you’re gone
the trees are so quiet
when your hand was in my pocket
how they swayed from side to side

now the meddling sky and my snowy eye
sees a different night
sees a different night

the night I fell into the lion’s jaws
to my regret and your delight

those teeth themselves could not divine
nor their pressure estimate
the haze I wished you’d never break
and to never contemplate

momentum for the sake of momentum
momentum for the sake of momentum
of momentum...


Lyrics submitted by delial

Lion's Jaws song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationThat the speaker is suffering the loss of a lover is fairly obvious from the opening verse, the lover implied by "when your hand was in my pocket", and how the trees appear to have lost their life. Nature plays an integral role in Case's lyrics, and here reflects how she sees the world -- everything is still and dead, in contrast to when they were together. "Now the meddling sky and my snowy eye / Sees a different light" continue this theme, showing how radically she feels her life has changed.

    What exactly she means by "the lion's jaws" is difficult to decipher with any certainty, but the line "to my regret and your delight" indicates that she must have given in to something, which may be sex, or love, or both. Much of the album seems to be about the cycle of hesitation to follow our desires, then confirmation of our concerns. "Lion's Jaw" might follow "That Teenage Feeling", wherein the speaker wishes she could love someone, but her heart has grown "green as weeds", hard from past experiences. Here, she finally allows herself to embrace those feelings, but she knows how delicate romance is -- "the haze I wish you'd never break / And to never contemplate", how love can be ineffable.

    The closing lines, in repetition, seem a sort of resignation: the pleasure she once felt is gone, and now she's living just to live.
    nostalgicBadgeron December 17, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningIts strange she uses divine, which has religious connotations, then in the next sentence uses the word estimate, which has more science/mathematics connotations. She seems to say that neither faith/revelation or reason are capable of understanding her situation.

    The lion's jaw could refer to some kind of persecution she experienced or thought she experienced.

    I thought the ending was a more existential look at life and nature/universe. Her broken heart has shattered her views of nature an now she once saw it. Now, disillusioned, she sees nature and her life as having only a circular purpose, "momentum for the sake of momentum".
    dominaron May 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is awesome. i think it means that she used to love someone, but then they left her and shes left with all this pain. she still loves the person and notices how the whole world has changed around her, and that nothing feels alive to her. and how she feels all this pain, and he doesnt even care.

    this song is so sad. but its so beautiful
    i love neko case. and i want all of her cds.
    i just wish more people knew about her
    because she deserves all the best
    rose.paradeon May 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI really like NostalgicBadger's interpretation of this song and want it to be true, and I bet it's not far off.

    I'm leaning somewhat towards it being a male friend that she really adored but that he also desired her as more than a friend and eventually seduced her. I heard her say in an interview that she really values close, platonic friendships, but that they are hard to find. Once the fog cleared her natural defences saw what had happened as a loss.

    I know that Neko is a huge nature geek so I bet the Lion's Jaws refers to the insect known as the Antlion (look it up) that has huge jaws (for a small insect) and digs a conical pit in sandy soil and then sits at the bottom and waits for other insects to fall in and then devours them. It also flicks sand up at the prey if they start to climb out and knocks them back down. She couldn't escape his expertly crafted trap once she fell in. She didn't even know she had been trapped.

    It's a sad, beautiful song that sums up an aspect of life in only a few lines.
    ginintonicon August 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow, what an amazing song by an amazing poet and artist. the stories and imagery that neko is able to expose in such detail and so concisely are truly mesmerizing. i always find myself repeating so many of her songs over and over because some(most) of them convey so much with so little! i mean this song is only 2 1/2 minutes...and has so much going on. i love the above interpretations, they've helped me come to my conclusion.

    what i loved at first about this song was the imagery of his 'hand in her pocked, and how they swayed from side to side', and at first i thought that it was her and him that were swaying side to side, being all smitten and in love. however, after examining the lyrics, it was the trees that were swaying from side to side! when he was still 'in her pocket' they were alive, and now that he's gone they've gone quiet. it also suggests that it's winter at the time she's writing this and revisiting this moment/relationship. hence the snowy eye.

    i also love that she repeats 'sees a different night' since she's talking about both the meddling sky as well as her snowy eye, that see a different night. and the night she sees differently is the night when she fell into the lion's jaws. the above interpretation by ginintonic is a really great explanation, and totally makes sense. i wouldn't say i know for a fact that neko's a nature geek, but nature does play a big role in her writing so i bet that hypothesis is not far off. and i would tie in nostalgicbadger's take on it, that it's something that she regrets. possibly a one night stand or something.
    jmujkanoon December 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe feel I get from this song is one of overall regret over an affair with someone, tinged with loneliness and regret over the affair being over.

    the night I fell into the lion’s jaws
    to my regret and your delight

    ---This is clearly about sex. She gives in to him despite herself.

    those teeth themselves could not divine
    nor their pressure estimate

    ---"Those teeth" being part of the metaphorical lion's jaws, they are the persuasive lover's desire. The desire and its intensity could not divine/estimate, or perhaps they even clouded the lion's ability to see...

    the haze I wished you’d never break
    and to never contemplate

    ---It seems "the haze" existed before the teeth exerted their pressure, so perhaps she knew all along that this friend of hers desired her, but she viewed their friendship through "the haze", trying to ignore his feelings for her and continue as friends.

    momentum for the sake of momentum

    ---I think this is a double entendre. "Momentum" is a physical word, and in one sense it is a euphemism for sex. In a less tangible sense, it's a rationalization for why she gave in - she could no longer ignore the lion's desire, so she told herself that the relationship moving forward was preferable to standing still in its increasingly intolerable state.
    snarahlaxon November 20, 2012   Link

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