Looking at Lyrics: Eye of the Tiger

 

I randomly heard Eye of the Tiger today, and every time I hear that song I get embattled again with the eternal struggle of whether the lyric is “thrill” or “cream” of the fight.

It seems today the “thrill” crowd is winning, because “dude, cream makes no sense.” Except cream does make sense, and thrill is grammatically incorrect.

Full lyric:

It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s

the thrill/cream of the fight

Rising up to the challenge of our rival

And the last known survivor

stalks his prey in the night

And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger

‘The eye of the tiger’ is a concept representing the spirit of the fight in all of us. ‘Rising up to the challenge of our rival’ explains what that spirit is doing. ‘And the last known survivor’ speaks of the last of a group of someones or somethings, stalking its prey, biding its time, taking its revenge, expressing the animal nature and pure qualities in the spirit of the fight.  This is confirmed as it’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger. This reinforces that eye of the tiger is an abstract concept and the second half of the lyric is concrete.

Now, given all that:

<abstract personal characteristic> it’s the thrill of the fight.

A person or thing experiences a thrill. Watching a fight can give you a “thrill” but the thing that gave you the thrill is a thriller, not just a thrill. If fighting gives you a thrill, the fight itself is the thriller.  The above sentence works if it instead said,

“It’s my eyes growing wider, it’s the thrill of the fight.”

This is:

<abstract effect on me>, it’s the trill of the fight.

The second part reinforces the first part. Now take:

<abstract personal characteristic> it’s the cream of the fight.

Given that we expect the second half to reinforce the first, it’s the cream of the fight should be a personal characteristic. As some sites explain, this is a play on “cream of the crop.” Or, the best of some set of things. Cream of the fight => the best of the fight in all of us. Eye of the tiger => the spirit of fight

It’s the spirit of fight, it’s our best fighting effort,

rising up to the challenge of our rivals.

And the last known survivor

stalks his prey in the night

And he’s watching us all with spirit of the fight

vs

It’s the spirit of fight, it’s the fight feeling aroused,

rising up to the challenge of our rivals.

And the last known survivor

stalks his prey in the night

And he’s watching us all with spirit of the fight

Conclusion: most people don’t think this much about song lyrics, so they think thrill makes more sense, which makes my world sad and lonely. But whatever, #teamcream

Senior Junior Associate Bean Tester at OSM Unincorporated

Lost my savings betting on an unregistered game of five finger fillet. This is all I could get.

Leave a Reply