The Bright Side
From This Might Be A Wiki
|song name||The Bright Side|
|artist||They Might Be Giants|
|releases||I Like Fun, Dial-A-Song (2018)|
|first played||December 30, 2018 (1 known performances)|
|sung by||John Flansburgh; John Linnell backs|
- Flansburgh talked about the song in a 2020 Tumblr post:
"The Bright Side" is essentially about growing up, growing older and the relentlessness nature of selective memory, although I think my interest is in how the selectiveness works more than the oddity of rose colored glasses. As folks notions of unlimited possibilities fade, I think about the things they reflect on either stay positive or just to go on. The second verse of the song quotes part of the poem "The Great Figure" by William Carlos Williams, which is a burst of pretty vivid writing ... (It's also one sentence which is an idea I love in a poem.) This poem inspired his contemporary Charles Demuth to paint "I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold" which feels to me more directly about the idea of sense memory, with the 5s and the grey slashes of metal and buildings kind of telescoping toward you. It takes a lot of the impulses of Futurism and removes the technophile tendencies and make motion and evanescence feel very personal.
- In a 2018 interview, John Flansburgh stated this song "is a pretty impressionistic reminiscence of folks I knew a long time ago."
- Literary references in the lyrics:
- The lines "Among the rain / And lights I saw / The figure "5" in gold / On a red firetruck" are a direct reference to the poem "The Great Figure"William Carlos Williams and subsequent painting I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold by Charles Demuth. by
- The line "Backwards ran your sentences / Until reeled the mind" is a direct reference to the writer Wolcott Gibbs.
- The lines "Next what's fear / And silence in / Wait just all we'll then / Upside-down everything / Turning done you're when" form a coherent sentence when the word order is reversed (the previous line, "Backwards ran your sentences", provides a clue).
- Video directed by Paul Sahre.
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The Bright Side is currently ranked #490 out of 910. (48 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.13)