Mudcat Café message #3556957 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #152141   Message #3556957
Posted By: GUEST,Grishka
07-Sep-13 - 05:26 PM
Thread Name: Improving Lyrics?
Subject: RE: Improving Lyrics?
No objection, Tunesmith. The question I tried to answer is: what may have been the idea behind RT's "long before", assuming it was not a temporary total blackout of poetic judgment. The line is repeated several times - ample opportunity for him to recognize the problem and solve it if he had wished so.

The narrator's regretful thoughts when inspecting the box wandered to the father's lifetime, which was "long before", when the knowledge would have been most valuable. The author did well to keep this time perspective throughout the chorus, leaving the shock aspect to the verses. (Switching aspects too quickly is a common mistake in rhetorics. For example, "A but B but C" makes less of a point than "A and C but B".)