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  1. #1
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default When you're chewing on life's gristle

    I tried to translate the song below (from "Life of Brian"), but I don't understand the underlined text... What does it mean? I believe it's some type of metaphor or something similar, but it doesn't just make sense to me...



    When you're chewing on life's gristle

    1) chewing on? Why "on"?

    2) gristle? In my dictionary I found a synonym for gristle and it's cartilage... If I understand it well, it's the "bone" between vertebrae or in some other parts of our body... Why does he sing about gristle?

    -------------

    Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (from Monty Python)

    words and music by Eric Idle
    Some things in life are bad
    They can really make you mad
    Other things just make you swear and curse.
    When you're chewing on life's gristle
    Don't grumble, give a whistle
    And this'll help things turn out for the best...

    And...always look on the bright side of life...
    Always look on the light side of life...

    If life seems jolly rotten
    There's something you've forgotten
    And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
    When you're feeling in the dumps
    Don't be silly chumps
    Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.

    And...always look on the bright side of life...
    Always look on the light side of life...

    For life is quite absurd
    And death's the final word
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.
    Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
    Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.

    So always look on the bright side of death
    Just before you draw your terminal breath

    Life's a piece of shit
    When you look at it
    Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
    You'll see it's all a show
    Keep 'em laughing as you go
    Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

    And always look on the bright side of life...
    Always look on the right side of life...
    (Come on guys, cheer up!)
    Always look on the bright side of life...
    Always look on the bright side of life...
    (Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
    Always look on the bright side of life...
    (I mean - what have you got to lose?)
    (You know, you come from nothing - you're going back to nothing.
    What have you lost? Nothing!)
    Always look on the right side of life...

  2. #2
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: When you're chewing on life's gristle

    Let me try.

    chewing on life's gristle
    As you say, gristle is something that is hard to chew. I think it is used as a metaphor to refer to the difficulty/adversity/hard knocks/troubles that one goes through in life

  3. #3
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: When you're chewing on life's gristle

    you might be right...
    but why does it say "chewing ON"?

  4. #4
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: When you're chewing on life's gristle

    And what does this mean?

    For life is quite absurd
    And death's the final word
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.
    Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
    Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.



    curtain is a veiling, isn't it?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: When you're chewing on life's gristle

    In addition,

    gristle, the tough elastic cartilage of meat.
    chew on <something>; e.g., a bone

    face the [lowering of the] curtain with a bow: it's an analogy to death. When the play is over, the curtain comes down, and the actors bow to the audience.

  6. #6
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: When you're chewing on life's gristle

    To chew on/over something means to ponder or think something over for a long time.

    Casiopea
    It says in the poem that the actors 'face the curtain with a bow' , not 'face the audience' with a bow though. Strange.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: When you're chewing on life's gristle

    I read it as, 'face the (lowering of) the curtain; i.e., the event, not the curtain itself. But, then again, if the actors are bowing to the stage props; i.e., they have their backs to the audience, that brings a whole new image to mind.

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