Sunday, 4 May 2008

'Let me take you down...'

'...(be)cause I'm going to ...' It's this locating opening line that unlocks Strawberry Fields Forever as a song. It is about depression, but in the specialist sense of the absolute passivity of non-living. The song takes us into the Underworld, where strawberries bloom in scarlet honour of Proserpina. The irony of that title: at first we think it is a cheer, a hurrah (Strawberry Fields Forever! Strawberry Fields Are the Best!) until we listen again and realise that the 'forever' is operates on a more literal level. These fields will be our home forever; we will never leave. She said, after all, I know what it's like to be dead. She is Proserpina.

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