I'm not a native english speaker and been having a little trouble understanding some parts of this song.I was wondering if you could help me out.
The part "easier lays": what does "lay" mean here? I know "lay" is used to refer to having sex but I'm not sure if that's what he means here. I don't think talking about sex fits with the rest of the lyrics in this part, but, you know Roger, he was never ashamed of his sexual exploits. I tried searching other meanings for "lay" but not sure.
"It's a vertical hold, all the things that you're told"
I don't understand the meaning of "vertical hold" here. I tried searching for its meaning but nothing came up.
Finally, "it's easier from an armchair". I understand it means something like "easier done than said"? Never heard that expression before.
Thanks beforehand for your help and here's the whole lyrics:
It's the sad-eyed, goodbye, yesterday moments I remember
It's the bleak street, weak-kneed partings I recall
It's the mistier mist
The hazier days
The brighter sun
And the easier lays
There's all the more reason for laughing and crying
When you're younger and life isn't too hard at all
It's the fantastic drowse of the afternoon Sundays
That bored you to rages of tears
The unending pleadings, to waste all your good times
In thoughts of your middle aged years
It's a vertical hold, all the things that you're told
For the everyday hero it all turns to zero
And there's all the more reason for living or dying
When you're young and your troubles are all very small
Out here on the street
We'd gather and meet
And scuff up the sidewalk with endlessly restless feet
Half of the time
We'd broaden our minds
More in the poolhall than we did in the schoolhall
With the downtown chewing-gum bums
Watching the nightlife, the lights and the fun
Never wanted to be the boy next door
Always thought I'd be something more
But it ain't easy for a smalltown boy
It ain't easy at all
Thinkin' it right, doin' it wrong
It's easier from an armchair
Waves of alternatives
Wash at my sleepiness
Have my eggs poached for
breakfast I guess
I think I'll be Clint Eastwood
Jimi Hendrix, he was good,
William The Conqueror
Now, who else do I like?
|Cruella de Vil
|Hi and welcome to an ailing forum,
A lot of these lyrics and constructed in order to fit in with the melodies and/or are a play on imagery. You are correct in the "easier lays" means just that, easier opportunities to get laid. I think that "It's a vertical hold, all (on?) the things that you're told" is simply a way to rhyme lyrics (hold and told). And "it's easier from an armchair" is (to me) as you have said. I really (now) love this song. I didn't much as a 16 year old when it was released, I wanted something edgier. In time, one can see this in the company of Roger's reflective songs: Days of Our Lives, Heaven for Everyone, Old Friends and many more.
|"It's a vertical hold, all (on?) the things that you're told"
back in those days, televisions had two control oscillators (usually access to these was on the rear of the set) these were called "vertical hold" and "horizontal hold". correct adjustment of these would "lock" the TV display and result in a steady and correct picture. so, "It's the vertical hold all the things that you're told" is a very clear and precise instruction: this is the correct way things should be, you get the picture?
"it's easier from an armchair"
is (more or less) a summation of the previous three lines of the song "But it ain't easy for a small town boy, It ain't easy at all, Thinkin' it right and doin' it wrong. it's easier from an armchair" - there's so many similar idioms that cover those four lines of the song:
Easier said than done,
The road to hell is paved with good intentions
Sounds good on paper
Easier in theory than in practice
Like getting blood from a stone
Be no tea party
i think that (in the 70s) Roger was always (for me) the really interesting lyricist in the band. Much of his lines could be interpreted more than one way. Although most of the time, the listener took his lyrics at face value, clearly the double-meanings were there for all to see:
Have my eggs poached for breakfast, I guess
on the surface, this is the final (pre-sleep) thoughts at bedtime. however, dig deeper - there's much more to it:
In 1950/60s Britain, eggs became a breakfast staple - much of this was down to the concerted TV advertising campaigns of the Egg Marketing Board. The advterising tagline being "Go to work on an egg"
roger has taken this common breakfast food and specifically chosen how it'll be cooked. i think this is his way of saying:
every new day (for the working man/woman) is the same as the last. it's impossible to break the with the humdrum as a whole: wake, eat, work, eat, sleep etc.
so what options does the working man/woman have? change the little things that you have control over: ie - how you'll have your eggs.
PS: if you bring your question (just do a cut n paste) over to
you'll probably get better answers than i provided.
|Regarding "the easier lays":
"Lay" also means "a line of work" (so, an occupation) or "a line of action" (so, a plan). "Easier lays" could mean "the simpler life", as in: a less complicated occupation, fewer complications you have to deal with, a more straightforward way of living your life. I think that fits a lot better with the substance and theme of the song than the sexual interpretation, especially since the verse ends with "when you're younger and life isn't too hard at all".
|master marathon runner
|/\ What a load o' crap !|
|Always thought it was a double entendre.
With the previous line being about the sun, an easier "lay in the sun" (on the grass) at least to my visually oriented mind.
Of course he also means the "action"... the shagging, the wild bits, whatever
Thanks for the bit on the vertical hold. I'm old enough to remember my grandma's tv set and the knobs etc but i was too young to interpret anything beyond UHF/VHF
The bunny ears.
That makes sense. Also implied or not, a vertical hold is gravity, and colloquially "the gravity of the situation" for the everyday hero, that all turns to zero.
It's definitely a great lyric, interesting to hear more expansion on the themes. Thank yeee
Thank you very much for your help. Drowse is one of my favorite Queen songs and I'd been wondering about those expressions for some time.
I didn't know about the meaning of "vertical hold" . It's cool how songs usually reflect the culture and society of their time. Reminds me of another one of Roger's songs, Tenement Funster, where he talks about his 45s. Many people my generation wouldn't even know what he's talking about.
I agree Roger is a great lyricist. Many of his songs are very nostalgic for someone who's supposed to enjoy life to the full.
I think the movie was really unfair with Roger, portraying him as a shallow, neurotic jerk and as a bad songwriter. He's a lot deeper than he appears.
Surprisingly enough, Roger doesn't seem to write songs about girls...or love. That's why I think he wasn't referring to sex in "easier lays". Well, as many of you said, I think his lyrics are open to many interpretations.
master marathon runner wrote: /\ What a load o' crap !Never opened a dictionary?
|I've always seen it as a sexual thing.
Growing up in 70's and 80's England "Easy lay" was usually directed at young ladies who were "free with their affections" - or "shagged anything that moved"
I have NEVER heard it used in relation to work or jobs.
I see this part of the song is almost like talking to my parents the old " when I was a lad the sun was brighter, the chicks were easy " , "Food tasted better" etc etc.
|I've always taken the "easier lays" to mean having a good nap or sleep...one without fitful dreams and such. It is common to wish people to rest easy or sleep easy, so I take this as referring to a restful sleep.
The vertical hold, as described, was a tricky thing at times...the picture on the TV screen would roll upwards or downwards with a black bar in between, and you had to adjust the vertical hold knob in order to get the picture to stop perfectly in the screen without moving any more. Sometimes an almost impossible task depending on the TV set and channel! Since your thoughts (and sometimes facts as well) seem to move throughout your lifetime, this vertical hold would mean putting a hold on your thoughts and opinions and having them be steady (if even for a moment)
Something being easier from an armchair refers to when people are too lazy to actually getting up and accomplish something themselves....they feel they are expert enough to sit in their armchair at home and tell others how things are to be done correctly. Yet they have no real experience in it...thus it is "easy from an armchair", but not so easy to actually accomplish. Sometimes this is also called being an "armchair quarterback"...meaning to lead your team sitting on your butt and not doing anything. So in the song, when he says "thinkin it right and doin it wrong is easier from an armchair"....it means it's a lot easier to sit back and claim you can do something than it is to actually accomplish something by trial and error.
|But wasn't it easier for Roger to get laid once he became rich and famous?
All the definitions I've found for "easy lay" are sexual but I think that something more along the lines of taking a rest or living without worries would make more sense in this case, like matt z or MyHumanZoo have suggested.
I guess we'll never know for sure, what he meant, but it's interesting to see how everyone seems to have different interpretations about it.
|Btw, guys, how can I reply to an specific comment and not in general?
I don't even know how to quote what others posted. Can't find the "quote" option.
RandomQueenie wrote: Btw, guys, how can I reply to an specific comment and not in general? I don't even know how to quote what others posted. Can't find the "quote" option.find the post you wish to reply to, move mouse pointer next to date of post:
Posted: 26 May 20, 20:04
slowly move pointer left >> right
options: Edit, Reply, Reply With Quote
|Easier lays in this case means sex, how beautiful was Roger Taylor as a young man?! Dude didn't even need to try!
AND... just before the song fades out for good he clearly says Brian May.
|Maybe the easy lay has something to do with the egg he's having for brekkie :)|
|Yes a handsome young man that RMT ,god only knows how many times he actually got laid,more than me that's for sure.It could be into the hundreds,there could be lots more young Roger's out there than the children that we know about ! I wonder who was the more free with their affections in the band ? I think it might have been 1] Freddie 2] Coming Soon Roger 3] Dr May 4] And last but not least John.|
|Honestly I thought this was just a Bowie-esque stream of consciousness type song. Not too much meaning in the lyric. Yeah, easier lays is about getting laid.|