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Chess Lyric

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joevitus
Leading Actor
joined:7/10/19
Leading Actor
joined:
7/10/19
Chess Lyric#1
Posted: 11/7/19 at 3:41pm

I'm a big fan of Chess, and a big fan of Tim Rice as a lyracist, but the line "Take my blues as read" from "Endgame" makes no sense to me. I can't tell who is doing the "reading" or what is being read. Anatoly isn't feeling the blues, he isn't down and mopey--he's angry and defiant, indeed triumphant on one level. And is he supposed to have "read" i.e. acknowledged his own "blues" or is Svetlana supposed to have done so? 

Is the meaning "You see I'm upset--hope you enjoyed seeing me like this, now get out of my life" or "I realize I'm hurt, and you've seen that I've realized that--hope you enjoyed seeing me like this, now get out" or something else? 

I figure there has to be a play of words between "read" "red" and communists as "Reds" but I can't figure out how that factors in. Since his pain comes from having been put under the stress of machinations from Moscow, is he saying "I see my pain was caused by my ex-associates, as punishment for defecting, and that you got your revenge on me through them--congratulations, now get out of my life"?

I just can't square the meaning. 

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devonian.t
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/26/04
Chess Lyric#2
Posted: 11/7/19 at 4:25pm

I think first and foremost the lyrics appealed to Tim Rice as a pun and he popped it in where he could.

Mainly, it means "you can assume I am feeling sad but it won't stop me from doing what I have to do"

The Reds-Soviet echo is a happy coincidence, too.  

One of those witty lyrics it's best not to over-analyse though.

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carolinaguy
Broadway Star
joined:10/13/06
Broadway Star
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10/13/06
Chess Lyric#3
Posted: 11/7/19 at 4:30pm

I think it may be something of a British-ism. There, to take something as "read" can mean to take it as assumed.

I'm sending pictures of the most amazing trees/You'll be obsessed with all my forest expertise
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joevitus
Leading Actor
joined:7/10/19
Leading Actor
joined:
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Chess Lyric#4
Posted: 11/7/19 at 4:33pm

Thanks, both of you. Both suggestions help me make sense of it. 

Updated On: 11/7/19 at 04:33 PM