20th Century Pop

THE RIVER OF DREAMS - BILLY JOEL

Billy Joel here, delightfully relates a season of disposition towards conscious (as well as subconscious) soul-searching, or contemplation, which concept I suspect most of us have engaged at some point in our lives to some degree. He seems to be enjoying himself, the music is very likeable and catchy, but I beg to differ that 'we're all carried along by the river of dreams' without responsibility and potential to determine our own (psychological and literal) destination - we do not all end in an 'ocean' that, if evaporates not, becomes a stagnant place; some of us choose the contentment of the metaphorical 'dry land' which, if it weren't for the sea, we should all recognize as one rock mass as opposed to separate islands.

IMAGINE - JOHN LENNON

There is perhaps no better example of pathos in music in any widely known age of the art. Akin to Satie's 'Gymnopedie No.1', for those of us who love a melancholy mood the music is endearing. The sentiment however, is desperate, expressing John Lennon's wish for others to hear himself in order to create, in his view, a (blessed) reality that is impliedly non-existent and can only be dreamt about. The unanswered question is: what did he have in mind for those who insist that there is a heaven, and believe they would be putting their own and others' eternity (as well as immediate peace of mind) in jeopardy if they ignored their conscience in order to conform to his Utopian vision ?

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN - LED ZEPPELIN

This is undoubtedly an inspired masterpiece with as much epic quality as anything I've ever come across in contemporary pop music. The intro is beautiful, the structure and progression charming, and all-round composition very accomplished (even the heavier section at the end occasionally goes down gladly in my mind, if not my spirit, to this day - probably because we are eased into it); but lyrically however, we are given expertly crafted philosophical principles that generally concur with Biblical doctrine and case examples whilst being asked to contradict the Bible regarding what (or whom) we should expect and trust if we were genuinely spiritual - or reasonable - (objectively speaking) and, almost as crucially, regarding the notion of time and whether or not we can, or would be able to, turn ourselves or our ways about if indeed we decided, at any point, to question where (and how) we are being led. Treat with (extreme) caution !