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The Young Idealists
posted: 06/08/2013 by Lloyd
category: Ask Lloyd
Q - Is your quite amazing song "Period Piece" about the Berlin Wall? I've was puzzling over it, but recently tuned in to the clues in the song, eg, " Born 1961", "155,000 meters", "cinderblock souvenirs", etc. Can you also say whether "Hansa, my lover" is a reference to Hans Tonstudio, which (I believe) was in sight of the wall while it stood?
A - Thanks! I'm glad you enjoy it. It turned out pretty well, I think. I'm not that comfortable with the concept of songs being about things. I think songs are things and as such can be viewed an infinite number of positions. So there are an infinite number of correct interpretations. That said, I was thinking of the Berlin Wall lying on the ground with U2 playing, rather like the image I get from the opening of Knocking On Heaven's Door, and I liked the idea of a song narrated from that perspective. Google and Wikipedia were very helpful with the 1961 and 155,000m, etc.
Fascinating; thanks for this insight.
Of course, the best songs have multiple interpretations. Honors the mysterious and keeps us guessing, which I like...
I have a piece of the Berlin Wall. It was brought back for me by a friend's lorry-driver father. It has graffiti 'n all. A prized possession. Your song made me dig it out of it's cupboard for another look. The bits of stone in the concrete are rather beautiful. And then there's the symbolism, of course.
Title: the Berlin Wall and beyond
I remember stories of people plonking slabs of turf on bars in Scotland post Wembley '77. Recently I was struck to hear that lumps of the Bastille were carted around and plonked on bars throughout France back then.