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  • 3 Years Ago slosh000
  • General Comment:
    Coke is a high carbon material derived from coal and used in the process of smelting iron ore to make steel. Midas was a king in Greek mythology who turned things to gold by his touch, this of course was a curse and not a blessing because even his food and drink turned to gold and he eventually died hungry despite his wealth. In gold smelting, coke is not normally used as it would be an impurity in the gold. "Coke in the Midas touch" is a metaphor possibly meaning that there is a cost to comfort and riches. This metalurgical metaphor is consistent with the next line which says "a joke in the way we rust." Again, rust destroys, just as coke would ruin the purity of gold. It is therefore, unlikely that the word "coke" refers to cocaine as the language of metaphor convincingly points to it referring to the coke used in smelting.
  • 3 Years Ago cwliias
  • My Interpretation:
    In my opinion slosh is probably right... But to me I have had a friend die from shootin up stuff.

    I read this as he has also had a friend die of an overdose when he says
    "Go your way,
    I'll take the long way 'round,
    I'll find my own way down,
    As I should."
    He's basically saying you killed yourself with drugs and I'll live my life and die some what of his own volition.

    And the rest is basically talking about the lure of drugs and how they robbed his friend of what he could of had or done.
  • 4 Years Ago vex390
  • General Comment:
    This is obviously a goodbye song. He was not on good terms with whoever he was saying goodbye to. As to who he was speaking to, I have no clue. I don't think this is a breakup song. His imagery gives lots of detail as to the intensity of the relationship. Oats in the water resembles things left with no conclusion. The birds on the ground means that those conclusions were eaten up and lost by time.
    I freakin love this song. I have a huge mancrush on Ben Howard!
  • 4 Years Ago DjangosClouds
  • Song Meaning:
    I've read somewhere that this is a song about cocaine.
    Oats n' Barley = Charlie = cocaine
    "Oats in the water" is the preparation required to inject it.

    I believe the 2nd verse should start:

    And hold your gaze
    There's coke in the Midas touch
  • 3 Years Ago PghHooligan
  • My Opinion:
    I think this is one of those songs that's meant to be interpreted by the listener, there is no definitive meaning. I do think that Mr. Howard aimed these lyrics at somebody in particular though, you can feel the animosity when you listen. It's a great song, the lyrics and the guitar compliment each other beautifully...
  • 2 Years Ago motherofangels
  • My Interpretation:
    A few people here have some very interesting ideas. That's what I love about music. The song may be about something completely different than you thought, and to every person it may carry another interpretation.

    Having experienced my first pregnancy and my first loss at 38 weeks last year, this song has a significant impact on me emotionally since this happened.

    The first verse speaks to me of the struggle he is having with coming to terms with being a father, and finding his way to acceptance.
    The second verse says to be patient with him for he is not perfect and although we are suffering, we persevere.
    The third verse reminds me how I felt when I found out I was pregnant and the fear of telling him for I might lose him, when the time came, I weathered the storm and brought him back to reality.
    The fourth verse talks about pregnancy and its risks, and the things that weight heavily on his mind, possibly not taking into consideration all the things I was feeling and dealing with on top of his struggles (especially now since the loss), or maybe his fears that his child is not his is another one that comes to mind.

    Anyways, that's my interpretation of it.
  • 15 Days Ago draken2016
  • My Interpretation:
    Go your way
    I'll take the long way 'round
    I'll find my own way down
    As I should

    (This first verse is about acceptance of other's decisions,
    and the effect greed has on our psyches. Dishonesty is rewarded by gold in this society)

    And hold your gaze
    There's coke in the Midas touch
    A joke in the way that we rust
    And breathe again

    (This verse is about Midas and the effects he had on his town.
    Coke in the Midas touch, refers to coal in the gold smelting process which creates rust. There could also be a reference to polluting water with your greed as Midas only rid himself of his curse by touching his hands to the river Pactolus. If there were coal in his gold it would've killed a lot of his townsmen while bringing them riches. I expect that the "joke in the way that we rust" is a reference to the effects that coal miners had on the towns that they life and prosperity for).

    And you'll find loss
    And you'll fear what you found
    When the weather comes
    Tearing down

    (This verse is about the karmic effects that greed has. When you bring uncertainty to others, you'll be struck down)

    There'll be oats in the water
    There'll be birds on the ground
    There'll be things you never asked her
    Oh how they tear at you now

    (Again this could be a reference to coal miners, as oats in the water is a reference to cocaine and it was common for coal miners to get addicted to cocaine. Birds on the ground is also a sign of imminent death often by undetectable ways. It could also be literal: coal miners would use canaries to detect early signs of carbon monoxide levels).

    You'll also notice this song repeats itself. That's because this process does as well. Greed is cyclical and it ripples down to those who have been affected by it.
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