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Deciphering the lyrics of "Big Fat Silver Aeroplane"

Discussion in 'General' started by asdf, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. asdf

    asdf I've got a zappy little nappy

    Hi,

    I've been searching for lyrics for Roy Harper's "Big Fat Silver Aeroplane" and I cannot find them ANYWHERE. So I'm hoping you guys will be able to help me out in figuring it out.

    Here's what I've deciphered (in the last 5 minutes or so :)):
    ___________
    Big fat silver aeroplane is shuffling through the sky
    Full of big fat people it's a wonder you can fly
    I don't like you
    And you wanna know the reason why

    It's because I don't

    Eternally ???????? Sunday joint
    Laughing gas is ??? for any pointless point
    Spliff me plenty
    And you wanna know the reason why
    Well ?? again ???
    ?????????????? tell me what you see
    I see a ???????
    A'growin' outta me
    I believe you
    And you wanna know the reason why

    It's because you're right

    ???????????????
    Sinkin' in the splinter of the ecstasy of sound
    You'll be blind soon
    And you wanna know the reason why

    It's because your head'll fall off

    Cuckoo-headed johnny-men
    Inside your ?????
    The I-ching in your ???
    was painted with a pen
    The fire is cold now
    And you wanna know the reason why
    It's because I watered it
    ????????? your man is on the ground
    ?????????? blazing is an illusion ?? [is not/he's not] found
    But he's not dead yet

    And you wanna know the reason why

    It's because he's breathing
    He's breathing

    ___________


    Please help me out with any corrections.

    Thanks,
    -asdf
     
  2. Bob Jacobs

    Bob Jacobs Ride away in style

    According to Roy's lyrics book (which you really ought to get) The Passions of Great Fortune:
    Eternal East-West hedge walker turn the Sunday joint...
    Laughing gas is more than mete for any pointless point...
    Well turn again Whittington...
    Shiny demon firework-eater tell me what you see
    I see a siamese twin universe growing out of me...
    Pop-eyed rabbit medal sucker, whirlwind living drowned..
    Cuckoo-headed journeyman inside your rubber Zen
    The i-Ching in your buttonhole was painted with a pen...
    Polystyrene obelisk your man is on the ground
    His tinsel gaze is blazing an illusion he's not found

    Bob
     
  3. The Monster

    The Monster I've got a zappy little nappy

    Not his finest hour, methinks
     
  4. aspwatterson

    aspwatterson The Unknown Soldier

    I dunno..

    I think it's brilliant, getting stoned with music taking the piss out of religion! Polystyrene, tinsel,pop-eyed, cuckoo headed journeymen thinking they've found religion like some illusion fixed in their brain. Some of them should have instead tried a strong spliff or two to smoke away those bygone cobwebs clouding their brains which the song also explains from the viewpoint of someone analysing their feelings on the stuff deeply.

    chrs
    andi
     
  5. asdf

    asdf I've got a zappy little nappy

    Ah, so here it is all neatly laid out:
    ____________
    Big fat silver aeroplane is shufflin' through the sky
    Full of big fat people it's a wonder you can fly
    I don't like you
    And you wanna know the reason why
    It's because I don't
    Eternal East-West hedge walker turn the Sunday joint...
    Laughing gas is more than mete for any pointless point...
    Spliff me plenty
    And you wanna know the reason why
    Well turn again Whittington...
    Shiny demon firework-eater tell me what you see
    I see a Siamese twin universe a'growing out of me...
    I believe you
    And you wanna know the reason why
    It's because you're right
    Pop-eyed rabbit medal sucker, whirlwind living drowned..
    Sinkin' in the splinters of the ecstasy of sound
    You'll be blind soon
    And you wanna know the reason why
    It's because your head'll fall off
    Cuckoo-headed journeyman inside your rubber Zen
    The i-Ching in your buttonhole was painted with a pen...
    The fire is cold now
    And you wanna know the reason why
    It's because I watered it
    Polystyrene obelisk your man is on the ground
    His tinsel gaze is blazing an illusion he's not found
    But he's not dead yet
    And you wanna know the reason why
    It's because he's breathing
    He's breathing
    _____

    Thank you Bob (and everyone else) for taking the time to write corrections and reply - and I'll make one confession: I don't know much about Roy Harper, I've just got this "Troubadours Of Folk" compilation disc which happened to have two songs of his ('BFSA', and 'Goldfish Bowl' which I adore equally), but in any case, the two songs have me interested enough to go find more about him. If the words to his other songs I find to be as interesting as 'Goldfish Bowl,' I'll surely purchase the book as well for the lyrics and RH's comments that go alongside.

    I hadn't explored him before for his association with Page (Page's stuff is a little too "heavy" for me, to put it one way) - I listen more to the likes of Jansch, Renbourn, Carthy, etc. -- but I'm quite liking RH now! :)

    Thanks,
    -asdf
     
  6. Bob Jacobs

    Bob Jacobs Ride away in style

    Typographically, I'd remove the ellipses (...s) and insert breaks between the verses. I haven't rechecked your transcript in detail but I think you're just about there. It's a fairly typical Roy song in the density and ambiguity of its imagery and meaning, its vitriolic attack on people Roy doesn't like (as categories - eg fat-cat businessmen) and its playful sense of humour. Perhaps some of the poetry is somewhat clumsy but this is an early effort, so some rough edges are forgiveable. It's a great jaunty tune as well. Looking forward, I hope you do get into Roy's music. There's a feast of brilliance to enjoy. Try Flat Baroque and Berserk, Stormcock, Valentine and Lifemask next. BFSA is on Unsophisticated Beggar, IIRC, which is also a good album- his first. Folkjokeopus is an uneven mixture but has its similarities. I'd leave Come Out Fighting, Ghengis Smith (his second album) for now, as it's the least rewarding of his early albums. (all IMHO of course!). Bob
     
  7. webbyla

    webbyla Computer stained fingers

    Slight correction: BFSA and Goldfish are on Sophisticated Beggar ;) . I really like this album - much more raw than some later stuff.

    Get Sophisticated Beggar from Roy Harper site directly ...

    http://www.royharper.co.uk/shop/product_info.php?products_id=3

    Also there are little mp3 snippets of all the songs there - so you can tatse and try before you buy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
  8. Travellerman

    Travellerman Aye lad, I knew you had it in you

    I hear that work is underway to make more of Roy's catalogue available as download, that'll make things easier for some. :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
  9. aspwatterson

    aspwatterson The Unknown Soldier

    Bob's right actually..

    Apart from the religious connotations; I was actually going to mention the allegorically depicted business men and the marvellous thematically retained imagery throughout the whole song. Perhaps that's what a lot of religion is anyway?

    Just goes to show that you can get the serious message across without starting wars in a humourful way.

    chrs
    andi
     

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