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Friday: June 19, 2009

Are My Tastes Hopelessly Proletarian?

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:03 PM UTC

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell twice quotes a song popular among the proles of his imagined future, “composed without any human intervention whatever on an instrument known as a versificator”. He calls it “dreadful rubbish” and a “driveling song”, but it seems to me that it would fit right in to the Great American Songbook. Of course, we cannot judge the music, but I have certainly heard worse words. Here are the lyrics, with the proletarian (Cockney) mispronunciations edited out:

It was only a hopeless fancy,
It passed like an April day,
But a look and a word and the dreams they stirred
They have stolen my heart away!

They say that time heals all things,
They say you can always forget;
But the smiles and the tears across the years
They twist my heartstrings yet!

(George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, II.iv and II.x)

It is not deep, but other than the awkward rhythm of the fifth line, I don’t see anything embarrassingly wrong with it. Do I need a taste-bud transplant?

1 Comment »

  1. It looks like a Paul McCartney song.

    Comment by Andrea Harris — Saturday: June 20, 2009 @ 9:38 PM UTC

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