Naked in larned ks
The expanding (self-improving) man can control his own fate. "That shape is the shade where I used to stand" refers to him probably cruising his old neighborhood, looking at the spot where as a kid he stood so long in front of a music shop or barroom window that he left a permanent shadow on the outside wall.This line is followed immediately by his reminiscence of "only yesterday" when he stood there looking, seeing all the wild party-goers inside who seemed to have life by the balls, laughing it up. But if this song is named after Deacon Jones, he was no loser.He was one of the best defensive players in the NFL.We start with the cliched white-collar suburbanite, probably about 40-ish.He's daydreaming about being the "expanding man, " which has two layers of meaning here.Although they had a few hits in the early 1970s with pop sounding songs, they longed to play jazz influenced music.
Note: Everthing is "in my humble opinion." Deacon Blues is about playing in a band, pure and simple.
First, there is the figurative "expanding," or broadening, of the man into something more than he has ever been, into what he once dreamed he would be: someone educated, hip, artistic, admired, whatever. "The day of the expanding man" can be seen as HIS day, meaning his time, his time to shine.
But he's also "expanding" in the sense of getting older and fatter. It can also mean a general sense of the social climate of the middle class American white guy, the "day" being the era, the age, the age of men taking control and doing what they want, not what corporate rules and family responsibilities dictate.
Very easy, at first listen, to confuse this song with something inspirational ("This brother is free/I'll be what I want to be") because most people want to identify with a song and relate it positively to their lives.
But dig deep, and this is a classic mid-life crisis lament for a past that never really was and a dream that never really had a chance.