leonard made a bad choice

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Geoffrey
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leonard made a bad choice

Postby Geoffrey » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:01 pm

i've been listening to a song leonard sings on one of his CDs. it's called 'choices', and was written apparently by some chap called george jones. that's fair enough, but i'm having trouble coming to grips with the opening verse, which also serves as the chorus. it starts:

"i've had choices since the day that i was born, there were voices that told me right from wrong."

while at the hospital pharmacy today buying a scalpel, i happened upon a pediatrician with whom i share a casual acquaintanceship, and he told me that even though cognitive development begins at birth, no infant, not even a spoilt genius brat, is capable of making a normal intellectual decision on the day that it is born. so how could leonard be party to advancing such a blatant untruth, or did he just not think about the boastful bullshit that he was willing to shovel into his audience's ears? it's just a song, of course, but the lyrics betray a songwriter either with (a) no knowledge of how neurons in a newborn baby's brain need considerable time to connect with each other in order to establish basic reasoning, or (b) assumes that anyone listening to the text is a gullible fool who will swallow - hook, line and sinker - any arrogant nonsense they are fed. quite honestly, that opening line is such an insult to one's intelligence that it becomes unnecessary to waste time listening to the remaining three minutes. so many other songs leonard could have covered instead of this one.
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LisaLCFan
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Re: leonard made a bad choice

Postby LisaLCFan » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:21 pm

"i've had choices since the day that i was born"

If taken literally, this line is obviously problematic, although I suspect that it may not have been intended as literally as you have interpreted it. Hyperbole is a common literary device, and one which Leonard was known to favour from time to time.

However, personally, I find the second phrase to be much more troubling:

"there were voices that told me right from wrong"

Clearly the writer of the lyrics was schizophrenic (and/or suffering from some type of psychotic breakdown), causing him to hear voices, which makes one wonder if the instructions of "right" and "wrong" that he received from these voices were compatible with non-psychotic interpretations of morality. Of course, it takes a brave individual to publicly admit their mental illness, considering the stigma that often surrounds it, and so this admission in song is laudable, but nonetheless worrying, considering its nature.
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Karren B
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Re: leonard made a bad choice

Postby Karren B » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:29 am

Geoffrey wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:01 pm
i've been listening to a song leonard sings on one of his CDs. it's called 'choices', and was written apparently by some chap called george jones. that's fair enough, but i'm having trouble coming to grips with the opening verse, which also serves as the chorus. it starts:

"i've had choices since the day that i was born, there were voices that told me right from wrong."

while at the hospital pharmacy today buying a scalpel, i happened upon a pediatrician with whom i share a casual acquaintanceship, and he told me that even though cognitive development begins at birth, no infant, not even a spoilt genius brat, is capable of making a normal intellectual decision on the day that it is born. so how could leonard be party to advancing such a blatant untruth, or did he just not think about the boastful bullshit that he was willing to shovel into his audience's ears? it's just a song, of course, but the lyrics betray a songwriter either with (a) no knowledge of how neurons in a newborn baby's brain need considerable time to connect with each other in order to establish basic reasoning, or (b) assumes that anyone listening to the text is a gullible fool who will swallow - hook, line and sinker - any arrogant nonsense they are fed. quite honestly, that opening line is such an insult to one's intelligence that it becomes unnecessary to waste time listening to the remaining three minutes. so many other songs leonard could have covered instead of this one.
Hello G, hope you are well.

We all make mistakes…. But Leonard said ‘IF’ he’d listened to the voices.’ ‘If’ is a big word!

I’m no expert and I’d be the last person to analyse or get into the psychiatric side of this; I’m just a mother, and even a young baby responds to positive and negative energy; even a spoilt genius brat knows this…

Is there really such a thing as ‘Just a song?’…All songs mean something to someone. I think we are in the realms of live and let live with this one. Does this or any song Leonard sings really need analysing?...

xx
'Being ‘normal’ is not necessarily a virtue; it rather denotes a lack of courage!'

'Loving you is the most exquisite form of self destruction'...
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Geoffrey
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Re: leonard made a bad choice

Postby Geoffrey » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:31 am

that was a wonderful reply, lisa. please allow me to think about this for a while before responding. in the meantime, a rare gem that has been gathering dust for far too long :-)

https://youtu.be/EC1KRAiufUE
(unlisted)
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LisaLCFan
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Re: leonard made a bad choice

Postby LisaLCFan » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:16 am

Geoffrey wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:31 am
...a rare gem that has been gathering dust for far too long :-)

https://youtu.be/EC1KRAiufUE
(unlisted)
Charming! Thanks!

I can't help but notice a musical similarity to "Dance Me To The End of Love" (in both melody and arrangement) -- coincidence, or...?

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