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Marcus and Jemima: Behind The Words | The Truth Lies Podcast S7 Ep6

truth lies party conversation overhear story children

Our podcast The Truth Lies in Bedtime Stories, from See Through News, Series 7, Marcus & Jemima – how I deal with people at parties who assume I have children, in which George deploys musical references to explain the difference between truth and lies.

In Episode 6, Behind The Words, George strays into the realm of music in his ongoing attempt to shed light on the difference between truth and lies when it comes to humans and storytelling, city Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, The Blues and both types of music, Country and Western. He also applies fractal metrics and tidal differences to the tricky challenge of measuring things properly when it comes to evaluating truth and lies.

Episode 1: The Truth Revealed

Episode 2: Overheard

Episode 3: An Illuminating Story

Episode 4: Further Developments

Episode 5: Further Clarifications

Next: Episode 7: All Is Revealed, Largely

Or for the whole thing, the Omnibus edition

Next: Episode 7: All Is Revealed, Largely

Narration and series theme music by George Hinchliffe

Produced & mixed by SternWriter

Podcast sting by Samuel Wain

If you enjoyed this series, why not try:

The Truth Lies in Bedtime Stories is a See Through News production.

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Episode 6 : Behind The Words


There is a bigger issue here, isn’t there, about truth and lies? When you described your original encounter with Red Trousered Rupert. It could be argued that there was a greater truth being told in lying. And maybe the opposite is also true. Would you go along with that? 


Often the difference between truth and lies is something which could be discussed. People often gravitate towards something which has an emotional veracity which might be different from objective truth. 

For example, if you say ‘How long is the coast of England?’, it depends. Are you measuring in miles or round and round each pebble? If you went round each pebble, the distance would change dramatically from high tide to low tide. 

And I’m thinking about songs, for example. People relate to songs. You know, they say ‘I love you because you understand me’. And that’s not really why people love each other. Maybe they’ve got a mutual admiration society going or they need each other and people choose to misunderstand each other or support each other or forgive each other. And those things are more important than actual real understanding. 

A very popular song has been I Did It My Way, and I think people warm to that song because they want to be able to say ‘I did it my way’. Whereas in actual fact most people didn’t do it their way. It’s luck or circumstances or they’ve been mucked around by the system endlessly and whatever they’ve got left with is what they think has been a product of their own actions. Usually it’s not that at all. 

And so I think a lot of stuff that passes for fact or truth is sort of self-justification say, ‘Oh, I pressed those buttons there and this was the result’. Well, you maybe pressed those buttons, but what you ended up with might not have been the result of pressing those buttons.


You mentioned I think particularly country music in this regard, that being a particular example of things that are asserted that we wish to be true and they may even have some profound truth, but they’re clearly objectively not true. 


I think it is true that there are a lot of, for example, country and Western songs where the lyric appears to make some sort of sense and people warm to that message because they wish it were true. 

But in actual fact it’s not true. It describes circumstances that they would prefer to be true. And indeed lots of stories are like that. They’re not telling what really happens. They’re telling what we wish happened. Maybe just having a happy ending is the simplest version of one of those. 

Lots of stories don’t really have happy endings, but we like the story about the happy ending, especially if there’s a bit of jeopardy along the way and then we can feel like we’ve achieved something, conquered the Dragons or whatever it is. 

I’m reminded of the story that people used to tell that there were tracks on rock albums or country rock albums where the track at the end of the LP ran backwards, so the lyrics sounded unintelligible. But if you played it backwards, it had a secret message. They said this about the Beatles. You play it backwards and it says ‘Paul is dead’ or something like that. Some nonsense. 

But of course there was a story about a blues album where the final track played backwards. Of course, if you play the blues backwards, you go to sleep in the evening, your dog gets resurrected, you get out of jail free, your woman comes back. It’s a happy ending. It’s the opposite of the blues. 

That seems to me the best way of having a backwards track. 


That’s very illuminating. Thank you. Why have we evolved to prefer stories to reality? 

In Episode 7, All is Revealed, Largely, we finally get to the bottom of things, largely.