kayjayoh: (find x)
[personal profile] kayjayoh
Which we have just finished...

Anyway, "Barbara Allen" just came up on my iTunes, and I have to admit: I don't get it. No matter how many times I listen to the song I just do not understand the story.

So, sad guy is in love with Barbara Allen, and starts to pine. She hears about this and pretty much just says, "Sucks to be you." He dies, immediately afterward she settles down to *also* die and then a rose and a briar grow from their graves and twine together. Um...WTF??? Like, was there a point to all of that? It doesn't come across as poignant or moving to me, it just seems dumb.

While we are on the topic of pointless, I am also annoyed by the end of the poem "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes. Poor sweet Bess blasts a hole into her chest and dies in order to warn her lover that the British are waiting to ambush him and save his life. And then what does he do as soon as he finds out about this? Does he change his ways, settle down, and live a long life to honor her memory? Does he carefully plot revenge so that he can effectively take down the people who caused her suicide? No, he goes charging right back into the midst of the British and gets himself killed. Way to make her sacrifice worthwhile, buddy.

By the way, if you remember the 1985 movie of Anne of Green Gables, Anne recites the poem at a hotel concert near the end of the film, when she is about 16 or so. However, this is complete anachronistic, as the poem was published in 1906 and Anne would have been 16 in 1881. (Of course, I've heard that the film makers later made a "Continuing Story" sequel which completely tossed the perfectly good plot of the rest of the book, as well as historical continuity, aside by having it set with a young Anne and Gilbert during WWI...nevermind that they would have been in their 50s at that point and their *children* were the young folk during the Great War. <sigh>)

Date: 2008-06-04 03:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jennythe-reader.livejournal.com
Barbara Allen: I think part of the story (that gets left out of some versions of the song) is that she was interested in him, but that he "slighted" her at a party of some sort. Her refusing to visit him on his sick bed is a petty way to get him back for that. When he really does die, she realizes that she loved him after all and dies of a broken heart herself.

You're completely right about your other points. While the film of Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorite adaptions, I refuse to acknowledge the sequels.

June 2008

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