"Tender Buttons" as written by and Patricia/cargill Keenan....
The coal
The coal light
The callous
The caress

The comb
The calm
The color
The cortex

The code
The codeine
The comma
The context

The collector
The green
The fine
The fall
The financier
The dream
The fen
The fine
The fin
The defend
The fawn
Then do

The coal
The coal light
The colors
The caress

The comb
The calm
The color
The caress
The cortex

The comb
The codeine
The comma
The context

The corpse
The likeness

Die cut
Die cut
Die cut
Die cut
Die cut
Die cut
Die


Lyrics submitted by Loveisbrief

"Tender Buttons" as written by Patricia Keenan James Cargill

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Tender Buttons song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentNo fucking idea what this song could possibly mean, but it's damn good.
    The_Variableon May 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTHis song is written through automatic writing, similar with a lot of the songs on "Tender Buttons". I'm not sure if it's supposed to even mean anything. But yeah... it's damn good.
    velvetmorningon December 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti couldn't begin to really explain where i get this impression since there are so many words in here that i would have a hard time explaining. i'd say the most accessible pathway for my understanding of it is when trish says "defend the fawn, then do" and at the end "die, cut" it seems like a cathartic wish to lash out about something like a sexual abuse (though not necessarily autobiographical) - i get that from the callus caress context codine, etc...but how will we ever know?
    mattius6on December 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI assumed that this song, like the album as a whole, alludes to the 1914 experimental work "Tender Buttons: Objects, Food, Rooms." Stein's well known for what she termed "antiliterature," in which she attempted to heighten the reader's awareness of language itself by "writing badly." Most of the time it seems she does this with inane repetition and silly sing-songs, but in "Tender Buttons" she organized words into senseless clusters for the sonic effect (and, I guess, to play with and subvert their dictionary definitions by creating new associations). I've always felt as though Broadcast was playing with this idea in terms of their experimental sound collages and, in this song especially, with Stein's textual experimentation.
    unamathembaon February 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere's an amazing video for this song, if anyone's interested.

    youtube.com/…
    SweetBlondieon April 26, 2009   Link

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