The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #66116 Message #2011020
Posted By: Stringsinger
29-Mar-07 - 03:59 PM
Thread Name: origins: The Dutchman (Michael Smith): meanings?
Subject: RE: origins: The Dutchman (Michael Smith): meanings?
There is a prevalent notion that a songwriter actually "knows" what they're writing about while they're creating a song. This is sometimes not the case and a song grows into its own meaning.
I can see from the songwriter's point of view that pinning down a meaning in a particular song might not be to the songwriter's best interest. Better to have people talking about the meaning of the song as they are doing here.
I'm in favor of evasive answers on the part of songwriters because then they don't unduly influence or place a roadblock to different interpretations by performers.
I'm reminded of Tennessee Williams insisting to Elia Kazan that his plays were "comedies".
Or of Williams' statement about Brando, "He plays the role as I would have liked to have written it".
I remember Nina Simone singing "To Dream the Impossible Dream" the night of MLK's execution. She gave a new life to a song that reputedly meant something different in Man of La Mancha.
I think that you need to let the songwriter alone and interpret it the way you see it.