"So Called Friend" as written by and John/spiteri Mc Elhone....
Lip read, a mountain stream, fibers in a car
Shut down a cheerless town, a head rolls in the park

Once seen my libertine undresses in the dark
She puts her love inside to break us both apart

With you I felt brand new, you opened up the sky
What need to punish me with surgery and lies?

Sleep well my so called friend, a virus in your heart
She bends my so called friend and rips my life apart

In sound escape is found from carving out the day
My gift a weight that lifts, my eyes give me away

You tell me all the things you know I want to hear
You stain the sub-terrain with sarin gas and fear

Sleep well my so called friend, a virus in your heart
She bends my so called friend and rips my life apart

What kind of friend are you?
What kind of friend are you?
You're so cold.
What kind of friend are you?
What kind of friend are you?
So called friend.

I miss the holy bliss of sun across the bed
How sad that all my plans seem foolish now instead

With you I felt brand new, you opened up the sky
What need to punish me with surgery and lies?

Sleep well my so called friend, a virus in your heart
She bends my so called friend and rips my life apart

What kind of friend are you?
What kind of friend are you?
You're so cold.
What kind of friend are you?
What kind of friend are you?
So called friend.

What kind of friend are you?
What kind of friend are you?
You're so cold.
What kind of friend are you?
What kind of friend are you?
So called friend.


Sleep well my so called friend, a virus in your heart
She bends my so called friend and rips my life apart
Sleep well my so called friend, a virus in your heart
She bends my so called friend and rips my life apart...


Lyrics submitted by christsizeshoes

So Called Friend song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThis song seems to be about a girl (possibly after a break up) coming in between two friends. It truly can suck when that happens and I think Porupine Tree does a great job making a song about it...
    Linebacker37on April 12, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is a song about a girl who comes in between two very close friends. the girl used to be one of the guy's girlfriend but now, possibly for revenge, she's having a relationship with the other one, who betrays his long-time friend to be with the girl. let's go through some lines...


    "Lip read, a mountain stream, fibers in a car
    Shut down a cheerless town, a head rolls in the park"

    Ok the first one is actually a line I'm having some trouble understanding... it sounds pretty evocative... in my opinion it should somehow describe the general situation and make some references to the other songs in the deadwing album (think about the car of arriving somewhere)... the second line to me is pretty clear... it seems to imply that the guy, tired by the boring and meaningless life of a "cheerless" town (maybe because he is thinking about the failed relationship with the girl herself, remember lyrics from "lazarus"), goes out for a walk in the park.


    "Once seen my libertine undresses in the dark
    She puts her love inside to break us both apart"

    pretty easy, the guy strolling around in the park sees the girl (my libertine, Steven Wilson is being pretty sarcastic here, love it) and his friend in the dark as she undresses and makes love to him. I love how poetic SW always manages to sound, whatever he is saying. It is wonderful that he is never banal. "She puts her love inside to break us both apart"...that's pure poetry, guys :D And I always like to consider that SW always chooses words with the intent of portraying or summon a particular scene. Notice that the use of "once seen" seems to imply she WANTS TO BE SEEN by his boyfriend as she betrays him with the friend. That's why I think the girl is carrying out some kind of vengeance. And (love this) consider that the expression "she puts her love inside" somehow seems to refer to sex...or at least it is some kind of strong expression that strongly evokes it.


    "With you I felt brand new, you opened up the sky
    What need to punish me with surgery and lies?"

    I don't get whether in this line he's talking about the girlfriend or his friend. Anyway, no need for explanations, the guy simply thought that the girl/friend was some kind of savior who had really meant something for him, who had dragged him out of a difficult situation (you opened up the sky). Now he realizes he's been fooled and lied to.


    "Sleep well my so called friend, a virus in your heart
    She bends my so called friend and rips my life apart"

    the first of these two lines happens to be pretty sarcastic ("sleep well my so-called friend"), with the guy wishing for his friend to have a good sleep even if the friend himself knows he is a traitor with a corrupted heart ("a virus in your heart"). the second line repeats the concept that the girl is bending and twisting the so-called friend to do as she wills. up till now the girl seems to be the most evil one. :D


    "In sound escape is found from carving out the day
    My gift a weight that lifts, my eyes give me away"

    This is the one stanza which was pretty troublesome... tons of hypothesis about it, I'm gonna write the one which happens to be the most fitting one imo... maybe this stanza is about the life of the guy after he's discovered the betrayal, you can see it that way. It might be that the guys escapes the suffering he's experiencing through music ("in sound... etc etc"), and at least now he is pleased he knows about the betrayal for sure, a betrayal he might have been suspecting for a long time. His only gift in the whole story is "a weight that lifts". At least now he knows it, he's not fooled anymore. Still he's pretty shocked and by the thing and cannot manage to see the positive part of it, or get over it ("my eyes give me away").


    "You tell me all the things you know I want to hear
    You stain the sub terrain with sarin gas and fear"

    Still referred to the friend imo... maybe the friend has asked for forgiveness but not is a sincere way, he's just doing it to please the guy and not to apologize truly (first line)... imo the second line is just a kind of poetical and stevenwilson-ish (XD) way of saying that the friend is a true bastard... so bastard that he simbolically poisons the ground he walks on.


    "What kind of friend are you?
    What kind of friend are you?
    You're so cold
    What kind of friend are you?
    What kind of friend are you?
    So Called Friend"

    this is self explanatory...


    "I miss the holy bliss of sun across the bed
    How sad that all my plans seem foolish now instead"

    this line seems to imply that now the betrayed guy missed his life with the girl as it was and the plans for the future he made with her... In particular I think "the bed" mentioned happens to be the bed in which they slept together as a couple... the first line really reminds me when you happen to sleep with a girl and then the next morning you are woken by the sun shining on the bed an your face trough the gaps in between the curtains...those moments are like true peace and happiness to be alive... that's what the guy's missing now he has lost girl and friend... or at least something I would be missing in that situation.

    That's it guys, my interpretation... comment if you want... hope you'll find it good enough...
    sirxanderon September 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPerhaps the "plans" mentioned in this are the ones mentioned in Arriving Somewhere But Not Here.
    "you stain the sub-terrain with sarin gas and fear" is an interesting line- WW2 reference possibly?
    mammadaddioon March 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTbh, there's only so much you can interpret from all of the songs connected to the Deadwing storyline, and I'm pretty sure this is one of them. Awesome anyhow.
    jeemson June 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is directly related to the two characters from Open Car and also The Start of Something Beautiful. The rest is fairly self-explanatory when you know all three songs.
    SquishypuffDaveon October 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA shitty friend, pure and simple.

    Riff is taken from "Flood" by Tool.
    Anilandon June 28, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationAs an outtake from Deadwing the song is not necessarily about characters from songs that made the album neither is the song necessarily about three parties- the song perhaps relates the duality of a lover and a friend in one person, the ultimate scorn in betrayal as a friend.
    CatofNoahon September 06, 2016   Link

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