Monday, September 12, 2011

Music Monday ~ Opposition ~ In Astrology, in Debate, and in Song

Opposition: in astrology it describes planets 180 degrees from each other - across half of the circle of the chart. This aspect places planets, either natally or in transit, to be symbolically in conflict with each other, a tug-of-war between opposing "forces" or human traits, a potential source of difficulties. Those opposite "energies" can also be used to produce balance - and build strength.

Opposition in debate and argument can also present either a source of ugly conflict or an opportunity for the development of understanding - and again, build more overall strength.

Opposition can be your friend. Opposition can be the fire that tempers the better sword, as well as the ice that cools a fiery temper. Don't ever run from it; learn from it!
— Jack R. Rose (The Cedar Post)

It's Music Monday, so, turning to songwriting: is there opposition in song? There is!

Occasionally a songwriter will come up with a composition touching on a sensitive issue, which stings another songwriter into writing a song with an opposing point of way of an "answer song".

One of the best examples of this is Neil Young's Southern Man (and his Alabama to a lesser extent)on the Old South's racism, Klu Klux Klan etc. and a possible spill into the present (when the song was written: late '60s), opposed by a response from Lynyrd Skynyrd in Sweet Home Alabama.

First verse of Southern Man

Southern man
better keep your head
Don't forget
what your good book said
Southern change
gonna come at last
Now your crosses
are burning fast
Southern man

Clip from lyrics of Sweet Home Alabama

Well I heard mister Young sing about her
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
A Southern man don't need him around anyhow

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you

Whether Sweet Home Alabama was just a friendly swipe at the composition of a fellow-musician and friend, or a heart-felt objection to the lyrics of Southern Man - or simply an opportunity to create controversy and therefore interest in both songs - with more $$$$$ to follow - isn't known.

Other "opposition" songs I know of, none are of recent vintage though:

This Land Is Your Land was Woody Guthrie's socialist response to God Bless America by Irving Berlin.

Generation X's Your Generation is meant to be an opposing answer song to The Who’s My Generation.

Hank Thompson's The Wild Side of Life brought forth Kitty Wells with It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels.

Merle Haggard's famous Okie from Muskogee, and The Fighting Side of Me were clearly in opposition to the hippie ideology and way of life of the 1960s, though not in answer to a particular song, as far as I know. Merle spoke for the Americans who didn't smoke marijuana or burn their draft cards, grow their hair long and shaggy and were proud to wave Old Glory down at the courthouse. The belligerent Fightin' Side of Me challenged the anti-war protesters of the '60s. I ought to fervently dislike Merle for these views, but I can't - in spite of these songs - he can do no wrong for me. Perhaps this shows a little of the balancing act of opposition coming into play!


JD said...

very interesting
you've got me rummaging around the attic in my head looking for other songs/antisongs :)

Mandy said...

As soon as I hear the word opposition, I think opportunity. There is always opportunity in adversity - you just have to find it.

Anonymous said...

GP: Yin/Yang. Many astrologers predict right when they look at oppositions: Once a person's horoscope shows that some cycle is peaking (e.g. Jupiter's) they reach the correct conclusion that from there for some years (in Jupiter's cycle 6 years) things will be less easy. And the reverse of course.

Swami X said (he did not believe in astrology): when you feel on top of the world, beware. Things will probably get less easy from here...

Twilight said...

JD ~~~ Hi there! If you find any, do come back and tell! :-)

Twilight said...

Mandy ~~ Hi! - Yes, that's very true!

Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~~

Yes, as relating to a transiting planet opposing a natal one, you mean? We ride the cosmic waves.

When we have natal oppositions -those "imprinted" in our natal chart and our nature, there's opportunity to find balance between opposing traits.

So there are two quite different situations in respect of astrological opposition. I wonder whether having oppositions natally could help with dealing with the transtory ones we all experience at one time or another? That's a possibility.

James Higham said...

Opposition can be just for the sake of opposing though and that's one that drags people down.

Twilight said...

James Higham ~~ Truly, truly!
There's a perverse streak in all of us - stronger in some than others.

Taking an opposing side just for the sake of it (other than sincerely trying to play devil's advocate, and saying so)
comes naturally to some people - the red flag/bull scenario - they can't, or don't wish to, stop themselves wading in to any argument whether they feel strongly about any issue involved or not.

Anonymous said...

GP: When I say "interpreting cycles I mean e.g. Jupiter ending an opposition to Midheaven (things will tend to improve, mundainly). Once Jupiter has passed a conjunction to one's Midheaven, life probably gets more difficult - possibly because after the 10th house transited he enters the 11 th (projects) and they may be too difficult to realize. Exagerated ambitions lead easily to delusion. Or "no tree grows to ever reach the sky..."

Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~~ I see - thank you for the clarification.:-)

Twilight said...
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