Eye Candy #6

I really like clever advertising that draws you in, and I think that’s exactly what this one by Carlsberg does. Would you do this for your best friend?

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Dulce Et Decorum Est

At the moment I am reading War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I didn’t think anything could top Anna Karenina, but this book is beautiful. However, that’s not why I’m writing this blog post. I’m 915 pages into Tolstoy’s classic, and there’s far more war than peace happening at this moment in time. This got me thinking about my favourite wartime poem; ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ by Wilfred Owen:

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Despite its content, this poem is, for me, one of the most beautiful poems ever written. It’s certainly the most poignant. Written during World War I, it dispels Roman poet, Horace’s ‘old lie’; that it is right and fitting to die for your country. It encapsulates the confusion, horror and ultimately the waste of life during wartime, something that is very current considering the recent war in Iraq. Its graphic descriptions really hit home and give you a taste of what it’s really like to serve your country, especially at a time when young men didn’t have a choice.

Soldiers

What Does Lana Del Rey’s ‘Radio’ Mean?

‘Radio’ is my favourite song by Lana Del Rey; the melody is one of dreamlike purity and you can lose yourself in a voice that is beautifully ethereal. But what do the lyrics mean?

Not even they can stop me nowlana-del-rey-bio2
Boy, I’ll be flying overhead
Their heavy words can’t bring me down
Boy I’ve been raised from the dead

No one even knows how hard life was
I don’t even think about it now because
I’ve finally found you
Oh, sing it to me

Now my life is sweet like cinnamon
Like a fucking dream I’m living in
Baby love me cause I’m playing on the radio
(How do you like me now?)

Pick me up and take me like a vitamin
Baby love me cause I’m playing on the radio
(How do you like me now?)

American dreams came true somehow
I swore I’d chase ’em until I was dead
I heard the streets were paved with gold
That’s what my father said
‘Cause my body’s sweet like sugar venom oh yeah

No one even knows what life was like
Now I’m in LA and it’s paradise
I’ve finally found you
Oh, sing it to me

Now my life is sweet like cinnamon
Like a fucking dream I’m living in
Baby love me cause I’m playing on the radio
(How do you like me now?)

Pick me up and take me like a vitamin
‘Cause my body’s sweet like sugar venom oh yeah
Baby love me ’cause I’m playing on the radio
(How do you like me now?)

Sweet like cinnamon
Like a fucking dream I’m living in
Baby love me ’cause I’m playing on the radio
(How do you like me now?)

Sweet like cinnamon
Like a fucking dream I’m living in
I’ve finally found you
Oh, sing it to me

Now my life is sweet like cinnamon
Like a fucking dream I’m living in
Baby love me ’cause I’m playing on the radio
(How do you like me now?)

Pick me up and take me like a vitamin
‘Cause my body’s sweet like sugar venom oh yeah
Baby love me ’cause I’m playing on the radio
(How do you like me now?)

Now my life is sweet like cinnamon
Like a fucking dream I’m living in
Baby love me ’cause I’m playing on the radio
(How do you like me now?)

Pick me up and take me like a vitamin
‘Cause my body’s sweet like sugar venom oh yeah
Baby love me ’cause I’m playing on the radio
(How do you like me now?)

I have heard many interpretations of this song, ranging from a man finally paying the singer attention because she’s on the radio, to one of her finally finding fame, to something more bittersweet in reference to the fact that cinnamon is, in fact, not sweet at all. I however, think this song is an ode to music:

Before she found music, life was hard; no one knows how hard. We know from her controversial interview with GQ Magazine that she was sent to boarding school aged fourteen due to an alcohol problem, so it seems life hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses for her in the past. But now she’s ‘flying overhead’ in LA and ‘it’s paradise’.

But this is a two way thing; just as music has allowed her to live the American Dream, she is doing good things for music as well; she’s ‘playing on the radio’ and music can ‘pick her up and take her like a vitamin’, one of the best lines in the song, meaning that it gets its strength from talent like hers. The music industry is made by those with a passion for it; people like Lana Del Rey, whose livelihood is music. The ‘(How do you like me now)’ is, I think, a kind of ‘fuck you’ to those who doubted her on the way up.

However, this is just my interpretation. What do you think it’s about?

Published on www.zmemusic.com