Question

Could you tell me the meanings of these phrases?

Lena Mueller Lena Mueller (0) on 18/05/13

http://lyrics.wikia.com/Radiohead:Prove_Yourself

1. Does "Hooked back up to the cathode ray" mean that he's always sitting in front of the TV or the computer?
2. After he says "I'm better off dead", the phrase "Prove yourself" appears. Does he want to prove that he's better off dead, or want to prove his existence (He's worth living) by himself?

http://lyrics.wikia.com/Radiohead:Fake_Plastic_Trees

1. "That she bought from a rubber man/ In a town full of rubber plans/To get rid of itself"
"to get rid of itself". Does it mean like "the town destroys/consume by itself?"

http://lyrics.wikia.com/Gracenote:Oasis:The_Girl_In_The_Dirty_Shirt

1. "If you ever find yourself inside a bubble, you've gotta make your own way home
You can call me anytime you're seeing double, now you know you're not alone"
I don't understand what is "double".
Noel used it for rhyme, but I guessed three meanings ;
1, She got to see things double. (It means when she lost her way?)
2, She saw someone who looks like her? lol (It means when she lost herself?)
(But, he didn't say "seeing a double", it is used as an adjective, so maybe it's wrong.)
3, She saw dishonest people? (It means when she felt uneasy?)
Which does seem to correct for native speakers of English?

http://lyrics.wikia.com/Noel_Gallagher:Don%27t_Look_Back_In_Anger

1. "Cos you said the brains I have went to my head"
Does "I have went to my head" mean he's grand?

2. "You ain't ever gonna burn my heart out"
Does it mean that "you" can never change his decision?

3. "So Sally can wait, she knows its too late as we're walking on by"
This phrase puzzles me. Does "walk on by" mean "~の隣を歩き続ける",
In short, "walk together"? Then, can I translate it like
"That's why, Sally can wait in here. Cos she knows it is too late to walk together"?

Answers

1

Hello Thymian!

First, I want to say that I think it's awesome that you're using great music to learn English. That's a very cool way of understanding culture and language. I'm trying to do the same too with Japanese.

As a Radiohead fan, you probably know that a lot of these are open to interpretation; many of the phrases in their lyrics will mean different things to different people. Having said that, here is my opinion:

1. Does "Hooked back up to the cathode ray" mean that he's always sitting in front of the TV or the computer?

Yes, this is about the television or computer. However, because he says "hooked _back_ up", it probably means that he has recently started watching a lot of TV again (or that he keeps stopping and starting again).

2. After he says "I'm better off dead", the phrase "Prove yourself" appears. Does he want to prove that he's better off dead, or want to prove his existence (He's worth living) by himself?

I always thought he meant the second. The lyrics are very depressing, and "...prove yourself..." seems to be a challenge to himself -- "prove you're worth living and that what i'm saying is wrong".

1. "That she bought from a rubber man/ In a town full of rubber plans/To get rid of itself"
"to get rid of itself". Does it mean like "the town destroys/consume by itself?"

Another song about depression (I believe). Yes, "itself" in this sentence is the town.

1. "If you ever find yourself inside a bubble, you've gotta make your own way home
You can call me anytime you're seeing double, now you know you're not alone"
I don't understand what is "double".
Noel used it for rhyme, but I guessed three meanings ;
1, She got to see things double. (It means when she lost her way?)
2, She saw someone who looks like her? lol (It means when she lost herself?)
(But, he didn't say "seeing a double", it is used as an adjective, so maybe it's wrong.)
3, She saw dishonest people? (It means when she felt uneasy?)
Which does seem to correct for native speakers of English?

"Seeing double" is something I usually hear when someone has hit their head, or is quite drunk. In this case, Oasis are using it to mean when she is feeling lost or confused (and needs a friend to talk to). Also, your thoughts on #2 (a double) are exactly correct!

1. "Cos you said the brains I have went to my head"
Does "I have went to my head" mean he's grand?

"to go to one's head" is an idiom that means that means to make someone feel better than they really are. For example, let's say I just got a huge contract for writing a song, and I start treating others poorly because I'm rich now. My friends would probably say, "Don't let all that money go to your head."

In this song, the singer is intelligent, but unfortunately, he seems to think that he is smarter than he really is.

2. "You ain't ever gonna burn my heart out"
Does it mean that "you" can never change his decision?

Heart is often used to mean the center and source of one's soul and emotions. I believe that you are correct; "you" will never change his decision, way of thinking, or kill his passion.

3. "So Sally can wait, she knows its too late as we're walking on by"
This phrase puzzles me. Does "walk on by" mean "~の隣を歩き続ける",
In short, "walk together"? Then, can I translate it like
"That's why, Sally can wait in here. Cos she knows it is too late to walk together"?

Great guess. "Walk on by" in this case means "walk past", or ~を歩いて通り過ぎる (I think :) ).

Best of luck -- please let me know if you have any questions about my answers.

Recordings

Comments

Lena Mueller Lena Mueller (0) on 21/05/13

Mr. Jason Smith, thank you very much for your careful explanations. I appreciate your kindness! "Walk on by" means 歩いて通り過ぎる、then is it like "すれ違う" or "横を通り過ぎていく"?

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