Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Song Analysis: Child Of Clay

I think this was the final single hit for pop singer  Jimmie Rodgers, released on the A&M label in late 1967.

This song summarizes the life of a man who had the bad luck of being the offspring of an immature and irresponsible couple who were always so caught up in their own personal issues they had no time to pay attention to their own son.  And who were so unworldly themselves there wasn't much they could have taught him anyway.

When he needed answers to the deeper and more personal and spiritual longings and questions in life there was nowhere for him to turn.

Desperate for some kind of enlightenment he sought knowledge from those around him.  But, growing up in a roughneck low-income environment, most encounters he had were with those who either were totally unenlightened or who were conspiring and full of ulterior motives.  Superficial and malicious types.  And who took advantage of his naivety to either mess with him or misguide him.   Those who couldn't care less about the more meaningful aspects of life.  They're in it just to "play games with each other and with other people's lives".

The influences on him growing up in this type of social climate eventually culminates in a cynical "What's the use?" demeanor that jades his own personality and character, resulting in his just being another "loser" and quintessential "no count" who winds up "never amounting to anything in life".

The song's implication being that most people, at birth, have some kind of potential.  But that, unless essential elements are in place for proper development, such potential can end up lost and go eternally unrecognized.

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