Thursday, September 08, 2005

Aqualung

Aqualung is about the dehumanization of society and the breaking down of the human spirit.

This song is sung to the main character, Aqualung, though he is not the intended audience. Most

likely he will die before ever getting a chance to hear this song. The real audience are those who

can afford to listen to this music, and who most likely pass by an Aqualung on the way to work

or lunch.

He represents the animal under a human veneer. Ian Anderson paints a picture of a half

domesticated stray when he sings "Feeling alone, the army's up the road, salvation a la

mode, and a cup of tea". Aqualung floats aimlessly through his misery, returning to this point of

charity over and over, tethered by his needs of survival to a small area.

Our subject is in a bind, a one way destructive path to oblivion. He cannot turn back, nor has

to power to, should it cross his mind, which it won't. His life has narrowed to pain and fear.

This is illistrated by the lines "Feeling like a dead duck, spitting out pieces of his broken luck, sun

streaking cold, an old man wandering lonely. Taking time, the only way he knows. Leg hurting

bad, as he bends to pick up a dog end, goes down to the bog to warm his feet."

Aqualung shows an intense strength of being by weathering out all seasons. "Do you still

remember, december's foggy freeze, when the ice that clings on to you beard is screaming

agony?" Weakened by his social position and reinforced mentality of hopelessness, here he

exhibits a trait that the "civilized" portion of humanity would be loath to embrace: exposure to

the elements.

The purpose of society is to separate people from the animals and to create a better life for

all the participants of. The metaphor that is Aqualung demonstrates "casualties of society" or

the inevitable crushing of some because of all. This is not all that different from the animals, it is

an essential of nature to destroy to survive. "And you snatch your rattling last breaths, with

deep-sea-diver sounds, and the flowers bloom like madness in the spring."

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