How can I interpret the meaning of the song "Baba O'Riley" by The Who through drawing?How can I interpret the meaning of the song "Baba O'Riley" by The Who through drawing?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that this is going to be subjective.  I would listen to the song, perhaps light a candle, and listen to the song in a sense of seclusion and think about what images are brought out by the song in your mind as you listen to it.  There is little other way to progress on this particular task because the concept of drawing images based off of songs is directly connected to what images form in your own mind when you hear the song.  I think that it is important to understand a bit about Meher Baba, the Indian mystic that plays a significant role in the title of the song.  There is a universality that is present in the song, a concept that the thinker sought to bring out.  I would focus on bringing out images that unify separate elements.  This can be seen in the idea of "Sally, take my hand."  The other idea that I think I would bring out is the ending.  When you hear Daltrey scream, "They're all wasted," how would this look on a wider level in terms of a broad scope of individuals who are followers, all being "wasted?"  Add this to the violin coda at the end of the song that really hits on this spiritual element is another item that I would bring out.  A drawing based off this song might be best if it sought to bring together the images that are generated when listening to it and seeking to bring meaning through this, as opposed to trying to draw out the lyrics themselves.

dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first time I heard The Who was in 1975. I was awed by the power of their instruments but was floored by the musical genius and lyrics of Pete Townshend and have been a fan ever since (attending many live performances).  I guess you could research why Pete Townshend wrote the song to help you visualize his interpretation of it, but to 'draw' your own Baba O'Reily you must listen to it...listen to it...listen to many times as it takes for you to begin to HEAR the music and UNDERSTAND the lyrics. (as you interpret them)

My 'drawing' of Baba O'reily is liken to a picture of youth searching for something...(in my opinion...identity) and the music a vital tool in their quest.

Just keep listening to the song...and raise the volume every now and again.

Good Luck!!! If you create a picture I'd really like to see it.










litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Maybe I am oversimplifying this, but I think you should start with a simple brainstorming doodle session. Play the song, and draw as you listen. Try not to interpret or think, just draw what comes to your mind. You may tap into the true meaning for you that way.
kimpdancer | Student

When I listen to this song, I picture an empty field. Somewhere in that field is one couple. Take it from there, and see what you get! Good Luck!

inthekeyofc | Student

Frankly, I would research the history of the inspiration for the song by the artist; the story they wanted to convey.

Unless your prof can definitely answer "if the music makes the man or the man makes the music" your artwork will have more meaning by capturing the man because, to capture the music is to perform the song in it's auditory form.

The closest computer program to caputuring music as a visual, is the alchemy setting on WMP12 and if you turn the music off, it's not great art.

There is a reason the majority of deaf people, have one thing in common when asked what they miss/would like most if they could hear again being, the ability to listen to music: that reason is nothing - not exaggerated vibrations of the sound, not signing the words, not dancing out a story - nothing can convey what music can and does in itself.

If the music is the man, or in this case, the band, you would learn more and convey more about the music by understanding the inspiration behind the song. The purpose of art is to reach as many people as possible and attempting to draw any piece music will not make sense to a deaf person, as the foreground of your work, however, is an interesting suggestion for drawing a unique background of, what might prove itself an important piece of your work.

Draw to bring out and highlight the best of your own talent and with inspiration knowing your work can reach a higher pinnacle of the purspose of art, without losing the direction of the assignment.

I'd love to see what you come up with.

What is your medium? Using various textures may assist you, if you are allowed to create with anything but will still be fantastic if the exercise is within a specified, strict medium.

Have fun and do let us see it, if at all possible! What a fun task!