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PostPosted: Mon May 14th, 2012, 11:31 GMT 

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Right, so I see that this would've gone much better if I'd identified some kind of "unit" of lyrics, which I assumed would be taken as the verse (or bridge, or chorus).

Sorry about that.

Carry on.

*For example, a song that fits the bill might have a verse that is in 1st person, chorus that is in 3rd, etc.


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PostPosted: Mon May 14th, 2012, 15:23 GMT 
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It's Alright Ma covers 1st, 2nd and 3rd person narrative perspectives:

2nd-

You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near
When a trembling distant voice, unclear
Startles your sleeping ears to hear
That somebody thinks they really found you

3rd-

While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society’s pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he’s in

1st-

But I mean no harm nor put fault
On anyone that lives in a vault
But it’s alright, Ma, if I can’t please him


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PostPosted: Mon May 14th, 2012, 18:18 GMT 
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Trev wrote:
carnap wrote:
If I'm not mistaken Thunder On The Mountain does it all in one verse.

Gonna make a lot of money, gonna go up north (1st person)
I'll plant and I'll harvest what the earth brings forth (1st person)
The hammer's on the table, the pitchfork's on the shelf (3rd person)
For the love of God, you ought to take pity on yourself (2nd person)


Because it's an imperative sentence, "you ought to take pity on yourself" probably can't really be considered an example of second person narration - whereas "you take pity on yourself" would be more likely to be part of a genuine second person narrative.



Check me out.

1. This: For the love of God, you ought to take pity on yourself.
Is not an imperative sentence. It is a declarative sentence. The subject is you, so it is a declarative sentence in the second person.

2. To make it an imperative sentence, it could have been written as:
For the love of God, take pity on yourself.
The subject would still have been you, the subject is implied, so it is still 2nd person.
But Bob did not write it that way.

3. Regardless, Bob has written a verse with sentences in the 1st and 2nd and 3rd person perspective.

:)


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PostPosted: Mon May 14th, 2012, 18:23 GMT 
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Lay Lady Lay just played recently and it screamed all sorts of narrative perspectives!


Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Whatever colors you have in your mind
I’ll show them to you and you’ll see them shine

Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile

Until the break of day, let me see you make him smile
His clothes are dirty but his hands are clean
And you’re the best thing that he’s ever seen

Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile
Why wait any longer for the world to begin
You can have your cake and eat it too
Why wait any longer for the one you love
When he’s standing in front of you

Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed
Stay, lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead
I long to see you in the morning light
I long to reach for you in the night
Stay, lady, stay, stay while the night is still ahead


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 00:37 GMT 
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carnap wrote:


Check me out.

1. This: For the love of God, you ought to take pity on yourself.
Is not an imperative sentence. It is a declarative sentence. The subject is you, so it is a declarative sentence in the second person.

2. To make it an imperative sentence, it could have been written as:
For the love of God, take pity on yourself.
The subject would still have been you, the subject is implied, so it is still 2nd person.
But Bob did not write it that way.

3. Regardless, Bob has written a verse with sentences in the 1st and 2nd and 3rd person perspective.

:)


I enjoyed checking you out - you're a stunner! But it's clearly an imperative sentence (I mean really clearly) : one which has "you" as the subject, as a lot of imperative sentences do! You seem to believe that if the subject is "you" then the sentence must be declarative. This is plainly wrong. In fact, the simple subject of an imperative sentence is usually "you", unless it has a person's name before the sentence. However, it may have been a bit nitpicky and ungallant of Trev in the first place - it's just that making "you" the subject of a sentence probably doesn't simply equate to a second person narration.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 09:41 GMT 
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Quote:
making "you" the subject of a sentence probably doesn't simply equate to a second person narration


Making you the subject of a sentence most certainly does make it second person. Any grammar book will tell you that. Look it up.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 11:19 GMT 
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Always good to see folks putting their English grammar degrees to some use. It looks like carnap's in the lead right now.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 11:38 GMT 
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carnap wrote:
Quote:
making "you" the subject of a sentence probably doesn't simply equate to a second person narration


Making you the subject of a sentence most certainly does make it second person. Any grammar book will tell you that. Look it up.


Second person narration I said - not second person. Pay attention! There are obviously lots of sentences that are part of a first person narrative where the subject of the sentence is "you". There's the difference. But, despite his lofty manner, Trev is merely a loft insulator, without any qualifications. And I feel it is often a subjective call as to when a sentence is part of a wider narrative, or can be considered a narrative on its own. In the case of an imperative sentence such as that one, I'd argue that it clearly comes from a first person narration. And so, as I score the equaliser that takes me through on away goals, I will offer to swap shirts with carnap.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 12:00 GMT 

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Once again, the "unit" here is supposed to be a verse, chorus, bridge, etc. This exercise becomes pointless when you isolate each line.

Also, I don't know if there are any songs that contain a "unit" of each narrative point of view, I was wondering if there were any. There are a couple of Bob songs that feature unusual combinations. How about a song with verses in first person and bridges in second? I know there's one of those.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 12:25 GMT 
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Bruce11 wrote:
Once again, the "unit" here is supposed to be a verse, chorus, bridge, etc. This exercise becomes pointless when you isolate each line.

Also, I don't know if there are any songs that contain a "unit" of each narrative point of view, I was wondering if there were any. There are a couple of Bob songs that feature unusual combinations. How about a song with verses in first person and bridges in second? I know there's one of those.


Bruce, Trev likes you. You're probably Australian. But it's more interesting, even if it's also more contentious, if we examine a song such as Idiot Wind, where the point of view shifts restlessly, or Thunder On The Mountain, where Carnap believes that happens. It's not pointless to isolate each line - if with each line there is a change in the point of view. Carnap thinks that occurs with "you ought to take pity on yourself" from Thunder On The Mountain - I argue that that's still a first person narration. I contend that "you close your eyes, and part your lips, and slip your fingers from your glove" represents a shift to a second person narrative. It's Alright, Ma has been mentioned a couple of times, and it fulfils your remit, as Train points out. But shifts in perspective are a hallmark of Dylan songs, and these shifts are sometimes pleasingly signalled by unexpected changes in narrative modes.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 12:53 GMT 

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Trev wrote:
Carnap thinks that occurs with "you ought to take pity on yourself" from Thunder On The Mountain - I argue that that's still a first person narration.


I don't know which is correct, but the "ought" does seem to destroy the "purity" of what would otherwise be second person perspective.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 18:45 GMT 
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Location: .....down by the river
“There must be some kinda way out of here,” said the joker to the thief
"There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth”


“No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late"


All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl


First person " I can't get no relief.." "MY wine.." "WE'VE been through..."
Second person- "no reason (for you to) get excited."
third person - "...all the women came and went...." "the wind began to howl."

....right? :?.....Carnap ??


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 19:11 GMT 
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Simple Twist of Fate is a typical example.
He, She, People, I, They, It...OK, maybe it misses a You. So what.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 19:25 GMT 
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This was the original brain teaser.

Bruce11 wrote:
Name a Bob Dylan song with at least some lyrics written from first, second, and third person perspective.


"at least some lyrics written from first, second, and third person perspective" means (to me) at least some sentences in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person.

Declarative versus imperative is another matter. The line "you ought to take pity on yourself" is a little tricky because of the word ought. You need to keep in mind, a declarative sentence makes a statement, and a statement is something that is either true or false. Whereas an imperative sentence issues a command (or request), and a command is not true or false, it is obeyed or not obeyed. Generally a command does not contain the word you, but you is what they call the assumed subject. It seems to me the line in question is a declarative because it is in the form of a statement, not a command. But either way, it is second person.

So therefore and most importantly, Bob has met written a verse that has met the test.

I'll go even farther. That was the first song I looked at. So I'd bet that Bob has met the test in more than one song.
:wink:


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 19:28 GMT 
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this is the most riveting thread i've seen since the acronym versus abbreviation debate. :roll:


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 19:49 GMT 
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carnap wrote:
This was the original brain teaser.

Bruce11 wrote:
Name a Bob Dylan song with at least some lyrics written from first, second, and third person perspective.


"at least some lyrics written from first, second, and third person perspective" means (to me) at least some sentences in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person.

Declarative versus imperative is another matter. The line "you ought to take pity on yourself" is a little tricky because of the word ought. You need to keep in mind, a declarative sentence makes a statement, and a statement is something that is either true or false. Whereas an imperative sentence issues a command (or request), and a command is not true or false, it is obeyed or not obeyed. Generally a command does not contain the word you, but you is what they call the assumed subject. It seems to me the line in question is a declarative because it is in the form of a statement, not a command. But either way, it is second person.

So therefore and most importantly, Bob has met written a verse that has met the test.

I'll go even farther. That was the first song I looked at. So I'd bet that Bob has met the test in more than one song.
:wink:


The key is certainly what is meant by perspective - if I say "I love you carnap. It's obvious. You love me. We are in love", then I would argue that the perspective hasn't changed - it's a first person narrative, even if in the second sentence "you" is the subject. Commands actually often contain "you", and in this case it's used because there is no assumed subject - it's clearly a command because you could obey or disobey it. I have to say, Trev does find this whole subject quite fascinating, precisely because Dylan does shift perspective in songs, and that can't be judged just by the change in the subject of the sentence - "You took a part of me" is clearly in first person perspective to me, but carnap would argue it was in second person perspective, because "you" is the subject - which seems wrong to me. But shifts in perspective are interesting, even if some of the grammatical niceties aren't. I'm enjoying this, and I hope carnap is too, even if I think he's wrong! It's quite insightful into the way language reflects and structures reality.


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 20:24 GMT 
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Well Visions of Johanna has the first two verses from the first person perspective of the narrator, the third verse in the first person perspective of Louise, describing the narrator ('little boy lost') in the third person... but now 'you'... :? I suppose the final verse is coming from the perspective of 'little boy lost' again... dealing with Louise and the peddler in the third person


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PostPosted: Tue May 15th, 2012, 20:53 GMT 
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Quote:
... "You took a part of me" is clearly in first person perspective to me, but carnap would argue it was in second person perspective, because "you" is the subject - which seems wrong to me. But shifts in perspective are interesting ...


Let's see ... You took part of me is a sentence. Grammatically it is a sentence in the second person. It is said from the perspective of Bob the singer. He is singing about a girl from his perspective. So I guess you could say he is saying something from his own perspective using a second person sentence. It's easy to figure out what grammatical person a sentence is, it's harder to see what kind of perspective is used, or what that even means. Maybe most of what Bob sings is in the end, from his own perspective.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 00:51 GMT 
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That certainly puts it all in perspective.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16th, 2012, 09:17 GMT 

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carnap wrote:
This was the original brain teaser.

Bruce11 wrote:
Name a Bob Dylan song with at least some lyrics written from first, second, and third person perspective.


"at least some lyrics written from first, second, and third person perspective" means (to me) at least some sentences in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person.

[snip]

So therefore and most importantly, Bob has met written a verse that has met the test.

I'll go even farther. That was the first song I looked at. So I'd bet that Bob has met the test in more than one song.
:wink:


Yes, and this is precisely why I said that this exercise is pointless when you isolate each line. Because doing so would make it way too easy to find examples.


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