The Logical Song by Supertramp

The lyrics are about how the innocence and wonder of childhood can quickly give way to worry and cynicism as children are taught to be responsible adults. It makes the point that logic can restrict creativity and passion. Supertramp keyboard player Roger Hodgson, who wrote this song and sang the lead vocals, said in our 2012 interview: “I think it was very relevant when I wrote it, and actually I think it’s even more relevant today. It’s very basically saying that what they teach us in schools is all very fine, but what about what they don’t teach us in schools that creates so much confusion in our being. I mean, they don’t really prepare us for life in terms of teaching us who we are on the inside. They teach us how to function on the outside and to be very intellectual, but they don’t tell us how to act with our intuition or our heart or really give us a real plausible explanation of what life’s about. There’s a huge hole in the education. I remember leaving school at 19, I was totally confused. That song really came out of my confusion, which came down to a basic question: please tell me who I am. I felt very lost. I had to educate myself in that way, and that’s why California was very good for me to kind of re-educate myself, if you like.

But it’s interesting that that song, I hear it all the time, it’s quoted in schools so much. I’ve been told it’s the most-quoted song in school. That may be because it has so many words in it that people like to spell. But I think it also poses that question, and maybe stimulates something with students. I hope so.” (Here’s our full interview with Roger Hodgson.)

At a concert appearance, Roger Hodgson said of this song: “I was sent to boarding school for ten years and I definitely emerged from that experience with a lot of questions, like What the hell happened to me? What is life about? And why a lot of the things I had been told didn’t make any sense. ‘Logical Song’ was really a light hearted way of saying something pretty deep. Which is they told me how to conform, to be presentable, to be acceptable and everything but they didn’t tell me who I am or why I m here. So, it s a very profound message and I think it really resonated with a lot of people when it came out.”
Fans’ take on the song:
For me, it is about the way society prefers to create non thinking robots than facing the age old philosophical and spiritual questions that have been asked since time began.

I think the the first verse speaks of the first 3 stages of a man’s life;

1. As a child where the world is a magical place.
2. As a pupil/student where he is taught the rules of society and has his thought processes trained and conditioned.
3. As an adult where he is shown how to conform and become part of that society. Interstingly the song uses the word shown suggesting that he is not totally part of it (yet).

The first line of the chorus is suggestive that he either lies awake at night and ponders some of life’s deeper questions like “who am I?” and/or that at times the world ie society at large can be totally asleep to these issues.

The second verse is warning about how society treats people that don’t conform. History has shown that society tends to defend its own dogma and status quo quite ruthlessly. Radical thinkers of the day have been ostracized, ridiculed and compromised as well as burned at the stake, hung and crucified for daring to suggest paths and alternative ways of thinking to the masses.

So, it is much safer and easier to “sign up” and bceome part of society. And as the last line says, to become a vegetable.

Thankfully, the chorus then kicks in again suggesting that the author/singer isn’t going to conform and feels the need to question things and seek answers.

(jaenicollon June 18, 2006Link)
Just continuing the theme, I think it’s about the conflict within a person who sees the universe as vastly more beautiful and magical than anything society could hope to define.

Because what he believes in as an individual conflicts so dramatically with the expectations that society bombards him with over his life , he starts to question the very foundation of his logic.

When he is alone at the end of the day, his introspection compels him to resolve the conflict and find the truth, and yet he knows he will never be able to. In utter frustration, he hopes/prays that someone will intervene, and make his role in the universe make sense to him.

(Aggie96on March 23, 2005   Link)
its a very strait forward song. its really about the gradual loss of innocence and joy we experiance as children, as we grow into adulthood our minds become conditioned and less receptive consciously and spiritually the logical song illustrates this most eloquently

(andrei069on July 21, 2005)
The lyrics –
When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they’d be singing so happily,
Joyfully, playfully watching me.
But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible,
Logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
Clinical, intellectual, cynical.

There are times when all the world’s asleep,
The questions run too deep
For such a simple man.
Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd
But please tell me who I am.

Now watch what you say or they’ll be calling you a radical,
Liberal, fanatical, criminal.
Won’t you sign up your name, we’d like to feel you’re
Acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!

At night, when all the world’s asleep,
The questions run so deep
For such a simple man.
Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd
But please tell me who I am.

The Logical Song lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s