ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Please Tell Me Who I Am: The Genius of Supertramp

Updated on May 29, 2013

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." --Dr. Seuss

"The most damaging phrase in the language is: 'It's always been done that way.'"  --Grace Hopper

The title of this article is taken from the chorus of the song entitled, “The Logical Song” by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson of the rock group Supertramp. It was one of those songs that hit me like a ton of bricks.

Here is a song that clearly questions conformity. Why can’t we be ourselves? Why do we have to follow the status quo? Are we afraid of being ridiculed?

“The Logical Song” also ventures down the philosophical and spiritual road. “What have we learned?” “Who am I?” These are questions that every conscious being will have to make someday in his or her life journey.

The first verse begins with Roger Hodgson describing, in an autobiographic fashion, what it is like to be a child:

“When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,

a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.

And all the birds in the trees, well they’d be singing so happily,

joyfully, playfully watching me.”

Then something happens to this magic. We are forced to grow up. We forget about the simplicity of childhood. Instead, we complicate our life and become slaves to the system. Let’s continue with the first verse:

“But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible,

logical, responsible, practical.

And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,

clinical, intellectual, cynical.”

Of course, it makes sense to teach responsibilities to a child; however, we should not kill the creativity and imagination of the child. In fact, Einstein said that “imagination is more important than knowledge.” However, most individuals that reach adolescence seem to have abandoned their imagination. “Just tell me what to say.”

And if we do reach a point of being cynical, I think this is clear sign that we are not happy with life. Perhaps, there is a part of us that wants to experience the freedom of being a kid.

Supertramp - Logical Song

My favorite part of the song is the chorus. It asks the really deep questions about life. We are no longer biological machines that can be conformed until we drop. Instead, we are deep philosophical spiritual beings that want answers to our questions. Now, let’s take a look at the chorus:

“There are times when all the world’s asleep,

the questions run too deep

for such a simple man.

Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned

I know it sounds absurd

but please tell me who I am.”

In this chorus, I see a person finally waking up. He is now consciously aware of his responsibility in life. You can clearly see that in the line: “Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned.” It is very important for this person to grow in life. It doesn’t make sense to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. What can we learn from history?

The last line in the song, “I know it sounds absurd but please tell me who I am” is the ultimate spiritual question. We all want to know our place in this world. This gives our life purpose and meaning. Without it, we are like a rudderless boat that wanders the world haphazardly.

The second verse of the song takes a look at what happens if you do not conform. Let’s see what it says:

“Now watch what you say or they’ll be calling you a radical,

liberal, fanatical, criminal.

Won’t you sign up your name, we’d like to feel you’re

acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!”

It seems that if you do not conform you will be ridiculed. You will be called every bad name under the sun. And since most people want to fit in, they will most likely succumb to the conformity.

This is a shame, because real change cannot happen if we keep following the crowd. If it is something that is against our own ethical code, we should not follow it. We have to be true to ourselves.

Listen to the wisdom of your soul.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      2 years ago from Southern California

      somethgblue, thanks for sharing your thoughts and sharing the song lyrics to Goodbye Stranger. Great song! I will have look at the lyrics closely.

    • somethgblue profile image


      2 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Of course the song that proceeds that one on the album (oops, just dated myself, CD) is Goodbye Stranger and has just as poignant lyrics, in fact the whole album is KA .

      Goodbye stranger it's been nice

      Hope you find your paradise

      Tried to see your point of view

      Hope your dreams will all come true

      Goodbye Mary, goodbye Jane

      Will we ever meet again

      Feel no sorrow, feel no shame

      Come tomorrow, feel no pain

      Could he be talking about giving up marijuana? Taking a different path.

      Good article, you have just made a new fan.

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      3 years ago from Southern California

      fpherj48, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. It is quite amazing how when you really look at a song deeply that the song can open your eyes. It did that for me. I'm glad it taught you a lesson and woke you up. Thanks for voting it up and for tweeting. I greatly appreciate that.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Terry.......I knew there was a reason why I liked this song so many years ago. As I read your hub, I knew I wanted to hear this song, so I searched on YouTube. It astounds me how I can hear a song and remember it well, yet not really having made note of the Title nor fully understood the lyrics.........then suddenly it's a whole brand new song. Of course I knew this song, I loved it, I sang it.

      Thanks so much for this. You've taught me quite a lesson and I'm glad you woke me up!!...UP+++tweeted

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      3 years ago from Southern California

      bluebird, thank you so kindly. It was my pleasure to write this hub. This song is very powerful to me. Very few songs dare to ask potent questions about life. It is very sad that many are afraid to be their unique self and fall victim to the conformity game. I totally agree that we must stay true to our self. I like this group as well and also enjoy the music of the 70s. And by the way, I like the name "bluebird." That's a cool name.

    • bluebird profile image


      3 years ago

      I appreciate this hub and how you went about explaining what the song is really all about. Conformity to this world's norms will get us nowhere. Because if we don't stand for something, we'll fall for anything. Look at the world around you, it's getting worse every day. Stay true to yourself! Thanks for sharing all this here on your wonderful hub.

      P.S. I also like the group and that song of the 70s, my favorite era for songs.

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you epigramman. I'm glad you enjoyed this hub. I resonated with this song. The lyrics spoke to my soul. I wasn't aware of the fact that Supertramp was the group that put out this amazing song until a few years ago.

      That's wonderful that you got to see the group before they got big. I know that Roger Hudgson is playing a show in southern California very soon.

      Thank you very much for posting this to your facebook page. Riverside, California 2:24pm.

    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      ...great hub subject Terry and lovely dissection/analysis of their music and words - let me post this one too to my Facebook page with a direct link back here and I had the pleasure of seeing Supertramp years ago in a relatively small hall before they got really big on their Crisis what crisis? tour - I believe it was 1975 .......lake erie time ontario canada 4:19pm

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you, Ray, for commenting. I was always moved when I heard the song on the radio, and I thought to myself, I have to write about this song. "The Logical Song" offers the world vital wisdom that is very much needed in this fast-paced, I-got-to-have-it society. The Dr. Seuss quote came about through a web search for quotes about noncomformity. The quote resonated with me. I thought it would complement my article. I always hope that the quotes I choose will strengthen my message. As far as synchronicities go, I believe that nothing happens by accident. There are many times that these synchronistic events are so powerful that our jaws literally drop. "How can that be possible?" I smile and thank the universe. I think it is extremely important to share our wisdom, insight, and beauty to the world. If not, who will? I greatly appreciate your posting my post on fb. It's an honor to know that I've connected with someone through my writing. Again, thank you for taking the time to comment.

    • L. Ray Haynes profile image

      L. Ray Haynes 

      7 years ago from the biosphere

      You break it down so succinctly. I'm glad you posted this Terry, my sister and I long ago(in adolescence) commented on the truth in this song to each other and it remains influential to me to this day. I was especially surprised to see the quote at the top from Dr. Seuss! Siriusly, I've had that quote on my facebook page for months. I was working a gig in a house and that was written on the door of one the bedrooms! I lifted it and posted it immediately. The synchronicity of it being at the top of your hub freaked me out for a second. I thought, "did he lift that from my? it's not on my hubpage...he must have brought it forward from his own awareness in relation to this would he know that I have it posted permanantly on my fb profile?" While some call it 'coincidence', I prefer 'co-incIdence(or 'synchronus anomalus') Regardless, that quote speaks volumes to the topic at hand. Just for that I'm going to share your post on fb!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)