Strange use of AS

teach77

New Member
france - french
Hi,
I wondered if someone could help me with this puzzling use of AS in the following lyrics:
"Though this world's essentially an absurd place to be living in,
It doesn't call for total withdrawal.
It said human existence is pointless
AS acts of rebellious solidarity can bring sense in this world."

Another quick additional question: is "It said" (underlined) correct? Does IT refer to the "world"?

Thank you.
 
  • coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Hi,
    I wondered if someone could help me with this puzzling use of AS in the following lyrics:
    "Though this world's essentially an absurd place to be living in,
    It doesn't call for total withdrawal.
    It said human existence is pointless
    AS acts of rebellious solidarity can bring sense in this world."

    Another quick additional question: is "It said" (underlined) correct? Does IT refer to the "world"?

    Thank you.

    If it's a song, anything is possible. "It said" (underlined) would be strange (more than strange) in regular speech, but in a poem or a lyrical song, anything is allowed.

    "As acts of rebellious solidarity can bring," I take to mean "Because acts of rebellious solidarity can bring."
     

    teach77

    New Member
    france - french
    Thank you.

    I actually understood it as "and only..." but it is quite far from the meaning of AS.

    As far as "it said" is concerned, could it mean "it's said"?
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Thank you.

    I actually understood it as "and only..." but it is quite far from the meaning of AS.

    As far as "it said" is concerned, could it mean "it's said"?

    Yes! "It's said" ... you're exactly right.

    Otherwise, you're also right, the lyrics should mean "and only", but "as" doesn't mean that. However, it's possible the "can" might be "can't", i.e. rebellious solidarity can't bring sense ... but that's pretty dark ...

    I would say instead of "as," the writer should have used "but" along with your "it's said." Then it all makes good sense.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    Though this world's essentially an absurd place to be living in
    It doesn't call for total withdrawal

    I've been told it's a fact of life
    Men have to kill one another
    << See rules #16, 17 >>

    Now fellas. I don't know if it helps to have the whole of the text. I think you need that La Resistance in the middle and to bear in mind that you've got a potential subject Resistance, to which the It refers. There's still the strange logic of the passage we've been given.

    I take it to mean that Resistance - personification of the abstract quality - said that human existence is pointless - by human existence I think it means trundling along as we are - that would allow the as to have it's normal meaning of because, and Resistance is telling us to commit these acts of rebellious solidarity, which is what resistance traditionally does. I think the song is a call to arms.

    I think the songwriter has stretched his poetic licence to the limit, but I can't see what else he can be saying.
     

    teach77

    New Member
    france - french
    I'm sorry I can't post the whole song, though I warmly recommend it.

    Anyway, as far as the personification of Resistance is concerned, I think IT would have been a SHE. Besides, the word "resistance" seems too far in the co-text to work as a reference for IT.
    The song may not necessarily be a call to arms - though it is a clear allusion to the French Revolution - but could, for instance, be applied to Civil Rights movements too.
    As for AS meaning BECAUSE, there seems to be some sort of twisted logic that doesn't quite make sense.

    I agree, though, that "the songwriter has stretched his poetic logic to the limit," so much so that I'm having a hard time trying to decypher these two lines. Well, the songwriter is actually a French woman in a British band (Stereolab), which could explain all this, though I would never attempt to sing something that does not perfectly make sense, however "poetic" it may be. :eek:

    Thanks anyway, I'll make do with your different interpretations.
     
    Top