Meanings behind the songs?

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Meanings behind the songs?

Postby TRAVISJAMES03 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:26 pm

After all of these years I just found out (from this site) who "Snowqueen of Texas" was about (Deborah Dixon). I know "Pearl" is for Janis Joplin, "Lady Genevieve" is about Genevieve Waite. "Monday, Monday" means whatever you want it to mean (according to John Phillips), I THINK that "String Man" was about Michelle's affair with Gene Clarke, "I Saw Her Again" was about Denny & Michelle's affair---------but there are so many songs that I don't know what the 'behind the scenes' meanings are and I thought that I would start a thread in which we could find out what the meanings of some of the M&P's songs are.

:)
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Re: Meanings behind the songs?

Postby Nicole » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:44 am

Hi TravisJames,
I thought Stringman was John and Michelle's relationship, as many of the songs were (Go Where You Wanna Go, Words of Love, etc.), but i could be wrong. Strange Young Girls was about California in the 60's I think. That's all I have for now. :D
Take care,
Nicole :mrgreen:
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Re: Meanings behind the songs?

Postby TRAVISJAMES03 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:43 pm

Too my knowledge "String Man" was about the Gene Clarke affair.

"Creeque Alley" is obvious, "Meditation Mama" is about John Phillips' mother, "Safe in My Garden" was one of their few songs about the civil unrest, et al, of the 60's (JP stated this in an interview), "Twelve-Thirty" is about the difference between the 'hippie' movement from New York to California, etc.

I believe that "Gemini Childe" is about Michelle (as were a lot of the songs), etc.
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Re: Meanings behind the songs?

Postby Eran » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:27 am

If you've ever listened to Michelle recounting the story of when she met John and what was going through her head as she was watching The Journeymen perform then you will notice the striking similarities between her account and the song's lyrics. It's pretty much Michelle's story of meeting John, which, kind of explains, if you think about it, why she sings lead.

Side note: If ever there were a song that showcases her growth as a singer, this is it. In fact, there's one part in the middle where for the longest time I couldn't tell (as couldn't a few others) whether it was Michelle or Cass who were singing. God rest his soul, Denny himself, answered that on his message board and clarified it that Michelle sang lead, start to finish.
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Re: Meanings behind the songs?

Postby TRAVISJAMES03 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:54 pm

I think that is the reason why MP's sings the lead-----I think that this was another attempt to punish Michelle by making her sing a song about an affair she had (much like having Denny & Michelle sing "I Saw Her Again").

"I Wanna Be A Star" is obviously about Michelle and her attempts to become an actress, etc., "Grasshopper" was about Michelle's affair with Dennis Hopper, and wasn't the song "Frustration" due to the fact that JP's couldn't come up with the lyrics to the song and that is why there are no lyrics to it?
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Re: Meanings behind the songs?

Postby Nicole » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:39 am

Hi Eran,
Regarding Stringman, I agree with you, I also always thought it was about Michelle meeting Johhn for the first time, etc. Maybe someone on the board can clear this up?
Take care,
Nicole :mrgreen:
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Re: Meanings behind the songs?

Postby Eran » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:43 pm

Funny you should bring up "Frustration" Travis. That enigmatic track has always fascinated me. With the music being so polished and well...finished...I've just always wondered, where the hell are the lyrics?!
Were any lyrics ever written for it??? I've always thought it would have made for a memorable vocal track but what can you do...
On this subject, Cass' "All For Me" springs to mind as an even bigger tease of what the song might have sounded like. I've always half liked/half hated how the song ends with the start of what one can only imagine were the actual lyrics...

Oh well...gotta love these things that makes a band's songbook that much more special. Hey, to keep us talking about it 45 years after the fact, what more proof could John Phillips need that he didn't have to write lyrics after all?

Oh fandom...

Good night all :)
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Re: Meanings behind the songs?

Postby TRAVISJAMES03 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:16 pm

Hmmmmm.....I could have sworn that "String Man" was about Gene Clarke.

JP's must have had a hard time doing the "Deliever" album because two songs "Frustration" & "John's Music Box") had no vocals. Back then you had to continually release new material, as opposed to today when an artist can wait years inbetween releasings. The record companies would not let bands even take a breath between albums-----no wonder why JP couldn't come up wit a full set of songs every time.

Even Michelle said that the song "Here in My Arms" had the track taken from it and just new lyrics added to it (I guess that JP couldn't think of a new musical background for "No Salt on Her Tail"-------but since "Here in My Arms" was never released only on the M&P boxset a few years ago, no one knew, barring those that saw the Rogers & Hart special when it originally aired).

"Mansions" was about the M&P's realizing the 'dream' wasn't what they thought it would be.
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Re: Meanings behind the songs?

Postby Eran » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:54 pm

How about the brilliant "Midnight Voyage"?

Personally, I've always thought of it as a little tribute to that popular '60s "candy" otherwise known as LSD...again, it's the lyrics...but I may well be mistaken. What do you guys reckon?
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Re: Meanings behind the songs?

Postby TRAVISJAMES03 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:21 pm

"Midnight Voyage" is a wonderful song. There are a few that like it without the chattter in it (with simple software you can edit all of the chatter out), but I think that is adds something.

Notice how JP is a little tense when he says a bit sarcastically, "Sorry, my mistake."

I like Cass', "Ya like that, Lou?"

:-)
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