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Jan 23rd, 2018, 3:42pm



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 hotthread  Author  Topic: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?  (Read 5275 times)
ChrisJamesAuthor
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #15 on: Jan 2nd, 2018, 4:05pm »

Erm, the lyrics are actually about the IRA and the Troubles in Northern Ireland at that time. "An army thousands strong" refers to the IRA's foot-soldiers of the 1970s and 80s. The following lyrics describe the demise of the remains of the British Empire, the last place where British soldiers "kept the peace" by shooting civilians who tried (with some success) to blow them up.
The last part of the song describes a typical IRA bombing. In particular, the line "How can you fight a foe so deadly when you don't even know he's there" refers to IRA's cowardly method of hiding bombs in public places to murder innocent British civilians...

It *could* be about dinosaurs, but if you lived through the Troubles, you'd say it really wasn't. Even the title "Cul de Sac", meaning dead-end, indicated that Tony thought there was no resolution to the Troubles when he wrote those lyrics in 1980.
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HomeByTheSea
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #16 on: Jan 3rd, 2018, 06:59am »

on Jan 2nd, 2018, 4:05pm, ChrisJamesAuthor wrote:
Erm, the lyrics are actually about the IRA and the Troubles in Northern Ireland at that time. "An army thousands strong" refers to the IRA's foot-soldiers of the 1970s and 80s. The following lyrics describe the demise of the remains of the British Empire, the last place where British soldiers "kept the peace" by shooting civilians who tried (with some success) to blow them up.
The last part of the song describes a typical IRA bombing. In particular, the line "How can you fight a foe so deadly when you don't even know he's there" refers to IRA's cowardly method of hiding bombs in public places to murder innocent British civilians...

It *could* be about dinosaurs, but if you lived through the Troubles, you'd say it really wasn't. Even the title "Cul de Sac", meaning dead-end, indicated that Tony thought there was no resolution to the Troubles when he wrote those lyrics in 1980.


Nice try but Tony even confirmed in an interview the song was about the extinction of dinosaurs.
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #17 on: Jan 3rd, 2018, 07:51am »

I'd like to think it was about a gritty subject like The Troubles but the apocalyptic feel of the lyrics points to the dinosaurs thing (not to mention that TB said it was, which I wasn't aware of until seeing this thread). But to make it at least seem a bit more interesting, you could extend it as a metaphor, i.e. a person or group of people, or a cultural attitude, becoming a thing of the past. It's kind of disappointing to think he sat down and decided to write a song about the extinction of the sodding dinosaurs.
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #18 on: Jan 4th, 2018, 1:41pm »

on Jan 3rd, 2018, 07:51am, Backdrifter wrote:
But to make it at least seem a bit more interesting, you could extend it as a metaphor, i.e. a person or group of people, or a cultural attitude, becoming a thing of the past. It's kind of disappointing to think he sat down and decided to write a song about the extinction of the sodding dinosaurs.

Maybe the clue is Dinosaurs=Progrock bands... wink
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #19 on: Jan 4th, 2018, 2:39pm »

on Jan 4th, 2018, 1:41pm, Tonebender wrote:
Maybe the clue is Dinosaurs=Progrock bands... wink


Hahaha! Well, you know... they were just about the only one of the 'classic' 70s prog bands to adapt and become more successful, so why not? That works better for me than it being about a load of stegosauruses and procompsognathids watching a meteor hurtling towards them.
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #20 on: Jan 11th, 2018, 10:50am »

^ Yep, adapting and becoming more successful was when I stopped buying their records. sad
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onetwothree
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #21 on: Jan 11th, 2018, 11:46am »

on Jan 3rd, 2018, 07:51am, Backdrifter wrote:
to make it at least seem a bit more interesting, you could extend it as a metaphor, i.e. a person or group of people, or a cultural attitude, becoming a thing of the past. It's kind of disappointing to think he sat down and decided to write a song about the extinction of the sodding dinosaurs.

This is one case where I hear a meaning in the lyrics that makes a lot more sense to me than what Tony says it's about. "Domino" is another case.

Frankly, a line like "an army thousands strong, obsessed by right and wrong" doesn't bring dinosaurs to my mind.
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #22 on: Jan 12th, 2018, 5:16pm »

on Jan 11th, 2018, 11:46am, onetwothree wrote:
This is one case where I hear a meaning in the lyrics that makes a lot more sense to me than what Tony says it's about. "Domino" is another case.

Frankly, a line like "an army thousands strong, obsessed by right and wrong" doesn't bring dinosaurs to my mind.


I believe the first verse refers to humans, who have morals (obsessed by right and wrong) whereas dinosaurs do not. But I think all the stuff refers to humans starting to appear after the dinosaurs are wiped out.

They begin far below, where shadows fester and then march towards the light and near the air.
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xx Re: Cul de Sac - Did the meaning just hit me?
« Reply #23 on: Jan 14th, 2018, 04:19am »

In the prog-dinosaur interpretation, "an army thousands strong, obsessed by right and wrong" is the Stalinist accusations of formalism against prog by elements of the punk movement.
"In the Soviet period under Joseph Stalin, the authorities further developed the term [formalism]'s pejorative associations to cover any art which used complex techniques and forms accessible only to the elite, rather than being simplified for "the people" (as in socialist realism)."
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