I was interested
to learn that you are taking the Open Universe's 'Earth Music in
the 20th Century' appreciation course. I read your critique of 'Ol'
Yellow Eyes is Back', "Brent Spiner: the Legend and the Lingo",
and as requested, am attaching my own comments to yours. Many of
your points are valid as far as they go, but in some cases are open
to further or alternate interpretation.
I can see what first drew your attention to this recording, but
should point out that it is by no means certain that Spiner did
have yellow eyes: the title reference may be to a popular TV series
of the time in which he played a character who did.
You ask,would not the singer be more lucky if the object of affection
loved him, rather than feeling lucky because he loved her? We assume
that both are true.
Details omitted of what the little ordinary things are that the
singer forgets. Humans do become absent minded when their emotions
are fixed upon another person, quite how varies from one to another.
Why is the singer concerned with the thought of the person, rather
than the actual person? This is just a form of speech, Data, and
can be taken to mean, even the bare thought of you is important.
Yes, I agree, at the time the lyrics were written some lines would
have been considered more appropriate to be spoken by a woman than
a man. However, this example is not unique: cf the 20th century
singer Richard Tauber and the song in which he appears to make love
to a tree.
Track 4 . see "Conclusions"
I accept that the title refers to the other person, therefore the
singer should do the embracing, not be asking her to embrace him:
this is artistic licence. No, I do not think that Spiner was recording
a song for children at the same session and transposed some lines.
If you search your memory banks for alternate meanings, you will
find that the emphasis here is on the verb "to come", rather than
on the noun "papa", and at the time, baby, mama, and papa were synonyms
The reference to broken hearts is not to be taken literally, and
the song does not describe the effect of a 20th century auditory
It only seems like a great deal of repetition here, see "Conclusions".
'Kiss me once, kiss me twice, kiss me once again' is not the same
as 'Three kisses, please', and 'A long, long, time' does not have
precisely the same connotation as 'A long, ooh long, time' or 'A
long, LONG, TIME'.
Yes, the dew could more suitably be likened to diamonds than pearls,
but I think you are nit-picking here, Data. I take your word for
it that buttercups are closed at dawn and so no butterflies would
be kissing them, but this merely indicates that the writer was using
his imagination. Anyway, most of the references are merely to 'early
Whilst I agree that some of the lyrics are very arresting, I do
not recommend the philosophy of Randy Newman as a behavioural guide
for you, Data, we love you just as you are. An adjustment to your
programming along these lines will not result in your increased
popularity among the crew and could have a deleterious effect on
your career. Under no circumstances experiment on Captain
No, this is not a description of an incipient heart attack caused
by over-energetic coition. The zings and the strings are metaphoric.
Track 11 see "Conclusions"
Track 12 see "Conclusions"
Extraneous repetition: This is very much a matter of opinion.
A more subjective approach is needed here. Repeating lines with
different emphasis does in fact have relevance. I would suggest
that although you have been programmed in multiple techniques, you
need to be either female or gay (but not both) to fully appreciate
the singer's interpretation.
Interpolations not in any dictionary: For precedent, see
Professor Ann Barton's 'Shakespeare and the Limits of Language'.
See also, 'The Dagenham Dialogues' by contemporary guru Peter Cook
on the use of the ellipsis, and how it may be replaced by various
deeply emotional extensions to the text.
Your summing up, 'A pleasant, light, voice with good diction,
but subject to tonal fluctuation, and not bearing comparison with
contemporary tenors such as Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti':
You will recall that on the occasion when, as an experiment, you
asked Guinan to play this recording in Ten Forward, Commander Riker
remarked that Counselor Troi's chocolate consumption increased by
2500%, and Dr Crusher spent the rest of the evening on the holodeck
creating Programme 'Spiner' with a Scale 10 access code that not
even Wesley has been able to crack.
Finally, Data, I would say that I've read more of the script than
you, and know that you will one day receive your Emotion Chip: I
suggest that you make a reappraisal of this work then. You, also,
have an attractive voice, excellent articulation, and delightful
diction, and who knows, may find a parallel career as a singer.