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Be like the water, people.

Chemo Limo

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So, i know there's been discussion about this song in the past, but let's go ahead and shift it over here! Wink

My take on the song is that the nararator is a single mother of four kids, Michael, Barbara, Jacqueline, and Sophie.

The song begins within the mother's dream, wherein she discovers that she has cancer so severe that she won't survive, and her best bet is chemotherapy.

In her dream, she says, "chemotherapy is terribly expensive, and i won't survive it, anyway. So i'm going to live the rest of my life richly and to the fullest."

"you know i planned to retire someday

but momma gonna go out in style"

now that all her careful(ly laid) plans are shot to hell, she's going to live grandly.

Once the music sobers up again, she awakens from this cancer/chemo dream with a new outlook on life. She takes her kids on a limo ride and takes the time to appreciate who they are as people, and to love them on a deeper level than just taking care of them. She even sees things she'd missed about her kids before:

"oh my god, Barbara

looks so much like my mom".

So i'd say this song's meaning is similar to that of Ghost of Corporate Future: live today like you've only got today to live. Love the people you love thouroughly, and deeply, because life's too short to worry more about retirement than a joyride with your kids.

This is supported by the fact that the piano and vocals are predominantly somber and depressed, and we all know how Regina likes to flip the tone so that it projects the opposite tone from the lyrical message. (2.99 cent blues, folding chair, imo, and the infamous Belt)

On the other hand, some people say that the song starts off in reality, then the mother dreams the car ride, meaning that in reality, she is dying, and the car ride is her farewell to her children before they are adopted and she passes on.

the only beefs i have with this are, 1: the first line is "i had a dream." so it's established that the beginning is all imagined. And it can then be assumed that everything is dreamed, up until, "when i woke up, the kids were being quiet."

2, i think this is a dream because of the absurdity of the beginning's content: "crispy benjamin franklin came over and babysat my kids" sounds very dreamy, while the second verse makes more sense. as well as the fact that she is being treated as a second-class citizen, her boss and Benjamin Franklin discussing her well-being with the doctor behind closed doors. Sounds like a little kid with an illness, whose parents discuss with the doctor what the next steps will be in treatment. But she's a single mom with a retirement plan! i think in reality she would have more say in these proceedings.

i think this song was actually written with a duality in mind, maybe it's suppposed to be able to swing both ways. (according to my theory, the doctor from her dream is driving her cab, and she doesn't seem surprised in the least, the way he's mentioned as an observation; a sheer statement of fact. the way strange things can be perceived within dreams..)

ok. once again, i talked too much. Sorry!

Thoughts?

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So, i know there's been discussion about this song in the past, but let's go ahead and shift it over here! Wink

My take on the song is that the nararator is a single mother of four kids, Michael, Barbara, Jacqueline, and Sophie.

The song begins within the mother's dream, wherein she discovers that she has cancer so severe that she won't survive, and her best bet is chemotherapy.

In her dream, she says, "chemotherapy is terribly expensive, and i won't survive it, anyway. So i'm going to live the rest of my life richly and to the fullest."

"you know i planned to retire someday

but momma gonna go out in style"

now that all her careful(ly laid) plans are shot to hell, she's going to live grandly.

Once the music sobers up again, she awakens from this cancer/chemo dream with a new outlook on life. She takes her kids on a limo ride and takes the time to appreciate who they are as people, and to love them on a deeper level than just taking care of them. She even sees things she'd missed about her kids before:

"oh my god, Barbara

looks so much like my mom".

So i'd say this song's meaning is similar to that of Ghost of Corporate Future: live today like you've only got today to live. Love the people you love thouroughly, and deeply, because life's too short to worry more about retirement than a joyride with your kids.

This is supported by the fact that the piano and vocals are predominantly somber and depressed, and we all know how Regina likes to flip the tone so that it projects the opposite tone from the lyrical message. (2.99 cent blues, folding chair, imo, and the infamous Belt)

On the other hand, some people say that the song starts off in reality, then the mother dreams the car ride, meaning that in reality, she is dying, and the car ride is her farewell to her children before they are adopted and she passes on.

the only beefs i have with this are, 1: the first line is "i had a dream." so it's established that the beginning is all imagined. And it can then be assumed that everything is dreamed, up until, "when i woke up, the kids were being quiet."

2, i think this is a dream because of the absurdity of the beginning's content: "crispy benjamin franklin came over and babysat my kids" sounds very dreamy, while the second verse makes more sense. as well as the fact that she is being treated as a second-class citizen, her boss and Benjamin Franklin discussing her well-being with the doctor behind closed doors. Sounds like a little kid with an illness, whose parents discuss with the doctor what the next steps will be in treatment. But she's a single mom with a retirement plan! i think in reality she would have more say in these proceedings.

i think this song was actually written with a duality in mind, maybe it's suppposed to be able to swing both ways. (according to my theory, the doctor from her dream is driving her cab, and she doesn't seem surprised in the least, the way he's mentioned as an observation; a sheer statement of fact. the way strange things can be perceived within dreams..)

ok. once again, i talked too much. Sorry!

Thoughts?

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Very good interpretation. Big Grin

I'm the one who thinks that she's really dying. Though that being just a dream from which she wakes up and appreciates life more is so much more beautiful and not sad. But I can't help it.

My interpretation: She's a single mother of four and she's dying from cancer. She's also financially worried about her kids...what will happen to them when she dies. She has a dream in which everything is just fine.

"Crispy Benjamin Franklin came over and baby-sat all four of my kids" meaning everything will be ok, she has the money that will take care of them. And in her dream the doctor tells her that she'll get healthy whether or not she takes the chemo. I love it how she uses Crispy Benjamin Franklin as the money that takes care of everything...her kids and her health.

When the chorus starts that's going back to reality where everything is not ok. She knows that she's dying and she refuses to have chemotherapy and chooses to spend one of her last moments with her kids in a special way. Basically, she's going out in style.

Though I'm still confused on some parts, everything could be a dream and only the chorus is reality..

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^^Your interpretation makes sense, too, Rinoa! how confusing. I love the Benjamin Franklin thing, too. it's really clever.

it seems that, no matter how you look at it, this song has dreams and reality mixed quite thoroughly.

Do you think this is significant to the song? Maybe, in learning that she's dying, her life takes on a dreamlike quality. (i'm scrambling here haha)

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Dreams are definitely significant. I do think ( what you said earlier ) that this song was meant to go in different directions.

quote:
Originally posted by Be like the water, people.:

Maybe, in learning that she's dying, her life takes on a dreamlike quality. (i'm scrambling here haha)

That's interesting, everything's possible. Maybe we're just diving into her subconscious where reality and her desires and everything are mixed.

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quote:
Maybe we're just diving into her subconscious where reality and her desires and everything are mixed
^^brilliant! i love that! it suits the song so well! that adds a new dimention. It's not just "here she's awake... and now she's asleep". Everything kind of blends /because/ this whole scenario is being seen through the mother's eyes, and from her head, in a way. Because, if a third party were telling the story, then it would go, "she had a dream that her kids were taken care of, though she was dying. then she woke up, and realized that she needed to start really living, so she did. The end" But things aren't so black and white for her, and i don't think we're supposed to decide for sure whether she's really, truly sick, or if the dream that she had cancer just really affected her in a profound way...

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I really like what you two have said about the song... I agree with Rinoa, that the woman is actually dying. The events of the dream are consistent with the reality of her life, with a few lines blurred (the inexplicable of the doctor in the dream as a chauffeur in her real life). And while the characters in the dream tell her that she'll "be okay anywaay" (representing the false hope she gets thrown at her constantly in her everyday life perhaps?) she knows that she is dying. This seems apparent in the vocal irony of "And I smiled 'cause I'd known that all the while..."

In her frail emotional state, the narrator (now in that blurred dream/reality state you guys were talking about) weighs her options. She is fed up with a therapy she knows is almost completely ineffective, ("this shit") and chooses to die with dignity while offering her children (for whom she clearly has great love) an experience they otherwise may not ever have: a limousine ride.

My favorite thing about this song is the way regina conveys the mother's pain in knowing this is her last day with her children in contrast to her children's seeming inability to grasp the situation. ("Jacquelyn was being such a big girl with her cup of tea looking out of the window...") Heart-wrenching.

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i could see where she could be dying, but i still don't think she is. (maybe that's just too depressing an interpretation)

i agree that the kids are oblivious, it's to her new outlook on life, rather than to her impending death.. i mean, the kids are old enough to drink tea, talk, and work the radio. i think they'd pick up on the importance of their mother dying

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quote:
Originally posted by Be like the water, people.:

i agree that the kids are oblivious, it's to her new outlook on life, rather than to her impending death.. i mean, the kids are old enough to drink tea, talk, and work the radio. i think they'd pick up on the importance of their mother dying

I don't picture the kids as being older... Maybe its just because of the line "Jacquelyn was being such a big girl," but that could just be the mother's way of keeping intimacy with her kids in her emotional state by applying a sense of innocence to them that they've matured beyond.

The line "something about insurance policies" (despite being mentioned in the dream verse) still makes me think that she's dying.

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i picture the kids to be between 5 and 12 years old-old enough to sense that their mother is upset/worried. i mean, she's got 4 kids. they can't all be too young to sense/udnerstand that she's dying

michael speaks, so he's at least 3, and there are meanies involved, so he's probably closer to about five. Jacqueline can drink tea, so she's at least 7 or 8 (btw, does anyone else find it odd that she's drinking tea in a car? i always picture a little girl with a teacup and saucer lol)...

anyhoo, my point was that the kids can't be totally innocent/oblivious to her illness... why was it important how old the kids are, again? lol

quote:
The line "something about insurance policies" (despite being mentioned in the dream verse) still makes me think that she's dying

why couldn't she have dreamed that? if she could dream that "crispy benjamin franklin" babysat her kids, i don't see why a discussion of the insurance (with Benjamin Franklin, mind you!) would be off-limits to her dream...

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