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Author Topic: TSS - All things Child is father ......  (Read 32954 times)
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« Reply #50 on: January 27, 2013, 11:19:33 PM »

The intro bit (first 24 secs) feels tacked-on, I think it was put there so the very start of the song wouldn't be so similar to the very start of "Look" but it hurts the flow IMHO

The more I hear it, the more I agree with that. It's a cool little section, but doesn't jive at all with the sounds he was using for that track in '66. I've always started my "Child" mixes with the chorus - it starts the song off quickly and hooks you in right away!
Aw. I loved the intro.
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« Reply #51 on: January 04, 2014, 11:47:48 AM »

What's an 'acetate' please?
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« Reply #52 on: January 04, 2014, 01:31:14 PM »

What's an 'acetate' please?
Acetates are/were one off records cut from straight from the day/s recordings, so the artist/producers could listen to the days work on a record player at home.

They also wear out after a couple of listens as the material used was softer (cut from a lathe on-site, rather than pressed plastic from a plate in a plant).

Because they may contain work in progress, alternate mixes or unreleased material they can be collectible, and when known to exist but unheard, they are the source of myth and legend.

They may also be the only known existence of recorded material when a master or multi track tape has been destroyed, taped over or missing.



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« Reply #53 on: January 07, 2014, 10:33:27 AM »

What's an 'acetate' please?
Acetates are/were one off records cut from straight from the day/s recordings, so the artist/producers could listen to the days work on a record player at home.

They also wear out after a couple of listens as the material used was softer (cut from a lathe on-site, rather than pressed plastic from a plate in a plant).

Because they may contain work in progress, alternate mixes or unreleased material they can be collectible, and when known to exist but unheard, they are the source of myth and legend.

They may also be the only known existence of recorded material when a master or multi track tape has been destroyed, taped over or missing.





Hence the drop in sound quality on Child is Father... and several others tracks. Thanks for the info.
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« Reply #54 on: April 25, 2014, 08:36:28 AM »

The intro bit (first 24 secs) feels tacked-on, I think it was put there so the very start of the song wouldn't be so similar to the very start of "Look" but it hurts the flow IMHO

The more I hear it, the more I agree with that. It's a cool little section, but doesn't jive at all with the sounds he was using for that track in '66. I've always started my "Child" mixes with the chorus - it starts the song off quickly and hooks you in right away!
Aw. I loved the intro.

Has anybody tried putting those intro vocals over the quiet piano bit (the bit put at the end of CIFOTM in BWPS)? They need a bit of speed changing and chopping, but the effect (including the lumpy piano on the vocal track) works disturbingly well, making that piano bit spine tingling, and is of the right length. I would guess that something like this was originally intended.

Either way, I've put the piano section (with those vocals) at the beginning of the track, then chorus, then quiet guitar bit, then chorus 2, then that funny vibes bridge, then the shimmery strings fade out.
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« Reply #55 on: April 29, 2014, 12:24:07 AM »

The intro bit (first 24 secs) feels tacked-on, I think it was put there so the very start of the song wouldn't be so similar to the very start of "Look" but it hurts the flow IMHO
The more I hear it, the more I agree with that. It's a cool little section, but doesn't jive at all with the sounds he was using for that track in '66. I've always started my "Child" mixes with the chorus - it starts the song off quickly and hooks you in right away!
Aw. I loved the intro.

Has anybody tried putting those intro vocals over the quiet piano bit (the bit put at the end of CIFOTM in BWPS)? They need a bit of speed changing and chopping, but the effect (including the lumpy piano on the vocal track) works disturbingly well, making that piano bit spine tingling, and is of the right length. I would guess that something like this was originally intended.

Either way, I've put the piano section (with those vocals) at the beginning of the track, then chorus, then quiet guitar bit, then chorus 2, then that funny vibes bridge, then the shimmery strings fade out.

Krabklaw did something like that with his Smyle mix! Very good indeed and ..fits perfectly with that lonesome piano and trumpet..
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« Reply #56 on: August 01, 2014, 08:18:55 AM »

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Krabklaw did something like that with his Smyle mix! Very good indeed and ..fits perfectly with that lonesome piano and trumpet..

I had a quick listen to this. Thanks for putting me on to it. Personally, this mix has a bit of a 'Japanese wailing cat' quality in places due to overprocessing, but I like some of the ideas, especially for Look.

Either way, his mix of the vocals into CIFO/TTM is not really what I meant. Try this (my mix, if if works)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G04KsvkxBxo&feature=youtu.be
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« Reply #57 on: January 15, 2015, 01:48:45 AM »

CIFOTM is one of the highlights of disc 1 for me as well, even though the structure is pretty rough. But those additional harmonies at the end are just fucking brilliant!

I agree with all this. And I seriously cannot emphasize enough how much I hate the structure on TSS 1 as well.

Blown away...this song, along with Worms, is one of those numbers I never really had much interest in, but Mark and Alan really filled out Child, made it more layered and, really, more of a 'song' as opposed to just an intro to Surf's Up. Love the new vocal line, splicing together the different versions, really might possibly win 'most improved' for me!

CIFOTM has always been sold short, in my opinion. I agree, it's always treated as just an intro to Surf's Up and nothing more when the original song is so haunting and powerful in its unfinished state, and IMHO had the potential to be just as good as Cabin Essence. I blame the new coda from Surf's Up in '71. Ironic how an attempt to save this song from unheard obscurity has since retroactively ruined how its presented in most fanmixes and releases since.

The intro bit (first 24 secs) feels tacked-on, I think it was put there so the very start of the song wouldn't be so similar to the very start of "Look" but it hurts the flow IMHO

I agree, another terrible (or at the very least, questionable) decision regarding Disc 1. I hate it. No way in hell would Brian have done it that way.

Love to know what a completed version would have sounded like in 1967.

There's obviously a lot of lyrics missing, and perhaps another melody, which will never be heard.

It's definitely a heartbreaking mystery. I'd love to see how VDP could spin some yarns around such an interesting concept. I always interpret the phrase CIFOTM to be a statement on the fact that your childhood influences what kind of man/woman you grow up to become. The child raises/influences/is father to the man. I think this song fits so well with Wonderful for that same reason, that and the similar instrumentation of course.

It's nice to have an "official version" of "Child Is Father Of The Man", but I think it could have been done more interestingly.  I hammered together a version on my sound forge several years ago that is still my favorite.  There are so many nice little pieces in the "Child" sessions, and several of my favorites are missing from the finished version on the new set.

There is not and should never be an official CIFOTM. It's unfinished, and not like every other SMiLE song. Its entire structure is different in every fanmix/bootleg and official release its on. And unlike the other song that applies to, Brian never released it at the time so we have nothing even close to go by. The test edit would be our best bet...unfortunately the powers that be deemed that not important enough to include. Outrageous. And I agree, the sessions for it were completely shafted in the boxset too. So many pieces of this song in particular I was sure would be on there...but alas.


Seriously, if the SMiLE songs were children, CIFOTM would be the neglected abused runt of the litter that has so much hidden potential that no one bothers to see. Why, oh why, is it so underrepresented on this boxset? Why wasnt the test edit or full acetate included? Why did they, yet again, treat it like just an intro to Surf's Up? Should Worms be made just an intro to Heroes too? I dont think so. Ridiculous. It's my favorite SMiLE song, but I feel like I'm the only person who respects it on its own terms. If ever human life was captured in music, it's here. That bass is a beautiful sound of a heartbeating. The horn is obviously the baby crying. The guitar is the sound of the years trudging along...

I prefer a structure that starts off with that piano segment, then chorus, then verse, then new chorus, then Veggies-session chorus, then bridge, and the part I'd like to use for a fade was inexplicably left off the boxset, so I have to improvise new endings each time.
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Here are my SMiLE Mixes. All are 2 suite, but still vastly different in several ways. Be on the lookout for another, someday.

Aquarian SMiLE>HERE
Dumb Angel (Olorin Edition)>HERE
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& This is a new pet project Ive worked on, which combines Fritz Lang's classic film, Metropolis (1927) with The United States of America (1968) as a new soundtrack. More info is in the video description.
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« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2015, 09:09:14 PM »

Hi all,  I am hoping to find out more information about the version of Child is Father of the Man in this SMiLE edit:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5TyjGkyz30 

In particular, Child Is the Father of the Man ( starting at 16:50 in the video)has a fan-written vocal here on the verse which is pretty interesting. Check it out! I am having a hard time finding more about this mix aside from what is in the description on YouTube...the uploader has credited the new lyrics and melody to a guy named 'Chris' (no last name) who may be associated with the 'Project Smile'  CD Rom that was circulated some time after the 2004 SMiLE came out...I am curious to hear what other think about this verse lyric and melody, or if anyone knows more about the person who wrote it.  Forgive me if this has already been discussed on this site, or if I should have posted under a different thread. I am new around here.  Thanks!
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« Reply #59 on: February 01, 2015, 09:18:59 PM »

Hi all,  I am hoping to find out more information about the version of Child is Father of the Man in this SMiLE edit:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5TyjGkyz30 

In particular, Child Is the Father of the Man ( starting at 16:50 in the video)has a fan-written vocal here on the verse which is pretty interesting. Check it out! I am having a hard time finding more about this mix aside from what is in the description on YouTube...the uploader has credited the new lyrics and melody to a guy named 'Chris' (no last name) who may be associated with the 'Project Smile'  CD Rom that was circulated some time after the 2004 SMiLE came out...I am curious to hear what other think about this verse lyric and melody, or if anyone knows more about the person who wrote it.  Forgive me if this has already been discussed on this site, or if I should have posted under a different thread. I am new around here.  Thanks!

Thanks for sharing that! I've *NEVER* heard those lyrics before, but they work, man. Absolutely wonderful!

I want an answer too. Who recorded these, how did they know? Are they vintage lyrics? Either way, they blow the new ones done for 2003 outta the water. I love the voice imitating a baby over the piano part. I could see Brian doing that in '66. It fits with the "doing" vocals in Cabin Essence and yodeling in Wonderful that matches the trumpet part. That idea of using the voice to imitate an instrument. I absolutely love that.

I NEED to know if this is vintage Brian!
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Here are my SMiLE Mixes. All are 2 suite, but still vastly different in several ways. Be on the lookout for another, someday.

Aquarian SMiLE>HERE
Dumb Angel (Olorin Edition)>HERE
Dumb Angel [the Romestamo Cut]>HERE

& This is a new pet project Ive worked on, which combines Fritz Lang's classic film, Metropolis (1927) with The United States of America (1968) as a new soundtrack. More info is in the video description.
The American Metropolitan Circus>HERE
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« Reply #60 on: June 04, 2015, 06:55:15 PM »

Quote
I want an answer too. Who recorded these, how did they know? Are they vintage lyrics? Either way, they blow the new ones done for 2003 outta the water. I love the voice imitating a baby over the piano part. I could see Brian doing that in '66. It fits with the "doing" vocals in Cabin Essence and yodeling in Wonderful that matches the trumpet part. That idea of using the voice to imitate an instrument. I absolutely love that.

I NEED to know if this is vintage Brian!

Hi there - I remember this when it was first circulated on Project Smile, and discussed in the early version of the Smile Shop boards. No, these aren't vintage lyrics.

(Nor, as stated on the youtube description, are they "improvised"- Chris deliberately wrote new lyrics he felt captured the spirit of the music and reflected the themes of the Wordsworth poem in which the title phrase originates.)
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« Reply #61 on: June 24, 2015, 11:28:26 PM »

Quote
I want an answer too. Who recorded these, how did they know? Are they vintage lyrics? Either way, they blow the new ones done for 2003 outta the water. I love the voice imitating a baby over the piano part. I could see Brian doing that in '66. It fits with the "doing" vocals in Cabin Essence and yodeling in Wonderful that matches the trumpet part. That idea of using the voice to imitate an instrument. I absolutely love that.

I NEED to know if this is vintage Brian!

Hi there - I remember this when it was first circulated on Project Smile, and discussed in the early version of the Smile Shop boards. No, these aren't vintage lyrics.

(Nor, as stated on the youtube description, are they "improvised"- Chris deliberately wrote new lyrics he felt captured the spirit of the music and reflected the themes of the Wordsworth poem in which the title phrase originates.)

I had a feeling that was the case. Ah well. They're still far better than what VDP came up with in 2003.

Personally, I like to think the lyrics in '67 would have described significant experiences someone had in their childhood and how that affected them later in life. Thatd really tie into the chorus/title and what those words mean. Child is Father of the Man. The child, what happens to him, affects what kind of man he becomes. In a sense, the child raises the man, as a father world. I LOVE that concept so much, taking what's expected and flipping it. Very psychedelic.
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Here are my SMiLE Mixes. All are 2 suite, but still vastly different in several ways. Be on the lookout for another, someday.

Aquarian SMiLE>HERE
Dumb Angel (Olorin Edition)>HERE
Dumb Angel [the Romestamo Cut]>HERE

& This is a new pet project Ive worked on, which combines Fritz Lang's classic film, Metropolis (1927) with The United States of America (1968) as a new soundtrack. More info is in the video description.
The American Metropolitan Circus>HERE
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« Reply #62 on: July 08, 2015, 07:14:32 AM »

I still think it is a bit odd that the album features a song with this title. After all, the title is a nod to a Wordsworth poem. The rest of the album though seems to place itself within the bounds of Americana. And when you consider Van Dyke Parks's own anxieties about transcontinentalism - in particular when it came to the Brits - it seems very strange for the Wilson/Parks team to borrow from English Romanticism. In one interview Lou Reed essentially states that the English should not make rock and roll music. I think both Reed and, from what I've seen of Parks's comments about British bands influenced by American blues, Parks too, have a problem with cultural appropriation (though how any of this speaks to Parks's use of the South American calypso genre is anyone's guess and maybe Parks is just full of contradictions).

The greatest point though is just how strange it is that we have no original lyrics for this song apart from the chorus. Has there ever been any recollections by anyone anywhere to suggest that anyone ever saw or heard of a lyric to accompany this song? Is it possible that they were just never written?
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« Reply #63 on: July 11, 2015, 01:12:17 PM »

[quote author=Chocolate Shake Man link=topic=11413.msg528335#msg528335 date=1436364872

The greatest point though is just how strange it is that we have no original lyrics for this song apart from the chorus. Has there ever been any recollections by anyone anywhere to suggest that anyone ever saw or heard of a lyric to accompany this song? Is it possible that they were just never written?
[/quote]

For whatever reason, and this is just my personal opinion with really no hardcore evidence, I always felt that this really felt out of place on the album.  As you said, the album seemed to be about Americana for the most part. I guess the album would've been Americana theme/2 songs (Wonderful and Child...) that deal with innocence and/or growing up, and some songs about The Elements. As incredible as that may seem now, I can see where a record company would go 'WTF is this?'.

As far as anyone knowing anything about it, a few years back I sort of just decided that the rest of the band had no idea how much of the album was done, or what any of the lyrics were, right up to the point of recording the vocals. If you read anything that they ever said about it (circa 1966) the only answers that they seemed to give were somewhat vague; I think that we, the obsessives, knew more about it than they did. I think they had a better idea a few years later when they were trying to get it together without Brian's help, but by that point not even Brian knew anymore.
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« Reply #64 on: July 23, 2015, 09:10:01 PM »

I still think it is a bit odd that the album features a song with this title. After all, the title is a nod to a Wordsworth poem. The rest of the album though seems to place itself within the bounds of Americana. And when you consider Van Dyke Parks's own anxieties about transcontinentalism - in particular when it came to the Brits - it seems very strange for the Wilson/Parks team to borrow from English Romanticism. In one interview Lou Reed essentially states that the English should not make rock and roll music. I think both Reed and, from what I've seen of Parks's comments about British bands influenced by American blues, Parks too, have a problem with cultural appropriation (though how any of this speaks to Parks's use of the South American calypso genre is anyone's guess and maybe Parks is just full of contradictions).

The greatest point though is just how strange it is that we have no original lyrics for this song apart from the chorus. Has there ever been any recollections by anyone anywhere to suggest that anyone ever saw or heard of a lyric to accompany this song? Is it possible that they were just never written?

Use your imagination. What if "Child is Father of the Man" is a direct reference to Americana ascending to Super Power status just as England fell into decline? The student had surpassed the master. And truly, doesnt everything America trace back to Britain if you really think about it?

I also think it's strange about the missing lyrics. How is it that they just disappeared? How could VDP put out those lackluster, irrelevant, unimaginative lyrics in 2003? He really couldnt think of anything better, or anything he may have written (or meant to write) in '66?



The greatest point though is just how strange it is that we have no original lyrics for this song apart from the chorus. Has there ever been any recollections by anyone anywhere to suggest that anyone ever saw or heard of a lyric to accompany this song? Is it possible that they were just never written?

For whatever reason, and this is just my personal opinion with really no hardcore evidence, I always felt that this really felt out of place on the album.  As you said, the album seemed to be about Americana for the most part. I guess the album would've been Americana theme/2 songs (Wonderful and Child...) that deal with innocence and/or growing up, and some songs about The Elements. As incredible as that may seem now, I can see where a record company would go 'WTF is this?'.

As far as anyone knowing anything about it, a few years back I sort of just decided that the rest of the band had no idea how much of the album was done, or what any of the lyrics were, right up to the point of recording the vocals. If you read anything that they ever said about it (circa 1966) the only answers that they seemed to give were somewhat vague; I think that we, the obsessives, knew more about it than they did. I think they had a better idea a few years later when they were trying to get it together without Brian's help, but by that point not even Brian knew anymore.

Tell me, how does GV or Wind Chimes have anything to do with Americana? While I think Elements and Veggies fit with Americana personally, there's a solid argument that those dont fit either. I dont think it's fair to single CIFOTM out for that. I personally divide the album into an Americana side (Worms/Heroes/Cabin/Elements/Veggies) and a Life side (GV/WindChimes/Wonderful/CIFOTM/Sunshine/Surf's Up) but you could argue Wonderful, CIFOTM and Surf tie into the Americana theme too if you look into them a certain way. Wonderful is about an innocent girl who gets hurt by an unbelieving boy but ultimately gets over it with the help of her mother and father. Could it be that this is an analogy to America being savaged by the Europeans and rising to spiritual prominence again by getting in touch with its noble Native roots? Surf's Up is about society breaking down but finding hope for the future through children's innocence. You could interpret this as Brian seeing that the traditional institutions, roles and values of our nation arent working, but theres hope for the future by preserving the innocence and open-mindedness of the future generations to find a better way. CIFOTM could be read as a hope that America rises above the failures of European cultures that founded it and subsequently serve as an example to them. That we discover a new, better society with healthier institutions and more spiritual, honest worldview. Personally, in the Life/Innocence context, I see it as the bridge between Wonderful and Surf's Up. It adds to the tragedy of Wonderful, in that this bad experience will influence the person the girl grows into. It adds an air of responsibility to Surfs Up, in that we cant just sit on our hands and hope our kids sort sh*t out in the future, we have to raise them right so they grow into intelligent, responsible men. To say it doesnt belong on SMiLE is, to be blunt, completely absurd. The instrumentation (piano and horns) fits perfectly with Wonderful, Surf's Up and Wind Chimes. The themes tie into those songs well, and tentatively to the Americana songs as I theorized above. It fits with this album as well as it possibly could any other one.

I agree that we probably know more about this album than any non-Brian Beach Boy does. I dont think they care even half as much as we do either. To (most of) us, this is a great lost work of art. To them, this is a failed album that Brian scrapped and probably wouldnt have worked live or with the old fans anyway. They probably think a lot more highly of the old stuff, and remember a lot more from those days, than this. I also agree that Brian probably doesnt even know the original plan anymore. I do think there was one though; the themes and instrumentation of certain songs match up too perfectly for me to believe there wasnt a two-suite format in the works, and Brian did say that that was his initial idea. But beyond that general outline I dont think he had anything really set in stone, and I think with BWPS in 2003 he was more rediscovering the material rather than digging out some long lost blueprint. If he knows anymore about his thought-process in 66 he isnt saying anything. If he had any earth-shattering revelations theyd be revealed in 2003/4 or '11. Maybe we'll get some new info in his biography but I doubt it.
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Here are my SMiLE Mixes. All are 2 suite, but still vastly different in several ways. Be on the lookout for another, someday.

Aquarian SMiLE>HERE
Dumb Angel (Olorin Edition)>HERE
Dumb Angel [the Romestamo Cut]>HERE

& This is a new pet project Ive worked on, which combines Fritz Lang's classic film, Metropolis (1927) with The United States of America (1968) as a new soundtrack. More info is in the video description.
The American Metropolitan Circus>HERE
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« Reply #65 on: July 24, 2015, 08:10:10 AM »

I still think it is a bit odd that the album features a song with this title. After all, the title is a nod to a Wordsworth poem. The rest of the album though seems to place itself within the bounds of Americana. And when you consider Van Dyke Parks's own anxieties about transcontinentalism - in particular when it came to the Brits - it seems very strange for the Wilson/Parks team to borrow from English Romanticism. In one interview Lou Reed essentially states that the English should not make rock and roll music. I think both Reed and, from what I've seen of Parks's comments about British bands influenced by American blues, Parks too, have a problem with cultural appropriation (though how any of this speaks to Parks's use of the South American calypso genre is anyone's guess and maybe Parks is just full of contradictions).

The greatest point though is just how strange it is that we have no original lyrics for this song apart from the chorus. Has there ever been any recollections by anyone anywhere to suggest that anyone ever saw or heard of a lyric to accompany this song? Is it possible that they were just never written?

Use your imagination. What if "Child is Father of the Man" is a direct reference to Americana ascending to Super Power status just as England fell into decline? The student had surpassed the master.

Maybe -- but I'm not particularly interested in being speculative about it. I just think it's fascinating given Van Dyke's comments about cultural appropriation and transcontinentalism that he should use a Wordsworth poem as a song title.

 
Quote
And truly, doesnt everything America trace back to Britain if you really think about it?

Not at all. There is a huge indigenous population, an enormous population that existed at the inception of the US that could be traced back to Africa, there are many cultures that could be traced back to Spain. And furthermore, if you reject colonialism as Parks appears to, you definitely reject the premise that everything in America can be traced back to Britain.
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« Reply #66 on: July 24, 2015, 08:23:06 AM »

I still think it is a bit odd that the album features a song with this title. After all, the title is a nod to a Wordsworth poem. The rest of the album though seems to place itself within the bounds of Americana. And when you consider Van Dyke Parks's own anxieties about transcontinentalism - in particular when it came to the Brits - it seems very strange for the Wilson/Parks team to borrow from English Romanticism. In one interview Lou Reed essentially states that the English should not make rock and roll music. I think both Reed and, from what I've seen of Parks's comments about British bands influenced by American blues, Parks too, have a problem with cultural appropriation (though how any of this speaks to Parks's use of the South American calypso genre is anyone's guess and maybe Parks is just full of contradictions).

The greatest point though is just how strange it is that we have no original lyrics for this song apart from the chorus. Has there ever been any recollections by anyone anywhere to suggest that anyone ever saw or heard of a lyric to accompany this song? Is it possible that they were just never written?

Use your imagination. What if "Child is Father of the Man" is a direct reference to Americana ascending to Super Power status just as England fell into decline? The student had surpassed the master.

Maybe -- but I'm not particularly interested in being speculative about it. I just think it's fascinating given Van Dyke's comments about cultural appropriation and transcontinentalism that he should use a Wordsworth poem as a song title.

 
Quote
And truly, doesnt everything America trace back to Britain if you really think about it?

Not at all. There is a huge indigenous population, an enormous population that existed at the inception of the US that could be traced back to Africa, there are many cultures that could be traced back to Spain. And furthermore, if you reject colonialism as Parks appears to, you definitely reject the premise that everything in America can be traced back to Britain.
Sub-Saharan Africans were brought here against their will, starting in the 16th century. They are not indigenous people of the Americas.
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« Reply #67 on: July 24, 2015, 09:30:46 AM »

I still think it is a bit odd that the album features a song with this title. After all, the title is a nod to a Wordsworth poem. The rest of the album though seems to place itself within the bounds of Americana. And when you consider Van Dyke Parks's own anxieties about transcontinentalism - in particular when it came to the Brits - it seems very strange for the Wilson/Parks team to borrow from English Romanticism. In one interview Lou Reed essentially states that the English should not make rock and roll music. I think both Reed and, from what I've seen of Parks's comments about British bands influenced by American blues, Parks too, have a problem with cultural appropriation (though how any of this speaks to Parks's use of the South American calypso genre is anyone's guess and maybe Parks is just full of contradictions).

The greatest point though is just how strange it is that we have no original lyrics for this song apart from the chorus. Has there ever been any recollections by anyone anywhere to suggest that anyone ever saw or heard of a lyric to accompany this song? Is it possible that they were just never written?

Use your imagination. What if "Child is Father of the Man" is a direct reference to Americana ascending to Super Power status just as England fell into decline? The student had surpassed the master.

Maybe -- but I'm not particularly interested in being speculative about it. I just think it's fascinating given Van Dyke's comments about cultural appropriation and transcontinentalism that he should use a Wordsworth poem as a song title.

 
Quote
And truly, doesnt everything America trace back to Britain if you really think about it?

Not at all. There is a huge indigenous population, an enormous population that existed at the inception of the US that could be traced back to Africa, there are many cultures that could be traced back to Spain. And furthermore, if you reject colonialism as Parks appears to, you definitely reject the premise that everything in America can be traced back to Britain.

The whole point of high art is that it invites speculation and means something different to everyone. For something as intentionally vague as Parks' lyrics, the possibilities are magnified ten fold. I just think thats the whole point of something like SMiLE.

According to the Wiki article, the title was Brian's idea. He thought it was a fascinating turn of phrase that had many possibilities. Personally, I never thought of it this way, but it could be incredibly significant that the title is British. Like I said earlier, it could be an allusion to America's rise to world power just as the British Empire crumbled. Or our potential to look to our indigenous roots and formulate a better spiritual/cultural backbone than our European ancestors left us.

Ok, ok, I exagerrated saying everything traces back to England. But you get what I mean. As much as I, and apparently Brian, had respect for the Native customs and way of life, how much indigenous customs *really* transitioned into the White lifestyle? Not too many, Id reckon. I guess you could say the Iroquois Confederation influenced our political makeup, but I'd say the founders looked to the Roman Republic even more so for that, and the confederated nature of States vs Federal government emerged more out of necessity. You cant take these various domains that were very different and accustomed to self-governance and merge them into one indistinguishable entity. And after the Articles of Confederation we learned that you need a strong federal government to get anything done. Anyway, yes theres a big Spanish influence, especially out west, but for the most part our cultural heritage is an offshoot of Britain.
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Here are my SMiLE Mixes. All are 2 suite, but still vastly different in several ways. Be on the lookout for another, someday.

Aquarian SMiLE>HERE
Dumb Angel (Olorin Edition)>HERE
Dumb Angel [the Romestamo Cut]>HERE

& This is a new pet project Ive worked on, which combines Fritz Lang's classic film, Metropolis (1927) with The United States of America (1968) as a new soundtrack. More info is in the video description.
The American Metropolitan Circus>HERE
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« Reply #68 on: July 24, 2015, 09:46:59 AM »

I still think it is a bit odd that the album features a song with this title. After all, the title is a nod to a Wordsworth poem. The rest of the album though seems to place itself within the bounds of Americana. And when you consider Van Dyke Parks's own anxieties about transcontinentalism - in particular when it came to the Brits - it seems very strange for the Wilson/Parks team to borrow from English Romanticism. In one interview Lou Reed essentially states that the English should not make rock and roll music. I think both Reed and, from what I've seen of Parks's comments about British bands influenced by American blues, Parks too, have a problem with cultural appropriation (though how any of this speaks to Parks's use of the South American calypso genre is anyone's guess and maybe Parks is just full of contradictions).

The greatest point though is just how strange it is that we have no original lyrics for this song apart from the chorus. Has there ever been any recollections by anyone anywhere to suggest that anyone ever saw or heard of a lyric to accompany this song? Is it possible that they were just never written?

Use your imagination. What if "Child is Father of the Man" is a direct reference to Americana ascending to Super Power status just as England fell into decline? The student had surpassed the master.

Maybe -- but I'm not particularly interested in being speculative about it. I just think it's fascinating given Van Dyke's comments about cultural appropriation and transcontinentalism that he should use a Wordsworth poem as a song title.

 
Quote
And truly, doesnt everything America trace back to Britain if you really think about it?

Not at all. There is a huge indigenous population, an enormous population that existed at the inception of the US that could be traced back to Africa, there are many cultures that could be traced back to Spain. And furthermore, if you reject colonialism as Parks appears to, you definitely reject the premise that everything in America can be traced back to Britain.

The whole point of high art is that it invites speculation and means something different to everyone. For something as intentionally vague as Parks' lyrics, the possibilities are magnified ten fold. I just think thats the whole point of something like SMiLE.

According to the Wiki article, the title was Brian's idea. He thought it was a fascinating turn of phrase that had many possibilities. Personally, I never thought of it this way, but it could be incredibly significant that the title is British. Like I said earlier, it could be an allusion to America's rise to world power just as the British Empire crumbled. Or our potential to look to our indigenous roots and formulate a better spiritual/cultural backbone than our European ancestors left us.

Ok, ok, I exagerrated saying everything traces back to England. But you get what I mean. As much as I, and apparently Brian, had respect for the Native customs and way of life, how much indigenous customs *really* transitioned into the White lifestyle? Not too many, Id reckon. I guess you could say the Iroquois Confederation influenced our political makeup, but I'd say the founders looked to the Roman Republic even more so for that, and the confederated nature of States vs Federal government emerged more out of necessity. You cant take these various domains that were very different and accustomed to self-governance and merge them into one indistinguishable entity. And after the Articles of Confederation we learned that you need a strong federal government to get anything done. Anyway, yes theres a big Spanish influence, especially out west, but for the most part our cultural heritage is an offshoot of Britain.
That is not true. The Germans greatly influenced our culture, as  well. And where is 'out West, exactly?' Florida, Louisiana, Texas?
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« Reply #69 on: July 24, 2015, 09:52:49 AM »

The whole point of high art is that it invites speculation and means something different to everyone.

Anything -- not just high art -- invites speculation. If I were thinking academically and thinking of works in a scholarly sense (and, as an academic, I do this often), I would try and stay away from speculation. To treat something as an object of scholarly study means to avoid speculating as much as possible. This is not to say that speculation isn't fun - it has its place in casual conversation and message boards like these. I'm not opposed to it -- I'm just not particularly interested in speculating about this issue because I don't think it would get me anywhere and, to be honest, I think it forecloses a far more interesting discussion as speculation almost always tends to do.

Quote
For something as intentionally vague as Parks' lyrics, the possibilities are magnified ten fold. I just think thats the whole point of something like SMiLE.

No, SMiLE definitely rises above an appeal to speculation. I would argue that Parks's lyrics definitely do demand interpretation and analysis, which again, is a far more meaningful enterprise than merely speculating.

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Ok, ok, I exagerrated saying everything traces back to England. But you get what I mean. As much as I, and apparently Brian, had respect for the Native customs and way of life, how much indigenous customs *really* transitioned into the White lifestyle? Not too many, Id reckon.

Probably not but we were talking about America not "White lifestyle." There's an extremely long and significant cultural history in America long before a white person ever set foot on it.
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« Reply #70 on: July 24, 2015, 10:04:46 AM »

The whole point of high art is that it invites speculation and means something different to everyone.

Anything -- not just high art -- invites speculation. If I were thinking academically and thinking of works in a scholarly sense (and, as an academic, I do this often), I would try and stay away from speculation. To treat something as an object of scholarly study means to avoid speculating as much as possible. This is not to say that speculation isn't fun - it has it's place in casual conversation and message boards like these. I'm not opposed to it -- I'm just not particularly interested in speculating about this issue because I don't think it would get me anywhere and, to be honest, I think it forecloses a far more interesting discussion as speculation almost always tends to do.

Quote
For something as intentionally vague as Parks' lyrics, the possibilities are magnified ten fold. I just think thats the whole point of something like SMiLE.

No, SMiLE definitely rises above an appeal to speculation. I would argue that Parks's lyrics definitely do demand interpretation and analysis, which again, is a far more meaningful enterprise than merely speculating.

Quote
Ok, ok, I exagerrated saying everything traces back to England. But you get what I mean. As much as I, and apparently Brian, had respect for the Native customs and way of life, how much indigenous customs *really* transitioned into the White lifestyle? Not too many, Id reckon.

Probably not but we were talking about America not "White lifestyle." There's an extremely long and significant cultural history in America long before a white person ever set foot on it.

I feel like you're splitting hairs and arguing petty semantics on the whole speculation thing. I see that as a synonym for analysis. And with missing lyrics, theres not much in-depth analysis to do...hence "lighter" speculation based off the topic and title of the song. I always assumed CIFOTM would be with Wonderful, Wind Chimes and Surfs Up because of the identical instrumentation of all the songs. The whole Child thing immediately works into Wonderful and Surf's Up's lyrical content as well. The Americana interpretation isnt provable obviously, but I was just throwing it out there to illustrate that it could have been a part of that theme, since someone was saying CIFOTM didnt belong on the album because it wasnt American-themed.

Yes, I get that the NAtive Americans had their own history and heritage. Im not downplaying that but the America we all live in today, and that Brian grew up in and would be addressing with this album is not Native America. Unfortunately, the Europeans had little regard for the lifestyle and worldview of the "savages" they conquered, so very little of their culture survived into our society. Brian and VDP definitely made the point that this was a crime in Worms and arguably Cabin Essence as well, but they were still far more familiar with White/English American culture and again, would be directing their album to that audience. That being said, I do think one of the themes of the album is that this was a great tragedy and we ought to explore Native culture more and adapt some of the better ideas from it into our everday lifestyles.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 10:07:24 AM by Mujan, B@st@rd Son of a Blue Wizard » Logged

Here are my SMiLE Mixes. All are 2 suite, but still vastly different in several ways. Be on the lookout for another, someday.

Aquarian SMiLE>HERE
Dumb Angel (Olorin Edition)>HERE
Dumb Angel [the Romestamo Cut]>HERE

& This is a new pet project Ive worked on, which combines Fritz Lang's classic film, Metropolis (1927) with The United States of America (1968) as a new soundtrack. More info is in the video description.
The American Metropolitan Circus>HERE
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« Reply #71 on: July 24, 2015, 12:47:02 PM »

I feel like you're splitting hairs and arguing petty semantics on the whole speculation thing. I see that as a synonym for analysis.

Seeing speculation as a synonym for analysis is to dramatically misunderstand what analysis is. They are two extremely different concepts and therefore I'm not arguing semantics. If, in my work as a scholar, I made speculative claims, I wouldn't last in the job longer than a month. What I am meant to do is analysis. Interpretation is a different concept as well, incidentally. One makes an analysis based on their interpretation. I can't fault you too much though - it's a common misconception. Nevertheless, speculation simply isn't a serious level of inquiry and to be honest, not too much "high art" really makes an appeal for speculation. I'd say a good example of something that does make such an appeal would be the television show Lost, where audience members were asked from week to week to try and guess what the mystery was. A mystery novel does the same thing until it ends. Now that doesn't make these cultural objects bad. Lost was entertainment of very high calibre, in my opinion, but it was hardly high art.

Quote
And with missing lyrics, theres not much in-depth analysis to do...hence "lighter" speculation based off the topic and title of the song.

But I wasn't speculating about what the song title meant, I was noting the apparent contradiction between the author's own point of view and the title of the song (ie. interpretation).

Quote
I always assumed CIFOTM would be with Wonderful, Wind Chimes and Surfs Up because of the identical instrumentation of all the songs. The whole Child thing immediately works into Wonderful and Surf's Up's lyrical content as well. The Americana interpretation isnt provable obviously, but I was just throwing it out there to illustrate that it could have been a part of that theme, since someone was saying CIFOTM didnt belong on the album because it wasnt American-themed.

I agree with you on that point.

Quote
Yes, I get that the NAtive Americans had their own history and heritage. Im not downplaying that but the America we all live in today, and that Brian grew up in and would be addressing with this album is not Native America. Unfortunately, the Europeans had little regard for the lifestyle and worldview of the "savages" they conquered, so very little of their culture survived into our society. Brian and VDP definitely made the point that this was a crime in Worms and arguably Cabin Essence as well, but they were still far more familiar with White/English American culture and again, would be directing their album to that audience. That being said, I do think one of the themes of the album is that this was a great tragedy and we ought to explore Native culture more and adapt some of the better ideas from it into our everday lifestyles.

As you note here, Wilson and Parks were very much interested in covering aspects of America beyond just the white settler communities -- throughout Smile, we catch glimpses of Spanish Americans, indigenous Americans, Hawaiian speech, Asian Americans, etc. So regardless of your point about Europeans and their regard for the lifestyle of others, and regardless of who Smile's audience was, Wilson and Parks were quite simply not solely interested in portraying an America as a white European nation. If anything, they wanted to portray the exact opposite of that and consequently, your point that "everything America traces back to Britain" not only does not hold true as a general statement, it also doesn't hold true in a discussion about this album either.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 12:48:55 PM by Chocolate Shake Man » Logged
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« Reply #72 on: July 24, 2015, 01:56:27 PM »

I feel like you're splitting hairs and arguing petty semantics on the whole speculation thing. I see that as a synonym for analysis.

Seeing speculation as a synonym for analysis is to dramatically misunderstand what analysis is. They are two extremely different concepts and therefore I'm not arguing semantics. If, in my work as a scholar, I made speculative claims, I wouldn't last in the job longer than a month. What I am meant to do is analysis. Interpretation is a different concept as well, incidentally. One makes an analysis based on their interpretation. I can't fault you too much though - it's a common misconception. Nevertheless, speculation simply isn't a serious level of inquiry and to be honest, not too much "high art" really makes an appeal for speculation. I'd say a good example of something that does make such an appeal would be the television show Lost, where audience members were asked from week to week to try and guess what the mystery was. A mystery novel does the same thing until it ends. Now that doesn't make these cultural objects bad. Lost was entertainment of very high calibre, in my opinion, but it was hardly high art.

Quote
And with missing lyrics, theres not much in-depth analysis to do...hence "lighter" speculation based off the topic and title of the song.

But I wasn't speculating about what the song title meant, I was noting the apparent contradiction between the author's own point of view and the title of the song (ie. interpretation).

Quote
I always assumed CIFOTM would be with Wonderful, Wind Chimes and Surfs Up because of the identical instrumentation of all the songs. The whole Child thing immediately works into Wonderful and Surf's Up's lyrical content as well. The Americana interpretation isnt provable obviously, but I was just throwing it out there to illustrate that it could have been a part of that theme, since someone was saying CIFOTM didnt belong on the album because it wasnt American-themed.

I agree with you on that point.

Quote
Yes, I get that the NAtive Americans had their own history and heritage. Im not downplaying that but the America we all live in today, and that Brian grew up in and would be addressing with this album is not Native America. Unfortunately, the Europeans had little regard for the lifestyle and worldview of the "savages" they conquered, so very little of their culture survived into our society. Brian and VDP definitely made the point that this was a crime in Worms and arguably Cabin Essence as well, but they were still far more familiar with White/English American culture and again, would be directing their album to that audience. That being said, I do think one of the themes of the album is that this was a great tragedy and we ought to explore Native culture more and adapt some of the better ideas from it into our everday lifestyles.

As you note here, Wilson and Parks were very much interested in covering aspects of America beyond just the white settler communities -- throughout Smile, we catch glimpses of Spanish Americans, indigenous Americans, Hawaiian speech, Asian Americans, etc. So regardless of your point about Europeans and their regard for the lifestyle of others, and regardless of who Smile's audience was, Wilson and Parks were quite simply not solely interested in portraying an America as a white European nation. If anything, they wanted to portray the exact opposite of that and consequently, your point that "everything America traces back to Britain" not only does not hold true as a general statement, it also doesn't hold true in a discussion about this album either.

Point taken on the speculation vs analysis point. I guess where I get confused is with something like SMiLE where (Id argue) the two become somewhat interchangeable due to its unfinished state. I guess my initial issue with you saying you dont want to speculate is because any analysis of SMiLE is in some way dependent on speculation.

And I was originally trying to illustrate that it wasnt necessarily a contradiction to quote a British poet for a song title because it could still ultimately be about America. To me, bringing up the fact that the author is British as a point of interest but then refusing to speculate on why that may be is only going halfway. Like saying "gee, Hitchcock uses a lot of green in Vertigo" but then not bothering to put forth a reason why that may be. I've been very open about the fact that my theory could very well be wrong. And if nothing else, well...maybe *this* would be Brian's take on an "English America" after all? In any case, I think Mr. Verlander is wrong to say it feels out of place on the album and isnt "American enough" for SMiLE. Without full lyrics we just dont know, and knowing VDP *whatever* lyrics there were would be able to be interpreted in such a way that you could make a connection to America.

Im not trying to argue about whether or not the collaborators were referencing other subcultures in America or not. I just meant a good percentage of American culture/identity traces back to Britain, so to argue something doesnt belong for being "too British/not American enough" is silly. Again, yes, there are other elements at play that shaped our cultural heritage but it's mostly white/european/english. To argue that theres all these references to other peoples here but then deny any British references should exist on the album is ALSO a misunderstanding of the album. But anyway, I wasnt trying to say there wasnt references to other groups in SMiLE.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 02:04:37 PM by Mujan, B@st@rd Son of a Blue Wizard » Logged

Here are my SMiLE Mixes. All are 2 suite, but still vastly different in several ways. Be on the lookout for another, someday.

Aquarian SMiLE>HERE
Dumb Angel (Olorin Edition)>HERE
Dumb Angel [the Romestamo Cut]>HERE

& This is a new pet project Ive worked on, which combines Fritz Lang's classic film, Metropolis (1927) with The United States of America (1968) as a new soundtrack. More info is in the video description.
The American Metropolitan Circus>HERE
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« Reply #73 on: July 24, 2015, 07:01:11 PM »

I find this conversation engaging and I hope you don't mind if I continue pursuing it a bit more. I don't respond out of anger -- I just find the topic to be interesting but I understand if you are uninterested in pursuing it further.

Point taken on the speculation vs analysis point. I guess where I get confused is with something like SMiLE where (Id argue) the two become somewhat interchangeable due to its unfinished state. I guess my initial issue with you saying you dont want to speculate is because any analysis of SMiLE is in some way dependent on speculation.

While I agree that an unfinished project elicits a good deal of speculation, as does say a mystery novel before it reaches its conclusion, I would ultimately disagree that "any analysis of SMiLE is in some way dependent on speculation." I will go into more detail on this below but for now I think that one could find plenty to analyze with Smile without having to resort to speculation. One could, for example, examine the way the lyrics adopt the American Gothic style; one could examine the album in terms of a critique of the settler culture and how it troubles what at the time were standard conceptions of America; one could consider the modular style of recording and how it anticipates more postmodern understandings of time, history, narrative, etc. There's lots of analysis that can be done with what we have.

Quote
And I was originally trying to illustrate that it wasnt necessarily a contradiction to quote a British poet for a song title because it could still ultimately be about America. To me, bringing up the fact that the author is British as a point of interest but then refusing to speculate on why that may be is only going halfway. Like saying "gee, Hitchcock uses a lot of green in Vertigo" but then not bothering to put forth a reason why that may be.

Okay, but to be honest, this just speaks to our differences in approach because I'm not particularly interested in speculating as to why Hitchcock uses lots of green. From a scholarly perspective, the artist's intention really doesn't matter - what matters is what the text does (this by the way is important because it is in moving from artist's intention to what the text does where we go from speculative to analytical).

There are excellent analyses of film by the way that properly steer clear of the kind of thing that you are talking about. In a scholarly analysis, one does not put forth a reason why Hitchcock uses a lot of green, one instead argues what the use of green in Vertigo is doing. This distinction may not seem like much, but it is in fact, crucial and very meaningful. To consider an analysis in this way, take a look at Zizek's analysis of Psycho (and, with it, The Marx Brothers) as an example (there are some frightening scenes from Hitchcock's movie shown almost immediately so viewer discretion is advised):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK1DnCjlBkA

Note here in this analysis that Zizek is not attempting to tell explain why, say, Hitchcock chose to put the viewer in the role of murderer. Rather, Zizek tells us what this decision does. For Zizek, this act makes us recognize something monstrous within ourselves that we do not wish to face, something which we are always keeping at bay. Whether or not Hitchcock knowingly intended this is not the point - the movie does this regardless of what the point was. Zizek is sure to say things like "This is the sentiment that Hitchcock's films evoke" rather than say, "Hitchcock meant to evoke this sentiment when he did such and such." And because Zizek is a psychoanalytic critic, he probably doesn't even assume that Hitchcock meant to include these things purposefully. Rather, Zizek has an understanding about the way the fundamental humans operate  and the way that they make meaning and always necessarily falsely understand the world in an illusory way, that films cannot help but illustrate it since films are always an attempt to make meaning in some way.

Quote
Im not trying to argue about whether or not the collaborators were referencing other subcultures in America or not. I just meant a good percentage of American culture/identity traces back to Britain, so to argue something doesnt belong for being "too British/not American enough" is silly.

Is it silly when one of the primary architects of the album, Van Dyke Parks, is on record as finding transcontinentalism a problem? Here's the thing: Van Dyke Parks is a literate person and he understands literary traditions well. And the fact is that by the 1830s, the American literary culture became obsessed with what C. Richard King calls "the development of the uniquely American subjectivity." The first major text to come out of this culture was Ralph Waldo Emerson's The American Scholar which largely called upon American intellectuals to reject old (read British) ideas.

Emerson's call for American intellectual independence was taken up by authors who strove to find a postcolonial voice that was not British but American. Authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, James Fenimore Cooper, Walt Whitman, Thoreau, and others. So when Parks makes claims about transcontinentalism, he's speaking out of an American literary tradition that actively sought to locate a non-European voice. And the lyrics that Parks wrote for Smile, many of which contain both subtle and unsubtle nods to the authors I listed above, reaffirm his desire to position himself within this literary tradition.

So given all of this, the title of Chid is the Father of the Man, is as if Emerson, the author of The American Scholar, would also, at the same time publish a re-write of Romeo & Juliet. My claim here is not that American culture wasn't influenced by England, nor am I making a value judgement about whether it's too British or not (I'm perfectly fine with the reference). What is worth noting is that this is a stunning contradiction. However, as you note, the title may very well have come from Brian and not Parks. Therefore, it WOULD have been interesting to see how Parks might have dealt with this dichotomy.
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« Reply #74 on: July 25, 2015, 05:09:00 PM »

I find this conversation engaging and I hope you don't mind if I continue pursuing it a bit more. I don't respond out of anger -- I just find the topic to be interesting but I understand if you are uninterested in pursuing it further.

Point taken on the speculation vs analysis point. I guess where I get confused is with something like SMiLE where (Id argue) the two become somewhat interchangeable due to its unfinished state. I guess my initial issue with you saying you dont want to speculate is because any analysis of SMiLE is in some way dependent on speculation.

While I agree that an unfinished project elicits a good deal of speculation, as does say a mystery novel before it reaches its conclusion, I would ultimately disagree that "any analysis of SMiLE is in some way dependent on speculation." I will go into more detail on this below but for now I think that one could find plenty to analyze with Smile without having to resort to speculation. One could, for example, examine the way the lyrics adopt the American Gothic style; one could examine the album in terms of a critique of the settler culture and how it troubles what at the time were standard conceptions of America; one could consider the modular style of recording and how it anticipates more postmodern understandings of time, history, narrative, etc. There's lots of analysis that can be done with what we have.

I would agree. But they're still very interrelated and using one can help with the other. Analyzing Cabin Essence and Worms, one sees two songs with slower verses and faster/louder choruses, that reference all manner of travel (Trucks/Trains & Ocean Liners/Bicycles) and reference the exploitation of non-Whites (church of the American Indian & coolies working on the RR). Ok. Speculation comes in when you say "huh, these songs are very similar. almost like they were made to go back to back or are part of a larger message." Also "these songs deal with destroying nature and exploring America. Brian is on record saying there'd be spoken word humor on this album. There's some of that in Heroes and Smiley already. He recorded some comedy sketches already called Smog and Taxi Cabber which would fit these songs/themes very well. Wonder if he considered using them between or within these tracks at some point?" See how it feeds off one another? Now for you maybe it's different but for myself once I start thinking about something as enticing as SMiLE my brain goes off in all manner of directions with it. I dont see it as "resorting" to speculation. Speculation is just another tool by which to decipher, or a filter by which to see it through.

Quote
Quote
And I was originally trying to illustrate that it wasnt necessarily a contradiction to quote a British poet for a song title because it could still ultimately be about America. To me, bringing up the fact that the author is British as a point of interest but then refusing to speculate on why that may be is only going halfway. Like saying "gee, Hitchcock uses a lot of green in Vertigo" but then not bothering to put forth a reason why that may be.

Okay, but to be honest, this just speaks to our differences in approach because I'm not particularly interested in speculating as to why Hitchcock uses lots of green. From a scholarly perspective, the artist's intention really doesn't matter - what matters is what the text does (this by the way is important because it is in moving from artist's intention to what the text does where we go from speculative to analytical).

There are excellent analyses of film by the way that properly steer clear of the kind of thing that you are talking about. In a scholarly analysis, one does not put forth a reason why Hitchcock uses a lot of green, one instead argues what the use of green in Vertigo is doing. This distinction may not seem like much, but it is in fact, crucial and very meaningful. To consider an analysis in this way, take a look at Zizek's analysis of Psycho (and, with it, The Marx Brothers) as an example (there are some frightening scenes from Hitchcock's movie shown almost immediately so viewer discretion is advised):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK1DnCjlBkA

Note here in this analysis that Zizek is not attempting to tell explain why, say, Hitchcock chose to put the viewer in the role of murderer. Rather, Zizek tells us what this decision does. For Zizek, this act makes us recognize something monstrous within ourselves that we do not wish to face, something which we are always keeping at bay. Whether or not Hitchcock knowingly intended this is not the point - the movie does this regardless of what the point was. Zizek is sure to say things like "This is the sentiment that Hitchcock's films evoke" rather than say, "Hitchcock meant to evoke this sentiment when he did such and such." And because Zizek is a psychoanalytic critic, he probably doesn't even assume that Hitchcock meant to include these things purposefully. Rather, Zizek has an understanding about the way the fundamental humans operate  and the way that they make meaning and always necessarily falsely understand the world in an illusory way, that films cannot help but illustrate it since films are always an attempt to make meaning in some way.

I think, if anything, you're the one speculating on our collaborator's intentions and forcing their supposed perspective unto the album. I do both myself. Mostly I look at the body of work by itself and judge from there. That's how Ive come to be so certain of my two-suite mix--the music really does just work that way. It makes the most sense when you take it on its own, and ignore the years of misleading Priore-speculation and Brian coming in years after the fact to reconstruct it for a live show. This "the authors intent doesnt matter" would be best served aimed at the crowd that takes BWPS as the unquestionable final word. I sometimes add things like "Brian is quoted saying two suites was his original intention" or "Brian was really into astrology at the time" (in regards to my long-winded post about possible astrological meanings in SMiLE) but thats more an after-thought in both cases to lend credence to what I consider already strong arguments made mostly by just looking at the music by itself, on its own terms, without any biases.

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Im not trying to argue about whether or not the collaborators were referencing other subcultures in America or not. I just meant a good percentage of American culture/identity traces back to Britain, so to argue something doesnt belong for being "too British/not American enough" is silly.

Is it silly when one of the primary architects of the album, Van Dyke Parks, is on record as finding transcontinentalism a problem? Here's the thing: Van Dyke Parks is a literate person and he understands literary traditions well. And the fact is that by the 1830s, the American literary culture became obsessed with what C. Richard King calls "the development of the uniquely American subjectivity." The first major text to come out of this culture was Ralph Waldo Emerson's The American Scholar which largely called upon American intellectuals to reject old (read British) ideas.

Ok that's nice and all but you're ignoring by point that Brian came up with the title/subject, not VDP. Maybe that's why there are seemingly no vintage lyrics for this one song? Maybe Van didnt believe it fit either and refused to work on it, or was struggling to work some American ideal with this British springboard? I know, I know. You dont want to speculate. But see how it's almost inevitable with this album? And arent you sort of doing the same thing?

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Emerson's call for American intellectual independence was taken up by authors who strove to find a postcolonial voice that was not British but American. Authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, James Fenimore Cooper, Walt Whitman, Thoreau, and others. So when Parks makes claims about transcontinentalism, he's speaking out of an American literary tradition that actively sought to locate a non-European voice. And the lyrics that Parks wrote for Smile, many of which contain both subtle and unsubtle nods to the authors I listed above, reaffirm his desire to position himself within this literary tradition.

A child may assert his independence from his father as he comes to be a man, but they're still the same blood. The very language we use is British...I mean, I get making your own culture and identity but the fact is you cant remove your roots completely. Most of Europe owes a lot to its Greco-Roman history. While There's a uniquely French identity and uniquely Italian and English and whatever...they still owe a good chunk of that to their past. And with America, even more so because it's still relatively recent that we were just a colony of England. And anyway, we're talking about a single reference/song title here. I know you and others have been quick to point out that many other nations and ethnicities played their part in American development, but it's undeniable that England played a very large part. So, again, why is it so hard to accept this single nod to THAT part of our history? Especially when the line itself easily applies to the two countries' relationship to one another. By the '60s, America had surpassed England and come to more or less dominate the global stage in place of the now dismantled Empire. This isnt some long-winded, forced interpretation that requires researching a dozen centuries old authors or VDP's political views. This is a simple, straightforward reading of the line with the context of America in mind. I literally came up with this theory on the spot upon reading this thread. If I could, why is it so hard to accept that maybe thats it? 

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So given all of this, the title of Chid is the Father of the Man, is as if Emerson, the author of The American Scholar, would also, at the same time publish a re-write of Romeo & Juliet. My claim here is not that American culture wasn't influenced by England, nor am I making a value judgement about whether it's too British or not (I'm perfectly fine with the reference). What is worth noting is that this is a stunning contradiction. However, as you note, the title may very well have come from Brian and not Parks. Therefore, it WOULD have been interesting to see how Parks might have dealt with this dichotomy.

No it really isnt. It would be like if he used the basic idea of R&J as a springboard for a completely new work that asserts American culture--like West Side Story. Or even closer, if he used the TITLE R&J for a completely different medium of art with its own message and identity. It may be a *notable* connection, I'll grant you that. But *stunning?* I'd say that's hyperbole. And with this new reading of CIFOTM I've come up with, it could actually give even more meaning to Surf's Up, with the crumbling society perhaps being Europe (or the more European-influenced parts of America) with the children being the emerging, distinctly American perspective you're referring to? This even makes me wonder if maybe Brian really *did* intend to have that reprise of the CIFOTM chorus at the end of Surf's Up back in '66. Because the children's song is a metaphor for a new American worldview, America is child of the man (England/Europe) and now it's our responsibility to find a new way and set an example for them (be their father, so to speak) and he wanted to make sure we got that connection at the end because that's literally the whole overarching "moral" of the album.

I didnt say Brian and VDP independently came up with the phrase, just that Brian specifically really liked it, thought it was a fascinating turn of phrase that they could do something with, and wrote a song about it. VDP either didnt finish the lyrics, forgot them, or couldnt/wouldnt do it because he disagreed with the use of a British author's quote. IDK. But it's worth remembering there were two collaborators here. Brian was a sponge at this point, absorbing all kinds of ideologies and art from all manner of sources. I believe he was very interested in some French novel (forget the name) at the time too. I dont think he was at all as strict with this "America only" mantra as you're insinuating VDP was.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 05:35:03 PM by Mujan, B@st@rd Son of a Blue Wizard » Logged

Here are my SMiLE Mixes. All are 2 suite, but still vastly different in several ways. Be on the lookout for another, someday.

Aquarian SMiLE>HERE
Dumb Angel (Olorin Edition)>HERE
Dumb Angel [the Romestamo Cut]>HERE

& This is a new pet project Ive worked on, which combines Fritz Lang's classic film, Metropolis (1927) with The United States of America (1968) as a new soundtrack. More info is in the video description.
The American Metropolitan Circus>HERE
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