"Burning Beard" as written by and Neil Fallon Dan Maines....
Every day I wake up we drink a lot of coffee and watch the CNN
Every day I wake up to a bowl of clover honey and let the locusts fly in.
Lobsterbacks attack the town again
Wrap all my things in aluminum
Beams of darkness streak across the sky
Pink rays from the ancient satellite

Every time I look out my window same three dogs looking back at me.
Every time I open my windows cranes fly in to terrorize me.
The power of the Holy Ghost
The power of the Holy Ghost

Shadow of the New Praetorian
Tipping cows in fields Elysian
Saturnalia for all you have
The seven habits of the highly infected calve

Swan diving off the tongues of crippled giants
International Business Machine
Choking on bits of barley bread crumbs
Oh this burning beard I have come undone.
It's just as I've feared. I have, I have come undone.

Bugger dumb the last of academe.
Okkam's razor makes the cutting clean.
Shaven like a banker, lilac vegetal.
Break the glass ceiling and golden parachute on down.
The power of the Holy Ghost comes to town.

Shadow of the New Praetorian
Tipping cows in fields Elysian
Saturnalia for all you have
The seven habits of the highly infected calve.

Lyrics submitted by almostmanda

"Burning Beard" as written by Jean-paul Gaster Dan Maines


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Burning Beard song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentListen, get this: Clutch is typically not trying to get a certain message across, but instead they're kind of painting a picture with really broad strokes. The allusions and metaphors carry the weight of the lyrics, typically alluding to sci-fi, classical and/or biblical mythology and (to a lesser extent) popular culture. This song is a perfect archetype of the lyrical stylings of Neil Fallon. The opening lines give the impression of someone who is keeping up with current (watching CNN) events in the morning, possibly before going to work. We then get this weird line about locusts flying in the window (possibly an allusion to a plague?), followed by an invasion of British troops and the paranoia of the "protagonist" wrapping everything in aluminum (have the British launched spy satellites?); this is then followed by a confirmation that the protagonist is protecting himself from the "pink rays from the ancient satellites" (the lyrics above are wrong)-- I'm not really sure why the satellites are "ancient" but it could tie in with the biblical-esque reference to the locusts. The allusion to cranes is also peculiar, but they are typically associated with peace and long life, so it might just be an introduction to a symbol that contradicts the general mood of the protagonist; the three dogs in this stanza could also be an allusion to cerberus, the three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades (but I might just be reading way too much in to this).
    There are next allusions to Saturnalia and the Praetorian Guard (where I got my kick-ass screen name from); these are pretty much self-explanatory if you run a wiki or google search on them (particularly the idea of the festival of Saturn, where slaves are treated like they are the masters and the masters try to please their slaves with gifts and food and stuff; these allusions immediately follow the "reversal" allusion where cranes are seen as a source of discomfort for the protagonist).
    I've written way too much about a song that only lasts like four minutes, so I'm just going to list the allusions and what they refer to and y'all can figure out the rest.
    Seven Habits of the Highly Infected Calf--A double allusion to "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" (a book, by an author that I really can't remember: one of those things a sales manager would read) and also an allusion to the golden calf.
    "Swan diving off the tongues of crippled giants"-- possibly an allusion to the idea of businessmen jumping from skyscrapers when their businesses go kerplunk (particularly since the next line references IBM).
    Golden Parachute-- what would keep a businessman from commiting suicide if their business did go kerplunk (a guaranteed severance package).
    Okay, that's like a freakin' college essay on a song that I was planning to write like two sentences on-- the power of that which is Clutch.

    And by the way, schoolbag88; Slayer does, in fact, rule, but anyone who disses Clutch is either eight years old or just doesn't really like heavy rock, so which class do you fit in?
    PraetorianGuardsmanon April 04, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentim not trying to state the obvious, but he is interpreting american society, and honestly i think by making the song seem as if he is preaching he is mocking how america's ignorance is fueled by religion no offense to any religious folk.
    surfo311on September 08, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentClutch is the ultimate disUtopian portrait painter. this song is proof, I agree with PraetorianGuardsman on most of the interpretation. though i have a feeling it goes through a everyday news broadcast of CNN with the closed captioning set to "cryptic".

    "drink a lot of coffee and watch the CNN" too much caffeine and watching tv, bad habits
    "To a bowl of clover honey and let the locusts fly in" afraid of plague or famine
    "Lobster backs attack the town again" invasion or war
    "Wrap all my things in aluminum" the spy satellite thing is interesting, though it could be a UFO enthusiats reference
    "Beams of darkness streak across the sky" shadows of planes or helicopters searching for you or fugitives
    "Pink rays from the ancient satellite" the moon is the only ancient satllite and in a red moon phase sometimes it paints the earth in pink(maybe)

    "The same three dogs lookin' back at me" Americans fear of death (without glory anyway)
    "Cranes fly in to terrorize me" guilt of what we might have done. Ibycus and the cranes
    "The power of the holy ghost (Woof, woof, woof)" religions hold of everyone's leash (or lack there of)
    "Shadow of the new praetorian" roman guards of the emperor? or perhaps the secret service and being monitored or followed
    "Tipping cows in fields Elysian" knocking on people in heaven or the idea you have to virtuous or heroic to get to heaven
    "Saturnalia for all you have" roman holiday to the god Saturn near the celebration time of Christmastide (coincidence?)
    "The seven habits of the highly infected calf" as PraetorianGuardsman says -A double allusion to "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" and the golden calf, a false idol in the Hebrew story of Moses
    "Swan diving off the tongues of crippled giants" reference to business men in the depression era jumping out of windows of skyscrapers (Hudsucker Proxy)
    "International Business Machine" IBM oh how we love computers, really i do love computers no joke
    "Choking on bits of Barley bread crumbs" being short changed or cheated
    "Down the last of academe" drink up to lose the knowledge of what you learned in school or college
    "Occam's razor makes the cutting clean" allusion to use the simplest explanation often the right one
    "Shaven like a banker" reference to the previous lyric, you fear without the proper credit you won't get far.
    "lilac vegetal" dress to impress how are you going to get anywhere if you don't fit in
    "Break the glass ceiling and it golden parachute on down" succeed before you fail or retire or you won't come away with anything.

    my interpretation is askew i know, but it does bring to light all the fears of everyday people and what stigmas we hold to in America on the business agenda.
    jchvoidon October 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPosted this in response to PraetorianGuardsman's excellent interpretation, but I think I'll put it where more people might see it:

    The "pink rays from the ancient satellites" is a reference to the Philip K. Dick quasi-autobiographical novel VALIS (short for Vast Active Living Intelligence System). The protagonist "Horselover Fat" (translation of Philip Dick from Greek and German respectively) has an episode where he imagines himself struck by a pink laser beam, which imparts information to him which he couldn't possibly know, such as that it has been fired from a ancient satellite constructed by aliens from the star Albemuth.

    It is strange to mention, but scientists have recently been able to perform some rudimentary mind control on mice by exciting areas of their brain with lasers. The report didn't mention if they were pink though.
    stogieon December 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSounds like the war in Iraq interpreted as a Christian crusade. "The power of the holy ghost comes to town."

    Lobsterback was what the American colonists called British soldiers because they wore bright red coats.
    Wurby Tictocon August 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentexactly
    insane metal fanon December 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalso I accidendently set my beard on fire once, That was experiance worth writing about as well, also I just set my socks ablaze... send help
    insane metal fanon January 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentInstead of "lie that fancy tale" I'm pretty sure it's "lilac vegetal".
    dfbuzzbeateron November 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song with great time signature changes - Very very Gospel like!
    bkat004on February 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like this song and video...it sound like your normally irrational fire and brimstone sermon only without the Christian imagery. I find it to be a bunch of non-sequitors with deep meaning hidden behind each one. The way Neil Fallon writes sort of makes him the "Michael Stipe" of heavy metal, but what do I know. Led Zep used deep images in their writings too, as did Metallica among others.
    OpinionHeadon June 21, 2007   Link

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