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Blue - Interpretations

Cheese Slices

A Bidet of Evil
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I've been asking around for people's interpretation(s) of the song Blue written by Joss Whedon and sung by Angie Hart in Conversations with Dead People :

Night falls
I fall
And where were you?
And where were you?

Warm skin
Wolf grin
And where were you?

I fell into the moon
And it covered you in blue
I fell into the moon
Can I make it right?
Can I spend the night?

High tide
Inside
The air is dew
And where were you?

Wild eyed
I died
And where were you?

I crawled out of the world
When you said I shouldn't stay
I crawled out of the world
Can I make it right?
Can I spend the night
Alone?
Alone?
Alone

I fell into the moon
And it covered you in blue
I fell into the moon
Can I make it right?
Can I spend the night?
Alone?
So what's yours ?
 

WillowFromBuffy

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I had no idea this song was an original. I am gonna try some close reading and see what I come up with, because this doesn't intuitively make sense to me.

Warm skin
Wolf grin
And where were you?


The wolf grin has to be Spike. Wolves have fangs and a wolf grin has sexual connotation. Warm skin must be Buffy, as her skin is warm opposed to Spike's cold skin. But where were who?

High tide
Inside
The air is dew
And where were you?


The dew cleans the world and makes it fresh and new. Dew and new even rhyme. The tide serves a similar purpose.

Wild eyed
I died
And where were you?


Buffy died. Spike didn't save her, though dreams about saving her every day until she comes back.

I crawled out of the world
When you said I shouldn't stay
I crawled out of the world
Can I make it right?
Can I spend the night
Alone?
Alone?
Alone


Buffy crawls into the world twice, both in "Bargaining" and "Grave." But she never crawls out of it. Maybe it refers to the times Buffy spends with Spike "in the dark." So, she wants to make it right by spending the night alone and not crawling out of the world to Spike?

I am still very confused. I am not convinced this was written with the events of the show in mind.
 
Ethan Reigns
Ethan Reigns
"I crawled out of the world" may mean literally dug her way out of the ground.

TriBel

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Buffy crawls into the world twice, both in "Bargaining" and "Grave." But she never crawls out of it. Maybe it refers to the times Buffy spends with Spike "in the dark."
Disagree (but in a nice way :)). She crawls into the world at least three times (more if you count symbolic and imaginary returns/rebirths). The first time is when she's born in the real...when she "crawls out" of the previous world...the womb where she was at one with the mother. It's the mother who says she "shouldn't stay" (don't Spike and Dawn tell her the same thing in S6/7?). It's the first trauma that all her other traumas relate to...but in retrospect (it follows the logic of future anterior). The time in the dark with Spike's a repetition...as is her "eviction" from her mother's house by Dawn. You could also include when she leaves Revello at the end of S2 and, as @Ethan Reigns says "out of her grave" (again, she leaves her mother behind).

Sidebar: Revello is Latin meaning tear/pull away/loose/out/from/down/up; wrench off; remove. It was always her mother's house - not Hank's.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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"I crawled out of the world" may mean literally dug her way out of the ground.
What do you mean by literally? The literal meaning of world is not soil or the ground, nor is the world ever used colloquially to refer to the soil or ground, as far as I am aware.
previous world...the womb
I guess you could call the womb a world, though the speaker is talking about crawling out of the world. And the womb, like Buffy's stint in Heaven, is easier described as a state of being where concept of a self or of a world have no relevance. It is after crawling into the world that you develop the idea of a self and of existing within a space that is the world, alongside other objects and selves.

"World" does not rhyme with any other word in the song, so it could easily be exchanged with any 1 syllable word, such as earth, soil, womb or grave. If any of these words had been used, it would have been easier to relate those to key scenes in Buffy's life and these words have the advantage of ambiguity, as they can be used figuratively to be refer to each other.

But even if I could accept the world as referring to the soil or the womb, I am unable to read any kind of narrative or meta commentary from the song. There are certain parts that seems to gesture to Buffy and Spike, but I can't make sense of it.
 

Cheese Slices

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I had no idea this song was an original
It says on the 'pedia that it was co-written by Joss and recorded for the show, and I think it was confirmed at some point but there's always the chance that I'm wrong ^^
The dew cleans the world and makes it fresh and new. Dew and new even rhyme. The tide serves a similar purpose.
This is an interesting take. I've always had a more sexual interpretation of these two lines (high tide inside = orgasm/desire and the air is dew=moisture/steamy), but maybe that's just because I'm a a big old pervert.

As for the crawl out of the world bit, I think it refers both to her death AND resurrection (the latter especially, referring to Willow & co bringing her back: "When you said I shouldn't stay").

For what it's worth, this is the context of the song given in the script (bolded is mine) :
Now we see the source of the sounds from the previous scene. On stage, a BAND starts to play a mournful tune. It's full of loneliness. Pain. You know, season six stuff.
We move slowly from the band, through the crowd, finally resting on SPIKE, who sits by himself.
It's clear as we move closer that the music reflects Spike's inner state. He's lost, hurting.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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This is an interesting take. I've always had a more sexual interpretation of these two lines (high tide inside = orgasm/desire and the air is dew=moisture/steamy), but maybe that's just because I'm a a big old pervert.
No, that works for me. It also explains the "where were you?" line, even though I associate dew with a cold wetness, so I don't tend to think of it as sexy or steamy.
As for the crawl out of the world bit, I think it refers both to her death AND resurrection (the latter especially, referring to Willow & co bringing her back: "When you said I shouldn't stay").
Do you think the line could be Buffy speaking to her friends? She is telling them that she has given up on the world. Like, she gave up the world and...

Nah, I can't get this to work.
 

Cheese Slices

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No, that works for me. It also explains the "where were you?" line, even though I associate dew with a cold wetness, so I don't tend to think of it as sexy or steamy.
Well, if we consider that it's referring to Buffy and Spike's sexy times in S6, there is the association of the "cold dampness" of his crypt with the err..."hot dampness" of Buffy's body ? Maybe ?
Do you think the line could be Buffy speaking to her friends? She is telling them that she has given up on the world. Like, she gave up the world and...

Nah, I can't get this to work.
I think this is basically a repeat of Something to Sing About :
Note that if we're reducing the scope to S6 (per the shooting script), the song can also be read from Willow and Spike's pov (the latter being made explicit in said shooting script) in addition to Buffy's.
That said, I've seen interpretations of it being about Buffy's three main romances and their effect on her, thus covering all the seasons.
 

TriBel

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And the womb, like Buffy's stint in Heaven, is easier described as a state of being where concept of a self or of a world have no relevance.
Which is why I said it follows the logic of future anterior. We only become "aware" of it at a later stage - after we've entered language/the symbolic- it's lack. It's standard for most theories of desire (at leas the ones I'm familiar with).
It is after crawling into the world that you develop the idea of a self and of existing within a space that is the world, alongside other objects and selves.
Two different worlds - the imaginary and the symbolic - they're inextricably intertwined with the real. You don't develop a self until later...it's because the self feels incomplete that we "imagine" a world were it isn't. Separation from the mother precedes the subject.

The literal meaning of world is not soil or the ground, nor is the world ever used colloquially to refer to the soil or ground
I don't understand that. The world we live on is called Earth - earth is synonymous with soil. Surely there's a metonymic relationship (might be synedoche - I can never remember the difference)?

Tara - pronounced Terra = Gaia = Earth Mother = Maclay.
 
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WillowFromBuffy

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Which is why I said it follows the logic of future anterior. We only become "aware" of it at a later stage - after we've entered language/the symbolic- it's lack. It's standard for most theories of desire.
We can look back at the womb and call it a different world, but when the speaker says she crawled out of the world, then I can only take that as meaning this universe-reality that we exist in. The definite article suggests that this cannot be some other kind of world.
Tara - pronounced Terra = Gaia = Earth Mother = Maclay.
Yes, she is called Tara Maclay, not Wordly McWorlderson. According to the google dictionary, the etymology of "world" is a Germanic compound that translates to age of man. It doesn't fit with the gaia, soil, earth mother words.
 

TriBel

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when the speaker says she crawled out of the world, then I can only take that as meaning this universe-reality
You can emerge from, or immerse yourself in, a world and use the definitive article to describe it...the world of the child for example. You can "leave the world of criminality" behind you. One of Whedon's favourite poets is Yeats. As far as I can tell, the structure of S7 is akin to Eliot's Four Quartets (David Lavery said the same). Four Quartets is evoked in Beneath You. I wouldn't necessarily be looking for realism. And sorry, I really don't understand your point about earth and world. Her grave was "the world" at that moment, just as the womb was "the world" at one time - even though it's only possible to think of both places retrospectively - again - it's the logic of future anterior. TBH, that she's talking about the womb makes perfect sense to me but it would because my background's in French Feminism

"this universe-reality" Okay - but just as the universe itself consists of different worlds - our world consists of multiple realities.

What about "Night falls/I fall" - what aspect of reality does that apply to? Does she stumble - at night - because she can't see where she's going? I don't think so. I can give you several (IMO valid) interpretations of these lines, not all involve gravity. If we treat these lines as poetic (and night falling is a metaphor), why can't we treat "crawled out of the world" as poetic or as literal? The world is the entire planet we live on. She crawled out of the earth that constitutes much of this planet. I can't see that there's a problem with @Ethan Reigns interpretation. In fact, thinking about it, I'd argue that it's more to do with the Real than reality.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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You can emerge from, or immerse yourself in, a world and use the definitive article to describe it...the world of the child for example. You can "leave the world of criminality" behind you.
Sure, but there is no context. When you talk about the world of criminality or the world of professional chess or the world of the womb, you have to specify that. If you tell someone, "I used to live in the world," they are not going to understand that as you having come from your mother's womb.
And sorry, I really don't understand your point about earth and world.
Earth and world are two different words with different meanings and connotations. "Crawled out of the world" cannot literally mean "crawled out of the ground", because world does not meant ground, literally or figuratively. If the speaker had sung, "I crawled out of the earth," then there would have been more room for interpretation.
What about "Night falls/I fall" - what aspect of reality does that apply to?
I prefer simple readings, but that does not mean that I am Mr. Literal. Those lines are nice. They are evocative, even if they are a little cliche in their use of pun and pathetic fallacy.

But they don't get me any closer to understanding the song as a commentary on the episode or the show at this point. The song is melancholy and uses melancholy language. That's all I get from it.
 

Ethan Reigns

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Sineya
We are talking about:

I crawled out of the world
When you said I shouldn't stay

In both cases, the "you" appears to be Willow, who reconstituted Buffy by the words she said in the spell so that she wouldn't stay in her grave. Also, Willow brought the attacks to an end in "Grave" when Xander finally got through to Willow and Buffy and Dawn were allowed to crawl out pf the ground. I get amused sometimes when people try to put a figurative meaning on something that is literal. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

I crawled out of the world
When you said I shouldn't stay
I crawled out of the world
Can I make it right?
Can I spend the night
Alone?
Alone?
Alone

This may also mean the occasions when Buffy and Spike had sex and in one case, had to climb out of a basement in a destroyed house afterwards. It may also refer to the same events in Spike's crypt, evident in "As You Were". I still don't get the idea of "leaving the world" meaning leaving what she knew behind or coming out of the womb. Freudian interpretations have their limits.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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I get amused sometimes when people try to put a figurative meaning on something that is literal. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
You're amused, but I'm bemused. The literal meaning of the world is not the ground. If you crawl out of the ground, you haven't left the world. You may have left the subterranean world or the world of the grave, but you're still in the thing that we refer to as the world. In fact, the world we humans live in tend to take place mostly above ground. When you are underground, especially if you are locked in a tomb, then you are less part of the world than you are once you have crawled out.
 

Ethan Reigns

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Sineya
You're amused, but I'm bemused. The literal meaning of the world is not the ground. If you crawl out of the ground, you haven't left the world. You may have left the subterranean world or the world of the grave, but you're still in the thing that we refer to as the world. In fact, the world we humans live in tend to take place mostly above ground. When you are underground, especially if you are locked in a tomb, then you are less part of the world than you are once you have crawled out.
We often spend days debating things that often took minutes to write. Maybe the nuances of meaning you have defined did not mean much to lyric writers and often lyric writers go for the dramatic rather than the semantically correct, just like they often abandon correct grammatic syntax. "I crawled out of the world" is more dramatic than the more pedestrian "I crawled out of the ground". If I was writing this song with the meaning I believe was intended, I would have preferred the way they did it as well.
 

WillowFromBuffy

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We often spend days debating things that often took minutes to write. Maybe the nuances of meaning you have defined did not mean much to lyric writers and often lyric writers go for the dramatic rather than the semantically correct, just like they often abandon correct grammatic syntax. "I crawled out of the world" is more dramatic than the more pedestrian "I crawled out of the ground". If I was writing this song with the meaning I believe was intended, I would have preferred the way they did it as well.
What nuances of meaning? I said it could possibly refer to Buffy isolating herself with Spike.

I like to call a spade a spade. When something has come out of the ground, I don't say that it has come from the world. Maybe that's pedestrian, but it is less confusing.
 
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