close your eyes
[music, lyrics]

Brian Eno - Julie with...

An addendum to yesterday's review. Something terrible I just discovered about this song in the lyrics department of the Enoweb site.

Here are the lyrics:

I am on an open sea,
Just drifting as the hours go slowly by.
Julie with her open blouse
Is gazing up into the empty sky
Now it seems to be so strange here
Now it's so blue.
The still sea is darker than before...
No wind disturbs our coloured sails.
The radio is silent, so are we.
Julie's head is on her arm;
Her fingers brush the surface of the sea
Now I wonder if we'll be seen here
Or if time has left us all alone.
The still sea is darker than before...

And here is the interpretation which makes a lot of sense if you read the lyrics carefully:

In More Dark Than Shark, someone suggests that the narrator in Julie With is about to assault the girl... I think the lyrics suggest that he's already done it, she's dead and the spreading blood is what makes "the still sea... darker than before..." I hate having had that thought, since now it always intrudes on what had been such a peaceful sonic scene!

This also fits with the calm mood of the song. How could I wish to be there? Eno lured me in with Julie's open blouse. I feel betrayed now. On second thoughts that serves me quite well, actually.


it reminds me a lot of the most striking scene in samuel beckett's "krapps last tape" where the old guy is remembering the only woman he ever loved and, possibly, their first sexual encounter, on a rowboat on a deserted lake. i don't think either are predatory, though, just reminiscences of important, very close moments.

... link  


eno often says that he does not know himself what most of his lyrics are about, that he usually tries to find words which sound good with the music. but even if that is true it could well be that there is a hidden subconscious meaning to them. in any case i won't forget that morbid interpretation whenever i will listen to the song in the future.

... link  


Aus dem Text wird ein Vexierbild mit dieser Interpretation, und die Mordszene deckt die offenen Stellen ab. Sehr beunruhigend, das Stück wird sich anders anhören in Zukunft.

... link  


Mir scheint, die Interpretation würde das Lied noch unheimlicher machen, wenn Eno nicht an diese Möglichkeit, die durch fast jede folgende Zeile immer mehr erhärtet wird, gedacht hätte. Wenn der Text von ihm als ein Idyll beschreibend gedacht war und sein Unterbewusstsein hinter den dunklen, verräterischen Bildern steckt.

... link  


I really think that interpretation is stretching things a bit far. All I picture when I read those words is two people lying on a boat, adrift at sea, which fits with the calm music. The girl's hand is hanging over the edge of the boat. Perhaps her blouse is open becasue the two people are lovers, and comfortable with each other. There is nothing to suggest assault. Maybe the darker sea is a metaphor. From the windless sails and silent radio, it seems the two may be lost. Could it be that the sea just appears darker to the narrator becasue he feels uneasy or scared? I am a little worried that someone reads this and blood and rape are the first things to come to mind. That says less about the song than about the listener.

... link  


the interpretation is not about the truth but about a possibility

the thing is julie could be dead. there is no proof but there are some indications. "the still sea which is darker than before", the strangeness, the silence, julie "gazing at the empty sky" while lying there with "her head on her arm" and "her fingers brushing the surface of the sea". i find just the possibility of a dead julie in the song more frightening than if eno would have been more outspoken. as it would be totally unexpected. maybe the "darker sea" is eno's subconsciousness speaking. which would be even more shocking. concerning the uneasiness you mention in relation to the dark sea: why should the narrator feel uneasy? may be the "darker sea" is real and a metaphor at the same time.

the lyrics vague as they are asking for a subtext, i find. it is all too idyllic, too perfect. to me the strange silence would make a lot of sense if there had been a storm before. she could also have been killed in that storm of course.

... link  

... comment

last updated: 8/10/19 12:21 PM
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