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Re: happy ones

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:32 pm
by BonnieL
Erik_Kowal wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:09 am
I can't be bothered to try to parse word-salad lyrics. I tend to assume that whoever wrote them was either high, having a psychotic breakdown, or a Google Translate victim.
I had cause to look up the lyrics for I Am the Walrus the other day - definitely high.

Re: happy ones

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:49 pm
by BonnieL
Could the "happy ones" be the same as the "blessed ones"? For Catholics (& I suppose many others), it could refer to those who have died & are now in paradise.

Re: happy ones

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:36 pm
by Phil White
Okay, navi, I made the effort, since I am quite fond of the song (although I never really heard/listened to/thought about the lyrics).

From what I have gleaned from various sources, the rock opera (lifehouse) was envisaged as a follow-up to Tommy, but was shelved.

Wikipedia has this to say about the original concept for Lifehouse:
In the world the album is set in, pollution is so bad that the populace are forced to wear Lifesuits,[1] suits that could simulate all experiences in a way that no one would have to leave home.

The suits are plugged into a huge mainframe called the Grid, similar to today's Internet, but which also contains tubes for sleeping gas, food, and entertainment; supposedly, someone could live out tens of thousands of lifetimes in a very short period within the Grid. The Grid is controlled by a man named Jumbo.

The story begins when a farming family in Scotland hear of a huge rock concert called Lifehouse occurring in London, a sort of post-apocalyptic Woodstock. Their daughter, Mary, runs away to join the concert. They don't wear Lifesuits because they are supposedly out of the pollution's range and they farm the crops that the government buys to feed the Lifesuiters. Bobby is the creator of Lifehouse. (Bobby was also the tentative name of the project for a time.) He is a hacker who broadcasts pirate radio signals advertising his concert, where the participants personal data are taken from them and converted into music, quite literally "finding your song". At the climax of the album, the authorities have surrounded the Lifehouse; then the perfect note rings forth through the combination of everybody's songs, they storm the place to find everybody has disappeared through a sort of musical nirvana, and the people observing the concert through their Lifesuits have vanished as well. ... 71_version
I shall refrain from digressing on how visionary the concept was ...

According to one source, Townshend said this about Baba O'Riley in an interview with Rolling Stone:
A self-sufficient dropout family group farming in a remote part of Scotland decide to return south to investigate rumors of a subversive concert event that promises to shake and wake up apathetic, fearful British society. Ray is married to Sally, they hope to link up with their daughter Mary who has run away from home to attend the concert. They travel through the scarred wasteland of middle England in a motor caravan, running an air conditioner they hope will protect them from pollution. There are regular people, but they’re the scum off the surface; there’s a few farmers there, that’s where the thing from ‘Baba O'Riley’ comes in.
Given that information, I guess the "happy ones" are the people attending the "subversive concert event".

Whaddya know? I am not sure I will enjoy the song any more or less for knowing that. In particular, without the context of the whole opera, the lyrics are at best abstruse, and always have been.