Culture 16

“Two Knights and Maidens” by Crash Test Dummies. I posted this song in a post called Culture 15. You can check that out to listen to the song and read the lyrics. To me, this is a profoundly tragic song. But there are other ways to interpret it. I showed the song to Steph, and she said,

“Do you think they get eaten by the tigers? Maybe the maidens befriend the tigers and get them to eat the clueless knights so the maidens can wander the beautiful garden in peace with their rockin’ pet tigers.”

Steph isn’t the only one with this type of interpretation. In a YouTube comment, somebody going by Charlotte Webster said,

“Best track on the album with a brilliant story. No idea how near or completely far off the mark it is but I’ve always assumed the Maidens are lovers but couldn’t be openly, so having been pestered to death by the randy Knights, decided to do away with them in a way that nobody (including the Knights) would suspect anything other than a tragic accident. Have the best mental image of them both being a little dark and sinister in enjoying seeing the fate of the Knights unfold but at the same time feeling justified in at least having them trip balls and believe the tigers weren’t there at all.

“Touché Maidens…”

So before I made the Culture 15 post, I had no idea these interpretations were possible. I don’t like these interpretations though. I mean, of course I like them. They’re great. But they’re not how I experience the song. I think the maidens had the best of intentions with their potions. I always picture them fleeing the tigers and then watching in helpless horror from a balcony or something as the tigers maul the knights to death, and it’s sooo sad.

There’s an anti-drug sentiment you could come away with in the song too, but I don’t interpret it that way either. I see it as a tragic tale of incautious use of psychedelics. It’s tripping 101: don’t do it in a place where tigers can be. You want a safe and comfortable setting for your trip. Especially the first one. Nothing wrong with dreams and lights. Just don’t be stupid. But now, of course, it’s too late, and the maidens have to live with their mistake forever.

Well, I mean, until they die too. It’s a sad song for me, but I temper that sadness with these new, fun interpretations from Steph and Charlotte. That’s what I call a successful Culture post.

P.S. How does it change the song for you if you learn that it’s Tony the Tiger that shows up with a couple buddies? The knights share their potions, and they all eat Frosted Flakes out in garden. The maidens watched them together.