My pants behind me

I had just left the gym this morning and was headed to the office. I was listening to 103.5 Bob FM when I heard the following lyrics:

Standing in the middle of the road with my pants behind me…

My interpreting mind must have been in gear because I had already mostly figured out how I would interpret that before realizing I had the lyrics completely wrong, the real lyrics were:

Standing in the middle of the road with my past behind me…

I laughed out loud at myself — so totally like me to not discover I had the lyrics wrong until I was trying to interpret it. An interesting aside, a strict transliteration of “my past behind me” in ASL would be completely redundant as the body range for events happening in the past is behind the plane of the body (the present happens within the plane of the body and the future happens in front of the plane of the body) so signing the concept ‘past’ requires signing ‘behind me’. I decided I would probably interpret it as ‘past finished’. Still unsure how I would interpret ‘standing in the middle of the road’ because conceptually the lyrics were about living in the present and looking to the future not a literal road with a person standing in the middle of it but I don’t think I could have gotten rid of the ‘road’ as it was used elsewhere in the song. Oh well, I’m really not worried about it as I doubt I’ll ever have to interpret the song, whatever it was. (Of course with Gateway you never know…)

Published by


I'm a gay geek living in Seattle, WA.

3 thoughts on “My pants behind me”

  1. *laugh*! You know, I just realized yesterday that the song “Just another manic Monday…” said, well, that, instead of: “Just another man, it’s Monday…” I’ve always heard it as the second phrase and it wasn’t until I saw it written out that I realized I’d been hearing it wrong all these years.

    It’s interesting that there are issues of translation even between ASL and English! I’m not familiar with the song, so this might be the wrong idea, but could you sign something like “past looming”? That might be more dark than the song is, though; the phrase you give has the sense of leaving the past behind and moving forward to something new, which is more accurately captured by your “past finished” sign.

    For the road metaphor, presumably that would translate well enough over to ASL even though it’s not literal — it’s a concept familiar to poetry, too. (That is, I’d presume that something like Frost’s Road Less Traveled would still use the sign for “road’ if it were being signed rather than read.)


  2. Oh my

    That is hysterical. A friend of mine’s mother used to think the Phil Collins’ song “Invisible Touch” was saying, “She has a hat and Izzie won’t touch it.” At least that was the story he always stuck to. It was funny. I had one of those moments today with a song that is probably 20+ years old and I FINALLY heard the lyrics correctly. Of course, I can’t remember what the song was because my brain is feeble and it’s 1:00 in the morning. =)

    Interesting thought about how to sign that in ASL. Something to chew on.


  3. Well, that’s the beauty of ASL, there’s more than one way to convey the message. Though pants vs past in the song would definitely make a huge difference in how it’s signed! :) you could also show your “history” or “past” being passed by you to show that it’s your “past” behind you. Well, you know what they say… more than one way to skin a cat :) Though don’t tell Cory, he’d get upset over Miss Kitty being skinned. Yikes!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s