Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Who Is Shiloh?

I have a confession to make: I like Neil Diamond. I realize that's way dorky, but I can't help it. And did you see him sing at the Grammys? People seemed to enjoy it; they weren't laughing or anything.

So lately I've been listening to this Shiloh song of his, and I came to realize I have no idea what in the world this song is about. Now I realize this blog post isn't going to be very far-reaching in terms of audience—there are probably only about 5 people in the world who know this song and only 2 of those 5 probably care what it's about. Nevertheless, this is how I entertain myself so bear with me.

At first I thought it was maybe about a childhood friend, Shiloh, who's a really pathetic character and bows to Neil's every whim only to get dumped when Neil finds a woman, but some of the lyrics just seemed a little creepy if that was the case. I also thought perhaps it's about a pet or something more abstract like a place, but that doesn't really seem to make sense.

Then it hit me: multiple personality disorder! That's clearly what's going on here. It's really the only explanation that makes sense and isn't really creepy. Young Neil is obviously severely neglected as a child by his parents and friends, so he "turns on the only friend [he] can find/there in [his] mind." Then he meets a hot girl and no longer has a need for his multiple personality, but when she dumps him, he wants Shiloh back! The End.

I can't believe I didn't think of this before, it's so clear now.


Millenia said...

LOL, you are too funny, I love your posts - Neil is the greatest, though. One of the best song writers ever, IMHO. :-)

Anonymous said...

It wasn't multiple personality disorder. It was his imaginary best friend.

Anonymous said...

I was just listening to this song and I really like it. I do not think there is another woman in the song, just an imaginary friend and imaginary friends tend to disappear as a person gets older. Sometimes as an adult a person might wish they could call on that imaginary friend again, that they would come and be as soothing and comforting as in childhood. I still miss mine and think of them from time to time. MM

My Wild Irish Prose said...

Shiloh is a Hebrew word meaning “He Whose It Is,” or “He to Whom It Belongs.” In Genesis 49, when Jacob is blessing and cursing his kids, it is taken to be an early prophecy of the coming of Jesus, who is theoretically descended from Judah. Shiloh is used in the Talmud as a personal name for the Messiah, albeit a different one than Christians think. Some writers also interpret it as a foreshadowing of David. Since Mr. Diamond is Jewish by birth, he may or may not be making reference to this obscure OT passage.