Which is Why I Also Do Not Care For Jabberwocky

Recently I had to take the 3 hour glucose tolerance test at my OB’s office. I was not allowed to leave that entire time because they wanted to monitor me and test my blood every hour. Plus, I guess they were afraid I would sneak a bowl of Cap’n Crunch if I were allowed to leave the office. I didn’t get elevated blood sugar munching on carrot sticks, you know.

During that 3 hours, I did a lot of reading, and I couldn’t help noticing that whoever was in charge of the piped in music was VERY fond of Elton John. Me? Not so much. But no matter, because LUCKY FOR ME I think I heard every song he ever sang. Twice.

When my marathon torture, er, I mean appointment was finally over I hopped into the car and immediately turned on some country music to try to purge the Elton from my brain. I was hoping for some vintage Dolly Parton or George Strait. I need some serious twang to clear my head.

But, do you know what I heard instead? Tim McGraw’s remake of Tiny Dancer!

Help me, people. What in the world does this song mean?

Hold me closer tiny dancer (Okay, I’m down with this part.)
Count the headlights on the highway (Huh? So, are they in a car?)
Lay me down in sheets of linen (Or not?)
you had a busy day today (Wha..? This is relevant… how?)

I like words to mean things and when they don’t, well, I get all antsy and nervous. Which is why I don’t care for Jabberwocky, either.  “All mimsy were the borogoves,”?  I beg your pardon? What? Come again? No comprende.

I get that the poem is supposed to be nonsensical, but I like… sense.

So, what kind of music or poetry do you enjoy? What kind grates on your nerves?

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Comments

  1. Lauralee says:

    I like things to mean something too. So if it doesn’t make sense I think it must have a hidden meaning. But if it takes too much brain work to figure out that meaning it just irks me so I switch to something else;) And when your raising a bunch of kids there is only so much brain work I can spare to figure out someones poem, and if it’s nonsensical to begin with, well that just doesn’t make sense does it? :)
    Gotta say I’m with you on that one. And I’ve heard the word Jabberwocky before and just assumed the person made up that word! Hahaha!

  2. I love Jabberwocky! I always thought it pretty cool that a guy could make up a poem that lasted for so long out of nonsensical words.
    I don’t know the whole tiny dancer thing but now I hear it in my head but I get the idea that she is a protitute for some reason from the part you wrote about. Call me crazy. Oh elton must have been on something when he wrote it and Lewis Carroll probably was to, I mean how else would you come up with that?

    Hope you and your family had a Blessed Easter Day!

    Jerri

  3. I, too, like for things to mean something. I listened to country music for years before falling in love with the contemporary Christian music on K-love (find a station near you at http://www.klove.com). I also like no commercials, and k-love is listener supported, so there are no commercials. My kids even love the music. The lyrics all make sense and I’d much rather the kids hear that than “All my friends say, I started shootin’ doubles when you walked in” (which I love the song, but don’t want to have to explain to a 4yo what “shootin doubles” means.) I LOVE that their slogan is “Positive, encouraging K-love” and you can listen online if there isn’t a station near you.

    I think you have now motivated me to post something about the meaning of the cloth mentioned in the empty tomb. It’ll be a few days though because I have a busy couple of days ahead. Keep watch, though. You are a good motivator!

    As for your glucose test, I’m sorry you had to go through that. No fun. at. all.

  4. I really have never been a poetry or literature lover. Jazz music and hard rock n roll, heavy metal make me feel like banging my head on the concrete! All that music makes me crazy! Literally!

  5. I enjoy poetry with a twist, like “Annabel Lee” by Poe, “Out Out” by Frost, and Barbie Doll by Marge Piercy. Hmmm… it seems I like my poems a little on the dark side… I have always enjoyed Jabberwocky. But my favorite poem of all time is “Ode on a Grecian Urn” (Keats).

  6. Lyrics:
    Hold me closer tiny dancer : Alrighty we got the point

    Count the headlights on the highway: She was the seamstress for the band & they spent many hours in the tour bus. Both with the bus in 1st gear and in park.

    Lay me down in sheets of linen: Well, they may have had nice tour bus sheets or she’s supposed to be working on a seamstress project at the time, eck.

    You had a busy day today: You’ve survived another day with potheads driving you across the country in captivity and telling you what kind of fluffy clothing items they will need. Also, you have to get up by eight for that interpretive dance we want you to do on stage tomorrow night. Just squeeze it all in between fittings. It’ll work out hon. Now go git summore linen, girl!

  7. OOH! I totally agree on the Tim McGraw thing. There are alot of songs like that though…

  8. Yoddling is like slow torture for me. I don’t think I even spelled it right. I just want to do something very unkind to the yoddler. Oh, and I have a special kind of dislike for rap music. If you want to talk do so, but without thumping music. Does that make me an grumpy old lady??

  9. Jabberwocky was written because Carroll liked the sounds that the words made. According to my H.S. English teacher, he was “mocking the rules of the time;” ie, he was making it up because he could. I always thought that brillig should totally be a real word.

  10. It is disconcerting when I hear a song that was popular when I was a teen, and I still know all the lyrics 30 years later. More troubling is that now that I know the Lord, I have a new perspective (and cringe) at the stuff I used to sing along to (but was definitely affected by) mindlessly. The messages, explicit or crypic, are almost never pure, lovely or of good report. I never could figure out what Elton was even singing in “Tiny Dancer”! I just mumbled along. Now that I see the words, I don’t want to know. :>)
    Now “Jabberwocky” is pure fun! Our family learned it and we love to interpret the story when we recite it through our inflection and actions. The kids (ages 3-18) really get into it! The words are silly, but they are fun to say and the story line is clear. It’s a fascinating study in grammar and language mechanics, too. And boys, (I’ve got 5) love anything having to do with weaponry. We’ve memorized about 30 poetry pieces and this one was a favorite.

  11. I was reading on my iPod and wanted to comment, but it’s a paid to comment on an iPod. :)
    I have always liked Jabberwocky because of the fact that while he used all nonsense words, it actually told a story. My 10th grade English teacher had fun teaching us that poem and it was interesting. We rewrote it using real words, which was in some cases, hilarious!
    I have three teenagers. They are all Christians and love Christian music, but some of what they listen to is rap– no, not secular. Rap and Christian “screamo” are the two things I just can’t handle. I say put your headphones on please! It just grates on my nerves.
    And what another commenter said, about music we know by heart–still– from our pre-Christian teen years is just awful now. I listened to heavy metal all through Junior high and high school, and now some songs come to mind and I think OH.MY.WORD. and turn on some Third Day real fast! And country? Uh, notsomuch. :)

  12. It’s a PAIN to comment on an iPod. I really can type! :)

  13. In Carrol’s book Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, Humpty Dumpty tells us “When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean-neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “Which is to be master–that’s all.”
    This (according to my annotated Alice book) is known nominalism; the view that universal terms do not refer to objective existences but are nothing more than verbal utterances. You do not follow this school of thought, and it has been widely rejected by logicians, but I still enjoy the fun of making words behave how I want them to. It lends itself to mystery, it’s fun, and I think it reminds me that I really don’t know what I’m are talking about half the time.

  14. I never liked Jabberwoky for that very reason. It makes no sense and I like Sense. Anyone can make a poem with made up words. My 4 yr old does it all the time!

  15. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    You’re lucky you had music during your three-hour test. I was left to my own amusements on the iPhone! So, I made stuff up (wrote) using real words.
    I passed the glucose test! Hope you did too. Best of luck.

  16. Elton John wouldn’t bother me so much, just don’t think about the lyrics too much and remember that lots of drugs were involved. But three hours of Kountry would make me insane! Talk about lyrics – “My truck broke down, my dog done died, and my woman has left me” – YIKES! Way more than I want to know.

  17. My favorite songs are hymns and spiritual songs. I wouldn’t include contemporary either as they seem too worldly to me…almost as bad as rock singers and such. Plain hymns are good. I can enjoy bluegrass sometimes too.

    I do not like anything that reminds me of the years before I came to Jesus. I get irritated to be in a store and I catch on to a tune for many years ago and I remember every word. What’s more disgusting is to not remember the Bible reference that I have been memorizing for a long time!

    Our family tries to stay away from music that is sung by someone of who we don’t agree with their lifestyle. Elton John definitely fits into that category.

    Country music seems like a lot of twangy whining and reminds me of something that would promote ungodliness (ex. adultery, indulgence in drinking, etc. ).

    I hope that I don’t sound preachy. I did feel compelled to answer the question though.

  18. Y’all are killing me. Jabberwocky DOES make sense. It’s quite clear that a noble youth took his sword and killed the dreadful monster, and made his daddy very proud. =)

    The words are portmanteau words- sort of like compound words, only a creation all the brilliant Lewis’ own- they all mean something, and it’s fun to figure them out- slithy, for example, is slimy and lithe. It’s really cool how much fun Lewis had with words while being incredibly clever at the same time.

  19. P.S.. Never heard Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dancer, but I just looked up the lyrics. I have two guesses as to meaning:
    1. The tiny dancer is a woman the songwriter loves who comes along with the band sometimes, but not always. When she’s not there, she’s still there with him, in his heart and he thinks of her with him all the time. The headlights are a reference to the long, dreary nights on a tour bus. Then he gets to lay down to go to sleep, still thinking of her and imagining the conversation they might have.

    2. It’s about a car accident, and the woman he loves is dead.

    Either way, the tiny dancer is kind of an imaginary friend.

  20. I , too, always cringe when I hear a song from the days before I was saved- even more so when I may be caught off guard, and be found humming or singing along, almost unconsciously, by my children. Yuck! Then they want to know why I know it, what it means, etc. I try to always look on it as a learning experience for them, (and me) to explain how I am different now, and why we don’t listen to that music. We listen to some Christian CDs, and cds from church. Mostly we listen to radio dramas, or Odyssey.

  21. I am a proud Christian and a proud listener of all music! Contemporary Christian music has always made me uncomfortable though and I think in my teen years it actually pushed me away from attending church and youth groups. It felt very cult and brainwashing like. I realize now that its not but that its just not for me. There is one band that I like a lot though, Addison Road.

  22. I like BOTH kinds of music: Country AND Western!

    Actually, I like all kinds of music. Except for hip hop & rap. And death metal. Unfortunately, I have to be “up” on all the kinds of music because I’m a music therapist. It’s getting harder & harder to find music that is age appropriate for tweens & teens, but is ALSO appropriate for school. I write a lot of my own material.

    I don’t think I actually made it all the way through Jabberwocky. I think I got fed up because it didn’t mean anything. How can I glean something from it (knowledge, interesting facts, some insight, etc.) if I haven’t a clue what it’s about?

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