Soulful Detroit Archives - July 2004 Ain't Understanding Mellow? What? Previous Next

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Rodmann (rodmann)
5-Doyen
Username: rodmann

Post Number: 376
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 12.223.151.165
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 12:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've enjoyed the excellent Jerry Butler & Brenda Lee Eager hit duet 'Ain't Understanding Mellow' for years but I have no idea what the song is all about!

It sounds as if the lyrics are about a man (Jerry) being dumped by his girlfriend (Brenda) for another man but Jerry is taking it lightly. It makes sense (somewhat) up until the part where they start singing about "Ain't Understanding Mellow". What does "Ain't Understanding Mellow" mean and what exactly do they mean by "mellow"?

It's one of my favorite songs with great performances by everyone involved but I wish that I knew what the heck they are singing about! LOL.

WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT PEOPLE? PLEASE HELP ME ON THIS ONE.
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Eli (phillysoulman)
6-Zenith
Username: phillysoulman

Post Number: 1212
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.162.127.172
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 12:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It means that they are on the same wavelength and everything is copasetic, capice??

The fact that they have a mutual understanding relative to their situation at hand, then everything is hunky dory, its a-ok, and they're of one accord.
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Charise (mistrivia1)
5-Doyen
Username: mistrivia1

Post Number: 355
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 198.81.26.46
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 2:00 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

School him, ELI LOL!!! Dang Rodmann!!!:-):-) Just Kiddin' with you Rodmann and I have to smile, because we agree on a GOOD song, finally. I love that song!!!!!!!!!!
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Juicefree20 (juicefree20)
6-Zenith
Username: juicefree20

Post Number: 1826
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 24.46.184.162
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 7:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All I can say is that it sounded like brother had a love jones for real!!!


Got him sprung dere boyyeee!!!
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SDF (handsome)
5-Doyen
Username: handsome

Post Number: 404
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 170.118.158.14
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 10:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All that schooling Rod, and you couldn't figure it out? I'm just kidding!

Handsome
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Gary (gary)
4-Laureate
Username: gary

Post Number: 111
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 172.138.53.32
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 10:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My favorite Jerry Butler tune of all time; Brenda dumped Jerry and he's OK with it.

All I can say is The Ice Man is a better man than me. When I got dumped a few years ago, I wasn't feeling no understanding and I definitely wasn't feeling mellow about it.
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SDF (handsome)
5-Doyen
Username: handsome

Post Number: 406
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 170.118.158.14
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 10:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gary, that was summing it up in a nutshell...KOOL!

Maybe someone should open a thread entitlted "Song Meanings". It may be interesting.

Handsome
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StingBeeLee (stingbeelee)
2-Debutant
Username: stingbeelee

Post Number: 14
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 155.139.68.10
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 10:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rodmann, I'm with you on this one, as I could not understand what the record meant, perhaps that I was a child when the record came out has something to do with it. By the way what does "Still Waters Run Deep" mean?
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Gary (gary)
4-Laureate
Username: gary

Post Number: 112
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 172.138.53.32
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 10:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sting...I'm with you regarding "Still Waters..." I like the song a lot, but whenever you find out what the hell it means, please let me know.
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~medusa~ (~medusa)
6-Zenith
Username: ~medusa

Post Number: 468
Registered: 3-2004
Posted From: 68.79.90.51
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 10:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, when I was young(15) and I got dumped, I thought it was the end of the world, I cried for days. That's why it's important to have family & friends, and not to make fun of folks young & old when these kind of things happen. (Break-Ups, Death, Disappointments, etc.)They need support/understanding/ and a good talking to at those times...maybe even medical attention.
Feelings/Emotions are extra delicate.
That's why there's so many folks with suicidal thoughts, they have no one to turn to.
So~~~~~~Let's Be There, so someone can be there for us. THEN, understanding is mellow. (smile)
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1wicked (1wicked)
5-Doyen
Username: 1wicked

Post Number: 222
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 24.126.64.72
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 10:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

StingBeeLee: "Still Waters Run Deep" is one of those sayings that has passed down for generations, and has similar meaning to you can't judge a book by its cover". In other words...don't discount a person by what you see on the outside.
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SDF (handsome)
5-Doyen
Username: handsome

Post Number: 407
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 170.118.158.14
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 10:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm going to take a stab at "Still Waters Run Deep"...

I think it means a person who appears on the surface to be calm, cool, maybe introverted, but deep down inside could be wild, life of the party, extroverted.

Handsome
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Kdubya (paladin)
5-Doyen
Username: paladin

Post Number: 173
Registered: 5-2004
Posted From: 206.185.64.23
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 11:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Aint Understanding Mellow : I always thought they had had a fight and the song described their attempt at reconciliation. In short they were celebrating their mutal love and affection for one another...One of my favorite jams...

Stillwater......hmmmm.....I always thought it was Levi talking about how difficult it was for him to profess his love for that special woman .....maybe I missed something......have fun gang....

Kdubya
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Gary (gary)
4-Laureate
Username: gary

Post Number: 114
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 172.138.53.32
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 11:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm familiar with the saying "Still waters run deep", but I don't understand its context in the Four Tops' song.
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zebop (zebop)
4-Laureate
Username: zebop

Post Number: 101
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 205.188.116.139
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 11:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree Kdubya, I think that's what "Still Waters Run Deep" means. In essence the song is saying although the song's character isn't making these grand overtures, "toasting, bragging, boasting" etc, his love is true. Frank Wilson also revisited some of the same themes with Eddie Kendricks's "Deep and Quiet Love."


(Message edited by zebop on August 11, 2004)
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Vonnie (vonnie)
5-Doyen
Username: vonnie

Post Number: 249
Registered: 3-2004
Posted From: 205.188.116.139
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 11:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Still waters run deep", usually means a quiet person can be very profound without saying a word. I don't know all the lyrics to the song, maybe someone can post them, and then we can dissect the meaning. SDF, what a great idea for a thread entitled "Song Meanings". I will start the thread.
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SDF (handsome)
5-Doyen
Username: handsome

Post Number: 408
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 170.118.158.14
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 11:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey Vonnie!

Thanks.

Handsome
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zebop (zebop)
4-Laureate
Username: zebop

Post Number: 103
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 205.188.116.139
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 11:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's something I just found on the net.

Still Water
The Four Tops

(Smokey Robinson/Frank Wilson)

(spoken):
Walk with me
Take my hand

Ooooh, oooh oooh
Ooohh, oooh oooh

(Still water)
(Still water)

wordless background singing

Never you mind if I
Don't tell strangers passing by
If I don't brag
If I don't brag or boast
Click my glass and say a toast
About my love for you
How it runs so deep and true
And yet it's so
'Cause don't you know, ohh

Still waters run deep
Still waters run deep
Still waters run deep
Still waters run deep
Ooooh

more wordless background singing, until the song ends

Walk with me
Take my hand
Still water
Still water
(Walk with me, take my hand)
Whoa, whoa, whoa now
Still waters run deep
Hey, hey, hey, hey
Whoa, whoa, whoa now
Still waters run deep
...& fade
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Gary (gary)
4-Laureate
Username: gary

Post Number: 115
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 172.138.53.32
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 11:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks, Zeebop...now that I've read the lyrics, I can understand their meaning. Still waters do run very deep, indeed.
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StingBeeLee (stingbeelee)
2-Debutant
Username: stingbeelee

Post Number: 15
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 155.139.68.10
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 12:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks, Zeebop, and all who posted!! OK, I read the lyrics, as I did not understand all the words in the song, and now I know the meaning!!
The insites on this forum never cease to amaze me.
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Don (don)
6-Zenith
Username: don

Post Number: 592
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.78.24.162
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 1:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I thought "Ain't Understanding Mellow" was one of the saddest but most beautifully string arranements I ever heard.
Don
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Kdubya (paladin)
5-Doyen
Username: paladin

Post Number: 174
Registered: 5-2004
Posted From: 206.185.64.23
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 4:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My memory never fails to amaze me (smile), I'm just glad I was as close as I was about the meaning. Hell I used to sing those songs and we all know what a misplaced word (lyric) or phrase can do to the meaning of a song......

Kdubya
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Juicefree20 (juicefree20)
6-Zenith
Username: juicefree20

Post Number: 1863
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 24.46.184.162
Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 12:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I can relate to Still Waters on a very personal level.

I'm usually a laid back person. I usually have certain emotions in check. For example, if I'm paid a compliment, I have the habit of deflecting it a bit. That's my way of not letting things go to my head.

I've found that when people do things for you, they expect you to respond in a set way. If you don't respond in the manner that they expect, they feel that you don't care. I used to encounter that with my wife from time to time. Here's an example:

Now, I knew her since we were 19 & I've always been pretty much the same way...laid back & not overly excitable. Anyway, one year, she got me something for my birthday. I smiled, said thank you, gave her a hug & a kiss & told her that the gift was really nice. She looked at me & said "You're so laid back." I asked her what that was supposed to mean & she replied that I didn't act excited. I asked what was I supposed to do, turn a cartwheel? I've never really been the type to jump up & down & scream "Whoopie". However, SHE was that was & I guess that it puzzled her that I wasn't the same way.

I can especially understand the lines: "If I don't brag, if I don't brag or boast. Click a glass & say a toast. About my love for you. How it runs so deep & true. And yet it's so. Cause don't you know? Still Waters Run Deep". Those are very true & profound words.

How many times have you seen or heard or people that are always running around bragging about how wonderful their life is, or, run around lavishing their partner with gifts & things like that. Yet, later it comes to light that nothing was really as wonderful as it seemed to be? How about the man who professes his undying love to his woman, while beating her brains out 5 minutes later?

I'm the kind of person who shows love, I'm a kisser, I'm a hugger & Lord knows what else. However, my personality is not that of a person who's going to rave on about some things. I believe that actions speak louder than words. For me, there's more to love than just saying I love you. I feel that love is to be revealed in many ways, jumping up & down & acting excited all of the time is simply not an accurate gauge of love. For me, the overall picture is what counts.

Basically, that's what Levi seems to be saying. I interpret his words to mean: "Listen sweetheart, I'm with you. I do what I'm supposed to do & I'm where I'm supposed to be. Just because I am a little quiet & I may be a little reserved & calm, it doesn't mean that I don't love you. You know that I love you with all of my heart, so why are you buggin'?"

Too often, we expect people to behave as we might, or, we try to anticipate their response. If they don't respond as we expected them to, we begin to doubt & question. Even if that's the way that the person has always been, it's as though we expect them to change to fit our perception of how they should act & respond to things.

What many forget is that love reveals itself in many ways. I think that it's wise to recognize love for what it truly is, not for what we'd like for it to be. Everyone has different ways of expressing their love. Some people simply are not the type of people who will propose on a billboard in Times Square, or on the Rikki Lake Show. Me, I'm laid back, yet playful. I hug, kiss & do those cute things like cards & such. Believe it or not, I'm not always this quiet. Yes, hard as it may be to believe, I do TALK from time to time :-)

The point is, just because I don't turn cartwheels & just call to say I love you 20 times a day, doesn't mean that I don't love you. It just means that I feel that if I say it once a day & show love, I shouldn't have to embellish it further. Because I'm more subtle & laid back about it, doesn't mean it's not as strong as a more vociferous person. It's just quieter, more refrained like Still Waters.

Now, you can dive into one end of a swimming pool & break your neck because the water is shallow. You can also walk 50 feet away & dive into the other end of the pool & drown because the water is too deep. Both of those waters can be still, however, one can be a bit deeper than the other. Well, that's kinda how I am. My love is kinda quiet, but, it will drown your ass because it is deep.

I'll put it like this: Every "I love you" is not said in sincerity & every flower given is not given out of love. Sometimes, there are ulterior motives lurking close by.
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Rodmann (rodmann)
5-Doyen
Username: rodmann

Post Number: 381
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 12.223.151.165
Posted on Friday, August 13, 2004 - 5:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks everyone. I understand that 'Ain't Understanding Mellow' is about a couple going their separate ways in a calm manner but the "Ain't Understanding Mellow" hook makes no sense IMO. Who exactly "Ain't Understanding Mellow"? How much more "mellow" could Jerry be? LOL. If one of our girlfriends, wives, husbands or boyfriends dumped us cold for someone else like that I doubt that most of us would be as "mellow" as Jerry! LMAO!

It just seems as if the "Ain't Understanding Mellow" line doesn't quite go with the other lyrics.

Eli, it didn't even occur to me until after I started this topic but did you play on this classic?

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