Silliest line in 'Brilliant Disguise'

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What is the silliest line in Springsteen's 'Brilliant Disguise'

"So tell me what I see when I look in your eyes."
1
14%
"We stood at the altar, the gypsy swore our future was right."
4
57%
"Just don't look too close into the palm of my hand."
2
29%
 
Total votes: 7

Mr. Misery
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Silliest line in 'Brilliant Disguise'

Postby Mr. Misery » Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:13 am

EC covers this song on the fantastic new bonus disc for Kojak Variety but I can't conceive of him composing such lyrics.

Choices:

"So tell me what I see when I look in your eyes." How could she and why should she have to tell him what he sees? What nerve!

"We stood at the altar, the Gypsy swore our future was right." Aside from the childish superstition, this makes it sound as if the Gypsy presided over the ceremony.

"Just don't look too close into the palm of my hand." If his wife is a palm reader, why was he relying on the gypsy, who lied anyway?

Okay, now I've gotten that out of my system. As a balm to Springsteen fans I should add that I admire The Rising, especially the tracks 'Lonesome Day,' 'Nothing Man,' and 'Missing.'
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lapinsjolis
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Postby lapinsjolis » Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:25 am

I chose the gypsy at the altar. Because you can always trust a gypsy, so the line seems false in light of that truth. In earnest though, I never heard that song before and laughed at some of the lyrics. I wonder why he chose that one to cover.
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Gillibeanz
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Postby Gillibeanz » Sun Aug 15, 2004 5:09 am

Gyspy for me - eveyone knows you wouldnt invite them to the wedding - they might start selling pegs to the congregation in the middle of the ceremony!! :lol:
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laughingcrow
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Postby laughingcrow » Sun Aug 15, 2004 5:44 am

Because you can always trust a gypsy



When was the last time you trusted a gypsy?....one promised to tarmac my drive the other day, I gave him fifty quid and he made a right hash of it!



:D

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bambooneedle
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Postby bambooneedle » Sun Aug 15, 2004 10:50 am

Mr. Miz,

I'm not yet familiar with EC's performance of it (it's on its way), but are you very familiar with Springsteen's? There's a lot to be said for how much it conveys and how well in terms of context re: the character's haunted state of mind and how it meshes with the subject matter... the lines don't seem silly to me at all.

I always took "don't look too close into the palm of my hand'" to equal "don't have too many high expectations about what I may be able to provide", and can easily think of broader readings for the other lines. But this just seems a bit trivial.

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lapinsjolis
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Postby lapinsjolis » Sun Aug 15, 2004 11:15 am

I wouldn't say trivial-I thought it was funny. I'll take your word on Springsteen's delivery but I can't really think it would be much better for me anyway. It's just a matter of lyrical inclinations and the image of a gypsy at the altar.
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girl out of time
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Postby girl out of time » Mon Aug 16, 2004 3:29 pm

i totally agree with bambooneedle.......many songwriters out there would love to have half of springsteen´s skills when it comes to writing a song....
plus, the chosen sentences were taken out of the context of the song....when you read the whole lyrics you easily understand what springsteen is trying to say.....i think brilliant disguise is one of springsteen´s best songs ever!
...the promise of indulgence in my confidential voice approached inmortal danger but you´ll never know how close....

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Postby Pov » Mon Aug 16, 2004 4:31 pm

I'm abstaining from this vote because I think Brilliant Disguise is a great song that has a lot of meaning for people, like me, who have been in failed relationships and discovered that the person they thought they loved was really hiding his/her true self.

The "gypsy" is the priest, metaphorically. Swearing their "future was right" was the blessing of the marriage, the equivalent of a fortune teller looking into a crystal ball and predicting happiness that was not to be.

Mr. Misery
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Postby Mr. Misery » Tue Aug 17, 2004 5:07 am

The wonderful liner notes reveal that EC recorded 'Brilliant Disguise' as one of a series of songs he selected for George Jones, hoping he would broaden his musical horizons. But "George diplomatically failed to mention these recordings."

I (trivial, context altering, metaphor-missing Mr. Misery) intended this thread in a playful spirit, and to be amusing, but also with a serious point. I appreciate and am glad that the song has meaning and greatness for others, but to me the careless lyrics and images undermine the intended effect; and thus the pathos degenerate into bathos. As I acknowledged, Springsteen has many strengths as a songwriter but mastery of metaphor is not one of them. If indeed the gypsy is actually a priest in brilliant disguise this strikes me as a bad and insulting characterization. Saying that she/he "lied" implies that the couple's future was known but cruelly misrepresented. Or that the composer is loose and imprecise with language in this song. As a better songwriter wrote, there are no money back guarantees on future happiness.
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Postby Pov » Tue Aug 17, 2004 7:33 am

I didn't say the priest was in brilliant disguise. It's the bride and groom that are. Did the priest/gypsy intentionally lie? Maybe. Or maybe he, too, was fooled by their brilliant disguises.

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bambooneedle
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Postby bambooneedle » Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:59 am

There could well have been a gypsy, at a funpark he'd visited with his girlfriend or something. But it's pretty obvious that the gypsy itself doesn't matter - that only the things it symbolizes do: romance, his and his girlfriend's notions about their fate, etc... including the uncertainty that comes with them ("maybe the gypsy lied") - that's the entire extent of that metaphor and it doesn't pretend to exceed that. That the lines can conjure up those ideas in so few words means they're very effective, especially if you appreciate that it pertains to a specific type of character, one who is not equiped to confront what he is most articulately. If sharp and precise language and a breathtaking metaphor were used instead, the song wouldn't work or it would be a different song. Maybe you just don't like the aesthetic of it, is that it Mr. Miz?


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