"Crosseyed and Painless" as written by and David/frantz Byrne....
Lost my shape,
Trying to act casual.
Can't stop,
I might end up in the hospital.
Changing my shape,
I feel like an accident.
They're back,
To explain their experience

Isn't it weird?
Looks too obscure to me
Wasting away
And that was their policy

I'm ready to leave
I push the fact in front of me
Facts lost
Facts are never what they seem to be
Nothing there,
No information left of any kind
Lifting my head
Looking for danger signs

There was a line
There was a formula
Sharp as a knife
Facts cut a hole in us
There was a line
There was a forula
Sharp as a knife
Facts cut a hole in us

Still waiting (repeat)

The feeling returns
Whenever we close our eyes
Lifting my head
Looking around inside

The island of doubt
It's like the taste of medicine
Working by hindsight
Got the message from the oxygen
Making a list
Find the cost of opportunity
Doing it right
Facts are useless in emergencies

The feeling returns
Whenever we close our eyes
Lifting my head
Looking around inside.

Facts are simple and facts are straight
Facts are lazy and facts are late
Facts all come with points of view
Facts don't do what I want them to
Facts just twist the truth around
Facts are living turned inside out
Facts are getting the best of them
Facts are nothing on the face of things
Facts don't stain the furniture
Facts go out and slam the door
Facts are written all over your face
Facts continue to change their shape

I'm still waiting


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"Crosseyed and Painless [DVD]" as written by Chris Frantz David Byrne

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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Crosseyed and Painless song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentI think this is an argument about the nature of human beings. Humans tend to shape things in order to fill holes. They label, the examine, they change. We have removed ourselves from evolution in this way.

    Byrne I think is arguing that our need and obsession with doing this is actually doing the opposite. Its making us lose ourself, and making our understanding less complete. The whole album I think is about this to a degree.
    istareatthesunon January 06, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI imagine this is a snapshot of hectic life in the NY party circa 1980, at least from David Byrne's neurotic personae. He can't relax, and is trying to take refuge in intellectualizing the situation.

    I also agree with istareatthesun's more general point, this song is about the inadequacy of the abstraction to deal with the physicality of the body in crisis mode. Culture can't catch up -- I'm still waiting.
    DevastatorJr.on January 10, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentwell there is definitely a difference between fact and interpretation
    floating_eyeon January 09, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentByrne likes to play with abstract ideas, and art images. He commented in a NY Times interview that he liked to do things like collect photos of hands, blow them up and then arrange them on a wall “until they make sense to me”.

    That said, I think he was playing with the idea of actually becoming formless, being disembodied; the intellect would have no physical clues, and start deconstructing and obsessing about “Facts.” Just my feeling, I´m probably way off the mark…
    Chazspainon August 28, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI doubt the efficacy of deducing a meaning from a song that questions the value of facts.
    mayhapson August 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGoing into conniptions from overanalysing one or any situation.
    Cynothoglyson March 25, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti love everyones interpretations. currently listening to this amazing album.
    Italion November 27, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of my favorite Talking Heads songs, and I can't explain why. Well, it sounds great! But do I understand what it means? Hell no.

    Its meaning is like an amorphous blob. Try to hold onto it, and you discover it's an impossible task. The harder you work at grasping it, the more it slips through your hands! Almost as if it has a rudimentary sort of intelligence...an instinct to escape from being pinned down.

    I wonder whether (metaphorically?) that's what this song is about. The harder you think about something, the more inexplicable it seems. There are facts, and there's truth. Is it possible to close the gap separating what's factual from what is truthful? Is there any point in trying?
    foreverdroneon January 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIt is my opinion that David Byrne, in this song and others on the album, is expressing his distrust of 'facts' and the resulting desperation for truth and paranoia of being lied to (the album title Remain in Light speaks for itself here). Facts that have been twisted, fogged, or even outright fabricated, and then fed as truths to the society/flock of sheep that are all too happy to eat them up without once questioning them.
    cami1leon March 16, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe music video proves this to be a badass dance song.
    blackled222on June 16, 2006   Link

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