“The original version – which didn’t make it onto the album – was very long and overdone, very different from what you hear now,” he says. “I spent a lot of time processing it, until I finally realized that if we remove the beginning and end of each quatrain, then something will come out. I felt that the song has a zest, especially I liked its end, where two soloists sing accompanied by a choir.
“When we finally finished the track for the album, I had a good feeling, but again the question arose of how to make a single out of it. The most difficult thing was to make a smooth transition from chorus to recitation. The way we did it on the album didn’t work. I couldn’t think of anything. And then – that’s the beauty of teamwork – our drummer Chris Slade said, “Put Chopsticks in there.” But we already did that somewhere in the song, and I said it wouldn’t work. He kept pushing and I didn’t agree, until it dawned on me that he wasn’t referring to Chopsticks itself, but just a few chords from it, and they really fit perfectly. We recorded them as backing vocals and inserted them into the original. We had to work hard, we recorded on two tape recorders at the same time, and the work took two days.
In the UK, Blinded By The Light reached No. 6 in the autumn of 1976, and Manfred’s business began to pick up again after a period of decline (which he himself provoked) when Manfred Mann disbanded and he created the experimental group Chapter Three.
In America, the single did even better, slowly but surely climbing to No. 1, despite – or maybe thanks to – some ambiguous lyrics.
“Suddenly, an employee of an American radio studio called me and said: “We can’t play this song in the southern Bible Belt because they think you are singing about a vaginal douche.”
This was another self-inflicted wound by the group. When Manfred chose Springsteen’s original, he didn’t audition it. “I figured I shouldn’t listen too hard to this song so I don’t think it’s better than our version,” he says wryly. He didn’t really get into the words, so “Cut loose like a deuce” became “Wrapped up like a deuce”. Worst of all, it sounded like “Wrapped up like a douche” in the song. Manfred put the blame on the tape recorder (its head was at the wrong angle to the tape) and on Alan Partridge, who sang indistinctly – and it took a long time to fiddle with the recording to get everything in order.
The meaning of the lyrics to “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann
The song “Blinded by the Light” is about a hopeless man. The writer gives him confidence through the song. The hopeless man is sad and is in constant search of opportunities to prove him. He is hoping for a better future. The writer makes him believe that things will change one day. He also speaks about his heart broken love. The writer uses automobiles like cars to compare the person’s girlfriend.
Let us discuss the meaning of the song in this article.
“Blinded by the light…runner in the night”
The song begins with the phrase “Blinded by the lights”. This means the world is full of opportunities. Unfortunately the person is unable to see the opportunities in front of him. He is blindly running in the night thought he is surrounded by bright lights (opportunities). Here the writer uses a metaphor. The opportunities in the world are compared to light.
“Madman drummers…to the ground”
The phrase “Indians in the summer” in the phrase refers to the Little League baseball team. The team plays in summer. The writer calls the person a “Teenage diplomat”. The person is unable to decide what is right for him. He is acting like a teenager who is unable to take a right stand for himself. Diplomats neither stand on the right side nor on the wrong side. Similarly, this person is not choosing an opportunity.
The person is wearing a hat like a adolescent cow boy. He is yet to prepare himself to seek a job. He is living in the dumps. The heart of the person is compared to a dump. Dump is a place used to deposit rubbish. His heart has a lot if unwanted things and is not allowing him to focus on his career. He has to throw those waste thoughts away to succeed in life.
As days pass by the person is growing older. However, the growth is only physical. He is unable to earn money and save some for himself. The term “merry go round” means his struggles in life are never ending. The merry go round is the revolving machine with horses. Just like the merry go round is running non-stop, his struggles in life are also never ending.
The writer says that the person is mentally weak. He is now grower weak physically as well. His poverty conditions are giving him unpleasant sneezing and wheezing as he is living in dust. He is tired of hunger and is collapsing to the ground.
“But she was…runner in the night”
In this verse, the writer brings in the girlfriend of the person. His girlfriend is also from a poor background just like him. She is also searching for opportunities to shine in life. She is equally struggling just like him. She is also living in dumpster and in poverty.
“Some silicone…needed a ride”
In this verse, the writer speaks about a girl this person meets. The girl has silicone implants. She tells him that she will help him to become strong in life. She is asking a VJ to play the song with funny break. The second part of this verse is little obscure.
The phrase “Go-Kart…weather chart” implies that the person is fearful. He is afraid of taking risky decisions. He is continuously waiting for the right time. In the end, it is his insecurities and uncertainties that is not allowing him to move ahead.
The writer then speaks about another person. Unlike this person he is strong. He is offering this person a ride. He is never scared to take a decision. No matter how the weather is he takes his bike and goes for a ride. Here the weather is compared to the world. The bike is compared to the opportunities. No matter how bad the world is, this person knows to grab an opportunity. And he is ready to help this person.
“She got down…through the night”
The girl is never tired. Though she faces hardships in life, she always has the courage to come out of it. Her courage helps her to pass through the night. Here night refers to her dark times, that is, her struggling times.
“Some brimstone—to the ground”
This verse is more like a riddle. Brimstone is a word used for Sulphur. Bible uses the phrase “Fire and brimstone”. It means bad things are coming. The word baritone means strong and deep voice. These words are used here to describe a preacher coming from east. The preacher asks to turn the record phone off because he is to some not so good things.
After the preacher, the writer speaks about a chaperone. The chaperone is watching the girls dance. Later he speaks about a young drunk man messing things around him.
The writer brings in different characters playing negative impacts of the society. By this he concludes that the person has to choose his path quick. Else he will end up ruining his life just like these persons.