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Yesterday we lost our lives,
tomorrow we were born
Fortunes smiled upon us,
sacrifice the Argus
All that he might help us see

Magna eyes that track for miles,
looking for disease
Puzzled by the mountains-
tricked by the sea
and the argus is practiced compassion
with an eye on you, as one is on me
will the god eye grant his forgiveness
and allow he that's lived,
a reason to see
Counting days and building walls,
bells ring so's to warn
All the signs that guide us,
chosen by the Argus
Tell me he has chosen you

Led by form we shed our soul
Trusting like a child
See the dark face that saved us
Drink from his empty eyes

and the argus is practiced compassion
with an eye on you, as one is on me
will the god eye grant his forgiveness
letting droplets of light erupt from the sea....

Lying in bed of garlic and orchid,
he closes an eye , which closes another
And in his sleep he dreams, of watching and looking and feather clouds dancing
He curls up his lid and sleeps...

Swirling with visions on man's confusion
All of the work, done just to appease him
The Argus he cries, though love has it's place in the sun
It's only man's fear that carries him on...



Lyrics submitted by Evil Android

The Argus song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThis song is about the myth, yes--but also, I think--about Agnosticism/Atheism. Or moreso the myth that is and always has been religion. Because people used to believe the myth of The Argus, before they were called "myths"--and now people are so bold to label religions of that time period "mythology", while at the same time believing in their chosen religion, whether it be Christianity, Judaism, Islam... whatever, and some day their religion is going to be looked back on just like The Argus is looked back on now--as a myth.

    Led by form we shed our soul
    Trusting like a child
    See the dark face that saved us
    Drink from his empty eyes

    I think this is about blindly following the idea of a God like a trusting child, the dark face that saved us is dark because we don't know anything about this savior ourselves, just brainwashed to believe. Drink from his empty eyes is a take on drinking the blood of Christ, but instead of drinking his blood, you're drinking from his empty eyes, empty because there is nothing there, no substance, he is not real.

    and the argus is practiced compassion
    with an eye on you, as one is on me

    I think this is talking about how people think their God is always watching them.

    will the god eye grant his forgiveness
    letting droplets of light erupt from the sea

    About how people beg their God to forgive them.

    Swirling with visions on man's confusion

    The Argus IS a combination of man's confusion and desperation to make meaning out of life.

    All of the work, done just to appease him

    About how everything people do is essentially supposed to be done to appease their God.

    The Argus he cries, though love has it's place in the sun
    It's only man's fear that carries him on...

    This last line really sums up the whole Agnostic and Atheist undertone of the song. It is stating that even though love does exist in the world, that doesn't mean God has to be real--and that the only reason people keep believing and loving The Argus (God) is because man's fear carries him on, because people are so scared that there might be a God and they might be punished if they don't believe and worship him, that they blindly follow their religion and pass it on down to the next generation because of this fear. The fear of God, the fear of truth.
    LoriMeyerson August 20, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti agree this is probaly one of their best songs...and his very very underated.
    Giant_Penguinon June 08, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't think it's about the Buddha. Why would he use the Argus as a symbol? Why not Jesus or some other actual reborn spiritual figure (unless the Argus myth does in fact include rebirth as a theme, which I don't know). Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. How would the mythology scholars interpret those first lines though? It does seem pretty clearly to be a reincarnation reference. Any aspect of re-birth to the Argus myth? Otherwise, I think the rest of the song is pretty straight-forwardly about the Argus itself, as explained by the previous comments. Awesome song to play on acoustic guitar, though it doesn't translate to a live audience so well- they don't seem to know what to make of it, but I keep playing it anyway because I know it's a great song regardless.
    firehorse66on September 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti cant believe nobody has posted on this song. aesome band and one of there best songs. sounds like zeppelin
    thestrokes1234on June 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song smells a lot of a transcendental being, a Holy Guardian Angel, a Soul, The Self opposed to the self, the personality, the Ego. But The Self is called man and The Ego is called The Argus. (n.b. the term 'god eye' becomes a wonderful pun here, i.e. god-I).

    So what does this song mean. It means that The Self's confusion, which is a natural by-product of It's growing processes, naturally gives rise to the Ego ("Tells me he has chosen you"). The Ego is the harmonizing [practiced (or applied) com-passion, i.e. feeling together] of all of The Self's experiences which heretofore was confusion.


    The second-to-last line of the song, seems to be indicating that it is The Argus who is crying, and not man crying out, "The Argus". The Ego cries, like most peoples egos do, because it is man's fear that carries The Self on and which is the sole and only reason for existence of The Ego.

    When the god-eye grants his forgiveness it is so man can see The Reason through the confusion. The "act" of the god-eye granting forgiveness is actually the sacrificing of The Argus.

    I agree, this is one of the best songs that ween wrote, and is very underated.

    This song is a very confusing, twisted, and metaphorical look at man's psychology.
    Reoulon December 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentArgus was a giant with hundred eyes (Magna eyes that track for miles ... with an eye on you, as one is on me) making him a good watchman (bells ring to warn us), because there were always eyes awake.
    He finally gets slain by being lulled to sleep (Lying in bed of garlic and orchid, he closes an eye , which closes another). His eyes are preserved by Hera in the peacock's tail (feather clouds dancing.)
    Most from here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…

    And man, that solo is so to the point, the build-up to it so perfect... Then the second guitar comes in and I can't take it anymore. One of my favourite songs.
    jaren80on October 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgnarly shit dudes
    enjoibaconon February 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdefinitely about the mythological creature called "The Argus" and the story relating... hours of research will only lead to that conclusion
    lcmtvbreath4on August 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinitely about the mythological Argus/Argos. He was a straightforward guard set by Hera to guard Io. He was doing his job, but he was sent to sleep and was killed by Hermes on order of Zeus to set Io free.

    I think Gene and Dean are saying that we should remember the Argus and his sacrifice since he was just doing his job like a good watchman and was slain for it.
    voretuson December 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaning"Yesterday we lost our lives,
    tomorrow we were born"

    This speaks to me as if (maybe) it's a reference to the partial re-incarnation of the Argus?

    "Fortunes smiled upon us,
    sacrifice the Argus
    All that he might help us see"
    Argos (Argus) in Greek mythology is known as a giant monster with 100 eyes. Before his death he was guarding a the nymph Io (Zeus's mistress), turned into a heifer by Zeus before his wife Hera arrived. She demanded the heifer as a gift. Zeus ordered hermes to steal the heifer back, and when the giant couldn't be lulled to sleep it was killed. As repayment, hera gave his 100 eyes to the peacock's fanned feathers.

    Maybe this is partly retelling a story, with the "Fortunes smiled upon us/ Sacrifice the Argus" referring to how as a society, we're more likely to be the unloyal Zeus killing the innocent Argus than the Argus himself or Hera.

    "Magna eyes that track for miles,
    looking for disease
    Puzzled by the mountains-
    tricked by the sea"

    Seems to me that Magna is a reference to Cybele, the Greek Goddess of fertility, whom they called 'Magna Mater', or 'Great Mother'. Why she's looking for disease is slightly beyond my understanding, however "Puzzled by the mountains- Tricked by the sea" seems to give the impression that she, mother of the god of the sea and Zeus who's temple is on the top of mount olympus doesn't understand her children's dishonesty.

    "And the argus is practiced compassion
    with an eye on you, as one is on me"

    Seems to me that Gene and Dean are saying the Argus was innocent, just doing his job and trying to help a woman that's been betrayed by her husband.

    "will the god eye grant his forgiveness
    and allow he that's lived,
    a reason to see"

    Will Zeus forgive the Argus for standing in his way, and allow him to continue seeing with his 100 eyes?

    "Counting days and building walls,
    bells ring so's to warn
    All the signs that guide us,
    chosen by the Argus
    Tell me he has chosen you"

    The Argus was a guard, giving us signs to stay away from the wrong things things like cheating with a married person. As for "Tell me he has chosen you", I believe they're saying "Tell me he's chosen you to be a good person too.".

    I agree with LoriMeyers (top comment) that

    "Led by form we shed our soul
    Trusting like a child
    See the dark face that saved us
    Drink from his empty eyes"

    highlights the futility of religion.

    "Lying in bed of garlic and orchid,
    he closes an eye , which closes another
    And in his sleep he dreams, of watching and looking and feather clouds dancing
    He curls up his lid and sleeps..."

    Garlic, in Greece, is used at funerals (and in general) to ward off the evil eye. It is my speculation that the orchid represents funeral flowers, meaning he was to be missed. As for him dreaming of feather clouds dancing, it is said his eyes were given to the peacock's tail feathers as homage to him after he died, as if he's spending the rest of his days viewing us all from the tail feathers of the peacock. For "He curls his lid and sleeps...", I believe that refers to his death.

    "Swirling with visions on man's confusion
    All of the work, done just to appease him
    The Argus he cries, though love has it's place in the sun
    It's only man's fear that carries him on..."

    "Swirling visions on man's confusion" might mean the Argus, not a god, was confused at why he was being killed by Hermes, who had just played a song for him. "All of the work, done just to appease him" could refer to how all of the work (killing Argos) was done just to appease Zeus.

    In the line, "The Argus he cries, though love has it's place in the sun", I believe Gene and Dean are saying even though the Argus cried as he was killed, Zeus (strongly associated with the sun) was still focused on Io, his "love".

    Lastly, "It's only man's fear that carries him on..." seems to me like even though the Argus was trying to help Hera, he's remembered as a terrible, 100 eyed monster.

    Perhaps the whole song is simply about Argus's innocence?

    Thanks to Icmtvbreath4's comment for pointing me in the direction of mythology.
    Harrysonon October 03, 2012   Link

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