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Thread: Idiom

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1

    Smile Idiom

    Hi, please help me with this idiom. What does this mean?:
    "Only her love that keeps me wearing this dirt"

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: Idiom

    Welcome to the forums.

    It is not really an idiom, but I think it means that you go on wearing clothes you don't like because you love "her".

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409

    Re: Idiom

    This is't an idiom but a line from a Bee Gees song. I found this:
    I should start by saying that this song has a story. The main character is condemned to die, and he's desperate to tell his wife that he's sorry and that he loves her. We know this because Robin Gibb has said that's what the song is about, and he co-wrote it. This Death-Row-What-A-Brother-Gibb-Know plotline, though, is among the worst things about the song. For starters, it results in some laughably bad lyrics, which sometimes happens with the Gibbs, like:

    It's only her love that keeps me wearing this dirt.

    I like to think of it as something more epistolary and epistemological, a song about the urgency and imprecision of communication

    Unfortunately, apart from this 'interpretation', that it's a rubbish line, I could find no other explanation by someone so immersed in pop music and the Bee Gees who might know. So I'll have a go:
    It's only her love that keeps me wearing this dirt.
    The man has apparently killed someone for which he's to be executed.
    Now, one interpretation of 'wearing dirt' is the image of soil being piled over him as his dead body lies in a grave. How, then, to reconcile this with the fact that he's still alive?
    Instead, I think 'wear', in a pop song, is more likely being used in the sense of 'tolerate, accept' ; and the 'dirt' is all that has been said about him, all the condemnation that has been heaped on him, that he has ruined his life, his wife's life - the whole sorry mess of it all...(and the lyricist is desperate for a rhyme with 'hurt') ...and there is nothing he can do about it - he just has to 'wear' it.
    "...that keeps me" : this is using the word 'keep', with the meaning of 'sustains' him. Whatever else others are saying, the thought that his wife loves him keeps him going.

    It's only the thought, knowing that my wife loves me, that keeps me going, and makes the whole mess I'm in tolerable

    Note: "dish the dirt"
    'dish = share information, esp. information of an intimate or scandalous nature
    'dirt' = gossip

    The preacher talked to me and he smiled,
    Said, come and walk with me, come and walk one more mile.
    Now for once in your life youre alone,
    But you aint got a dime, theres no time for the phone.

    Ive just got to get a message to you, hold on, hold on.
    One more hour and my life will be through, hold on, hold on.

    I told him Im in no hurry,
    But if I broke her heart, wont you tell her Im sorry.
    And for once in my life Im alone,
    And Ive got to let her know just in time before I go.

    Ive just go to get a message to you, hold on, hold on.
    One more hour and my life will be through, hold on, hold on.

    Well I laughed but that didnt hurt,
    And its only her love that keeps me wearing this dirt.
    Now Im crying but deep down inside,
    Well I did it to him, now its my turn to die.
    Last edited by David L.; 01-May-2008 at 01:34.

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