Monday, August 16, 2004

Whiter Shade of Pale

I am hopeless when it comes to poetry. This includes song lyrics. I can't interpret them for the life of me despite my slaving away at a Lit major. I know people say that it means something different for everyone, but that, in my opinion and if you'll pardon the expression, is bullshit. There is a meaning behind those words. Possibly two or three, but I'll be damned if I can discover even one. Poetry just seems so personal.

That all being said, I can't hear the song, "Whiter Shade of Pale" without getting choked up. I have no idea what the words mean. Every time I hear it my throat gets tight, my eyes start burning, and I feel humiliated that a song that I don't understand has moved me to such emotion.

It is listed among love songs, but for some reason, I don't think it is one. So I'm appealing to anyone with an instinct for poetry to help me out.

A Whiter Shade of Pale
~Sung by Procul Harum
~Words by Keith Reid

We skipped the light fandango
turned cartwheels 'cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
but the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
as the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
the waiter brought a tray

And so it was that later
as the miller told his tale
that her face, at first just ghostly,
turned a whiter shade of pale

She said, 'There is no reason
and the truth is plain to see.'
But I wandered through my playing cards
and would not let her be
one of sixteen vestal virgins
who were leaving for the coast
and although my eyes were open
they might have just as well've been closed

Thanks.

5 comments:

Johnnie Walker said...

Poetry, indeed, is very hard to decipher.

Inanna said...

Uhhh... this one has me stumped... although I think it maybe that he is was totally into her and she kept either stringing him along or wasn't interested and he went into knowing this but couldn't stop himself because he had put her on such a pedestal... just my thoughts..

Zelda said...

I think you are right Inanna, but I couldn't figure out even that much. Thanks for giving it a shot.

Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

Here's my attempt [Not sure what the format will look like in this tiny window though]:

We skipped the light fandango (we danced)
turned cartwheels 'cross the floor (we got jiggy wit it)
I was feeling kinda seasick (we got too jiggy wit it)
but the crowd called out for more (the crowd called out for more)
The room was humming harder (so much dancing the place was RAWKin’)
as the ceiling flew away (it felt like the room was spinning)
When we called out for another drink (we called for one more drink, you know, booze)
the waiter brought a tray (we got more drinks than we asked for)

And so it was that later
as the miller told his tale
that her face, at first just ghostly,
turned a whiter shade of pale (she was getting sick after all the excitement and hearing the events of the evening as he told them)

She said, 'There is no reason
and the truth is plain to see.' (she’s not completely sure why she feels the way she does)
But I wandered through my playing cards (he’s walking through a mess of cards)
and would not let her be (they had lots of sex, mostly to his insistence)
one of sixteen vestal virgins (she came from a large and God fearing family)
who were leaving for the coast (the family was moving)
and although my eyes were open
they might have just as well've been closed (he knew he was awake, but it felt like a dream)

Zelda said...

Brilliant!!! That makes a great deal of sense. I couldn't figure out where the sex came in and I was pretty sure it came in somewhere just because you can't mention 16 vestal virgins without someone getting sprung.