"Shadowland" as written by and William Toby Martin....
Released under watchful skies
Into a town I didn't recognize
I was a tourist with no story,
Lost in this purgatory
Escaped the smell of chalk and shame,
Pledged a classroom in my name
The PTA won't bless me
And the yearbook will assess me, yeah

I walked down these familiar streets,
Now filled with circus freaks
Your plans are as useful as baby's hand,
There's no planning in shadow, shadowland

Shadowland (multiple times)

I chase you round the chimney stacks,
The burnt earth pressed into our backs
It was so dark I just don't know what I kissed
And I couldn't even see what I missed
You walked me across freedom fields,
My shadow was a forcefield
I want to float upon my memories,
Not sink into the gloaming seas of shadowland

Shadowland (multiple times)

Weight loss, first frost, valium, sink fast
Life coach, guru, I turn and I find you

Lyrics submitted by !@#$%

"Shadowland" as written by William Toby Martin


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Shadowland song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentHonestly, I don't think the lyrics are that confusing.
    As long as you don't try and make them that way.
    Oh, and the simile about plans as useful as a baby's hand...a baby's hand isn't strong. It can't do much. He's saying his plans aren't as important as he thought they once were.
    At least, that's how I take it.
    allyesawkwardon January 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHrm...this is really a great song, but the lyrics are a bit of a conundrum. I'll take a stab at them...

    The whole first stanza (in the song, before the repetition of shadowland) describes, to me, the experience of graduating from high school, and heading out on your own. Only it seems the narrator didn't go to college - "I was a tourist with no story, lost in this purgatory...the PTA won't bless me" - It sounds like he stayed at home, and noticed all the changes that began to take place - "I walked down those familiar streets, now filled with circus freaks". Conversely, it could be that after the narrator graduated from high school he came back to visit his home town, and was shocked at all the changes that took place. The similie at the end ("My plans are as useful as a baby's hand") stumps me. It seems to be ironic, but it's just not that great of a similie, or at least not good enough to convey its intended meaning.

    The second stanza (in the song, after the first repetition of "shadowland") is a much more reminiscient and personal recollection of a relationship the narrator had with a girl during high school. There are a lot of things in here that seem to be symbolic of memories the narrator had. I don't want to analyze each line in depth, but overall the sense is one of desire to get back what you've lost.

    The final stanza (at the very end of the song) seems to be an overview of some random things, but look at all of the items except the last: most of them are fads in health, or at least related to health. Perhaps the narrator had health problems all his life, and found solace in the comfort of his high school friend.

    "Shadowland" symbolizes a dark place or time in the narrator's life ("I want to fload upon my memories, not sink into the gloaming [dark] seas of shadowland"). "Shadowland" seems chaotic, or at least, unplanned ("there's no plans in shadowland").

    Overall a wonderful song, just don't try to analyze the lyrics ;)
    cit1zen_3rasedon January 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is magical, i absolutely love it. the lyrics somehow work even though they're confusing.
    fireplaceon March 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree.
    magical song.
    pretty song.
    confusing lyrics.
    i won't even try to analyze them.
    it might be one of those songs when they wrote the lyrics not meant for the listener to understand. they could have just come out of nowhere, or be a mix of different pieces of their childhood.
    Ailujon April 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI heard this song a while back. I love this song. This is a great song by a great band.
    yyynnnuuubbbon December 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know this just sounds like a catch all song. Do you think this song has meaning for you and him?
    dfbakeron February 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor some reason, this song always reminded me of some sort of post-apocalyptic dream sequence. "Familiar streets, now blessed with circus freaks..." and dirty alleys and such. In any case, a fantastic song.
    infinite peton March 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationFeels like adulthood and coming of age to me.

    You hit the age of majority, out of school (no more damn chalk and embarrassing school mishaps to worry about) and without any direction. Trying to move on to greater things now but the plans you had from childhood and adolescence don't really seem to work. Familiar things seem confusing and different to you now than what they had been as a child.

    Your high school sweetheart seems to be the only thing you want to keep for the memories - even if you were so ignorant and foolish at the time, where you couldn't really see what was going to happen between you.

    Shadowland itself feels like the rumoured but otherwise unknown experiences that wait for you. From your freedom and irresponsibility, you never realised your ever present foreboding shadow. Now faced with the reality of what was once the future, you grasp for the memories of your childhood and your friends, not wanting to sink into this "shadowland".

    I whole-heartedly agree with Citizen Erased's interpretation of the last stanza, ties in nicely with my interpretation of the rest of the song, especially this part:
    "Perhaps the narrator had health problems all his life, and found solace in the comfort of his high school friend."

    "Comfort in his high school friend." :)

    just my interpretation. I might rewrite this to be a little more clear and coherent haha! :D,
    SpecialCookieson May 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just came on here to comment about the same thing that allyesawkward just commented on...about "your plans are as useful as a baby's hand"- that is a really great line. Babies hands are basically useless just as in a way making plans are, they don't always work out the way you want them to, Love the song!
    strangersatelliteon January 30, 2009   Link

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