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Topic: What is North Point about?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
hiawatha Offline




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Posted: Feb. 16 2005, 14:14

What is North Point about? I've always wondered if it had to do with the prison in Boyle County, Kentucky:

http://corrections.ky.gov/ntc/general/


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"In the land of the Dacotahs,
Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak-trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley."
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Feb. 17 2005, 19:18

It seems to be vaguely about a prison (people imprisoned - the singer's lover is inside), but the whole thing sounds to me too fluffy (too whimsical?) to have a real meaning. :) Plus, the lyrics aren't at all made any clearer by their total disrespect of English grammar. :D

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Ecco Offline




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Posted: April 05 2005, 08:52

e.c.c.o.

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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: April 05 2005, 09:12

Quote (Ugo @ Feb. 17 2005, 19:18)
It seems to be vaguely about a prison (people imprisoned - the singer's lover is inside)

The kind of thing I generally despise. "Oh, imprisonment is such a cruel thing! He has killed a person brutally and mercilessly, but he's my lover!"

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Ecco Offline




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Posted: April 05 2005, 10:02

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ April 05 2005, 09:12)
The kind of thing I generally despise. "Oh, imprisonment is such a cruel thing! He has killed a person brutally and mercilessly, but he's my lover!"


Hmm. I always had a feeling that the song wasn't as literal as you folks are making it out to be. It could be about the historic Northpoint, which was converted to a hospital for both side in the war.
And who said anything about someone being guilty of murder in that song? Or guilty of anything, for that matter?


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raven4x4x Offline




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Posted: April 06 2005, 06:10

I don't get anything about the singer's lover being imprisoned there: there isn't any mention of that in the lyrics, well at least not in my interpretation of them. I honestly have no idea what they mean apart from a few images: I've never been brilliant at getting meaning from lyrics, and Mike certainly hasn't made that an easy task.

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hiawatha Offline




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Posted: April 06 2005, 08:59

Quote (Ecco @ April 05 2005, 10:02)
It could be about the historic Northpoint, which was converted to a hospital for both side in the war.
And who said anything about someone being guilty of murder in that song? Or guilty of anything, for that matter?

What is the historic Northpoint? The only one I could find on the Internet was in Kentucky.

As for it being as prison song, it could go in some sort of sequential thematic mix:

1. Crime of Passion & Moonlight Shadow (the crime)
2. Guilty (convicted in court)
3. To Be Free (wishes of being out of prison)
4. Shadow on the Wall (rage at being imprisoned)
5. See the Light (waiting for freedom)
6. Northpoint (freed from prison)
7. Innocent (no longer guilty ! )
8. No Dream (back to criminal ways: stalking)
9. To France (running from the police: escaping the country)
10. Flying Start (hiding out in southern France)
11. Caveman from TB2003 (Caught again: now in a languishing in a Klingon prison listening to guards argue with each other)


--------------
"In the land of the Dacotahs,
Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak-trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley."
- Song of Hiawatha
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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: April 06 2005, 16:43

Quote (Ecco @ April 05 2005, 10:02)
And who said anything about someone being guilty of murder in that song? Or guilty of anything, for that matter?

Heh heh, I wasn't talking really about the song per se, but other similar things I've heard. I just had to spew my venom somehow. :) But just giving a quick read on the lyrics, I can see someone talking about being separated from someone who's jailed ("They shut the bars down, leave you to the gloom"), and wishing to see him/her ("So high is the wire
and the guards won't listen / They won't believe me"). I believe Ugo's interpretation is correct. Mike's lyrics, in general, aren't famous for double entendres, metaphors and puns - to put it mildly.

I just have a strong dislike for songs about prisons. If the fella is imprisoned, it's most probably his fault, so blaming the wires and guards smells like hipocrisy to me.

And also, I never heard any kind of pain and sadness in it, just an ocean of synthpop atmosphere. Now 'Magic Touch', THAT one has a lot of pain in it! Just listening to the first few seconds makes my eardrums scream in pain.


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hiawatha Offline




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Posted: April 06 2005, 17:18

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ April 06 2005, 16:43)
Now 'Magic Touch', THAT one has a lot of pain in it! Just listening to the first few seconds makes my eardrums scream in pain.

This one's for Sir Mustapha:

When listening to "Islands", turn down the power
Or your ears will break from that devil sound's touch
All that you need, to hear, then cower
It's the first seconds of "Magic Touch."


--------------
"In the land of the Dacotahs,
Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak-trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley."
- Song of Hiawatha
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Ecco Offline




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Posted: April 06 2005, 18:54

Quote
just have a strong dislike for songs about prisons. If the fella is imprisoned, it's most probably his fault, so blaming the wires and guards smells like hipocrisy to me.


Well, of course. But it could be about Auschwitz or Biko for all I know. I don't agree with the reoccuring theme scenario that Hiawatha pointed out. I also don't enjoy going on about stuff I don't like. Including some of MO's stuff. I bet you're listening to 'The Magic Touch' right now, Moofasa. ;)

It's more fun trying to figure out what happened to Macca, anyway. lol

Julie.


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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: April 06 2005, 19:08

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ April 06 2005, 21:43)
If the fella is imprisoned, it's most probably his fault, so blaming the wires and guards smells like hipocrisy to me.

You say most probably...but what if it's not 'his' fault? What if he's been framed by someone else? What if he's a political prisoner, put there because a corrupt regime decided it didn't like him? It happens. People get put into prison for all sorts of reasons, not all of which are what the majority would see as legitimate.

It would be wise to look further than this, though. Imprisonment - especially wrongful imprisonment - makes a rather handy metaphor. It's not uncommon, when something goes wrong for someone, for them to ask "What have I done to deserve this?", and in that, we have the basis for a wrongful imprisonment song - "I've done my sentence, but committed no crime", as Freddie Mercury put it.
I think even when the metaphor of rightful imprisonment is used, it's still legitimate to be reflecting on the hard consequences of certain actions, which the perpetrator may even feel were simple mistakes that shouldn't have been punished so harshly.

In North Point, I'd say that a possible hint in favour of the wrongful imprisonment concept would be the line "They won't believe me", which to me suggests pleading of some kind - an attempt to convince the guards that the prisoner has done nothing wrong?
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hiawatha Offline




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Posted: April 06 2005, 21:42

Ecco: The recurring theme thing was not serious. It is a real stretch to link all those songs from different albums. Especially the Klingon prison part!

--------------
"In the land of the Dacotahs,
Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak-trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley."
- Song of Hiawatha
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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: April 07 2005, 12:47

Quote (Korgscrew @ April 06 2005, 19:08)
You say most probably...but what if it's not 'his' fault? What if he's been framed by someone else? What if he's a political prisoner, put there because a corrupt regime decided it didn't like him?

Yep, I understand that exactly, and that's why I said "most probably". But Mike Oldfield isn't a skilled lyricist, and North Point doesn't seem to deal with any dilemmas about wrongful/rightful imprisonment or something. It just goes there and talk about "a million stars at Northpoint" leaving for the moon, in such a dramatic and sympathetic tone that makes it sound like all of the prisoners were innocent and pure, and were framed unjustly. Is that the case? The lyrics never make that clear: they just go there and make a statement without any kind of background or subtlety. It redueces a huge, complicated affair to cheap pity.

You know, I just enjoyed North Point more before I read the lyrics. On the topic of wrongful, injust imprisonment, just look at the lyrics of Peter Gabriel's "Biko". He said, in a few lines, what many people would spend paragraphs trying to say, and it doesn't sound as biased and blatant as North Point does.


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Check out http://ferniecanto.com.br for all my music, including my latest albums: Don't Stay in the City, Making Amends and Builders of Worlds.
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Ratty Offline




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Posted: April 17 2005, 18:14

I vaguely remember seeing an article that suggested this track was actually reffering to the prisoners of Auschwitz. Personally i feel that if Mike wanted to write / compose a piece referring to such an historical event he would have done it as an instrumental.

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The tolling of the iron bell
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Craig Evans Offline




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Posted: Mar. 04 2006, 10:51

Quote (hiawatha @ April 06 2005, 08:59)
As for it being as prison song, it could go in some sort of sequential thematic mix:

1. Crime of Passion & Moonlight Shadow (the crime)
2. Guilty (convicted in court)
3. To Be Free (wishes of being out of prison)
4. Shadow on the Wall (rage at being imprisoned)
5. See the Light (waiting for freedom)
6. Northpoint (freed from prison)
7. Innocent (no longer guilty ! )
8. No Dream (back to criminal ways: stalking)
9. To France (running from the police: escaping the country)
10. Flying Start (hiding out in southern France)
11. Caveman from TB2003 (Caught again: now in a languishing in a Klingon prison listening to guards argue with each other)

That's a brillient idea!!  :cool:

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Navaira Offline




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Posted: Mar. 04 2006, 14:46

To me Northpoint is a song about... something... where guitar cries. It was the first song that made me cry -- and all because of the guitar. It's about a prison, yeah. Who cares? Listen to the solo.

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oscar-rh Offline




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Posted: Jan. 05 2016, 08:59

my feeling is north point meaning is in the music, lyrics being just an optional vehicle

peace
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First_Excursion Offline




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Posted: Jan. 06 2016, 02:05

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ April 06 2005, 16:43)

Now 'Magic Touch', THAT one has a lot of pain in it! Just listening to the first few seconds makes my eardrums scream in pain.


^This.

Certainly Mike is no Dylan or Roger Waters when it comes to the lyrics; he's more or less admitted it's a strain for him in the past.

Not that big on the North Point solo myself but I find the timbre of the rhythm guitars very seductive. The track overall is appealing to me.

Bit hot and cold myself on Islands album really. It has it's moments tho.
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