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Ian Chippett
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Lines to Time
« : 11.11.07 at 19:36 »
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A small nit to pick but shouldn't "immortal lines to Time" be "eternal lines to Time?" Always assuming, of course, that Clive was thinking of this line (from one of Shakespeare's sonnets) when he wrote YCETBR.  
 
Ian C
 
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naomi
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Re: Lines to Time
« Reply #1: 11.11.07 at 20:05 »
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"2B or not to 2B?" - members of bus queue in South London, as vehicle approaches (c.1980) ...
 
N  Wink
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naomi
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Re: Lines to Time
« Reply #2: 11.11.07 at 22:21 »
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Apologies for my error in the above posting: the bus-queue quotation, as heard in South London some 27 years ago, should of course read -
 
"2B or not 2B"
 
N
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BogusTrumper
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Re: Lines to Time
« Reply #3: 12.11.07 at 14:22 »
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"Ah, the natives must be restless - the buses are travelling in convoys"
 
heard whilst waiting for a 37 bus in South London some 37 years ago.
 
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Kevin Cryan
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Re: Lines to Time
« Reply #4: 13.11.07 at 12:26 »
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on 11.11.07 at 19:36, Ian Chippett wrote:
A small nit to pick but shouldn't "immortal lines to Time" be "eternal lines to Time?" Always assuming, of course, that Clive was thinking of this line (from one of Shakespeare's sonnets) when he wrote YCETBR.  
 
Ian C
.....................

 
"one of Shakespeare's sonnets*"
 
"YCETBR"**"
 
*"Sonnet XVIII
 
Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?  
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:  
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,  
And Summer’s lease hath all too short a date:  
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,  
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,  
And every fair from fair sometime declines,  
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrim’d:  
But thy eternal  Summer shall not fade,  
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,  
Nor shall death brag thou wandr’st in his shade,  
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,  
So long as men can breath or eyes can see,  
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.  
 
William Shakespeare
 
 **"You Can't Expect to be Remembered
 
 The bards of old were bold about their claims upon posterity    
Petrarch, Shakespeare and Ronsard were never slow to guarantee  
Their loved ones' immortality  
They never said Farewell, they said So long --                
So long lives this and this gives life to thee                  
They didn't doubt the power of a rhyme                          
Or the durability of scribbled pages                            
And so they wrote immortal lines to Time                        
That gave their love affairs to all the ages  
 

 
Ian,
 
There are, I  think , sound  reasons for believing that every word in this lyric is as carefully, if not more carefully,  considered and weighed as any Clive has ever written, and, furthermore,  I'm convinced there is a good case to be made for concluding  that it's not a  mistake – nor the result of  a lapse of memory – that made Clive choose to write "immortal lines" rather than "eternal lines".
 
One example is probably sufficient to show just how carefully Clive weighs each word . Take, for example, “lines to time”. The phrase sings, but what does it mean?  It could mean that lines are for, or to, future time, or posterity, or it could mean that they are written to time,  a musical rhythmic template. Actually, I suggest Clive very clearly sees the very ambiguity of meaning makes the lyric all that much richer and more resonant.
 
 If it is the case that Clive gives every word careful consideration, then the use of "immortal" rather than "eternal"  is , as I've said already said, no accident.  The repetition of immortal in saying that "immortal lines" were what guaranteed the "loved one's immortality"  makes  the point much more forcibly and succinctly than if he's quoted Shakespeare's "eternal lines" and said that they guaranteed the "loved one's immortality".  (Shakespeare uses the same effect when says "thy eternal Summer shall not fade .... When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.")  It's also  possible to suggest  that Clive is probably all too aware that there is the danger that  "eternal lines" could be misinterpreted, since "eternal" itself  is  nowadays sometimes used pejoratively to mean “ annoyingly ceaseless”, as in an “eternal racket". Indeed, now that I think of it,  he'd be more than justified in avoiding "eternal" for this last reason alone.  
 
Kevin Cryan
 
« Last Edit: 13.11.07 at 12:33 by Kevin Cryan » IP logged
Pete Atkin
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Re: Lines to Time
« Reply #5: 13.11.07 at 13:03 »
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I think Kevin has nailed it - as he so often does.   The word 'lines' in the Shakespeare is (probably deliberately) ambiguous;  in the lyric it isn't - the word 'wrote' pins it down - and, as Kevin points out, for this specific kind of line to be 'eternal' is not at all the same thing as for it to be 'immortal'.  All in all, a neat example of 'difficilior potius'. (Hem hem.)  Probably.
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