Inexplicable Millas Mirakel Lyrics

I’m bothered by odd redundancy in an 80s song lyric. Millas mirakel advises us that “It is better to light the fire of life than to never be allowed to be yourself”. Yes, and? That turn of phrase should compare two undesirable things, like “It is better to lose one toe than to lose both eyes.” Here Milla, who I might add is overall a strangely schoolmasterly and archaic pop lyricist, is basically saying “It is better to win the lottery than to lose both eyes.”

This is why we shouldn’t have freedom of speech.

Comments

  1. #1 wereatheist
    Berlin, Germany
    December 9, 2012

    This is why we shouldn’t have freedom of speech.

    I only hear stuff similar to what my little sister listened to. Ok, that´s forbiden :)
    If they don’t understand semantics, that’s no reason to deny them free speech :)

  2. #2 Birger Johansson
    December 10, 2012

    Looking for signs of intelligent life in pop lyrics?

  3. #3 Pär
    December 10, 2012

    I imagine the lighting of the fire of life to involve the burning of bridges to a certain extent, i e “better to risk something than playing it safe”. Quite the unepected exegesis, btw.

  4. #4 Martin R
    December 11, 2012

    Yes, that’s a reasonable interpretation of what the lyricist was trying to say.

    Somebody has to take these people to task, you know.

  5. #5 Kaleberg
    December 19, 2012

    Isn’t the saying, often attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, at least by my mom, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” The comparison there is between a favorable and unfavorable thing. I think the “it is better” construct is asymmetric, but otherwise neutral, neither supporting nor contrasting. (I’ve been doing some SAT tutoring, so I’ve been analyzing a lot of sentences lately.)

    Apparently, the saying is a motto of the Christophers (http://www.christophers.org/page.aspx?pid=266), but was used by Adlai Stevenson at Eleanor Roosevelt’s funeral. That probably explains my mother’s association.