Sunday, 16 February 2014

And the eyes in his head, see the world spinning around . . .

I recently watched a Grammy's salute to the music of The Beatles and it reignited my fascination with their music  Apart from being part of an elite alumni of the most ridiculously clever and artful songwriters of their generation, Paul McCartney and John Lennon are responsible for some of the most timeless compositions the world has ever known.  

Even though this song The Fool on the Hill is not particularly hailed as one of their hits, it is one of my favourites because the combination of the music and the lyrics create (in my mind) this perfect blend of light and dark.  The verses are somewhat matter-of-fact and paint the picture of an average day; where you might come across somebody in your daily life as you go about your business that you might label a "fool on the hill" every time you see them.  It almost seems to me that the man has the foolish grin and keeps perfectly still in the beginning as he is  running through his thoughts in his head, before he shares them with the world.     
The mystery that surrounds the idea of the "fool on the hill" is achieved through the music, as the shift in the chordal progressions and tonality contributes to the air of mystery, the juxtaposition here is deliberate and the way in which McCartney sings the lyric here suggest that the "fool in the hill" may very well be not the fool that we think he is.

Day after day, alone on the hill,
The man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still.
But nobody wants to know him,
They can see that he's just a fool.
And he never gives an answer .....

But the fool on the hill,
Sees the sun going down.
And the eyes in his head,
See the world spinning around.

Even when we hear the man again, we choose not to hear him, even though he shares what he's thinking - even if nobody appears to be listen - it's more important for the fool to know that he is making himself heard.  When I see "the man of a thousand voices" it conjures images in my mind about a man who has quite the handle on diversity, multiple versions of diversity - intra-ethnic, inter-ethnic, multi-ethnic - because despite the many layers of diversities and the different accents that you can imagine coming from him - you can still understand the volume at least, "talking perfectly loud".  

Well on his way, his head in a cloud,
The man of a thousand voices, talking perfectly loud.
But nobody ever hears him,
Or the sound he appears to make.
And he never seems to notice .....

And nobody seems to like him,
They can tell what he wants to do.
And he never shows his feelings

Sometimes I think that I can be a "fool on the hill" in my multiple worlds.  I talk perfectly loud but nobody seems to hear; but it could be that my wicked sense of humour gets in the way of me being able to talk perfectly loud or maybe even be taken seriously.  

In any case, even if you are not heard because you're not talking perfectly loud or nobody ever hears you, it is still important to speak so that you know that you have a voice.  I don't mean that you must speak all the time when it doesn't make an impact or a positive difference - because it could even come to close to a meme like:

 "I don't often speak up, but when I do, 
   the eyes in my head see the sun going down, 
   and the world spinning round".

So don't be discouraged if people label you a "fool on the hill".  They might be surprised to discover that they could very well be - someone else's "fool on the hill".