Maurice, Barry and Robin Gibb – 1993.

You are watching: For whom the bell tolls bee gees meaning

This November marked two decades since the punishment Gees released among the strongest ballads of your career v a track that – had actually it not been because that the likes of mr Blobby – may’ve also been a UK Christmas #1. Together it turn out, the brothers had to settle for a really respectable UK #4 chart peak, and top 10 placings in various other europe territories.

The Brazilians, however, knew much more than anybody the For whom The Bell Tolls wasn’t just a pretty song and it made it all the means to #1 there. That is a track because that me which i will never ever stop trying to introduce to people because as much as it to be a big hit, it gets shed a tiny in the depth of the Gibb catalogue. An especially in the states where the tune was ignored through radio programmers as result of the idiotic lingering the the Saturday Night fever backlash, numerous American fans are surprised at both how great 90s punishment Gees music to be and also that it to be so successful. Simply not in their ago yard.

One of 2 songs the brothers composed that lifted a location from Hemingway (the various other being islands In The Stream), because that Whom The Bell Tolls is the best of what the popular music ballad deserve to be: a massive hook, an unforgettable title, an emotional lyric and also expert song-craft.

Listen very closely to because that Whom The Bell Tolls (and preferably the full 5 minute album version and also not the inferior single edit) and hear the use of Barry’s falsetto, then organic voice and also then Robin in organic voice singing so high it would be in Barry’s (lower) falsetto range. The choruses (with Barry and Maurice top top harmonies) space the type of blue-eyed heart that Robin did for this reason well, matched through the lyrics:

When the lonely heart breaksIt’s the one the forsakesIt’s the dream that we stoleAnd I’m lacking you moreAnd the fire that will certainly roarThere’s a hole in mine soulFor girlfriend it’s goodbyeAnd for me it’s to cryFor whom The Bell Tolls

I request Barry in a 2009 interview about For whom The Bell Tolls and I mental him telling me that once the chorus concerned him he knew instantly it would certainly sound nice with brother Robin singing lead. Just like so countless Gibb songs like Nights on Broadway, Massachusetts, you re welcome Don’t rotate Out The Lights, How have the right to You repair A damaged Heart, I’ve Gotta’ acquire A Message and also to a much more subtle degree You win Again, lot of the magic is in the vocal interplay in between Barry and Robin and then the three-part harmonies v Maurice.

Regarding the subject matter, there are aspects of the lyrics that sound like they might be written about baby brothers Andy who’d died five year earlier, but the fact is much more likely to be of a romantic love lost. Regardless, this is a track which doesn’t simply come across as merely great or catchy, it’s patently sad if still sounding big.

So is that the ideal post-Fever bee Gees song? The realisation of the song’s big structural and also production aspirations, coupled with the feeling of the lyrics method it is increase there for me. But so too space You victory Again, great You to be Here, simple Lives, Happy ever before After, The Longest Night, Sprits having actually Flown, Too much Heaven, Guilty, woman In Love, host Me, You and also I, islands In The Stream, Chain Reaction, Alone, Immortality, Heartbreaker, Nothing could Be Good, Don’t loss In Love with Me, Rings around The Moon, Blue Island, man On Fire and so on etc etc.

One of my favourites, below is because that Whom The Bell Tolls.

See more: Can A Candle Set Off A Carbon Monoxide Detector, Can Candles Cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

PS. December 1st marks the date of birth of Barry’s eldest child, Stephen Gibb and this is the big 4-0. Stephen has actually spent countless years playing lead etc in hard-rock and also heavy-metal bands and also these job tours with his father, giving a compelling counterpoint to the music that the punishment Gees. His visibility as a rock guitarist of significant esteem likewise serves as a reminder of the full spectrum of category the brothers composed in v his live execution of Maurice’s brilliant swamp-rock solo tune On Time being among the many highlights native the Mythology concerts of 2013. Happy birthday and may 2014 it is in another good year for you and the family.