"Back to Basom" as written by and Michael Melchiondo....
Reaching out now and I touch your face
Please believe I'm only traveling
Like seeking wonder from a foreign place
It matters not from where I'm coming

And the snow so light is bleeding
We sleep so tight when we're breathing
Calm a little pint of soul - creeping

Calm the light, let me fly, back to Basom (call is waiting, contemplate a thread already spun)
Calm the light, let me fly, back to Basom (should you carry what you are is cooked until it's done)

Left to locate the last trace of waste
I picked it up and it was smiling
Just like the dancer who has lost her leg
She laughs alone but then she's crying

And the snow so light is bleeding
We sleep so tight when we're breathing
Calm a little pint of soul - creeping

Calm the light, let me fly, back to Basom (call is waiting, contemplate a thread already spun)
Calm the light, let me fly, back to Basom (should you carry what you are is cooked until it's done)


Lyrics submitted by chloe016

"Back to Basom" as written by Aaron Freeman Michael Melchiondo

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Downtown Music Publishing

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Back to Basom song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentMy interpretation of this song is personal and philosophical, and most likely not what Gener had in mind writing it, but here goes:

    The Buddhist idea of enlightenment is about severing one's attachment to the material world of senses and objects. I hear this song as a response to that, celebrating the fact that it is precisely those attachments that bring meaning and pleasure to life. While the eventual goal is the end of suffering, along the way, suffering is inextricably linked to all our experiences.

    How is that in the song? Check it out:

    * We're talking about an idea that originated in South Asia - "Like seeking wonder from a foreign place".

    * ...but it's accessible to any sentient being - "It matters not from where I'm coming".

    * The destination, enlightenment, is in some sense inevitable - "A thread already spun".

    * However, the journey of being reborn over and over again - "Please believe I'm only traveling"

    * ...and learning lessons along the way, has to actually happen - "What you are is cooked until it's done".

    * Our goal is to find and eliminate our worldly attachments - "Left to locate the last trace of waste".

    * But, that attachment also brings meaning and pleasure - "Picked it up and it was smiling".

    * There's an acknowledgment that the pleasure is always coupled with pain - "Like a dancer who has lost her legs / She laughs alone but then she's crying".

    * The line "We sleep to tight when we're breathing" has a double-meaning. The reference to breathing addresses the practice of meditation and focusing on one's breath, as the dynamic interface between self and not-self. Also, breathing implies living in this world, which implies suffering, but nevertheless we love it in an innocent, child-like way: we "sleep so tight".

    * The chorus sounds like the vow of a Bodhisattva: To remain in this world - "let me fly back to Basom" - postponing enlightenment and freedom - "calm the light", don't yet pass into the light - in order to help all sentient beings reach the goal.

    * Basom itself, though it may be a town in New York, sounds like a earthy, worldly place, made of "base" elements. It's not a place of enlightenment, but rather the "base" from which we travel.

    Like I said, this is just my own interpretation, and what the song means to me. The brothers Ween are amazing musicians and writers, and their songs must speak to many people in a million different ways.

    Hail Boognish, yo.
    GTonyon August 18, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with feverfist that it's probably more a loosely impressionistic, rather than strictly symbolic sketch of childhood nostalgia. However the wonky patina of psychedelia is all over it (I mean come on, "Went to locate the last trace of waste, I picked it up and it was smiling?? Puuuleeease!!!): the weird sense of disembodiment, flight, general foreigness (like travelling to a strange place and not sure how you got there or from whence you came), the altered perception of light (calmed?), the synthenesia-like feel of the line "the snow's so light it's bleeding". So maybe, to tie some of these ideas together, they tripped out a lot in Basom when they were still relatively young and innocent, making it a nostalgic symbol for their early forays into chemicals and a metaphor itself for that magical trip to a strange, yet familiar, and wonderous, yet creepy place? Yeah, that sounds about right. Geener?
    firehorse66on September 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBasom is a town in far upstate New York, northeast of Buffalo. I looked it up. Now I don't know this for sure, maybe a bigger Ween nut than me can fill me in on this. Maybe one of the guys had a cabin up there or something. This song definately gives me images of a cabin in the winter, snuggled up with the one you love.
    skiguskion December 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSomehow this has to do with Ween's childhood together. Saw that in an interview on Ween TV (Winamp), but wasn't really paying much attention.
    molofanon April 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBack to basom is a reference to childhood in general, a thread already spun is an allusion to the greek goddess who tucks and pulls thread through sustenance and returns to a demanding view of something new to return to a happy blue mooon and forever not the lyrics are in tune its back full of nothing is something to lune over monkeys bring back falsehoods of trackters dont bleieve in what you see its time for everything to be not anybody else but me but something is something and thats for free
    firstfever11ston July 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is easily my favorite song.

    As for what its about, I'd say Nostalgia is the general theme. Its pretty prevalent in every part of the song if you read a little into it.
    KeepinItBrownon January 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionWow this was the first song I listened to from White Pepper and its still one of my favorites. Im not sure about all of the details behind the music, but still, amazing song. When Ween is serious, they can pull off AMAZING music.
    Fishlockon March 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLike with any other Ween, it's never serious. The lyrics exist to inform the type of song atmosphere they are going for. This one sounds like Pink Floyd at parts, but they blend it.

    Just look at the lyrics. Like a dancer who has lost her leg/she's alone but then she's crying. That's patently absurd and you can hear the smile on his face.
    back2basomon May 09, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationseeing as deaner loves fishing I always interpreted it as them fishing (fly fishing) a tribute to a good fishing spot or a memory of simpler days doing this. the "bleeding snow", "let me fly", "last trace of waste", loosely supports the theory. Never been fishing myself. Just a WEENer like everyone else.
    simulationoveron June 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI am going to suggest a few corrections here. In addition I suspect this song is about the conflict of being in ween while trying to maintain sobriety.

    The first verse is nostalgic, as Gener tries to reconnect to his former self for the brown inspiration that drives his career, but as a "traveler" he wishes to visit only, not relapse.

    In the chorus he invokes the browner Gener to "come alive, let me fly". As an aside he asks himself, remembering you are what you eat, "should you care if what you are is cooked until it's done?"

    In the second verse he finds himself scouring memories of trips from his pre-sober life. Searching for the untapped moment of browness, the last traces of waste. As he finds one it taunts him by smiling. Or perhaps he is tripping again as jhe searches for elusive inspiration.

    Like a dancer whose career depended on legs, his career depended on getting high. Here he finds he finds himself "laughing along" in the company of others, but later finds sadness in the loss.

    I am not sure if Basom is a symbol of sobriety, a safe place. Or perhaps it is a location of drug-assisted inspiration to which his mind returns. This is likely personal to Gener and either way makes sense to me.

    Lastly, I can't help thinking pint of soul is a play on "Pine Sol" -- a cleaning product whose scent might remind one of a cabin in remote New York woodlands.
    songmeaningstomon March 25, 2014   Link

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