The Story Behind Beatle-approved ‘The Logical Song’ by Supertramp
via Miguel Baptista de Campos Filho / Youtube
A Deep Song
“The Logical Song” was the lead single from Supertramp’s 1979 album Breakfast in America. Written by founding member and frontman Roger Hodgson, it was the band’s biggest hit.
The lyrics were inspired by Hodgson’s personal experience for being sent away to boarding school and staying there for ten years. It’s about how the wonder, magic, and innocence of children are easily stripped away to turn them into logical, responsible, and practical adults. Their imagination and creativity are restricted, and all too often, their individuality is lost as they’re told repeatedly to conform.
In a way, it was autobiographical and he worked hard on the track. He completed the words and arrangement six months before he presented it to the band to be included in their LP. Initially, he thought nobody would like it.
All his efforts paid off because in 1980, he was given the Ivor Novello Award from The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters as they cited “The Logical Song” for being great musically and lyrically.
“‘The Logical Song’ was born from my questions about what really matters in life. Throughout childhood we are taught all these ways to be and yet we are rarely told anything about our true self,” Hodgson said. “We are taught how to function outwardly, but not guided to who we are inwardly. We go from the innocence and wonder of childhood to the confusion of adolescence that often ends in the cynicism and disillusionment of adulthood.”
“In ‘The Logical Song’, the burning question that came down to its rawest place was ‘please tell me who I am’, and that’s basically what the song is about,” he continued. “I think this eternal question continues to hit such a deep chord in people around the world and why it stays so meaningful.”