“Depends on what I was taking” – of coherence, ambiguity, classic works of art

So, writing something I shouldn’t (I will retrolink to it), I stumble on this, about one of my favourite songs, ‘After the Gold Rush‘ by Neil Young.

Dolly Parton once commented about the making of her version of the song: “When we were doing the Trio album, I asked Linda and Emmy what it meant, and they didn’t know. So we called Neil Young, and he didn’t know. We asked him, flat out, what it meant, and he said, ‘Hell, I don’t know. I just wrote it. It just depends on what I was taking at the time. I guess every verse has something different I’d taken.'”

ROFLMAO.

The song means a hell of a lot to me, as does ‘Grey Seal’ sung by Elton John and written by Bernie Taupin, who also says he doesn’t know what it means (fwiw, here’s my take).

But the Parton anecdote put me in mind of this, from ‘The Big Sleep‘ and who killed the chauffeur.  I heard (a seemingly apocryphal) story that Bogart turned up one morning on set asking that question, but it seems that the script monkeys got there first.  Anyway, Raymond Chandler, author of the source novel was phoned up, and he didn’t know…

And here are the two songs mentioned above

and

 

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