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Roll over Beethoven: need interpretation


Exodus
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Hi,

I am doing some research on early rock and roll for an article. Peter Wicke puts a lot of stock in Berry?s ?Roll over Beethoven? as a beacon of rock and roll?s character but fails to explain the lyrics.

Although the intent of the words ?roll over? is certainly negative, its precise meaning is unclear to me. Is it addressed directly to the dead Beethoven, commanding him to animate his misery by rolling over in the grave? Does ?roll over? mean something like ?surrender your supremacy Beethoven and accept the change,? or simply ?change over?? Or does it tell the listeners of the song to ?roll over? or ?stamp out? the legacy of Beethoven? It is possible that more than one meaning was intended?

Thank you for any leads that you can give me.

Exodus

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I think it's first a tribute to Beethoven, admonishing that he is a founding father of "rocking" (if you will) symphony's, consider the line...Roll over beethoven and tell tschaikowsky the news(tschaikowsky) also pioneered some very "moving" pieces it's the "changing" of the guard, enter a new form of rhythm to dance to hence the lines.....Sittin? down by the rhythm review.

Roll over beethoven rockin? in two by two. and also You know she wiggles like a glow worm,

Dance like a spinnin? top.

Also note the "Don?t you step on my blue suede shoes" which is a reference to Carl Perkins.

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I'm straying from the topic a bit.

This came to my mind when I heard the Stones' Gimme Shelter the other day: Isn't it quite an amazing leap lyrically from "rockin' pneumonia ...rollin' arthritis" to "Rape! Murder!".

On the other hand, the Rolling Stones also gave us It's Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It). Years ago, a friend pointed out to me a long tradition of self-parody in Rock and Roll. The music's tendancy to experimentation, exaggeration and excess are all part of the evolution and responsible for its staying power.

More Rock and Roll Anthems(<)

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On a related subject - Beethoven's crypt was opened some years ago, possibly to check whether or not he had been rolling over. To everybody's surprise the grand old composer was sitting there with his manuscripts and an eraser, rubbing the notes off the paper. He was asked what he was doing (a number of times as he was still deaf) and eventually replied, in German of course, "I am decomposing". Sorry. :-)

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I think the rolling over in his grave analogy is the correct one. If Beethoven and Thaichovsky(sp)could hear what had been done to music they would be spinning in their graves. But we don't know that. They could be rockin in their graves too.(hence the decomposing story).

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I think the rolling over in his grave analogy is the correct one. If Beethoven and Thaichovsky(sp)could hear what had been done to music they would be spinning in their graves. But we don't know that. They could be rockin in their graves too.(hence the decomposing story).

Sounds like Melanie... "Look what they´ve done to my song, ma... look what they´ve done to my song, ma..." :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Yeah, this thread should be studied in the Music University... very good thread... whose idea was it? I´ll have to scroll up...

Best opinions: Windy, BluesBoy and PinkFloyd... and all the rest! :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana: :happybanana:

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