I love anything that engages my imagination. Music is no different. The song Brandy by Looking Glass is one of my favorite songs.
Most songs are about nothing. Even when are something, they come off as pretentious and superficially poetic. But there are few songs that are truly artistic.
Brandy is one such song. It connects to a deeper part of my soul. You can see the story play out as you listen. The picture is clear.
While the song is playing, we are taken from part of the story to another. And the band does it well.
The transitions are seamlessly beautiful. The story moves from one part to another smoothly in an order that makes sense. The structure is what gives you the clarity.
A story doesn’t need a twist or a happy ending to be good. All it needs is a soul – what it captures.
It is clear what this song captures. Like the title says, it captures Brandy.
It tells a story about Brandy.
It’s not about the sailor. The song Brandy by looking glass is a story about who the lovely girl Brandy is.
The lyrics make you see the story of Brandy like it is happening right in front of you. You have a clear picture in mind of who Brandy is and what she does or what she is like.
And there’s a girl in this harbor town
And she works layin’ whiskey down
They say, Brandy, fetch another round
She serves them whiskey and wine
The sailors say: “Brandy, you’re a fine girl” (you’re a fine girl)
“What a good wife you would be” (such a fine girl)
“Yeah, your eyes could steal a sailor from the sea”
Brandy works in a bar serving whiskey and wine. The sailors love her and flirt with her. They say she could steal a sailor from the sea and what a good wife she can be.
Brandy wears a braided chain
Made of finest silver from the North of Spain
A locket that bears the name
Of the man that Brandy loved
Brandy wears a silver chain that has the name of the man she loves.
Who she loves is a sailor, he came on a summer’s day. He brought gifts from far away. He said he can’t stay. He has to leave because he belongs in the sea.
Yeah, Brandy used to watch his eyes
When he told his sailor stories
She could feel the ocean fall and rise
She saw its ragin’ glory
But he had always told the truth, Lord, he was an honest man
And Brandy does her best to understand
The sailor told her stories from the sea. When she was listening to the story, she can feel the ocean and its glory. She can see it. Like I can see this story when I hear this song. She can see his stories.
What it means is: she can see that he loves the sea.
When she walks home from work, she is not thinking about her lover. She is not thinking about him because it is clear to her why he is not around.
What she feels and who she loves is clear to her. What the person she loves wants is also clear to her. There is no doubt. There is nothing to think about.
However, when she is walking home in the silent night, she can hear him say:
Brandy, you’re a fine girl
What a good wife you would be
But my life, my lover, my lady is the sea
What does it mean? She still loves him even though he is not around.
The song is not about the sailor or the sea. It’s about brandy and how lovely she is. She can understand him when he says he belongs in the sea. She understands that it’s not about her. She is obviously more than perfect.
Here is a link to the song, listen to it and see for yourself: