Sunday Sounds

As I have mentioned before, to those of you who know me, one of the main factors that contributed to my interest in philosophy was music. I personally feel that most of the time many people simply hear music, but they don’t truly listen to it, let alone question what it means. Then again, many people choose to argue that music doesn’t have any meaning at all (which, unfortunately, is probably true about most of the music released today :/). Whether or not people decide to delve into the aspects of music i.e. lyrics, tone, certain chords, etc., and while many people are simply more comfortable sticking to the books, we can’t deny that music makes us feel something. Below is a song, one of my favorites, that certainly makes me question its deeper meaning. Take a listen and discuss! If anyone has any other ideas of music they’d want me to post, let me know! 🙂

What philosophical questions, if any, arise when you listen to lyrics?

What areas of philosophy might we consider when analyzing the song?

This time tomorrow, where will we be?
On a spaceship somewhere sailing across an empty sea
This time tomorrow, what will we know?
Will we still be here watching an in-flight movie show?

I’ll leave the sun behind me and I watch the clouds
As they sadly pass me by
Seven miles below me
I can see the world and it ain’t so big at all

This time tomorrow, what will we see?
Fields full of houses, endless rows of crowded streets
I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t want to see
I feel the world below me looking up at me

Leave the sun behind me and watch the clouds
As they sadly pass me by
And I’m in perpetual motion
And the world below doesn’t matter much to me

This time tomorrow, where will we be?
On a spaceship somewhere sailing across any empty sea

This time tomorrow, this time tomorrow

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One thought on “Sunday Sounds”

  1. I’ll take a crack at this. I think I have a few thoughts on this song.
    On the surface, Ray Davies is writing about an experience he had on an airplane flight (“Spaceship somewhere sailing across an empty sea”), but Davies is also presenting the rupture of being and knowing that the vacuum of his “spaceship” enables (“This time tomorrow, where will we be/…This Time tomorrow, what will we know”). This vacuum high above our ground (our epistemological and ontological reference made insignificant), disrupting our sense of space and time, provides Davies with a perspective of an extra-moral sense (“and the world below doesn’t matter much to me” [also see, “Big Sky”]) and, with the uncertainty of tomorrow, a potentiality to ‘be’ otherwise (“I feel the world below me looking up at me”); he is now the ground of possibility, not the world. This uncertainty is similar to Hume’s discussion on induction (the diurnal sunset), but Davies is not concerned about knowledge certainty or habits; Davies is interested in the opening of possibilities of being-otherwise provided by this uncertainty (“empty sea”).
    Nostalgia being an important theme in Davies work (e.g., “The village green preservation society”, “Picture Book”, “Waterloo Sunset”) looks at the past (his “merry England”) with warmth and fondness (as a source of constancy and certainty [“dirty old river/… I am in paradise”), but also as something lost or, at least, has the potential of being lost and therefore calls for “preservation”. So the future, for Davies, is inextricably linked with, what Lacan calls, the imaginary past (“merry-England”). The freedom Davies find in the vacuum of his “spaceship” distances him from the turmoil and problems of the present; thus presents Davies with a sense of horror, responsibility (to uphold the past/heritage), and potentiality (“I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t want to see/ I feel the world below me looking up at me”). The phenomenon of this rupture of our spatio-temporal references and from the perspective of the “Big Sky” forces Davies to reflect beyond the busy workings of “fields full of houses, [and] endless rows of crowded streets”.
    I don’t know if any of this made any sense, but, either way, I love this song and I love me some Kinks.

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