Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Further Thoughts on Guided by Voices' "Echoes Myron"

I wanted to revisit Guided by Voices' song "Echoes Myron," in particular the lines about old songs. Here is the full "stanza"/verse:

Most of us are quite pleased
With the same old songs
Then all of a sudden I'm relatively sane
With everything to lose and nothing to gain
Or something like that

Robert Pollard's lyric, in my previous post on "GBV," suggested the way in which he seems to embrace the love of the old, the "same old"--but this song, as with so many others on Bee Thousand, intimates a kind of disaffection, the disaffection of bourgeois prosperity and adult "sanity." Pollard articulates how sometimes, like Ivan Ilych in Tolstoy's famous short story, someone wakes up to the reality of their life and it terrifies them. This realization is not mere midlife crisis--it is a psychic battle against the kind of complacency that habituates us to everything around us. Pollard's speaker/voice comes to inhabit the worrisome place that worldly success brings us to.

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