"I cross the stream... I have a dream..."


How can we understand the meaning of this : “I cross the stream… I have a dream…” (from the song “I have a dream”-Abba) (I think we can’t just make it out literally, right?)

Many thanks

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I’d never heard that ABBA song before, so I found it on YouTube and listened to it.

Remember that ABBA were Swedish, and their English lyrics often don’t make very much sense. This particular song, “I Have a Dream”, is one of those that doesn’t make sense. It’s like a long string of various cliché phrases in English that don’t necessarily fit together. The result is that the song gives a feeling, but it doesn’t really mean anything. The English phrases are familiar, but when put together the don’t really have any meaning.

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Nessie, keep in mind that the English lyrics of many pop songs written in non-English-speaking countries simply mean, “Hi! We’re singing in English.” I think this ABBA song is an example of that.

Maybe, “I’ll cross the stream” stands for “I’ll achieve some of my goals”.
I think they’re coveying a vague idea in that song, as most singers do.

I suspect that in many cases, the best person to ask about the meaning of lyrics is the person who wrote them – whether the person is a native speaker of English or not. Sometimes I think the author of the lyrics of a song must be the only person who understands them. :lol:

Yeah, I agree with you. You know how many times I wanted to ask Eminem what the hell he’s rapping about ! :lol:
But woe is me ! He’s not gonna speak to me :cry: :cry: :cry:

Yeah, and most of the time I could only guess. :lol:

At least they rhyme. :slight_smile:

I teach in the neighborhood where Eminem grew up, and I often get the same sorts of degenerates in my class. Whatever I don’t understand, they understand, so I could ask them. I also know kids and young adults from other neighborhoods I can ask if I don’t know something. I understand 90% of it, though.

But, Amy, you have to admit that ABBA songs are unique, in that they sound like someone has assembled a huge computerized corpus of old pop songs and told it to generate lyrics from random combinations of rhyming phrases. Then a human went in and connected the random phrases with a couple of words here and there. The result is usually an almost-nonsensical string of clichés.

Hi Jamie

I really haven’t spent any time thinking about or analyzing Abba’s lyrics, and I can’t remember any Abba lyrics specifically enough to even comment other than to say what I already have.

Don’t worry Jamie. I know that quite well because here in Vietnam, they “compose” “songs” that are half English and half Vietnamese which are full of grammatical mistakes, not to mention weird language using style. Anyway, whether they are pure Vietnamese or English - Vietnamese songs, most modern Vietnamese songs have nonsense content :lol:

Well, actually I’m very bad at English slang, especially those that have bad and improper meanings. Besides, I’m not very interested in rock music either, so I know nothing about Eminem abd his stuffs. Once I came across a site in which they translated English lyrics into Vietnamese (for fun). A guy posted a song of Eminen and then translated it. When reading the English lyrics, I didn’t understand anything. I didn’t get what the song was about at all. Then I read his translation and got appalled :shock: :shock: Its contents was all about sex, rude and improper and awful sexual words. I just don’t know if he translated it correctly though because, as I said, I’m very bad at slang.
I just want to ask whether those Eminem songs really have such bad meaning.

It’s up to you to form an opinion on his lyrics. Some people are appaled at it, some are fascinated. I belong to the second group.
He sings about the stuff he sees/has seen, he lived in a trailer park home on 8 mile road with his mum who was a buzzo and she did a lot of despicable things to him, in particular she used to send him to a store to buy a pack of cigarrtes (with a note, because he was under age at that time) and at that woudn’t give him his lunch money, and he would steal that pack of cigarettes and spend the money on lunch. In a word, he’s been through a lot, he’s been through his poverty period of life when he was broke as f*ck and now he’s a most successful rapper in the world. He set his goals to become a millionare and he achieved them. He didn’t give up, didn’t succumb to violence, to criminal actions to get his living. He’s that sort of guy to look up to.

I suggest that you listen to these songs of his
If I had lyricsbay.com/e/eminem/ifihad.html
Lose yourself metrolyrics.com/lose-yoursel … minem.html

They are not that hard to understand.

By the way, don’t call what Em does “rock music”. It’s called RAP MUSIC :wink:

Thanks a lot, Lost soul. Now I’ve known more and had a deeper understanding.
However I still think I prefer songs with milder content such as “Cry on my shoulder” or “Proud of you” :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: (nonsensical mawkish girl, right? :P)

The content of a lot of rap songs is pretty horrible, not just those by Eminem. A lot of the time, Eminem’s songs are satires of the whole rap genre, so he doesn’t always mean what he says.

A lot of parents keep rap music away from their children, and there is a lot of campaigning in the black community to stop record companies from making and selling the stuff, because it has an immoral effect on kids. I know one couple who was so appalled at the lyrics of the music their daughter was downloading that she wasn’t allowed to use headphones and had to have her bedroom door open when she listened to music, so that her parents could supervise what she listened to. I know of one younger man who was heavily into rap but threw away all his rap CDs because, he claimed, the lyrics were starting to make him dehumanize women.

But, as with any other genre, various people try to put it to various purposes. In New York, there’s even a Franciscan priest, a former jazz musician, who works with the poor and records rap albums. Some people like what he records, and others find it foolish. Judge for yourself.

Alex, do you also believe in Santa Claus? :shock: You’re confusing movies with real life! There is no trailer park on 8 Mile Road, and Eminem didn’t grow up in one. And, by the way, his mother isn’t Kim Bassinger. That movie 8 Mile was a work of fiction and wasn’t even meant to depict Eminem’s life. The funny thing to people who know the city is the way the producers had to jump around town to get the ugliest possible places they could use, even though a lot of the inner city is now ugly. In that scene where the guys are speeding around in the car shooting paintballs, you see them shoot at something, and less than a second later they’re three miles away shooting at something else.

But AFTER he was successful, he was brought up on gun and assault charges. That’s the true measure of stupidity – when you’re a millionaire many times over and are willing to risk a whole career and go to prison over a stupid insult.

And just for clarity, Alex, in Detroit there are so many jobs and so many government programs that nobody has to choose violence and crime to survive. People who do so do it because they enjoy excitement or have a predatory mentality.

No, I dont believe in Santa Claus and neither do I believe that the Marshall Bruce Mathers III himself lived there. It is common knowedge that (I quote) until he (Mr. Marshall, that is) was twelve, he and his mother moved to and fro, between St. Joseph and Warren, Michigan, a Detroit suburb
As to 8 Mile, Eminem himself told in interviews that (I again quote) Eight Mile Road is a road which forms the boundary between predominantly African American Detroit and the city’s mostly white northern suburbs. The term “8 Mile”, therefore, represents a barrier that is difficult to cross
Summarizing, by saying “Eminem lived on 8 Mile Road”, I didn’t mean that Marshall Bruce Mathers III actually lived there, but that that street represents his hardships that he had to overcome on his way to success. Sorry, I should have had to have expressed myself clearer. :slight_smile:

But he did that on purpose, not on the spur of the moment, as it was officially reported (they said that he just “flipped” when he saw a guy suggestively talking (flirting) with his wife). Just think about it: the gun was empty, with no bullets, and later in one of his songs he admits …but the smartest sh*t I did was take the bullets out of that gun, cuz I’da killed em…. He knew he would have beaten the rap, gotten off with a probation, had it come to a trial, he was rich and could afford competent lawyers. It was a stunt to stir up public interest in him as a “gansta rapper”. And I’d say it hadn’t gone amiss, his popularity among individuals below 19 shot through the roof after that (though he had been doing well even before that accident happened).

In fact the Eminem in real life isn’t that stupid (He’s putting on this image of a “stupid” guy). The real Marshall Bruce Mathers III is quite “shady” :wink: Actually, I think, what distinguishes him from that notorious Proof (who got shot in a bar over a stupid brawl, what a douchebag !) is that the real Eminem sees the line, knows when to stop playing and start thinking.

Eminem lived on the “white” side of 8 Mile, probably well into the white side. That means no real luxury (by American standards) but also no really serious hardship. His contact with the black community, then, (and by that I mean the POOR black community) would have been from going to the other side of 8 Mile and slumming.

I seriously doubt he planned that assault as a publicity stunt and took the bullets out of the gun ahead of time. That has to be a story made up after the fact by him and his lawyers, partly to sway a jury, and partly to avoid losing some of this market. If you visit a prison (which I have) and talk to the guys in there, they all have a story like that to make themselves sound innocent.

If he really DID plan the assault, and really DID take the bullets out of his gun, then he’s DOUBLY stupid. Threatening someone with a gun is a very effective way to get oneself killed, either by the person one is threatening, by someone else who is trying to protect him, or by the police. In fact, it’s very common method of people who are suicidal but don’t have the guts to pull the trigger on themselves. The suicidal person will run around with a unloaded gun and threaten people until someone blows his brains out. Doing it as a publicity stunt shows either suicidal tendencies or an inability to think even one minute into the future.

Well, hats off to you, you know more about Detroit than I do :slight_smile:

Your reasoning sounds plausible. Probably that’s how it went down

Most rap “artists” boost their popularity with some kind of sob story about their past and all the hardship they’ve overcome. Included in this sob story is an assertion that the guy is to be admired for rising above this hardship, and an explanation as to why his stupid, continuing criminal acts are to be excused. So you’re supposed to admire him for overcoming his hardship while excusing him because he hasn’t overcome his hardship.

It’s like a perverse version of a TV show from the 1950s called “Queen for a Day”. Every day, three ladies came on and told their sad stories about everything that was wrong in their lives. Then an applause-o-meter was used to decide who the audience felt the sorriest for. The woman who made the needle jump the highest was chosen as “Queen for a Day” and got lots of cash and prizes. This is an exact analogy of how rappers get popular. It’s kind of like the old Soviet game show “Come On, Girls!” except you win by being pathetic, rather than by being intelligent, skilled and virtuous.

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