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Lou Reed "Sticking With You" thought...

 
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1291

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:34 am    Post subject: Lou Reed "Sticking With You" thought... Reply with quote

I never thought about it before, but in the Velvet Underground song "I'm Sticking With You" that line about "I saw you hanging from a tree/and I made believe it was me", I always used to think it was just about seeing someone having fun hanging from a tree, like climbing a tree and hanging off with one hand holding a branch or something like that. So the person observing wants to do that too. But only recently did I start thinking that maybe it connects as a story to the line right before it "You held up a stagecoach in the rain/and I'm doing the same" - like, maybe it is supposed to mean that after doing this stagecoach robbery the person got caught and executed/hanged? That would really make it an extra funny/silly/sad/weird lyric... like, it looks like so much to do all the things that you're doing, I want to do them too, even if what you're doing is being killed for your crimes?!?!?
Is this one of those things where everybody else already hears the line that way, and I'm just somehow the only person who didn't realize what was going on? I've known that song for such a long time, and I never thought about that line that way before!
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jack fe



Joined: 08 Apr 2006
Posts: 865

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It always made me think of the horrible lynching connotations, and someone (maybe a child) who idolises the person who has been forced out of society, or is on the fringes. It's so beautiful and so ugly. I like the idea of "everyone can hate you, irrationally, but I love you, even if it's from afar". But there's also totally the childlike, swinging around fun interpretation, which is right there as well. Also, the "stagecoach" seems to put it in the past (turn of the century?), which could work with the (probably imagined) racial element in that era of America.

I love Lou's words, there are always so many double meanings and love buried in ugly imagery.
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misshelenc



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 746
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know but the first thing I thought of when I read it written down is about hanging yourself as some kind of suicide attempt. x
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lauragek



Joined: 26 May 2009
Posts: 121

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first time I heard the song I was only 13, so I didn't really think of murder or anything. Only recently I thought hanging from the trees could mean suicide... Hadn't even thought of murder yet! So holding up a stagecoach actually means robbing? I didn't really know the word stagecoach before the song and I remember looking it up and finding out it was a cab like thingy. So, for the not native one here, what exactly is a stage coach? And does holding up always mean robbing or something?
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1291

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, "holding up a stagecoach" is like somebody with a gun stopping your car to rob you, but in the 1860s or something... I don't know when stagecoaches existed... it was like a carriage pulled by a horse.
If you do a google image search for "stagecoach" you get the idea!
And to "hold up" is to rob with a weapon, you can be "held up at knifepoint" or "held up at gunpoint" but I don't think you can be "held up" if there's no knife or gun! (Nobody ever says "I was held up at fist-point" or "I was held up at bazooka-point"!)
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christian



Joined: 08 Jun 2015
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't know what a stagecoach was so I never made the association with "hanging from a tree". Especially since the singing is so sweet, high-pitched and almost child-like.

Now that you mention the possible meaning about crime and execution, it makes me think of some Moldy Peaches songs, where there is also a contrast between sweet singing, sweet images and crude or deeply sad images. Examples of this could be "Nothing came out", "Steak for Chicken" or "Rainbows": "You gotta have rain, to have rainbows / You gotta have dick to have a dick in your mouth / You gotta skin a rich kid, to wear a rich kid suit / And you've got to know by now I think you're cute".
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