Monday, 24 August 2009

A Literary Analysis of Red Hot Chili Peppers Lyrics

In the last 30 years, few authors or musicians have been as prolific and intellectually groundbreaking as Anthony Kiedis of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers. Here, I provide some explanations of some of his more groundbreaking themes, statements, and imagery.

“Lunatics on pogo sticks,Another southern fried fiend on a crucifix.”

Here Anthony Kiedis has taken a simple item from the annals of American kitsch and bridged the 2,000 year gap back to the cross. Mr. Kiedis is not simply saying all who enjoy leisure activities are perceived as crazy in this day and age; he is pointing to the despair that finds you in your later years, especially in the south where many are left with nothing but an age-old recipe for fried food.

“Blood sugar sucker fishIn my dishHow many pieces do you wish?”

Once again, his culinary imagery is top notch. Clearly, the sugary fish represents government’s attempts to coerce the American population into keeping their money on American soil. How many pieces? As many as possible, the government answers.

“J. Butterfly is in the treetopBirds that blow the meaning into bebop.”

Ah, a quick divergence into the work of
Albert Camus–birds (the Questions man asks) blowing meaning into life seems almost straight out of The Myth of Sisyphus.

“Can I get a little bit of that done did do? You are on the road.”

Indeed, what can an individual do that has not already been done? As Thoreau said in Walden, no news or accomplishments are actually new. We can only take solace, as Mr. Kiedis does, in the journey that lies ahead of us. We are ALL on that road.

“Hey O, Woah.”

What would the alphabet be without that beloved fourth vowel? Fascinating and yet staggeringly impossible to comprehend.

“Writing about the world of the wild coyote, Good man Truman Capote.”

I simply adore that Anthony Kiedis felt he would be remiss if he did not mention one of the greatest nature writers of all time.

“To finger paint is not a sin, I stick my middle finger in.”


Courtesy of RVA News

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