Interpretations:Music Jail, Pt. 1 & 2

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Alcatraz Philharmonic Orchestra[edit | edit source]

It's about someone who gets into the music scene through peer pressure and later finds it hard to get out even though they'd prefer a quiet life.

There are a lot of homophones and wordplays in this:

  • "Doing time" refers a period of imprisonment but also to "Keeping Time" or keeping a beat going.
  • "Just one call allowed" refers to the fiction trope of getting a single phone call after being arrested, but can also be heard as "Just one call aloud" as in a cry for help.
  • The mention a riot and a cloud could refer to simultaneous excitement and depression/exhaustion but also to an actual prison riot with tear gas deployed.
  • "Let's form a band/Let's take a stand" could be read plainly as demanding to be heard or could also be a play on the word "Bandstand"

A Song Of Regret[edit | edit source]

The Singer once lived in a loud, chaotic community, where everyone played their music too high, 24/7, and wrote new music as they saw fit. No one rhymed. Melodies rambled on. Crooners hit bad notes. Music was anarchy, and the Singer worried that time spent here would eventually drive him mad.

He began running toward Music Jail, located just outside of town. People on the sidewalk kept asking him where he was going. He paused long enough to ask them to join his quest to put limits on music. But no one agreed; they rudely turned away from him; and so he had to go to Music Jail all by himself.

In search of peace and quiet, the Singer incarcerated himself.

Years later, the Singer expresses remorse for that decision. He wasn't prepared for how quiet and lonely it would be here in Music Jail. Now he humbly wants to escape, but he wasted his one phone call on a friend who wasn't home, and now there's no one to post bail or even know what became of him. The Singer will never leave this prison he has spun for himself. And so he walks single-file along with the other inmates down Music Jail Hall, forever down this one passageway. He is a face among dozens of duplicate faces. Never alone but always so very lonely. He's lost hope.

[By Jeff F. Haines]