"Glenn Tipton" as written by and Mark Edward Kozelek....
Cassius Clay was hated
More than Sonny Liston
Some like K.K. Downing
More than Glenn Tipton
Some like Jim Nabors
Some Bobby Vinton
I like 'em all

I put my feet up
On the coffee table
I stay up late watching cable
I like old movies with Clark Gable
Just like my dad does

Just like my dad did
When he was home
Staying up late,
Staying up alone
Just like my dad did
When he was thinking
Oh, how fast the years fly

I know an old woman
Ran a donut shop
She worked late serving cops
Then one morning
Babe, her heart stopped
Place ain't the same no more

Place ain't the same no more
Not without my friend, Eleanor
Place ain't the same no more
Man, how things change

I buried my first victim
When I was nineteen
Went through her bedroom
And the pockets of her jeans
And found her letters
That said so many things
That really hurt me bad

I never breathed
Her name again
But I like to dream
About what could have been
I never heard her calls again
But I like to dream


Lyrics submitted by luke.

"Glenn Tipton" as written by Mark Edward Kozelek

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Glenn Tipton song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentI am going to go against the grain here and say that the words to Glenn Tipton are not metaphorical in any sense yet from the perspective of a souless killer.

    What we have here is a very simple, lonely and deranged individual who, though mostly deatched from the world, has 3-4 elements in his life that have kept him on the fringe of a normal existance. His Dad, representing the most powerful element of right and wrong. Elenor at the coffee shop, an ordinary woman who probably serves him coffee and treats him nicely and perhaps another would be love interest who he never really has a shot at but she also treats him nicely and makes him feel sane. Dad and Elenor pass on, naturally, lets say , whereas the girl ends up as his victim when he is pushed over the edge by her rejection.

    Void of any type of conscience, he speaks very matter-of-factly about events ranging from trivial, meaningless items; like the comparison of pop celebrities, the passing of his Dad, the woman at the donut shop where he felt comfortable and then what he did to the girl having found something in her room/jeans that made him feel bad.

    No singular event is is more important than the next, just random events that have come and gone. The song is about loss in a sense but I dont see the sadness as being first person. Its not so much about losing dearly loved ones rather than losing pillars in your life that keep you propped up against normalcy. Without the grounding influences its easy for one who is on the "fringe" to give into his impulses and lean towards a dark existance.

    Love the song, never get tired of hearing it. I'd say Kozelek is capable of writing a dark song such as this.

    PappyHabon July 08, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionI'm amused by the argument going on in the comments as to whether "buried my first victim" refers to a literal murder or a metaphor about a relationship gone sour. Why not allow for both meanings, and perhaps even more? Also, people are overly identifying the "I" in the song with Mark himself. You're not allowing for "I" to be a more subtle context created in the song. Why can't "I" be you, dear listener, who is listening to these gorgeous lyrics and have them repeat in your head?

    This is art, people.

    As others have noted, there's a context to the album, and a general obsession with the lives of boxers: Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston here, and many others in other songs on this album (Duk Koo Kim, Slavador Sanchez, Pancho Villa) and in other Kozelek songs. It's hard not to see parallels between boxing matches and cotentious romantic relationships, and Mark does seem equally obsessed with both.

    "Buried my first victim" speaks to me of winning a boxing match, and the kind of overly violent language sometimes used in boxing. I can envision the 19-year-old protagonist reading his girlfriend's private letters, finding hurtful things, and breaking up with her, thus "winning" in the sad, sad game of relationships, pride and manliness. But did he really win? He seems to truly regret and wonder about alternate endings. Did he act too pridefully? If it sounds like a literal murder to you, so bet it. The end result is that he has erased her, as a person, from the world as he knows it.

    If you enjoy this and other Mark Kozelek songs, I strongly recommend you buy the (expensive, out-of-print) book "Nights of Passed Over" in which he talks frankly about the pain of his past relationships, and also his love of boxing. The album "Among the Leaves" is also more frankly (to the point of discomfort) autobiographical than any of his previous albums.
    ghostwheelon September 05, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe "I buried my first victim" part is a metaphore. the sub meaning for it is that his relationship with a girl, who was his first love, fell apart. after the relationship ended he ran into some old love letters and he came to the realisation of the love that he lost and missed. this is seen in the next section of the song whith him missing her voice calling to him and that his dreams still haunt him for the loss of love
    ttuutton March 02, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti know it's already been talked about, but i just got the idea that this song might be a story about this guy who is really lonely and actually does murder a girl. like, he has a history of lonliness (he remembers his dad on the couch as a kid, his 'friend' is a waitress at a diner he'd go to) and this led to him being unstable, and he became infatuated with a girl, maybe because she gave him some sort of attention. and when she rejected him like the rest of the world, he killed her. i dunno, just a thought
    radam04on February 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit's funny when i read descriptions, and think about how meaningful a song is to me that i really never much thought about the meaning of.
    TheWrongGirlon October 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne post suggested three different perspectives but I get the feeling that they are the same, albeit twisted, perspective. The first stanza talks about indifference to what are usually emotionally provocative topics. The second two reflect a sense of being lost in time (just like my Dad does/did). The next two reflect how unsettling change is. The last two stanzas bring all three ideas together in a shocking and powerful way. I don't think you can go through someones pocket's metaphorically. The second to last stanza is just to explicit to be metaphor in a song that contains no other metaphors.
    Emmentaleron March 26, 2010   Link
  • +1
    MemoryThere were other "victims". The metaphor is clear. He's living in the past, watching old movies, and thinking how fast time goes by. The memory is anecdotal.
    tsongkhapaon May 18, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's not a metaphor. It's a song about a psychopath, and how "normal" and banal his consciousness is, and how that contrasts with the terrible damage that he does...I think part of the point is that he's not the monster that we want him to be...just a broken animal that breaks other to deal with its wounds.

    And, of course, how close to him we all are...ever had your heart broken? Made you mad?

    Remember, folks, this is Mark Kozelek. Light, yes, but also shadows...
    TedPikulon May 10, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a lovely song that gives you a good feeling, Sun Kil Moon has a great sound which is hard to come across and I hope Mark Kozelek continues to make music in SKM or Red House Painters for a long time.
    insulatedsoulon May 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo, this seems to be a narrative from a serial killer, a typical American maniac, with a life defined by pop culture and TV? Or is the "buried my first victim" part just a metaphor?
    octaveon October 07, 2004   Link

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