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Autor:  Dale-USA
E-mail:  dale_thomas2004@yahoo.com.br
Data:  08/DEZ/2010 3:16 PM
Assunto:  crooked step
 
Mensagem:  Don't cross the crooked step

I've never heard this phrase before.  Possibly we are trying to understand the literal meaning (if it has one), when the composer's meaning is quite different.  Quite possibly "Don't cross the crooked step" means "Do not anger the imperfect stepfather."  Here's my logic:

to cross = to anger, interfere with, create problems for, etc.  (mexer com)
crooked = criminal, imperfect (criminoso, imperfeito)
step = stepfather (padrasto)

Recall that the subject of the song is the stepfather.  He is not the boy's hero.  He has many imperfections.

Many songs and books have vague references that are not clear.  Sometimes they exist on purpose, sometimes they are the result of poor writing, and sometimes we force our own interpretations upon them.  I've given this example before, but it is worth repeating again.  In the Albert Camus novel "The Stranger", there are many references to the sun.  Around seventy books were written to explain the "secret meanings" in "The Stranger".  Finally, Camus wrote one of his own.  Why the sun?  Did it represent life?  Did it represent hopes for a tomorrow?  Camus told his readers that he had written about the sun because the story had taken place in Algeria where it is very hot and the sun places a part in everything and is mentioned daily in many conversations.  There was no "secret meaning".  The sun was the sun.  And what did the critics say?  They wrote that, well, that was true, but subconsciously Camus had written about the sun because...  The critics wanted the sun to have a secret meaning, so they gave it symbolism.

What I am suggesting is this:  if you ask 10 native speakers, you will probably get 5 or 6 different interpretations.  I, for one, seriously doubt that by "step" the composer did not mean passo, degrau, pegada, etc.



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 English Made in Brazil -- English, Portuguese, & contrastive linguistics
crooked step  –  andreulrich  08/DEZ/2010, 1:50 PM
 crooked step  –  Dale-USA  08/DEZ/2010, 3:16 PM

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