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Does anyone know what this song is supposed to mean? Is everyone glossing over the sexist undertones of the era, or is the maid a metaphor for a loving wife (which is still sexist). I can't get over it; or have the grasped the wrong end of the stick?
Hi, I think it's meant to be an incredibly dark portrayal of reluctance to submit to romance of any variety, instead wanting a mate not for companionship, but just to allow for subsistence. Lots of people characterise this as a love song to Carrie Snodgress, and the wiki article perpetuates this interpretation, but apparently he couldn't even play it in front of her, such was the darkness at the core of the song (some of which I think is informed by the disintegration of his first marriage). But that's only half of the story - "to give a love, you gotta be part of", right? It's a hollow existence, you need to actively engage, support, encourage. This song used to be paired with 'Heart Of Gold' as a suite, a far more optimistic sounding piece, to balance it out. As a song, it is absolutely not sexist - it's meant to be full of despair and longing. It's far more to do with wanting to be alone rather than specifically subjugating or indicating a dislike of women altogether. 'Fix my meals and go away'? What stage must a person be at to want that to occur? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 19:12, 7 June 2008 (UTC)