"The Model" as written by and Martin/murdoch/colburn/cooke/geddes/jackson/campbe....
I will confess to you
Because you made me think about the times
You turn the picture on to me and I'll turn over
The vision was a masterpiece of comic timing

But you wouldn't laugh at all
And I wonder what the boy was thinking
The picture was an old collage of something classical
The model with a tragic air

Because without a doubt he'd given up the fight
The ghost of somebody at his side
I will confess to you
Because I didn't think about the message

As I walked down the alleyway it was a Sunday
And all my friends deserted me because you painted me
As the fraud I really was
And if you think you see with just your eyes you're mad

'Cause Lisa learned a lot from putting on a blindfold
When she knew she had been bad
She met another blind kid at a fancy dress
It was the best sex she ever had

I'll send a dress to you
Because it's needing badly taken in
But I was so embarrassed when I missed your party
It was me that paid for it eventually

Because you know how much I wanted
To meet your friend the star of stage and local press
The dream of all the bowlie boys that hang around here
And I'm no different from the rest

I'm not too proud to say that I'm okay with
The girl next door who's famous for showing her breasts
You're not impressed by me
But it's a funny way for you to tell me

A whisper in a choir stall
The man was talking about you simultaneously
Frankly, I let my heavy eyelids flutter
Because I have been sleeping badly lately

I know you were historical from all the books I've read
But I thought you could be bluffing
And with this chance I've missed I feel remiss
It's days and months before I see you again


Lyrics submitted by girlboyrevolt

"The Model" as written by Isobel Campbell Christopher Geddes

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Model song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI love how the sixth line of each verse is sung by a second voice. I read the second voice as being the unspoken confession that the first voice really wants to say, but doesn't, or can't:

    A: The picture was a masterpiece of comic timing
    You wouldn't laugh at all
    B: And I wondered what the boy was thinking
    A: The picture was an old collage of something classical
    The model with a tragic air
    Because without a doubt he'd given up the fight
    The ghost of somebody at his side

    ---Here the analysis is interrupted by his true thought: I wondered what the boy was thinking?

    B: And if you think you see with just your eyes you're mad

    ---Again, an unspoken thought--perhaps too cliched to risk voicing.

    A: But I was so embarressed that I missed your party
    It was me that paid for it eventually
    Because you know how much I wanted
    B: To meet your friend the star of stage and local press

    ---The second voice reveals the real reason he wanted to go to the party.

    A: Frankly, I let my heavy eyelids flutter
    B: Because I have been sleeping badly lately

    ---Again, the first voice doesn't want to admit a weakness.

    In the end, the person being addressed isn't impressed by the narrator--maybe because he won't reveal his true self? The lines after hint at the presence of the second voice:

    "A whisper in a choir stall
    The man was talking about you simultaneously"
    adjamesonon August 24, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentstuart murdoch started playing in coffee shops under the name "lisa helps the blind" which is why lisa keeps reappearing in several song. this directly links back to the band's original name by putting lisa in a blindfold and meeting another blind kid.
    love this song far too much for words.
    buy2andsaveon September 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't express how much I am in love with this song. It still makes me think, and every so often little bits of it will make sense to me, but yeah, quite confused.
    I'm thinking it's maybe a little series of vignettes in which it's addressing issues with different people, each verse or so.

    And if you think you see with just your eyes you're mad
    'Cause Lisa learned a lot from putting on a blindfold
    When she knew she had been bad
    She met another blind kid at a fancy dress
    It was the best sex she ever had

    There's a reference to Lisa from Beautiful!
    retrobelleon September 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wonder if it's also the same Lisa from "She's Losing It" or "Like Dylan in the Movies"...
    bottledlifeon February 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is maybe the best modern song ever written about Christianity: more pure and amazed and confused, even angry, than anything "Christian" rock or those schmaltzy campfire sing-alongs could ever aspire to. more Tom Waits than Carrie Underwood.

    It is also one of the most honest songs of theirs, along with "State I Am In," which makes it my favorite: Providential inspiration coming when the "heavy eyelids flutter" while falling asleep in a church choir stall as the priest drones on -- brilliant!

    The YouTube live version is more fun, more alive and spirited than the studio version.
    dudleycunninghamon September 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm currently obsessed with this song, and I think it's the best example of why Fold Your Hands is an incredibly underrated album. Infact, alongside others like Womens Realm, Family Tree and Waiting for the Moon to Rise, it's got some of their finest work right before they started to really change their sound on Dear Catastrophe.
    davidgjoneson September 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNormally I hate it when people just write how much they love a song, rather than sharing a new interpretation. But in this case, I haven't worked my way through the meaning of this one properly. After not having heard the song for months or probably years, I woke up the other day with the melody strongly and clearly repeating itself in my mind and had to get up fast to figure out which song it was. Bizarre. Now I can't get it out of my head. The melody is so beautiful and complex! I'm with Dudleycunningham, it's becoming one of my favorites for sure, also along with "The State I'm In". Both are understated, complex both lyrically and melodically.
    jskiiron February 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI just took this to be the thoughts of a model, thinking about images and artists and people he knows.
    jcovarruon November 30, 2011   Link

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