From an evolutionary point of view, the sense of smell is considered the earliest and primordial of the senses as evidenced by its connection with the most remote and primitive parts of the brain, phylogenetically older. The role of primary chemical sense in primordial organisms, for interaction with the living environment (spatial orientation, food research, sexual approaches, the presence of dangers, etc.) remained essentially unchanged in present organisms. However, while for most animals it is still evident the fundamental influence of olfactory perception on the basic functions of survival and reproduction, man, due to his highest evolutionary and cultural level, often tends to consider smell a “auxiliary sense”, of secondary importance respect to other senses as sight, hearing and taste, from which we obtain information that we generally feel most important and more direct. In many animal species, thanks to its particular development, it is vital for survival: it allows for food research, warns of predators, favour mating. A blind or deaf mouse can still find food by his sneezing, but if he lacks the smell he would starve because he could not identify the food. The humanity, in the course of evolution, has increasingly deprived this prodigious sensory mode, and today it is perhaps the least used of the five. An important reference in seeking rewarding olfactory stimuli is your “olfactory memory”: During your life, you have accumulated a lot of odorous memories and surely among these, there are some that recall you moments of relaxation and happiness. The acquisition of the erected station allowed the man to use the sight to perceive the environment around himself. Smells, in fact, are often heavier than air and can, therefore, be best appreciated at ground level. In the perception of odours is involved the amygdala, that is, the portion of the brain that is related to the sexual sphere and the emotions. It is an area where sensory afferents are very fast: that is why some smells still thrill us before we are aware that they have perceived them. But emotions, by virtue of the speed at which they arise, are also alarm bells that warn us in the case, for example, of smoke, gas, toxic substances or non-edible foods. Losing the perception of odours means, therefore, losing even a formidable defence weapon. In many animal species, it is of vital importance to the functions of food research and mating. A lowering or the complete loss of sense of smell is very unpleasant because it accompanies the loss of a part of the taste. In fact, the aroma of food is perceived by the nose; The taste buds of the tongue are responsible only for the sweet and salty, bitter and acidic feelings; That’s why with the loss of smell the foods seem “flat” and insipid. Where do the smell end and taste begin? The two senses are inseparable. The temptation of coffee is not born from the flavour but from its intense aroma.
Coldplay, The Scientist – 5:09 – Voice: Chris Martin
Album: A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)
Meaning or interpretation
As can be seen from the lyrics of the song, the protagonist is struggling with remorse, looking back, in what he has been in the past, and full of melancholy and nostalgia. He would like to go back and change things, change his actions, live more emotionally, with less numerical calculations, fewer figures, less scientific rationality. The mind and the subjective feelings can not be explained by too many rational calculations, behavior must also be guided by emotion, which must not be suppressed. Love has no laws, and you can not try to foresee it, because science questions and answers do not speak as strong as our heart. The reference to science could be symbolic or literal, in the latter case a scientist with love, influenced by his form of inquiry with scientific questions, with a difficulty in letting go of feelings. The report naufrags and then tries to regain the lost relationship, apologizing to his beloved. She asks you to tell him his secrets and ask his questions, as he does at the beginning of a knowledge, when one discovers each other with curiosity. He took it for granted, he thought his relationship was smooth with the logic with which a machine works, setting aside the most unfathomable and emotional needs of her. And so now he would like to clear those mistakes, but maybe it’s too late, because the spell has broken.
U2, With or Without You – 4:56 – Voice: Bono (Paul David Hewson)
Album: The Joshua Tree (1987)
Meaning or interpretation
The immediate meaning of this song is clearly the painful end of a love story, in which he expects from her, more than you are willing to give, or can give (“You give it all but I want more”) , Or in other words, the relationship has crashed and him have mixed feelings, is bad both with her neighbor and with her away, because of his strong affection for her. The phrase “See the stone set in your eyes” by some is translated in the sense of gemstone, precious stone in the eyes, so metaphor of shimmering eyes, glittering and full of love, but can most probably be seen as a metaphor of coldness in the eyes, In the sense of cold stone. Crossing the storm came to the shore, that is, the end of the relationship. The words “My hands are tied / My body bruised” can make you think of a betrayal by her. The words “Nothing to win and / Nothing left to lose” can lead to the resignation of those who realized that in the relationship everything was lost, and a happy ending is no longer possible, despite the difficulty of getting rid of an affection He can more personally realize the protagonist, who can not give him what he is looking for. But in general, which is the precise meaning, this song speaks of something we can not do without, but at the same time makes us sick, and we are struggling to free ourselves, or we can not get rid of it. Another interpretation is more mystical and concerns Bono’s relationship with religion. Another interpretation still refers to the difficulties of coexistence of couples of different religions, since Bono had parents of different religions, Catholic father and Protestant mother, so he had influences from both the Catholic and the Anglican religions, two different Christian religions and then Represent the divisions we have had in Ireland, especially in Northern Ireland, among Irish independents, who were usually identified in the Catholic religion, and unionists or loyalists at the British crown and unity in the United Kingdom, usually identified in Anglican Protestant religion.
U2, Van Diemen’s Land – 3:06 – Voice: The Edge (David Howell Evans)
Album: Rattle and Hum (1988)
Meaning or interpretation
Van Diemen’s land, which gives the title to the song, is the name originally given by Europeans to today’s Tasmania island, located in South Australia. This island in the 1800s became a criminal colony of the British Empire. The song is dedicated by U2 guitarist The Edge, to poet John Boyle O’Reilly (1844-1890), deported to Australia because of his poetry and his militancy in a Irish patriotic secret society, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, which aimed at starting an uprising against British domination in order to gain independence to Ireland. The Fenian Brotherhood was the American branch of the same association. The United States was in the midst of a massive Irish emigration. Ireland will only gain independence in 1922, with the establishment of the Free State of Ireland, which in 1948-49, coming out of the British Commonwealth, will officially become Republic of Ireland. Van Diemen’s Land is one of the few U2 songs that have as their main voice not that of Bono, but of The Edge.