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She's Not There

GUEST,DDT 04 Jan 13 - 05:47 PM
BobKnight 04 Jan 13 - 05:53 PM
Doug Chadwick 04 Jan 13 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,Jack Sprocket 04 Jan 13 - 06:34 PM
Bobert 04 Jan 13 - 08:22 PM
GUEST,Stim 04 Jan 13 - 09:48 PM
Ron Davies 04 Jan 13 - 11:00 PM
Will Fly 05 Jan 13 - 04:07 AM
Bonzo3legs 05 Jan 13 - 04:57 AM
Rog Peek 05 Jan 13 - 05:21 AM
Wheatman 05 Jan 13 - 05:45 AM
Ron Davies 05 Jan 13 - 07:51 AM
Rog Peek 05 Jan 13 - 08:26 AM
Ron Davies 05 Jan 13 - 08:42 AM
Uncle Phil 05 Jan 13 - 11:32 AM
Ron Davies 05 Jan 13 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,Stim 06 Jan 13 - 12:30 AM
Roughyed 06 Jan 13 - 03:56 AM
Nick 06 Jan 13 - 07:49 AM
Ron Davies 06 Jan 13 - 10:32 AM
GUEST,Larry Saidman 06 Jan 13 - 12:46 PM
Ron Davies 06 Jan 13 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Nick 06 Jan 13 - 06:13 PM
pavane 07 Jan 13 - 11:18 AM
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Subject: She's Not There
From: GUEST,DDT
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 05:47 PM

I was learning this one as an all-out jazz number rather than a jazz-flavored pop number. It suddenly occurred to me that this might be about a boy who fell for a girl whom he learns is really a boy.

At first I assumed it was about a girl who was a user--just hair, makeup, a dress and a smile--no person underneath it all. And I guess that it's a perfectly valid supposition and it still works well enough. But I thought in that case that it would be more appropriate to say "No one's there" rather than "She's not there." But if she turned out to be a he, then it makes sense to term it as "She's not there."

I've known a few psycho women in my time and there's always guys willing to date them or marry them. What do I say to them? Nothing. Not my business. They should know what they're getting into. How mad are any of them afterwards about it? Not mad at me at all. Why should they be? Am I supposed to warn them away from her? They'd tell me to go take a flying leap and then bust my jaw for interfering. So why would the character in this song be sore at people for not telling him--as if he would have thanked them or believed them if they had.

But picture meeting this girl whose family and friends know is actually a boy and none of them tells you even though you clearly have no idea. That might warrant one of them telling you something--at least in your mind. Especially considering the time in question--the late 50s or early 60s.

I don't know. It seemed that when that thought hit me it was like an "AHA!" moment. But who knows, who cares?


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: BobKnight
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 05:53 PM

It's a pop song from the '60's - by the Zombies, stop thinking so much. :)


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 05:57 PM

Don't bother tryin' to find her
She's not there .....

..... she's buried under the patio.
That'll teach her not to lie to me.


Well. I think it's as good an interpretation as yours.

DC


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: GUEST,Jack Sprocket
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 06:34 PM

It's a pop song from the '60's - by the Zombies, stop thinking so much.

Which of course makes it a putative precursor to Ray Davies' Lola, in a time before the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain, when it was common for the older generation to jibe that a long haired young boy looked just like a girl....


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 08:22 PM

If ya'll think that "She's Not There" is weird try then try...

... "She Talks to Angels" by the Black Crows

B~


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 09:48 PM

Well, actually, after somebody has been in one of those "and now I realize it was all a lie" relationships, they do ask, "did you know? Why didn't you tell me?"

As to the "No one's there"--it doesn't mean the same thing. "She's not there" means that a specific person is gone.

The sexual identity of the deceiver doesn't matter, the narrator could have as easily been abandoned by a gay, straight, bisexual, transgender or questioning intimate; the song leaves that to the listener.

It could even be a song about someone who feels that they have been abandoned by God.


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Ron Davies
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 11:00 PM

I wonder if there's another website where people would agonize about the alleged subtext of a pop song.

For Mudcatters, it seems, self-parody comes easy.


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 04:07 AM

Wouldn't exactly call it agonizing...

It's easy to dismiss 'pop songs' as always being trivial. Some might be, some not, but if they speak to you and touch you in a way that's significant, then they take on a value.

Just my ten-pennorth...


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 04:57 AM

It was just a pop song written by well educated boys from St Albans in the mid 1960s.


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Rog Peek
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 05:21 AM

One of my favourites along with 'For Your Love' by The Yardbirds and 'Here Comes The Night' by Them (Van....). Never agonised too much over the meanings of the lyrics, just loved the tunes and arrangements.

Rog


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Wheatman
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 05:45 AM

Yes I agree with your list Rog She's Not There it is a particular favourite for me as its popularity coincided with a split from a girl I was very fond of at the time. Hence the reason why I investigated this thread. It was in the days before I began to understand why I liked folk music and was still at school. Brian


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Ron Davies
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 07:51 AM

"I wouldn't call it agonizing"


It's a catchy, fun pop song.

Perhaps you prefer "navel-gazing".    The comments say a lot more about the posters than about the song.

"self-parody..".

QED


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Rog Peek
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 08:26 AM

I didn't Ron, I called it agonising! Ho Ho...


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Ron Davies
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 08:42 AM

Verzeihung


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 11:32 AM

"She's Not There" is a fifty year old song, but obviously a lot of us still know it and some of us, like the orginal poster, are still evolving it to suit our own taste. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a folk song, but I wouldn't dismiss it as "just a pop song" either.   
- Phil


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Ron Davies
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 11:52 AM

Nothing wrong with "pop", which, as you may recall, is "popular".

For a lot of people, for instance songwriters and singers, that would be enough.

And even folkies have been known to sing such songs--and not have to hang their heads in shame.   Unless of course their self-images are too badly injured.


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 06 Jan 13 - 12:30 AM

Lots of places out in cyberspace where people agonize over the meanings of songs, and it can be just as painful for the reader...


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Roughyed
Date: 06 Jan 13 - 03:56 AM

Surely as the song starts "Well no one told me about her" it would change the song entirely to say "No one's there" later on because it would mean that the people who failed to inform him were no longer available rather than the object of his affections. It always seemed to me to be a conversation between one of the people who didn't grass up his ex and is therefore part of the "No one" referred to in the first lines of the song.

It's not unusual to be upset if no one did say anything in these situations but obviously the follow up " Don't Shout at Me, You Wouldn't Have Listened Anyway" was not a hit

No indications of transvestism or transexuality in the lyrics or any interview I've ever seen


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Nick
Date: 06 Jan 13 - 07:49 AM

Sometimes pop songs are not so sugary as they appear - eg Buck's Fizz: Land of Make Believe - so who knows.

You have to write about something so why not something serious?


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Jan 13 - 10:32 AM

The point is you don't really have to write about anything--you can actually live a life primarily offline.

Admittedly, serious issues such as gun control can be frustrating to discuss--but at least you will probably hear the opposition's arguments.

And even discussing the alleged subtext of pop songs can be fun to read--a "source of innocent merriment", you might say.

Even--or maybe especially-- if such discussions, as I noted earlier, slip so wonderfully easily into self-parody.


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: GUEST,Larry Saidman
Date: 06 Jan 13 - 12:46 PM

I hadn't really thought about the lyrics before.....but reflecting on them now helps me recognize what a great song it is lyrically (I always knew it was great musically).   

The narrator had this idealized version of this woman........and discovered it was a lie. And now realizes that this woman he loved...."she's not there". And probably was never there.

It says a lot about the delusion of the early stages of romantic love. And so concisely.


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: Ron Davies
Date: 06 Jan 13 - 03:30 PM

It's a fine, catchy pop song--especially the rhythm. But the idea that the beloved is not what you imagined is not exactly new.   The song sounds more like a dream than anything else. And the repetition--which helps substantially in making the song an Ohrwurm-- makes it somewhat less than concise.

I really like the song--but I take it on its own terms.


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 06 Jan 13 - 06:13 PM

Here's how to interpret a song properly with total seriousness- Mama's Got a Brand New Bag.

We could perhaps interpret She's Not There on the same line by line basis?


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Subject: RE: She's Not There
From: pavane
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 11:18 AM

Colin Blunstone is still making a good living from it.


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