"Dear Sarah Shu" as written by and John Vanderslice....
Dear sarah shu,
I leave for you
All I knew about this job
On microcassette for further review

What it meant to me
How you'll make it dear, hopefully
It's dangerous here
Yes it's dangerous here

Peer round corners with dental mirrors,
Heed the threats, taking cautionary measures,
In the end, it is love
You'll have to learn to survive

Dear sarah shu,
I leave for you
All I knew about this job
On palmcorder for future review

Your office will flood every night,
It's water, don't try to fight it
Suspend all your files using
My system of hanging wires

Break apart what I connected
Show what I only suggested
'cause in the end it was love
I had to learn to survive

Picture me by the window sill
Wrapped in copper wire, my autumn sleeves,
With torn up directives
Spread round the floor like shoreham leaves

Picture me locking office door, now
Kneeling down on the floor,
Screaming: â??protection,
I can make it, I can make it!â??

Peer round corners with dental mirrors,
Heed the threats, taking cautionary measures,
But in the end, it is love
You'll have to learn to survive

So long, sarah shu,
Farewell to you,
Stay calm, stay sweet,
Regards from the other side of the teeth

Break apart what I connected
Show what I only suggested
'cause in the end it was love
We had to learn to survive


Lyrics submitted by balalín

"Dear Sarah Shu" as written by John Vanderslice

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Dear Sarah Shu song meanings
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  • 0
    General Comment...this song is probably one of the best on pixel revolt. "in the end it is love" ...oh yeah...such wonderful words and a voice and a feeling for musical esthetic that shooks me everytime i hear it. great song
    askachanon January 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment...this song is probably one of the best on pixel revolt. "in the end it is love" ...oh yeah...such wonderful words and a voice and a feeling for musical esthetic that shooks me everytime i hear it. great song
    askachanon January 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti really love everything about this song "picture me by the window sill / wrapped in copper wire" that gets me everytime. but what job is he talking about... cia? whats goin on here?
    janexsayson January 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell here goes w/ my interpretation. Take it or leave it. I feel the writer is clueing us in on a letter he wrote to a recent ex, and cleverly coded in that archaic poetry language.

    /dear sarah shu,
    I leave for you
    all I knew about this job
    on microcassette for further review/

    The job is/was their relationship. This song/letter is his expression on how he views the experience of their relationship - and mostly the end of it.

    /what it meant to me/ - He's expressing that it was indeed meaningful to him.
    /how you’ll make it dear, hopefully/ - He hopes she will eventually feel the same way. Hopes that in time she'll be able to remember it fondly.
    /it’s dangerous here/ - The ground he's about to cover is dangerous, she may take his upcoming meaning in a way less than favorable. Maybe just a general statement about the emotional situation they both find themselves in.
    /yes it’s dangerous here/ - A re-expression.

    /peer round corners with dental mirrors,/ - This is just pure speculation, but I imagine that he is painting an image of a "dentist's office" during the song. It's an interesting choice, because dentist's offices are generally unpleasant, but do confer benefit in the long run. Perhaps he feels that when she "reviews" their relationship, she'll see it as something generally unpleasant - but perhaps necessary in the grand scheme of things. He's just using that metaphor to display that he knows it may come to that - despite his desire for it to be otherwise. But I digress - The line, in form with the "dentist" metaphor, he seems to express some level of "careful stepping" on his part. Checking a blind corner with a mirror before he turns it. Or maybe that was the climate of their relationship - careful stepping. I can't be sure.
    /heed the threats, taking cautionary measures,/ - Could mean a few things. Could be that during the relationship, one was threatening the other, leading to a less than favorable romantic situation. Cautionary measures could be an putting up an emotional guard of sorts. Or maybe it’s a reference to the current letter, and warning her to brace for a potentially harmful message - or try to think about it in a favorable light, rather than an unfavorable light.
    /in the end, it is love/ - Love can be grand. But love can also wreak havoc. All of their current problems are merely a side effect of the sometimes unpleasant effects of "being in love" - or more to the point, the loss of love. She should be lenient with him because these situations can become particularly sour, it just comes with the territory.
    /you’ll have to learn to survive/ - It sucks. But its just part of the process. This makes me feel like "Sarah" was a little young, and the writer a little more experienced in the relationship department.

    /dear sarah shu,
    I leave for you
    all I knew about this job
    on palmcorder for future review/

    A re-expression of the first verse - but I find it of interest that he makes one of his lines, "I leave for you"…maybe its just coincidence/stanza writing, but I get the impression that he's also saying that he left the relationship because it was in her best interest.

    /your office will flood every night,
    it’s water, don’t try to fight it
    suspend all your files using
    my system of hanging wires/

    This verse is interesting to me, because I can see it in one of two ways. Her "office" (brain/head/situation) will flood with water, which will obviously ruin her "files". He's saying that she should hang the files from the ceiling with wires so that they don’t' get ruined. As I said I see two possibilities - 1.) He's speaking of their dynamic in the relationship. Life is hard, and her "brain" will become flooded with "water" (strife, depression, difficulty) and threaten the integrity of her "files" (Hope, dreams, memories). His very presence is a favorable situation for her because it gets all her files in a safe place… He's telling her that she won't be able to escape the strife the world has to offer, but through him/their relationship she can keep "dry"….but the interesting thing is that we all can see that this is an insufficient method for protecting your "files" - hanging them from the ceiling? That's only going to last but so long. OR 2.) Their relationship is over. He has a coping mechanism for surviving a break up, and although it's insufficient, she should adopt his method if she doesn't have a better one. I generally support the number one theory. See more down below.

    /break apart what I connected/ - He made things work for her, made her situation better. Connected certain parts of her that made her feel better - whole. His leaving will unattach them.
    /show what I only suggested/ - No idea. He threatened before to leave. Maybe he's carrying out his threat. Maybe he's saying that she should look to him for a coping mechanism, because he's "showing" it.
    /’cause in the end it was love/ - It was love. He did the best he could.
    /I had to learn to survive/ - Although she had issues/troubles, so did he. He would like her forgiveness, but he's ok with not having it - because he did the best he could.

    /picture me by the window sill
    wrapped in copper wire, my autumn sleeves,
    with torn up directives
    spread round the floor like shoreham leaves/

    Flat out awesome imagery. He's at the window sill - a classic place to make an escape. He is covered in the very wire that he told her to use to "hang her files". The files haven't even got a chance to get wet yet, because he's torn them to shreds. Not intentionally - he just wanted to get out of the relationship. And since she had put so much stock in him, naturally his leaving will destroy the method of protection he himself helped her build. OR he's in his OWN office, and he's torn up his own files. Not sure I like that interpretation, but its possible.

    /picture me locking office door, now
    kneeling down on the floor,
    screaming: “protection,
    I can make it, I can make it!”/

    He's leaving her, and thusly now does he "lock her door", barring re-entry any time soon (into her heart/head) without some clever trickery on the would-be enterer's part. He knows he's done some damage to her. He then collapses, and then calls upon himself to "defend" himself against the coming onslaught of failed hopes, disappointment, and a general asshole feeling. He will probably be successful. OR if in the above verse it was his OWN files he destroyed, this verse could be him locking his own office door - he's just not ready to entertain anyone in his "file room." - he's too upset.

    /peer round corners with dental mirrors,
    heed the threats, taking cautionary measures,
    but in the end, it is love
    you’ll have to learn to survive/

    A rehash of the earlier verse. Maybe its placement gives it new meaning. Maybe not. Maybe initially it was a warning about the content of the letter - and now it’s a warning against future situations she may find herself in. Heartbreaks are common. Don't be so quick to fall in love, because it can and will burn you.

    /so long, sarah shu,
    farewell to you,
    stay calm, stay sweet,
    regards from the other side of the teeth/

    Pretty self explanatory up to the last line. A very haunting good bye. I think the last line fits in with the "dentist" metaphor. Maybe he's sending her best wishes from someone who has made it to the "emotionally moved on" phase. Maybe he's saying that he has a broader view since he's been through the break up process, and knows that her "teeth" will look better after going through this uncomfortable situation, but its hard to see that from the inside of the mouth - or from the inside of the situation.

    /break apart what I connected
    show what I only suggested
    ’cause in the end it was love
    we had to learn to survive/

    It was love.
    h1ffon April 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf both of the "torn file" and the "locked office door" verses are about his own file room (he doesn't make that clear), then he's saying that he's full of shit. He suggested to her a coping mechanism, and then turned around and did a number on himself by completely destroying his own suggeseted defensive mechanism. Maybe he's letting her know that although he puts on a calm front, he is/was really distraught over the situation.

    I go back and forth between two interpretations - one in which he's expressing a certain "It sucks, I wrecked your shop, but you're gonna be ok." OR "I know it seemed like I handled this in stride, but in reality it really screwed me up...just in case you didn't know." Both are equally sad. Choose your poision.
    h1ffon April 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentso i was thinking that one part, "take apart what i connected/show what i only suggested" and how they might be talking about a dentist office. what if vanderslice was an orthodontist and she has to take over his patients and take off their gear and "show" them their new awesome teeth like john promised them. just more evidence that he is singing about a dentist office i figure.
    whiggleson September 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe imagery of an office that floods everynight and uses a filing system of hanging wires is great great great.
    floydeyeon February 28, 2008   Link

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