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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    Question read an'count =?

    The text I quoted as below is the lyric of an American country song- Half a man.


    Could you tell me what 'read an'count' mean?

    And why did the lyric writer say 'I can build a fire with nothin' but a stick' ? Isn't it true that we use wood or stick to build a fire


    Thank you.




    I can chop wood from dusk till dawn
    I can swing a hammer till the daylight's gone
    I can build a barn, I can make a home with these two hands
    But if I didn't have all your love, I'd be half a man.

    I can fly a plane up in the big blue sky
    Blaze a trail through the woods in my four-wheel drive
    With a team of horses or an old John Deere, I can plough this land
    But if I didn't have all your love, I'd be half a man.

    I can hang the stars, I can rope the moon
    Walk across Texas in these cowboy boots
    I can run a train till it runs out of track
    With the weight of the world laid across my back
    My life still wouldn't be worth a damn
    If I didn't have all your love, I'd be half a man.

    I can build a fire with nothin' but a stick
    If I put my mind to it, there ain't much I can't fix
    I can read an' count, I can figure things out if you give me a chance
    But if I didn't have all your love, I'd be half a man.

    I can hang the stars, I can rope the moon
    Walk across Texas in these cowboy boots
    I can run a train till it runs out of track
    With the weight of the world laid across my back
    An' my life still wouldn't be worth a damn.
    If I didn't have all your love, I'd be half a man.

    Whoa, I can hang the stars, I can rope the moon
    Walk across Texas in these cowboy boots
    I can run a train till it runs out of track
    With the weight of the world laid across my back.
    (Across my back.)
    But my life still wouldn't be worth a damn
    If I didn't have all your love, I'd be half a man.

    If I didn't have all your love, I'd be half a man.
    Ah ha.
    Whoa, yeah.
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 31-Jan-2009 at 09:37.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: read an'count =?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    The text I quoted as below is the lyric of an American country song- Half a man.


    Could you tell me what 'read an'count' mean? And could you rephrase this line -I can build a fire with nothin' but a stick' for me?

    Thank you.



    read an'count = Literate and numerate.

    Could you tell me what 'read an'count' mean? And could you rephrase this line -I can build a fire with nothin' but a stick' for me?

    It means that using only a stick (a piece of wood), he can make a fire.


  3. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: read an'count =?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    read an'count = Literate and numerate.

    Could you tell me what 'read an'count' mean? And could you rephrase this line -I can build a fire with nothin' but a stick' for me?

    It means that using only a stick (a piece of wood), he can make a fire.
    Bhaisahab, thank you for your help. Why did the lyric writer say ' a stick' that the man can make a fire? I think I also can build a fire with a stick. Is there any special thing I miss. Thank you.

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: read an'count =?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Bhaisahab, thank you for your help. Why did the lyric writer say ' a stick' that the man can make a fire? I think I also can build a fire with a stick. Is there any special thing I miss. Thank you.
    He is saying 'only a stick' which means nothing else at all, no matches, no lighter.

  5. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: read an'count =?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    He is saying 'only a stick' which means nothing else at all, no matches, no lighter.
    Oh, superman he is.

    Thank you. I got it.

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    #6

    Re: read an'count =?

    Poetic license is the excuse for some expressions in both music and poetry. There's no need to understand it all precisely, we can just enjoy it for what it is!

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: read an'count =?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Oh, superman he is.

    Thank you. I got it.
    Not really, just self-sufficient. Aborigenes in Australia have been doing it for thousands of years, and so have many other peoples, until they're spoilt by, and made dependent on, Western technology (the skill is dying out among the Maoris in NZ, although some people are trying to revive it).

    He could have said 'just some sticks' (which would have given a better rhyme for 'fix), but that would have allowed the reaction "Duh? Anyone can do that."



    b

  7. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: read an'count =?

    Quote Originally Posted by Searching for language View Post
    Poetic license is the excuse for some expressions in both music and poetry. There's no need to understand it all precisely, we can just enjoy it for what it is!
    Thank you for your comment. I contributed the Chinese version for nothing to a China-based website specialising in American country music so I had to be able to understand and interpret it in my own way.

    It is true that all art works is hard to be interpreted precisely. But there's a lot of pleasure that we discuss it with other people from different angles. I am often inspired by different thoughts of theirs. Except for that, I learn English via songs in English.

  8. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: read an'count =?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Not really, just self-sufficient. Aborigenes in Australia have been doing it for thousands of years, and so have many other peoples, until they're spoilt by, and made dependent on, Western technology (the skill is dying out among the Maoris in NZ, although some people are trying to revive it).

    He could have said 'just some sticks' (which would have given a better rhyme for 'fix), but that would have allowed the reaction "Duh? Anyone can do that."



    b
    Thank you for your comments. Australian aborigenes and Moris are cool. Are you sure they even don't use flint to make a fire but only a stick or some sticks?

  9. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: read an'count =?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Thank you for your comments. Australian aborigenes and Moris are cool. Are you sure they even don't use flint to make a fire but only a stick or some sticks?
    There is a way of doing it but it is difficult to describe, you need to be shown.

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