Rock and roll rhetoric: How Does It Feel?
“Do you know, know, know what it’s like
To be searchin’ in your own time?
All your attempting, experimenting, all on the climb
Do you know, know, know what it’s like
To be searching and suddenly find
All your illusion, all your confusion, all left behind?”
How Does It Feel? (Holder, Lea), Slade
With all the glam and noize, dodgy spelling and enallage, Slade are more remembered as novelty pop-rockers, but they were a solid rock band with some great songs and, of course, a superb, gravel voice. This is one of a handful of more thoughtful ballads.
And, an example of epizeuxis, simply repeating a word for emphasis: “do you know, know, know…?”
Epizeuxis is, of course, a favourite of political speech writers, as in “Education, education education” or “Weak! Weak! Weak!”
but also, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
However, I also love the song for its beautiful rhymes, each ascending in tension:
“Many years from now there will be new sensations
and new temptations”
and new frustrations”
“all your illusion, all your confusion, all left behind”
“… newer poisons
and new horizons”
The song was the theme to the film “Slade In Flame” which, in an era of questionable music films, was distinguished with something of a plot. It has also been called out by Noel Gallagher as one of the “best songs ever written”.
Here’s Slade at Winterland in 1975:
From the 1974 album, Slade in Flame: