Sunday, 7 March 2010

Screamworks - "Page 43": Possible Meaning?

I know that I haven't blogged about the new HIM album yet, but the thing is I dont really know how to put my feelings into words at the moment. It is the most extraordinary HIM album I have heard, and although I love every one of them, this one is on a completely different level. I think I have said on here before that for as long as I can remember I have been in love with music, and before I was introduced to HIM, I had never come across a group where I have loved not just every single album, but every single song on those albums, when you think about it that is just extraordinary, and as I said, this new album is certainly no exception.  In one of my previous blogs, I told that I was tempted to finally find out some information about HIM, well I am so very very glad that I didnt do it in the end, as I think that has enabled me to approach this album from a relatively clear perspective, (if you dont count listening to all the other HIM albums that is). I have decided to wait, and not even find out what they look like until I see them in a couple of weeks time. My god - it is only a couple of weeks!

I dont have the time tonight to write a complete blog on the whole album, I am tired and not feeling very well, but there is one thing that I would like to say, just in case Sarah is reading this wherever she is (please get in touch hun, I am worried now and this isnt like you.)  Before she went away, Sarah and I were talking about the album and we couldn't figure out what the lyric "Page 43" in the song "Shatter Me With Hope" meant. Well, Sarah - its a long shot, but I think I might have cracked it:

First I thought it could be a book, but pretty quickly I realised that it cant be, or at least I dont think it is. When you think of all the different editions of all the different books that have been printed the world over, all of them are pageinated differently.  So take "Sense and Sensibility" as an example; what is on page 43 of someone else's edition of that book may not necessarily be what is on page 43 of mine. If Ville was referring to a book he would have had to assume that not only have the majority of HIM fans read the same book, but that they also have the exact same edition as him. A few maybe - but thousands?  That is a very broad assumption to make and I think it extremely unlikely that he would have made it.  So, assuming that it is not a page in a book,  I began to think of what else "page 43" could be, and I couldn't shake the thought that I had come across the the term "page 43" before in a literary sense, but I couldn't place where it was I had heard it.  Then I began to think of what the album is about. I think the album is about diving back into love and life before it is all over, before you miss your chance, but that still didnt give me an answer. Then I began to think of all the biblical references in this album, which it seems to me are much more obvious with this album than with the others.  They are there in the other albums, such as Dark Light for instance, but it is almost like you have to root them out.  But then I thought "it cant be the bible as that is the most reprinted book in history, and besides to say "page 43", without Chapter and Verse, means absolutely nothing anyway.  Then I stopped.  There it was: I had "heard" the lyric page 43 before, the song "Shatter Me With Hope" (and the whole of "Screamworks") is about diving into life (and love) before it passes you by, the incorrect biblical assumption and the fact that page 43 (on it's own) means absolutely nothing.  That is when it hit me, and I could have kicked myself for not getting it before, or at least what I think it is.

Do you remember the album I said I wanted and you made fun of me for it? I'll give you a clue; David Crosby! Remember now? Well, "Page 43" was a song title on one of his earlier albums, and was originally on an album that he recorded with one of his musical "partners in crime" in 1972. I knew I recognised that lyric from somewhere! The song is all about diving back into the river of life, hot or cold before it passes you by, or taking a sip of the wine of life before it runs out, some of the same things that "Screamworks" is about.  I've been listening to "The David Crosby Box" today and I cant believe that I didnt get it before now - there you go, that is my mind for you, lol! I remember reading an interview with David some time ago now, which I have just re-checked and the interviewer asked him what the meaning of the song title was and why it was called "page 43" in the first place. He said that it didn't mean anything at all, and that he had deliberately chosen that title so that listeners could get something from that song no matter whatever situation they were facing in life, that if he had called it something specific, listeners would then concentrate on the song title and maybe then they not be able to get what they needed from it at all. He said that he was astounded by how many people were adamant that they "knew for sure" what the song title meant, that some of them claimed to have "read Page 43" (he went on to laugh and say that he didn't know what page 43 they were reading lol, ) and that some of them even thought that it was a reference to page 43 of the Bible, I think it was the New Testament he said. That was what I remembered. See - and you made fun of me for liking his music.

I think that in reference to "Screamworks", the lyric "Page 43" may have 2 or 3 different meanings, The first being the one that I have mentioned above - that it is about life (or in this case maybe love) passing you by if you dont dive in and grab it. The second being a reference to listeners being able to get out of a song exactly what they need from it, whether that is the original meaning of the song or not, and the third, well you would know more about the kind of sense of humour that the guys in HIM have got, but maybe they are having a good natured laugh at the people who claim to know everything about their music and what every single lyric means.  After all the guys in HIM are the only ones that can really know for sure what they all mean, the rest of us just have a lot of fun listening to the music time and again, and guessing!

Copyright by Sami-Jane Harris. 2010. All rights reserved

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