by azkm mod trusted 3 years ago
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Last modified on 2010-12-03 19:39:00 by azkm
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thx for the tips azkm, they really helped. i haven't been on this site for very long so i'm still learning the trade...i'm such an outsider...but that's ok, hopefully i'll get the hang of it eventually. i have already obeyed several of the guidelines but i guess i still have a fair way to catch up.
let me make something very clear though. in all of my posts, i do not intend to be an attention-seeker and make my posts stand out against others. i don't do things that way. i'm not saying that's what you think i'm doing. i just say whatever's on my mind and i know very well that not everyone will express interest in what i say. i try my best not to be off-topic but if i'm not doing a very good job i guess i'll have to chill a bit and not get so demented :p lol
this has been raisinman92 in memory of aunt robyn
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Nice robot message.
btw, I came here to see if there was discussion about some Googoosha songs.
I didn't see any songs listed, so I joined with the plan to post the lyrics and hopefully get a discussion started.
Question: how do I add the lyrics?
Yes, I only searched this forum: Forum Guidelines - Please read this before you post
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I would like to add some interpretive ideas on Fields of Gold by Sting. Since it seems that there is not any detailed definitive interpretation of it, I off this below for consideration by listeners and lovers of Sting:
The key to interpreting this somewhat idyllic song (though one which many will at least be able to partly identify with) is the opening verse and its themes, the repetition of elements of these themes throughout the song and the music bridges between the verses. This opening verse contain a snapshot or hint of all the songâs themes â remembering, forgetting, the west wind, the jealous sun and sky and the fields of barley/gold. Note too that we hear the same tune throughout except in the crucial second half of the fourth verse when he makes a solemn promise. Also, the accompaniment from the fourth verse onwards is enhanced significantly.
The piece can be interpreted on two levels also. Firstly, there is the original experiential level â what happened between two people in love over their life together, especially at a particular time in their lives. Secondly, there is the level of the song designed to communicate and create an experience for the listener, you and me. Both levels run together and overlap, it seems to me.
1. You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in fields of gold
The first two lines of verse 1 are addressed to his female partner. He is telling her that some time in the future she will remember him at the time that the west wind moves upon the fields of barley, both very concrete experiences. By relating this to her and us in this way, the song writer/he gets her and us wondering what this could mean. Does this imply that he will be somewhere else or with her? â It is deliberately left hanging for a later resolution. It clearly speaks of the future but when?
A west wind, according to Wikipedia, is âa wind that blows from the west, in an eastward direction. In Western tradition, it has usually been considered the mildest and most favorable of the directional windsâ. Fields of barley grain are golden in colour, so beautiful to see from the outside and to wander in, get lost in, be in.
Then there is the second line: âYou'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in fields of goldâ. So we have an immediate contrast created between remembering and forgetting when we take the whole verse together.
âThe sun in his jealous skyâ is an interesting personification of celestial bodies. The sun is said to own the sky (âhisâ) â maybe in the sense that the sun fills the sky on a perfect day. Why âjealousâ? This is not revealed as yet. And how can one forget the sun? What experience is so strong and deep that she could âforget the sunâ as she âwalked in fields of barleyâ?
But they will walk together, not just in fields of barley now, but fields of âgoldâ. Is this just another way of describing the fields of barley or is there something else being communicated here?
So we note that while the first two lines of the verse take her (and us as listeners) to an unknown future time, the last line of the verse refers also to her future experience but one that will be while she is with him in the fields of barley.
And âbarleyâ is substituted, for reasons yet to be explained, by âgoldâ in this last word of the verse, though it seems clear enough that he is referring to âbarleyâ, but perhaps something more by the use of this word. Perhaps the poet/story teller/partner wants to put before us âup frontâ a contrast between the golden âsunâ and the golden âbarleyâ. And this parallel of âbarleyâ and âgoldâ, as it occurs in verse 1, is to be repeated, we will see, in each verse of the poem/song and in the same way â âbarley at the end of the second line (the end of the first full meaningful part of the verse) and the end of the fourth line (the end of the second meaningful part of the verse). So this repetitive theme provides a framework and a continuity, the latter being precisely the goal, I think, of the writer.
So itâs all a bit cryptic at this point but a lot has been said, as well as left unsaid in the span of one âsimpleâ verse of the song. The scene has been set but we really donât know where things are going so far. A number of questions have been implicitly raised and left hanging. The walk in fields of barley is relayed as an experience that is to occur and the way the last line is worded brings the song back from the future to the present, on the basis of the tense used.
The bridge of music that follows verse 1 gives me a sense that what is being conveyed is: âthis first verse is what I want to say in this song, this is what itâs about, now let me explain that to you, let me tell you of the experience that it speaks ofâ.
2. So she took her love
For to gaze awhile
Upon the fields of barley
In his arms she fell as her hair came down
Among the fields of gold
3. Will you stay with me, will you be my love
Among the fields of barley
We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we lie in fields of gold
Ah ha â we see the song, his words, the story, move immediately to what was mentioned in the last line of verse 1 â the âwalkâ in the fields of barley. Verses 2 and 3 go together; the music bridge between verses 3&4 tells us this, as there is no musical break between verses 2&3. Verse 2 is that of the storyteller. Verse 3 brings us immediately to the real life situation between the couple â as if we are there hearing his words spoken to her in this close encounter. We can visualise both these events and moments mentioned very easily â there is nothing cryptic here.
âSo she took her loveâ: So what happened was, the story goes, that she loved him and she took him to the fields of barley. She takes the initiative. Maybe she wants to find out more about what he has said in verse 1 to her, the promises that he has made there to her. For that is really what verse 1 was about in essence â predictions but promises, though that may be getting ahead of ourselves a bit to use that latter word, though thatâs one possible interpretation at this stage, I think.
The experience in the fields of barley first begins with wandering and gazing at the expanse of the fields but soon she falls into his arms and they are gazing at each other. Her hair coming down indicates perhaps that she does so with abandon and a sense of relaxation, freedom and trust. And there is that word âgoldâ mentioned again â before it was in the context of âwalkingâ that was yet to happen (see verse 1); now they are âamongâ these âfields of goldâ in each otherâs arms. But there is no explanation yet as to what this parallel between âfields of barleyâ and âfields of goldâ means.
âWill you stay with me, will you be my loveâ begins verse 3 â we hear him say this while they are still in each others arms. This may be like the proposal for a longed for life and love together, though we jump ahead of ourselves here because the question that begins verse 3 is asked in the context of âamong the fields of barleyâ, not beyond that at this point. There is nothing here really to say that he is asking her to âstayâ and âbe my loveâ beyond this time in the fields of barley
The second part of the verse shows that the reference is also to the âhere and nowâ while they are among the fields of barley: âWe'll forget the sun in his jealous sky As we lie in fields of goldâ.
Now itâs not easy to forget the blazing sun in a clear sky but he says they will want to and they will for just the time they are together there, he promises or asserts. They will be oblivious to all else, even the bright powerful dominant sun and the all encompassing blue sky that one usually looks up to with amazement and which usually cant but helped being noticed usually, given its attractive, beautiful blue hue.
Why would the sun and sky not be jealous? They are about to be, it seems, cut off from focus or attention, ignored - because something golden, something precious is beginning to happen between two people here â something that even in their (the sun and skyâs) might and greatness even they canât have, but can only envy. There may be more gold in this love between this couple, he considers (and predicts), than the beauty and preciousness of the sunâs rays and the blue skyâs beauty. The thing about gold is when you find a nugget, there is usually a rich vein (to use the mining analogy) from where that came from. So we now know what was meant by âyouâll forget the sunâ in verse 1, though it is in fact both of them that he says will âforgetâ that sun and sky â she wonât be doing this alone.
Then the music bridge comes around again, just as it was after verse 1. However, the accompaniment is about to be enhanced after the end of the bridge and as the fourth verse begins: the electric guitar will be plucked repeatedly and beautifully to highlight an enhancement of their relationship.
4. See the west wind move like a lover so
Upon the fields of barley
Feel her body rise when you kiss her mouth
Among the fields of gold
I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I've broken
But I swear in the days still left
We'll walk in fields of gold
We'll walk in fields of gold
Verse 4 is the crescendo of the song. The song writer invites us to experience what the couple are experiencing now â to âseeâ the west wind move, this gentle breeze, as gentle as the moves of lovers, upon the barley fields (or perhaps it is a call to witness something â âseeâ in this sense), but also, to remember our own similar experiences; we are perhaps being drawn into savour our own experiences in a fresh way. We are reminded of verse 1 and its reference to âthe west windâ straight away: âYou'll remember me when the west wind moves, Upon the fields of barleyâ. The basis for the promise he made before, at the outset (verse 1), is about to be established and partly fulfilled; the experience which is to be remembered is now occurring or beginning, it seems. But there will be more later on these words of verse 1 which fully explains their meaning.
Verse 4 is more than an experience of physical intimacy with all it âhighâ and perfection (and the extent of the physical intimacy here is left open to oneâs interpretation or imagination, though they have, it seems, been rolling in the fields of barley as she now has her back to the earth); there is a commitment being made here, a solemn joining together of this couple. Maybe for the first time a commitment or promise that he swears he will honour â like the vows made during a wedding ceremony. Itâs a commitment for the rest of his life (âthe days still leftâ). How are we to interpret the two lines beginning âfeel her body"etc? Certainly not literally. So are we not being drawn into this intimate experience solely on the basis of our own intimate experiences?
I donât interpret these last words to say that he is on his death bed, so to speak. The music bridge before verse 5 and the opening line of verse 5 support this interpretation, I think (see below). He is saying at this point of the experience or this point of the song that we are listening to and identifying with in our own experiences, that the rest of their life from that point onwards will be a âwalk in fields of goldâ; this will be the essence of their journey ahead together. This is more than the gold of the barley or of the sun but the âgoldâ of their precious loving committed relationship. But perhaps the words âthe days still leftâ are ominous in the sense that it could refer to both a lifetime or to a very short time. This partly prepares us for the last verse. The last line is repeated â i.e. he is sure of what he is saying.
So now we see the full meaning of the term âfields of goldâ. This is their life and love together and they âwalkâ together in it. And we now realise that he did in fact use the word âstayâ in verse 3 above to meaning âforeverâ. This becomes crystal clean when we get to Verse 5.
Then there is a longer musical bridge, after verse 4 and before verse 5, a reflective time on what has happened and been told to us, a time to soak up the âgoldâ of their experience so far and to touch that same gold within our own experiences. This longer musical bridge is conveying also that time is passing in the lives of these lovers, as the first line of verse 5 will indicate.
5. âMany years have passed since those summer days
Among the fields of barleyâ
They are much older now and many seasons have passed, the storyteller relays.
âSee the children run as the sun goes down
Among the fields of goldâ
We are invited into a ânowâ experience. This could be their own children or it could be just a way of connecting the past with the present: they as âchildrenâ ran in the fields of barley and now we are invited to see the children of today run in those same fields. And there is nothing more that points to the wonder, goodness and strength of life itself then seeing children in carefree action. The âsun goes downâ could refer to his life coming to an end. It perhaps is ominous of the ending that was cryptically hinted at in the opening verse 1 (line 1and 2) and perhaps hinted at before in verse 4 âin the days still leftâ (as mentioned above).
âYou'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barleyâ
These are the exact same words he told her, promised her, and which we the listeners heard, at the beginning of the song. Further though, the very first line of verse 4 almost identifies (actually though, a simile, not a metaphor) the coming or moving of the west wind with the move of lovers. How could she forget this experience â but how can we either â as hearers of that line identifying with our own experience? The movement of the west wind upon the fields of barley will flood back the memories of their experiences there and indeed of their whole life together. But what is the story, the poem, the lover getting at? Then we hear:
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in fields of gold
It is her that is going to tell the sun â he wonât be there. He tells her, as the storyteller conveys to us also, that she can now, when the west wind blows its gentle breeze, âtell the sun in his jealous skyâ of their âgoldenâ life together, even though he wonât be there with her. But the memories âcarriedâ by this west wind anew will be enough to touch into the memories of old. This will be a remembering of the joy of their relationship and thus a very sad time for her also as she grieves his loss or pending loss, which now becomes clear, especially with the words:
âWhen we walked in fields of goldâ
Note that âwhenâ is used, not âthatâ. âThatâ is more restrictive â and the sun and sky know âthatâ they walked in fields of gold (from what has been said in the song already). âWhenâ involves a story or an account, telling the sun and sky about the time of their life when they âwalkedâ these fields of gold, their joyous life together.
They had shut out the sun, in effect, ignored it, forgotten it, told it nothing of their ongoing inner life and joy. And it is clear now too that this shutting out of the sun and sky was not just for the initial time in the fields of barley, as his words at the end of verse 3 had us believe at that time. Now the sun and sky can know, will be told; and we might imagine that their jealousy would be further stirred. Now, the very telling to the sun and sky of their experiences together will highlight the memories that she had because, in a sense, of this very stirring of jealousy in the sun and sky that will occasion this telling.
We know this experience from other parallel areas of our life â something we have, material or spiritual, can be regarded or held much more proudly or significantly, when there is someone else who knows we have it and we know that they know â and we think or know that it is âbetterâ. This has a somewhat self-centered twang about it, whereas I think the song simply wants to make a clear and strong contrast in order to convey just what their love in relationship is/was. More on this idea below.
We had in verse 1 âYou'll forget the sun in his jealous skyâ - which we now know for certain was a promise when it was made - which was fulfilled in verse 2, 3 and 4. Itâs a âpromiseâ because it was a pledge or commitment to offer a warm, intimate friendship bond. Verse 3 said âWe'll forget the sun in his jealous skyâ and they did. Now it is or will soon be a time to remember, not forget. And it is a time to âtell the sunâ that even though my lover has gone from this earth, that we had and still have, since our love endures beyond death in the memories we have, something that he (the sun) and his jealous sky could never have â a deep love, something personal and in that sense, something more wonderful, more beautiful and more captivating, something brighter and more embracing that the sun and sky could ever have or be, put together. This raises their love to a high plain, to something out of this world really. He had confidence in his love for her and her love for him from day 1; he never doubted that he or she would not remain âtrueâ to each other.
âYou can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in fields of gold
When we walked in fields of gold
When we walked in fields of gold â
The last line is repeated thrice, emphasising that it was a past event that has now ended, that canât and won't happen again, but that, most importantly, is a vivid and lovely joyous memory. Further, there is that final instrumental music which lingers until the end â the same bar of music is repeated seven times. Seven is a number that at least in the biblical tradition and probably more generally, indicates âforeverâ, eternity and/or perfection. So the instrumental music at the end goes on and on â as does the love of this couple, even beyond death.
So we have a love story that spans their whole life until he dies but then endures since their âgoldenâ love endures in the memories she has. She is sad, we can no doubt imagine, but no doubt joyful in the memories she has. I think there is a strong theme of joy and gratitude in this song. The sun and sky, as witnesses to their love, can only remain jealous; in all their power, magnitude, beauty and goodness, they canât match what they have witnessed and have been told here. The song uses this contrast between sun/sky and human love to emphasise and highlight just how great such an enduring love between a couple can be â something of cosmic or heavenly proportions.
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