Daily Archives: March 3, 2013

In Previous Eras, a Schism Like This Would Involve the Death of Millions

My wife and I have a disagreement about a line in the song “The Rainbow Connection.” The line is:

“Why are there so many songs about rainbows, and what’s on the other side?”

I am of the opinion the line is two independent ideas, i.e., Kermit asks why there are so many songs about rainbows; independently he muses about what’s on the other side of rainbows.

Krissy, on the other hand, believes the line asks about songs about rainbows and also what’s on the other side of the rainbows, i.e., that the songs in question must refer to both.

A lot of this comes down to how the comma (or in song lyric notation, the line break) is being used, and if you think the positioning of a particular comma is not important, please avail yourself of the legal scholarship regarding commas as they apply to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution; which is to say, commas are more important than you think.

I pointed out to Krissy that, in fact, there seem to be very few songs about both rainbows and what’s on the other side of them, which seems, contextually speaking, suggestive that Kermit is addressing two separate issues. She pointed out that there are fewer songs about rainbows than Kermit seems to suggest anyway, casting doubt on the thesis in general, and also that Kermit is both a frog and lives in a swamp, so it’s entirely possible that his understanding of the frequency of rainbows and their associated phenomena as musical tropes may be colored by lack of data. This is a fair observation.

And in any event the actual frequency of songs about rainbows (or songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side of them) is neither here nor there regarding the lyrics, which,¬†statistically¬†factual or not, still seems ambiguous as regards the nature of its actual assertion.

So, a question for each of you: Who is correct? Am I correct that the song asks only about songs about rainbows? Or is Krissy correct that the song asks about rainbows and what’s on their other side?

This is, I believe, the meta-textual question of our age, which needs to be resolved one way or another.

Please give your answer in the comments. Please show your work.