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One of my favorite tracks on the album. It is very melancholy. I posted the lyrics below (don't know if they're 100% accurate). I've thought of this song as making some references to ending his marriage and all the changes that come with that experience. Of course I could be way off! He has quite a way with words.

Good post :D

Sundown - another busy day watching the time fly

Old ground standing in the way, and I don't know why

'Cause here I am making changes

Alterations in my house of cards

But I've a whole new arrangement

Am I at home, am I at home, am I?

Look down - almost with my baby as the time flies

I found I've lost an invitation - I don't know why

I'm so behind in my repayments

This whole beration must be overdue

But I'm at sixes with the statements

Am I at six, am I at six, am I?

Another twist of fortune - it wasn't in the plan

A new design for living - to do the best I can

To do the best I can - to do the best I can

Sometimes I nearly always do, but then I'm with you

Each time it comes as a surprise that they should do

Another drain on my resources

Information's getting out of hand

And I'm at home with all the courses

Am I at home, am I at home, am I, am I, am I?

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I've thought of this song as making some references to ending his marriage and all the changes that come with that experience.

Certainly there were quite a few of that ilk on The Principle of Moments. This one, at

least to me anyway, is a homage to the ambivalence he struggled with as he tried to

establish himself as a solo artist. It inevitably conjures up in my mind images of a pensive Robert performing at Live Aid, silently asking himself in the middle of it all "Should I be doing this?"

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Wiki wisdom:

To be "at sixes and sevens" is an English phrase and idiom, common in the United Kingdom. It is used to describe a state of confusion or disarray. The similar phrase "to set the world at six and seven", used by Geoffrey Chaucer, seems, from its context, to mean "to hazard the world" or "to risk one's life"[1]. In Act 2, scene 1 of Shakespeare's "The Tragedy of Julius Caesar", Portia, in confronting Brutus about his state of anxiety says: "Why you are heavy, and what men tonight / Have had resort to you; for here have been / Some six or seven who did hide their faces / Even from darkness."

There are several other possible explanations, including one mention of a similar phrase with a different meaning in the Bible (Job 5:19).[2] However, one of the more interesting possibilities is that it may have come from a dispute between the Merchant Taylors' and Skinners' Livery Companies.[3] The two, which were founded in the same year, argued over sixth place in the order of precedence. After more than a century, it was decided that at Corpus Christi, the companies would swap between sixth and seventh and feast in each others' halls. Nowadays they alternate in precedence on an annual basis. This is unlikely to be the origin of the phrase, as Chaucer had used it over a century before,[3] but could well have helped to popularise it.

Most likely, the term derives from a complicated dice game called "hazard".[3] It is thought that the expression was originally "to set on cinque and sice"[3] (from the French numerals for five and six). These are the riskiest numbers to shoot for (to "set on"), and anyone who tried for them was considered careless or confused.

An example of use of the phrase in modern popular culture is its inclusion in the lyrics to Don't Cry for Me, Argentina from the musical Evita. The lyrics reference the title character's rags-to-riches transformation: "All you will see is a girl you once knew, Although she's dressed up to the nines, At sixes and sevens with you."

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Certainly there were quite a few of that ilk on The Principle of Moments. This one, at

least to me anyway, is a homage to the ambivalence he struggled with as he tried to

establish himself as a solo artist. It inevitably conjures up in my mind images of a pensive Robert performing at Live Aid, silently asking himself in the middle of it all "Should I be doing this?"

I can see it also as being at odds with all the changes post Zep in his life.

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I remember going on vacation that summer in 1985 when the album came out, and my dad's friend who went with us had it. 6's & 7's is probably my favorite track, but I like Pink and Black and Easily lead as well. On a funny side note, the picture of Robert inside the album sleeve is what I showed my neighbor who was a hairdresser so she could give me a Plant-perm.....lol Hey, it was the 80's...lol

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Here is a different version of the lyrics.

Robert Plant Sixes and Sevens Lyrics

Songwriters: Martinez, Paul; Hayward, Richie; Plant, Robert; Woodroffe, Jezz; Blunt, Robbie;

Sundown, another busy day watching the time fly

Old ground is standing in the way

And I don't know why

Cause here I am making changes

Alterations in my house of cards

But I don't hold new arrangements

Am I at home, am I at home, am I alright?

Look down, almost with my breath held as the time flies

I found, I'm lost in your reflection, I don't know why

I'm so behind in my repayments

Consideration must be over-due

But I'm at sixes with the statements

Am I at six, am I at six, am I - ooh?

Another twist of fortune - it wasn't in the plan

A new design for living - to do the best I can

To do the best I can - to do the best I can

Sometimes I nearly always do, but then I'm with you

Each time it comes as a surprise that they should do

Oh, another drain of my resources

And information's getting out of hand

and I'm at home with altered courses

Am I at home, am I at home, am I, am I, am I?

Talk to me, talk to me yes

Talk to me, oh now, it gets so hard

Gets so hard

Just a little bit hard when you talk to me like you do

Just a little bit hard when you talk to me like you do

Just a little bit hard when you talk to me like you do

Just a little bit, just a little bit, just a little bit

Edited by eternal light
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My theory has always been that Sixes and Sevens is a clear peak into what was going on in Robert's head at the time....and it's about as clear as Robert get's with his lyrics.

We have to remember that this is by far the most confused Robert had been about how to move forward in his career. He made an album where he forced Robbie Blunt to use the Roland Synth guitar and they clashed repeatedly during the album's making and quite frankly IMO he was never completely convinced that this was the course he should be taking considering (once again in my own opinion) that this album was an attempt to be of the 80's and relevant.

In hindsight I think the album is a bit incoherent for a Plant solo album. In fact it goes from quasi-goth in "Little by Little" to the almost Police sounding "Sixes and Sevens" to much the rest of the album sounding like a combination of Human League and ABC....with the exception of Easily Lead which sounded better on the subsequent tour.

Therefore...I think Sixes and Sevens is a standout track. Really emotional and you get to see a window into the confusion that surrounded making that album.

Jeff

Edited by jmorton
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One of my favorite tracks on the album. It is very melancholy. I posted the lyrics below (don't know if they're 100% accurate). I've thought of this song as making some references to ending his marriage and all the changes that come with that experience. Of course I could be way off! He has quite a way with words.

You're right - that's exatly what its about - and the fact that after the end of his marriage he moved away from the midlands for the first time in his life.

He moved back a couple of years later, he wasn't happy being away.

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I pulled out the Shaken and Stirred disc for my drive to work today, and it has been some time since I've listened to it. Sixes and Sevens is such an overlooked gem from Robert. He sings with such melancholy, I wonder what was the inspiration behind it. Anyone else care for it?

Sixes and Sevens

Love the song, loved that album when it came out, I think i should go an listen to it, bet it sounds dated though.

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  • 7 years later...

I adore this LP and always wondered if lyrically Sixes and Sevens is one of the most personal lyrics off the LP. Interesting he rarely added lyrics to the sleeve.

It must have been devastating to all concerned when it did not find its place.

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  • 2 years later...

One more thing I believe it sooner or later he's going to be acknowledged for his contributions to the 80s experimental music it was amazing stuff and I wish he would visit some of that stuff nowadays.

I mean it's not going to be forgotten forever , eventually the truth will be known he was pretty special those Years also! I just hope he's around for it, amen

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35 minutes ago, z1inspector said:

One more thing I believe it sooner or later he's going to be acknowledged for his contributions to the 80s experimental music 

I've said for years I believe Plant deserves induction into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist on the strength of his studio and live output from 1981 to 1993 alone.

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14 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

I've said for years I believe Plant deserves induction into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist on the strength of his studio and live output from 1981 to 1993 alone.

I agree & then i believe BLUNTs overdue recognition will follow! I clearly remember The music they created was in the ear of local bands up in Wisconsin somewhere when we went there as I was a teenager for a relative's wedding. The reception was next to a connected bar and the bands there were playing alternative music. They didn't even know who's Zeppelin was, so I suggested some Robert Plant , they knew all about his current music. I got both bands to play at least one song off of shaken and stirred well actually I wanted them to play Slow dancer however some of the members didn't know how to play it. Anyway he should be proud of his stuff from back then and we should continue to speak up, that's all I got

Edited by z1inspector
Voice to text typos
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  • 1 year later...

Sixes and Sevens live
Detroit, Michigan: The only known live performance by Plant
July 12, 1985 // the evening before Live Aid


On another note, I can't find the official lyrics anywhere. I'm hoping Robert talks about this track on his Digging Deep podcast someday. 
With so many versions of the lyrics floating about it would be good to just know what's said.

I've written an arrangement of my own in a desire to bring it back to a more 'Americana' styling of sorts, informed somewhat from a trajectory from Victor Krauss's cover of Big Log through Bowie's reworking of one of his layered and textured 1984 anthems, then given depth after having binged Ken Burns' "Country Music" documentary. I hope to work up the nerve to share it sometime, somewhere... (So, apologies in advance.)

 

Jodeo

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On 2/2/2021 at 1:28 PM, Jodeo said:

I've written an arrangement of my own in a desire to bring it back to a more 'Americana' styling of sorts, informed somewhat from a trajectory from Victor Krauss's cover of Big Log through Bowie's reworking of one of his layered and textured 1984 anthems, then given depth after having binged Ken Burns' "Country Music" documentary. I hope to work up the nerve to share it sometime, somewhere... (So, apologies in advance.)

Jodeo

You need to post a snippet right now.

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Interesting, this. It's strange when you've been aware of a phrase like 'sixes and sevens' for as long as you can remember and you know what means, but you didn't actually know why it means that or what its derivation is. Good stuff.

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