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 Post subject: the meaning of "If there is something"
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:43 pm
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this may have been discussed before, but does anyone have some knowledge from perhaps interviews or roxy bio's that could shed some light on it?


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 Post subject: Re: the meaning of "If there is something"
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:15 pm 
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I can't offer anything authoratitive, but isn't it an old fashioned love song with the 3 sections of the song covering the 3 key phases in a long term relationship?

The first phase is a young man looking for direction in his life and playing the field in search of "somebody special". It covers those first tentative moments of mutual attraction when they eyeball one another for the first time and everything gets set in motion..

The second phase is when he has fallen head over heels in love, is laying himself bare emotionally, and offering her a future together.

The final phase is years down the line i.e. they have grown old together and he is having a nostalgic look back to their salad days when everything seemed bigger and better and anything was possible, and thinking about the leap of faith they took that set them on the path from there to where they are now. I can't work out if he is looking back with affection or regret though - maybe a bit of both?


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 Post subject: Re: the meaning of "If there is something"
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:34 pm 
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exactly. though i'm not sure they're still together in old age...and indeed the object/person is a single person, rather than a concept, such as the eternal feminine. nevertheless, three stage:

1. in search of passion
2. in throes of passion
3. nostalgia...look back at passion

nice twist: "when you were young"...rather than "when we were young". i reckon that's significant, but not sure why.

flashbacks of a fool....what a great celebration of an emotion triggered by a song, which then becomes the thread within the celebration (i.e. the film). this film also triggered my love for scott walker, somewhat belated admittedly


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 Post subject: Re: the meaning of "If there is something"
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:09 am 
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I don't know if I read it somewhere, or it was something that simply occurred to me, but it almost sounds like he's singing to his mother.

"When you were young"

" I would do anything for you"

"Lift up your feet and put them on the ground, you used to walk upon"

"Growing potatoes by the score"

"Where would you go if you were me?"

asking for advice, reminiscing, and specifically speaking to someone in the older stages of life.


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 Post subject: Re: the meaning of "If there is something"
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:59 am 
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RoxySiren wrote:

nice twist: "when you were young"...rather than "when we were young". i reckon that's significant, but not sure why.



Is he blaming everything changing on her changing and urging her to be a bit more like she used to be?


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 Post subject: Re: the meaning of "If there is something"
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:27 pm
Posts: 250
Location: Manchester, England
some Interesting views of the song here.

I see it more about a 'lost love' somebody that is no longer apart of his life

In the beginning he is a young man having a good time with the ladies, full of excitement and urgency, falls in love "Somebody special looking at me"... but doesn't follow his heart..... "It's Just a game" attitude and wants to play the field.

Then the middle section, he is further down the line he's matured, find himself lost, does a bit of soul searching, yearning and desperately wants back that.... "Somebody special"... what he once had and lost.... "I would do anything for you" etcetera, etcetera, etcetera......"

The final bit is when he is old man, looking back with regret and reminiscing about how she used to be and what might have been perhaps?..."shake your hair girl with the ponytail, takes me right back When you were young"... maybe from memory the minds eye, or possibly looking at a photograph?

It's a diamond of a song whichever way you look at it.... one of my all time favourites, and Bryan delivering those heart wrenching lyrics wouldn't be Bryan without them. just brilliant from start to finish.


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 Post subject: Re: the meaning of "If there is something"
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:31 pm 
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[quote="revox"]I don't know if I read it somewhere, or it was something that simply occurred to me, but it almost sounds like he's singing to his mother.[quote]

We all love our mothers dearly, but if anybody has feelings for their mother like those expressed in the 2nd section of the song then they seriously need help !


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 Post subject: Re: the meaning of "If there is something"
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:33 pm 
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Posts: 673
What a great thread! Like the mum angle :D but i'm skeptical! Whilst i think bry usually likes to sing in a disguised way about his quirks...this may not be one of them ;)

The potatoes reference does make me wonder though if there is a link to his parents...probably not though


Last edited by RoxySiren on Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: the meaning of "If there is something"
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:25 pm 
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Posts: 303
Gardening is anathema to most single young men - so surely the gardening references are there to show, in his besotted condition, that he is prepared to ignore the things that matter to him and commit to anything, provided it makes her happy and allows him to be with her. New love is all consuming, after all !

In the final part of the song he is looking back at his life with her and wondering where and why it all went flat. He is blaming her for everything changing and wants her to get back to being the girl he fell in love with all those years ago. Of course, he fails to acknowledge the changes he signed up to in those heady days of new love and the part they have played his current situation. He certainly didn't find the "something" he was looking for at the start of the song or the peace of mind that he desired. I guess he is on his way to a mid-life crisis - an all too familiar tale. The 2 seater sports car is just around the corner!


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 Post subject: Re: the meaning of "If there is something"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:36 pm 
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Posts: 673
Avondale wrote:
In the final part of the song he is looking back at his life with her and wondering where and why it all went flat. He is blaming her for everything changing and wants her to get back to being the girl he fell in love with all those years ago.


this chimes well with my sense that the lyric in stage 3 has bitterness in it. thanks avondale.


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