"The Spark That Bled" as written by Michael Ivins, Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd....
I accidentally touched my head
And noticed that I had been bleeding
For how long, I didn't know

What was this, I thought, that struck me?
What kind of weapons have they got?
The softest bullet ever shot?

I stood up and I said yeah!
I stood up and I said yeah!
I stood up and I said hey, yeah, yeah, yeah!

From this moment on
Blaring like a trumpet
Coming from above us
And somewhere below
The confidence of knowing
Descending to relieve us
Struggle to believe it's so

I stood up and I said yeah!
I spoke up and I said yeah!
I stood up and I said hey, yeah, yeah, yeah!

And it seemed to cause a chain reaction
It had momentum, it was gaining traction
It was all the rage, it was all the fashion
The outreached hands had resigned themselves to
Holding on to something that they never had
And that's too bad
'Cause in reality there was no reaction

I accidentally touched my head
And noticed that I had been bleeding
For how long, I didn't know


Lyrics submitted by ReActor

"The Spark That Bled" as written by Steven Drozd Michael Ivins

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Spark That Bled song meanings
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23 Comments

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  • +3
    General Comment"I accidentally touched my head..."

    Noticing that you're not as fulfilled as you could be. Wondering how long you've actually felt this way, and who/what exactly caused you to accept it as reality, instead of fighting for who you are or what you want.

    "From this moment on..."

    Deciding that from that point forward, you're going to live your life knowing that you should "stand up and say 'Yeah!'." Life is worth living, not necessarily because there is or isn't some kind of magical force holding it all together, but because you've experienced something that makes your life feel worth living, now, in the present moment. You're not living to get into heaven or avoid hell, you're not living to glorify some kind of invisible parent figure, you're not living to repent of your past sins or transgressions, you're living your life to the fullest because IT IS WORTH LIVING, RIGHT NOW.

    "And it seemed to cause a chain reaction..."

    Everyone seems to appreciate the act of "standing up and saying 'Yeah!'," but in reality, they're not reacting to him at all. They've "resigned themselves to holding onto something that they've never had," i.e. a REAL spiritual experience. Since they've never had a REAL spiritual experience, they have to hold on to something prescribed for them by their church/temple/mosque etc., which is CALLED a spiritual experience by the members of the church/temple/mosque, but is actually suppressing the real human spirit, which is by nature very celebratory and socially inclined.

    Instead of "standing up and saying 'Yeah!'" to the human spirit/experience/condition, they're holding on to something masquerading as real life, but in their ignorance, they think they've got the real thing. This is "too bad," because as long as they hold on to that simulacrum, they'll never hold the reality of human existence, only low-grade copies of the real thing, created by people who have never actually held (or even seen) the real thing.

    "I accidentally touched my head..." (second time)

    Realizing that you've probably ALWAYS known that most people don't ever have a real spiritual experience. This was most likely what caused you not feel as fulfilled as you could be to begin with. It's a vicious cycle. In the end, the answer is to stand up and say Yeah!, regardless of how many people are joining in with you, regardless of how many truly understand why you're standing up at all.

    Your life is worth living, right now. Let the dead bury their own.
    chimchamon November 26, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe bleeding is the birth of an idea..like reciprocity in most religions...that truly changes us inside. This great idea then spreads like wildfire. Often those ideas grow in us until they sort of pour out, bewildering even us. (The spark that bleeds). As the idea spreads from our initial enthusiastic outburst, as we try to share the epiphany with others (say put out a song about it) the people hear what we say, and get very excited and buzz about it, but ultimately miss the point and fail to experience the same change inside that the originator did. It's about the failure of communication in conveying complex emotional epiphanies.
    ndoon February 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about dying....as is the whole album. The spark that bled is you/a human. The Soft Bulletin is being born/realizing that you will die. Standing up is just say...though I realize I am going to die I have made the decision to accept it and live before I do. And that decision causes a chain reaction among other people who have been thinking the same thing but did not have the inner force to say it out loud. And the people who are holding on to what they never had are holding on to a notion of the afterlife while squandering the actual life that they have been given.
    ercleidaon April 26, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the music in this. It gets going really well in the middle, after the slow and mild beginning. I really like this song.
    I have no idea about the meaning, but most of Wayne Coyne's songs don't have those discernible meanings.
    ZeroOneon June 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I first heard this song I just thought it was too weird... the structure of it is crazy. But after a while I really got into it. Soft Bulletin is a great album to wake up to in the morning, particularly this song and Slow Motion.
    ReActoron October 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is personally my favourite song off of Soft Bulletin, I just love the first and last paragraphs. I feel like I can relate, even though I don't really know what he's trying to say. heh.
    Ves1011on November 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe flaming lips definately seem to be about the emotions, unlike artists like Radiohead or even U2, political, meaningful, etc.

    I can't decide who my favorite band is. If these guys aren't it, they're definately up there.
    Greyshoeson December 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about someone who tried to change the world for the better but couldn't.
    Rasputin007on December 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt feels an awful lot like a pessimistic/satirical view of religion. I don't know if the bleeding is supposed to represent being damaged by it all, but the rest fits into saying something like 'religion isn't real, but that doesn't mean its a bad thing.' The confidence of knowing part could be saying that to help calm ourselves in our live and the struggle to know its meaning. Coming from above and below might be about heaven and hell, as two parts of religion where its sort of based in. Then there's the chain reaction stanza, saying how it got more popular, and everyone joined in, and everybody is holding on to something that's not actually there.

    I don't agree with the meaning I'm getting out of this, but its still awesome.
    ZeroOneon January 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI never even realized that, I've been trying to figure out what the lyrics meant ever since I got the CD a few days ago...I'd never really paid attention to the lyrics in this one, but when I read 'em, it made me wonder...

    Thanks, that totally just increases my love for this amazing CD that much more.
    Domo Chomoon January 22, 2005   Link

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