the song lands with a thud precisely because the refrain kills it. But I'd welcome the insight of someone more perceptive than myself.
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Neil.
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Re: Dishonor the Stars?

Postby Neil. » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:50 am

Poor Deportee wrote:I'd welcome the insight of someone more perceptive than myself.


Instead of that, you get me!

I have a soft spot for this one - I love the intro and the verse has this great, slightly menacing swagger to it. I don't understand how the sky can dishonour the stars either, or what that means. But I think the main reason the chorus is less successful is because Elvis has written a melody that he can't sing well enough to put across. Only Shirley Bassey in her prime could possibly put that chorus across properly. It's a bit like that 'Almost Ideal Eyes' chorus - it changes tempo and goes somewhere totally unexpected.

So Elvis has written something that he just can't sing well enough to do justice to - though as ever he gives it his best shot. Oh for a time machine where we could get 30something Bassey to record it!

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And No Coffee Table
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Re: Dishonor the Stars?

Postby And No Coffee Table » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:03 am

https://twitter.com/ElvisCostello/statu ... 7650948097

"Poets long have written or have sung" of that wishful eternity of love or the finite length of desire; until “the end of time” or “The Twelfth Of Never”.
“Dishonor The Stars” is a song such as these. #LookNow #DishonorTheStars @elviscostello 1/2

Image


https://twitter.com/ElvisCostello/statu ... 7575973889

You long for someone deeply, hope love may endure until some dread, imagined night on which the sky denies and extinguishes the lights of the canopy. This is not the truth as science tells but the way it is with songs and love.
There may be cloudy skies
Try not to panic #LookNow

Poor Deportee
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Re: Dishonor the Stars?

Postby Poor Deportee » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:14 am

And No Coffee Table wrote:https://twitter.com/ElvisCostello/status/1056565157650948097

"Poets long have written or have sung" of that wishful eternity of love or the finite length of desire; until “the end of time” or “The Twelfth Of Never”.
“Dishonor The Stars” is a song such as these. #LookNow #DishonorTheStars @elviscostello 1/2

Image


https://twitter.com/ElvisCostello/statu ... 7575973889

You long for someone deeply, hope love may endure until some dread, imagined night on which the sky denies and extinguishes the lights of the canopy. This is not the truth as science tells but the way it is with songs and love.
There may be cloudy skies
Try not to panic #LookNow


Right. Another way to put it is, 'I'm going to love you 'til the moon's upside down.' Which seems to me a much less abstract and precious way to make the point! I just don't think his central lyrical conceit is strong enough on this one, especially when appended to that awkward melody (or perhaps it's just awkward delivery, as Neil wittily proposes). Working out exactly what is wrong with the conceit is much harder, but the nub of it seems to be that it's one anthropomorphization too far. Not only does the sky do things to the stars ('denies,' 'extinguishes' - much more forceful verbs, by the way), not only does it have an opinion about the stars, but its opinion requires elaborate moral concepts like 'honour' and 'avowal.' It's a bit much for me...but hey. That's me.
Last edited by Poor Deportee on Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
When man has destroyed what he thinks he owns

I hope no living thing cries over his bones

Neil.
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Re: Dishonor the Stars?

Postby Neil. » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:20 am

Well, you got your answer from the man himself! That's something!

Poor Deportee
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Re: Dishonor the Stars?

Postby Poor Deportee » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:28 am

Neil. wrote:Well, you got your answer from the man himself! That's something!


I had not realized that tweet followed my post in fairly short order. The astonishing and unlikely thought that he might be reading these posts (including my poor critiques!!) is downright mortifying : :o But I did ask for insights from someone 'smarter and more insightful than myself.' As he has noted in other lyrics, be careful what you wish for 8) Elvis, if you're there, the album is sublime!!!! Thank you for it.
When man has destroyed what he thinks he owns

I hope no living thing cries over his bones

Neil.
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Re: Dishonor the Stars?

Postby Neil. » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:47 am

:D :D :D

Poor Deportee wrote:Elvis, if you're there, the album is sublime!!!! Thank you for it.


Seconded! And here's to Elvis releasing all those other stockpiled songs soon! x

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Re: Dishonor the Stars?

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:17 pm

With the man, himself, weighing in- I find myself in the Neil camp. I would also point you to the Auden camp[when in doubt look to the poets] and the uncertainty found in a lyric like "If I could Only Tell You" and its painful testament to love's uncertainty- a theme of the continuous and unforgiving passage of time, and how humans and nature fall prey to its unpredictability- something this song consistently evokes in I think as questioning a tone. It just needs for my ears a stronger vocalist to put it over the top-I would love to hear Ron Sexsmith tackle it.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'


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