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Message 75: High and Dry

“High and Dry” is the third song on The Bends, the band’s second studio album. According to the OED, the phrase of the song’s title and chorus is something often said of a vessel cast or drawn up on the shore out of the water. Hence the figurative sense to mean out of the stream current of events or progress, to be stranded. Often, the phrase can also be used to mean ‘safe.’

The song’s seventh line reads “You broke another mirror.” Breaking a mirror has numerous consequences in superstition. That breaking a mirror causes seven years of bad luck is a common superstition, at least in the West. In context, the addressee’s breaking of another mirror (not just one mirror, but more than one) is a sign of the same reckless courage that prompts him to jump a motorcycle twice in one week. Along the same lines, to build employee confidence one web site suggests that you do the following: “Collect some old mirrors or buy some inexpensive ones at a discount store. At a pot luck lunch, courageous people can take a hammer and gently break a mirror into a large, tub. Be sure to have the person wear gloves and eye shields just in case a splinter of glass flies out of the tub. Their prize – another Courage Certificate.” Read more about building employee confidence by breaking superstitions here.

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