By DON VAUGHAN
Recently my wife and I were listening to my iPod in our car. When 25 or 6 to 4 appeared on the screen, she said, â€śWhat a strange title of a song.â€ť I like the title because of its catchy, rhythmic sound. I explained that pop music fans have wondered what the title was referring to. The song is about a creative artist (or artists) who had been working all night on a song. The composer looked at a clock (or watch) and saw that it was 25 or 6 to 4 (3:35 or 3:34 A.M.). Some music fans have insisted that the title is drug-related, while others thought it held some esoteric meaning. Robert Lamm, who composed the song in 1970, says that it is simply about trying to write a song when the ideas wonâ€™t come. Â Â Â
Is 25 or 6 to 4 an example of belles lettres? Read on. Â Â Â Â Â Â
1. What is the first word in the lyrics of 25 or 6 to 4?
A. quintessentially Â
C. esoterically Â
2. Which one is not a Chicago song?
A. Along Comes Mary
D. Loneliness is Just a Word
E. Prologue, August 29, 1968
Letâ€™s see how you are doing. The first word in the song is â€śwaiting.â€ť As for No. 2, the Association (a group from Los Angeles) did Along Comes Mary. Chicago had a similar title with Along Comes a Woman. The titles next to D and E are lesser known. Loneliness is Just a Word (my favorite Chicago song) is on the Chicago III album and Prologue is on Chicago Transit Authority.
3. belles lettres (bell-LET-ruh)
A. fine art literature
B. literature excessively refined
C. literature with a purely aesthetic function
D. All of the above
I like the definitions of belles lettres from the Free Dictionary by Farlex: â€śliterature regarded for its aesthetic value rather than its didactic or informative content; light, stylish writings, usually on literary or intellectual subjects.â€ť D is the answer to No. 3. A belletrist is a writer of belles lettres. Lammâ€™s song is not an example of belles lettres. Â Â
4. esoteric (es-o-TER-ic)
A. impossible to understand
B. requiring or exhibiting knowledge that is restricted to a small group
C. limited to a small circle
D. None of the aboveÂ
If something is esoteric, it has been designed only for the specially initiated. B and C are correct.
Last weekâ€™s mystery word is milieu.
This weekâ€™s mystery word to solve is the title of a song on Chicago XIV. The wordâ€™s first three letters are a word that appears twice in Genesis 2:7.
Don R. Vaughan, Ph.D. in Mass Communication, is a professor at East Miss. Community College. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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