Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"Fields of Gold" Revisited

Before I go further into this, if you are reading this blog for the first time, you'll want to skim down and read the "Fields of Gold" entry first.

Sadly, I'm not a music fan. My wife is and neither of us understand the other's interest or lack thereof. However, I do like the Police and Sting. Knowing a little bit about his history also intrigues me. He was an English teacher and if you listen to his lyrics you often find allusions to literary classics, such as to Lolita in "Don't Stand so Close to Me," Canterbury Tales in the CD title Ten Summoner's Tales (I have read that is a double allusion - to his real name as well), and others. So the precedent has been set for allusions. Knowing this, I didn't think it was too far a reach that "Fields of Gold" might match the mythological image in my mind. I have found no conformation of this interpretation, but I hold to it anyway.

I'm going with the Rape of Persephone and look at it with a more compassionate Hades than is usually shown. Many try to portray him as a devil figure, but to me, he's just a guy who fell in love and was a bit too awkward in trying to ask her out. Come on, heroes were all the time kidnapping girls.

"You'll remember me when the west wind moves" Here we have west, which is an archetype for death, so the Hades connection and we have west wind, which is Zephyr in Greek mythology and used quite a bit in scenes of love, like Cupid and Psyche.

"You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky" The only way to forget the sun is if you can no longer see or feel it. Thus the underworld. The sky is jealous because it was Helios, the sun titan, that tattle-taled in Hades. Hades has the beautiful woman that Helios can no longer gaze upon.

"As we walk in the fields of gold" Hades/Pluto has another name - Dis. He was usually called this when he was referred to as the the god of wealth. Since gold and other precious metals as well as precious gems come from underground, they must be part of the underworld. Makes sense. Especially here, where they would walk in fields of (literally) gold.

"So she took her love /For to gaze awhile /... In his arms she fell as her hair came down" See, don't let the rape word fool you (it only means kidnapped here), she does love him back. She just didn't appreciate being taken without her consent.

"Will you stay with me, will you be my love" O.K., a bit tricky, but even though he was holding her against her will, he was hoping that she would want to stay with him. The saying, "If you love something let it go," had not been invented yet. We are talking ANCIENT Greece.

"We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky" Now it is "we." He's making his move.

"Feel her body rise when you kiss her mouth" I don't care what interpretation you take, this switch in point of view is odd.

"I never made promises lightly/And there have been some that I've broken/But I swear in the days still left/We'll walk in the fields of gold" Here Hades resolves to make sure she'll come back to him with the pomegranate seeds.

"Many years have passed since those summer days/Among the fields of barley/See the children run as the sun goes down/Among the fields of gold" In summer (when Persephone is home) she is in the barely - with her mom. When the sun goes down (archetype of death), she is in the underworld with Hades.

O.K., maybe a stretch, but I can't help feeling that way when I hear it. Ailia had a fantastic alternative by suggesting Demeter and Iasion and the Thrice Plowed Field. I guess the barley had us both thinking Demeter. If you are not familiar with that story, it is a good one and works in the jealous sky a bit better. Zeus, no happy that Demeter is with someone besides him (you know how those overprotective incestuous brothers can be) strikes down Iasion with a lightning bolt as they lay in a field. I like that possibility too. FYI - Iasion found immortality int he stars. The Gemini twin stars (visible tonight int he west), usually mean Castor and Pollux, but some references show that one of the stars in Iasion.

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