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Can’t Get It Outta My Head – Challenge #189

Until 1974, the Electric Light Orchestra had managed only modest hits with ‘Showdown’ and a cover of Chuck Berry’s ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, but their fourth studio album Eldorado was a big turning point for them.  It featured the song ‘Can’t Get It Out of My Head’ written by Jeff Lynne which reached #9 on the US charts.  Eldorado did not chart in the UK where ELO is from, but it reached #16 on the Billboard 200 album chart.  A 30-piece orchestra and choir were used on this album and ELO was not just a rock band with strings, they became a rock and roll orchestra, with Louis Clark being brought in to arrange and conduct the strings.  Clark would later become a full group member.  Eldorado is the first complete ELO concept album and bandleader Jeff Lynne conceived the storyline before he wrote any music.  The plot follows a Walter Mitty-like character (a meek, mild man with a vivid fantasy life who enjoys daydreaming) that journeys into fantasy worlds via dreams, to escape the disillusionment of his mundane reality.

Lynne began to write the album in response to his father’s criticism about ELO’s second Electric Light Orchestra II and third On the Third Day albums, who said they had no tune and lacked the melodic quality of classical music.  Lynne was tired of his father’s complaints and this gave him the determination to prove he could do something that might get his father’s approval.  Lynne found inspiration for ‘Can’t Get It Out Of My Head’ in the unfulfilled reveries of an everyday bloke who worked in a bank.  This guy is in a dream and he sees this vision of loveliness at midnight on the water.

Terra the Roman goddess of the Earth who the Greeks called Gaia or Mother Earth hated her tyrant husband, because of cruel way that he treated her children, so she waited quietly for the right time when she could take her revenge against him.  The only Titan to respond to her plea was Saturn, and one night he hid under his parents’ bed waiting for his father to fall asleep, then he castrated him with a sickle and then he promptly threw his genitals into the sea.  As the genitals drifted over the water in the sea of Paphos in Cyprus, the blood and the semen that issued forth from the severed flesh of Caelus mixed with the sea water.  The resulting foam slowly transformed into the child who would become Venus, the goddess of Love and Beauty, who is also known as Ocean’s daughter.

The dreamer bank clerk hasn’t got any chance of getting this goddess of beauty or doing any of these other wonderful things that he thought he could accomplish, mostly because he can’t get this girl out of his head.  His life is in Limbo put on hold because she has consumed all of his thoughts and his entire world doesn’t make sense anymore.  All he does is think about her and he can’t move and he can’t make himself a better person or do anything to help the world.

The mysterious “ocean’s daughter” captivates this dreamer bank clerk, and there seems to be some controversy about whether the lyrics say “Walking on a wave she came” or “Walking on wave’s chicane”, but I went with “she came”.   Chicane in this context means trickery, and the goddess of love, would use her powers to trick people into falling into this helpless condition.  Jeff Lynne’s character never says that he can’t get her out of his head, instead it is always “can’t get it out of my head”, which makes this more about the experience of seeing this goddess.  Not many people were lucky enough to see an actual goddess and if you looked at Medusa, you would be turned to stone, sorry that is another ELO song.  Some stories say that the gods had bodies that were enveloped in an intense light, and because of this, mortals could not look at them, or they would burn up from the sight.

The dreamer says, “Now my old world is gone for dead,” indicating that there is no going back to the life he knew prior to this.  Love can be romantic or it can be dire, when you feel like it has been lost and as a result you become lost.  He is struggling to get it out of his head so that he can try to escape this miserable love condition, so he starts searching for her silver light.  This probably means that he is looking for a way to appease the goddess so she would release him from his love trap.  Tides are caused by the gravitational dance between the Earth, Moon and Sun and an ebb tide is the period between high tide where the sea has stopped rising and low tide when the sea level falls.  There is a mention of “Robin Hood and William Tell and Ivanhoe and Lancelot” and he says, “They don’t envy me”.  All these men are great and fearless heroes who faced every kind of danger and risked their lives countless times to defeat their adversaries, or kill a dragon or two.  They were courageous, but even they were brought to their knees and became powerless when it came to love, so they don’t envy him, because they wouldn’t want to be in his shoes.

Midnight on the water
I saw the ocean’s daughter
Walking on a wave she came
Staring as she called my name

And I can’t get it out of my head
No I can’t get it out of my head
Now my old world is gone for dead
‘Cause I can’t get it out of my head

Breakdown on the shoreline
Can’t move, it’s an ebb tide
Morning don’t get here tonight
Searching for her silver light

And I can’t get it out of my head
No I can’t get it out of my head
Now my old world is gone for dead
‘Cause I can’t get it out of my head, no, no

Bank job in the city
Robin Hood and William Tell and Ivanhoe and Lancelot
They don’t envy me, yeah
Sitting ‘til the sun goes down
In dreams the world keeps going ‘round and ‘round

And I can’t get it out of my head
No I can’t get it out of my head
Now my old world is gone for dead
‘Cause I can’t get it out of my head, no, no

Oh I can’t get it out of my head
No I can’t get it out of my head
Now my old world is gone for dead
‘Cause I can’t get it out of my head, no, no

 

The challenge today is to focus on this song and use it for a short story, a piece of flash fiction, or a poem that you can share with the WordPress writing community.  There is no need to stick with this song, as you could write about another Electric Light Orchestra song, or even a Traveling Wilburys song would do.  You could also write about what you think it would be like if you were looking at a goddess.  You could write about being so infatuated with someone that you can’t seem to get them out of your head.  If you would like to write about a song that gets stuck inside of your head and you just can’t get rid of that earworm, that would make an interesting post.  You could write about experiencing the terrible desperation of not being able to move, or do anything.  If you know a song that has the word “Get” in the title, or one that is about getting something, then you could write about that.

The whole point of this MM Music challenge is to get you to think, to trigger something so that you can show how creative you are and everyone is welcome to participate.  This challenge is very loose, so pretty much whatever you come up with will be acceptable.  I try to throw some ideas out there for you and if they seem right, then go with it.  You could write about struggling to escape a love that is making you miserable.  You could write a post about searching for her silver light. Or anything that has to do with the moon or the tides.  Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie brings you a dose of fetish, good friends and an incomparable muse and next Friday on August 27 Dylan Hughes will be here with her First Line Friday.  I will be back on Friday, September 3 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘Possession’.  You can either create a ping back to this post, or place your link in the comments section below.

About newepicauthor

My About Me section is meant to provide my readers with an honest picture of myself that gives a little bit of background information on who I am and I will wrap this up with a catchy image. I am a story teller and I like to use my imagination. I am interested in many things, but a few of my favorites are watching the NFL and playing golf. I do not like onions and I always make sure that my food does not contain any. I had two wonderful parents, my dad Herb Adams was a television repairman and my mother Mary Adams was mostly a stay at home mom. They are both deceased now and I miss them. I am a retired Electrical Engineer specialized in control systems. I held many different positions because I worked mostly as a consultant. I did work as a Substitute Teacher, for a while, but the kids were awful. I am happiest when I am writing, as this gives my life has a purpose. Forming a sentence with meaningful words that articulate my inner feelings is an everyday quest for me. Every writer needs to tell their story, and all writers have their own style. All stories starts off with characters, who are able to entertain the reader. Creating realistic lovable characters is the best way to tell a story. If you are able to develop characters that become real to you, then you will know exactly what they will do say and do next and this lets your story progress to the completion. Writing changes everything and having the calling to create something new through the power of words is much more than just making marks on a page. Once written, a book can be used by many people to learn and be entertained. The act of writing can be compared to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as it contains an inherent fuzziness, because various people may derive different meanings from reading the same words. You can never know the true nature of written words and the best I can do is hope is that people will understand the meanings that I am trying to convey. There are no clear-cut laws on how to write and it is impossible for me to determine how my readers react to my books.

12 comments on “Can’t Get It Outta My Head – Challenge #189

  1. newepicauthor
    August 20, 2021

    Reblogged this on A Unique Title For Me and commented:

    ELO was formed in Birmingham, England in the autumn of 1970 from the ashes of the eccentric art-pop combo the Move, reuniting frontman Roy Wood with guitarist/composer Jeff Lynne, bassist Rick Price, and drummer Bev Bevan. Lynne joined the Move as a second guitarist and pianist and the last Move album and the first Electric Light Orchestra album were recorded at the same time and during the same recording sessions. Announcing their intentions to “pick up where ‘I Am the Walrus’ left off”, the quartet (Wood, Lynne, Price and Bevan) sought to embellish their engagingly melodic rock with classical flourishes, tapping French horn player Bill Hunt and violinist Steve Woolam to record their self-titled debut LP (issued as No Answer in the U.S.). In the months between the sessions for the album and its eventual release, the Move embarked on their farewell tour, with Woolam exiting the ELO lineup prior to the enlistment of violinist Wilf Gibson, bassist Richard Tandy, and cellists Andy Craig and Hugh McDowell.
    ELO released 12 albums between 1971 through 1973. Roy Wood left the group in 1972 and the group disbanded in 1986. Lynne released two solo albums Armchair Theatre (1990) and Long Wave (2012). Additionally, he began producing various artists. In 1988, under the pseudonyms Otis Wilbury and Clayton Wilbury, he co-founded the supergroup Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty. Lynne’s songwriting and production collaborations with former Beatles led him to co-produce their Anthology reunion singles from John Lennon demos ‘Free as a Bird’ (1995) and ‘Real Love’ (1996). In 2014, Lynne reformed ELO and resumed concert touring under the name “Jeff Lynne’s ELO”. ELO did have a brief reunion from 2000 to 2001, without Lynne, but ELO remained largely inactive until Lynne joined again. In 2017, the key members of ELO (Wood, Lynne, Bevan and Tandy) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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  6. Pingback: MLMM Music Challenge #189 8-20-2021 | sparksfromacombustiblemind

  7. Melanie B Cee
    August 20, 2021

    I love this song, thanks for the refreshed memory! 🙂 Here’s my contribution for MMLM Music Challenge: https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2021/08/20/mlmm-music-challenge-189-8-20-2021/

  8. Pingback: mlmm’s friday music challenge: can’t get it outta my head – Lorraine's frilly freudian slip

  9. Lorraine
    August 21, 2021

    Actually, a musing, rather than a fictional piece:

    mlmm’s friday music challenge: can’t get it outta my head

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