Iron Man

L. Bird pkeets at
Sun Jan 30 22:51:17 CST 2005

>>The dialog is likely what's missing here.  This is about the same period
>as Psychoderelict, where he actually issued an album with the script on it. 
>  I bet that cut down the liner notes a lot.

>There are liner notes in Iron Man which completely explain the story and
place the songs in context.

Yeah, but you shouldn't have to read them to follow the story.  This seems 
to be a problem Pete is wrestling with.  I can follow Tommy and Quad without 
the notes, though of course I get more out of the music if I read up on the 
background.  However, as Pete went on through his career, he got more 
obscure.  White City, Iron Man and Psychoderelict require a script to follow 
the story.  It's impossible to pull the story out, even though Pete intended 
it to be there when he was writing the music.

>>You mean the dragon, right?  I don't see anything about her [in Dig].  The
>lyrics mention "a beast" but that's such a general reference that I'd more 
>likely take it for evil in general.

>That's one level.  The more direct reference is that the Iron Man is the
beast, at this point in the story.  That's exactly what I'm talking about.
The Iron Man was judged by the old men with hate, narrow-mindedness and
bigotry as being evil.  They reacted to the unknown with fear and anger.
Only the young, un-cynical Hogarth saw the good in him when he looked into
his eyes (A Friend Is a  Friend).  Later in the story, though, Hogarth's
naivety allows him to fall in love with the dragon because he could see a
beautiful face trapped inside, which turned out to be one of the children
she ate!  In the end Hogarth's ability to see past superficial appearances
to the good inside saved the world and led him to his love, the girl who was
released when the dragon exploded.  I'd say the main theme of the story is
one of acceptance, and the message starts with Dig.

Excellent theme, but still it's hard to pull this out of the lyrics.  The 
whole thing is so understated that it's obscure--inaccessible.

>>I agree it's a very nice song, but I'm just having a hard time reading all
>that you do into it without the context of the story.

>Read the liner notes;  It's all there.

I don't want to.  I want to hear the story in the lyrics.  Pete has wasted 
all that music and not told the story.

>By the way, I wonder if the beautiful girl trapped in the dragon is based 
Sylvia Plath.  Has anyone read the Ted Hughes book Iron Man is based on?

Not I.  Hughes was very close-mouthed about his relationship with Plath, so 
unless he scribbled some liner notes, we're unlikely to know.  ;)


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