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What's your interpretation of the song "Close To The Edge?"

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    What's your interpretation of the song "Close To The Edge?"

    For me, it's the ultimate Yes song.
    And learning how to play it myself (even attempting Rick's Moog solo on guitar!) only reinforced that it was my ultimate favorite.

    (In the original vinyl ending key of G minor, of course. Never liked that key change, one bit)

    I have always thought that it meant:

    I get up - We live

    I get down - We die

    Close To The Edge
    of life, and death. Universality.
    _

    What are your thoughts about this epic masterpiece?

    #2
    That when one returns Close To The Edge of self-discovery again and again it changes the way one might interpret the meaning of life and existence. It's what makes And You And I such a perfect companion piece. It describes the ebb and flow of returning CTTE over and over as one seeks the true essence of one's place in the vast expanse of all that exists, "And you and I climb over the sea to the valley, And you and I reached out for reasons to call". And Siberian Khatru is like the affirmation of the previous two tracks "Hold out and hold on", "River running right over my head" etc.

    Or something like that, I dunno LOL!​

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      #3
      A warning for us all

      Click image for larger version

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      Jeff Tiberius Grey Wolf
      My hovercraft is full of eels

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        #4
        One thing to remember is that Jon was inspired by Siddhartha, a novel about spiritual awakening. But I recall Jon stating that one of the meanings of the song had to do with Life being a journey.

        I mean..."I get up, I get down" means a lot of things, and the ambiguity is really meaningful, I think. It's Life and Death, sure, but it's also about the trials of existence and emotional states, and how we exalt certain things and subsume others, etcetera ad nauseum. But at its' simplest you could say the phrase is about equilibrium - in order to achieve balance you've got to continually adjust.

        And the notion of being "close to the edge" or of an edge, is about possibility and the precipice of whatever it is, whatever it may mean. Whatever is coming. The river, well, it's a time-honored metaphor of various kinds.

        So of course the first part is about the notion of change, the "solid time" being inevitable in a life. The first verse, to me, is about figuring out how to live your life. Longing for change and/or transformation, and it is coming, and maybe it's not all about the change itself, but rather, how you face the change, what kind of person are you now to prepare yourself for what you may become.

        The second verse seems to indicate a sort of idealized period of time, and then the chorus references time as well. But it's that line about the master's name which I think says something about enlightenment - relieving the tension by way of learning but then some things are beyond mere learning. And then here we get the first iteration of I get up, I get down. For me, I feel like it's an admission of when we think we know a lot, then something happens to show us how little we know. But also perhaps the illusionary notion of time.

        I think that this bridge:
        Now that it's all over and done
        now that you find, now that you're whole.

        could be connected to Siddhartha's realization of the Oneness of all things.

        The third verse has to do with life in the material world, and the gambit of emotions and revelations it can reveal. The fourth verse, then, is a movement away, continuing the journey on the path to realization.

        The rest of the song becomes a bit metaphorically dense even for me but I think it, like the novel, is about the journey to realization and that realization is about the Oneness of all things.​
        Rabin-esque
        my labor of love (and obsessive research)
        rabinesque.blogspot.com

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by luna65 View Post
          One thing to remember is that Jon was inspired by Siddhartha, a novel about spiritual awakening. But I recall Jon stating that one of the meanings of the song had to do with Life being a journey.

          I mean..."I get up, I get down" means a lot of things, and the ambiguity is really meaningful, I think. It's Life and Death, sure, but it's also about the trials of existence and emotional states, and how we exalt certain things and subsume others, etcetera ad nauseum. But at its' simplest you could say the phrase is about equilibrium - in order to achieve balance you've got to continually adjust.

          And the notion of being "close to the edge" or of an edge, is about possibility and the precipice of whatever it is, whatever it may mean. Whatever is coming. The river, well, it's a time-honored metaphor of various kinds.

          So of course the first part is about the notion of change, the "solid time" being inevitable in a life. The first verse, to me, is about figuring out how to live your life. Longing for change and/or transformation, and it is coming, and maybe it's not all about the change itself, but rather, how you face the change, what kind of person are you now to prepare yourself for what you may become.

          The second verse seems to indicate a sort of idealized period of time, and then the chorus references time as well. But it's that line about the master's name which I think says something about enlightenment - relieving the tension by way of learning but then some things are beyond mere learning. And then here we get the first iteration of I get up, I get down. For me, I feel like it's an admission of when we think we know a lot, then something happens to show us how little we know. But also perhaps the illusionary notion of time.

          I think that this bridge:
          Now that it's all over and done
          now that you find, now that you're whole.

          could be connected to Siddhartha's realization of the Oneness of all things.

          The third verse has to do with life in the material world, and the gambit of emotions and revelations it can reveal. The fourth verse, then, is a movement away, continuing the journey on the path to realization.

          The rest of the song becomes a bit metaphorically dense even for me but I think it, like the novel, is about the journey to realization and that realization is about the Oneness of all things.​
          Herman Hess a true heavyweight in his field


          Comment


            #6
            Years ago Jon pointed me to a book that he thought captured the meaning of his lyrics the closest. Last I saw it, it was very expensive on Amazon. It was a good read but it was just a loan:



            More thoughts on rearranging your liver...

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Close to the Edge 72 View Post
              Years ago Jon pointed me to a book that he thought captured the meaning of his lyrics the closest. Last I saw it, it was very expensive on Amazon. It was a good read but it was just a loan:



              More thoughts on rearranging your liver...
              Only when served with onions.

              Comment


                #8
                Somewhere out there is a fairly recent online interview with Jon where he goes into detail about what the lyrics of CTTE mean. I'm too lazy right now to search for it.

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