"Cruel" as written by and Joey Burns John Burns....
Cruel, cruel grounds
Leak truths never found
Torturous ways
Whisper from the grave
A slow spun song of distortion

bitter, bitter mouth
Spitin' out seeds of doubt
Rituals seek root
Razed before they're told
Stories break like branches in the cold

seasons trial finds man's mistakes fair game

careless hand
Lay and law of the land
Falls by the side
Silenced sentient cries
All within the lines of divine right

better bury the tracks in an unclosed case
Weeds of discontent choke a broken ghost landscape

cruel, heartless reign
Chasing short term gains
Right down to the warning signs

birds refuse to fly
No longer trust the sky
Drifting out beyond the signals

even the horizon is gone
Weather flees underground
Future's left to wallow in fortune's waste


Lyrics submitted by kazk

"Cruel" as written by Joseph Burns John Burns

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Cruel song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentFIRSTPOST! LOLLERCOASTER!

    This is an amazing song. Apparently about the cruelty of lying... hang on, I'm interpreting as I type this... okay, okay... it's-... Yeah, someone lied... um... there appears to be a verse about the death sentence... is this- No, no no no, I don't want this to be a song about Bush. I'm sick of songs about Bush. Oh wait maybe not... Wait... Dammit.

    This could very well be a song about Bush lying and causing deaths for what he believes to be, and what he tells us is, the right thing (or the "divine right").
    Hraesvelgon July 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment...although... this could also be a choc-full-of-metaphors allusion to someone lying and causing the death of a relationship, and perhaps even making him afraid of future relationships or intimacy, because of how badly he was hurt. Perhaps now he feels hopeless and helpless because of the cruelty of a past partner.
    Hraesvelgon July 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"cruel, heartless reign
    chasing short term gains
    right down to the warning signs"

    I believe there are strong allusions to the Bush era. But there's also this (paradoxically) both more personal and more general dimension. It refers to internal split in a person, basically any of us, who finds him/herself torn between ideals and reality. Self-deceit and self-conceit take place. As a result, a person or a nation might find itself sceptical and weary towards it's own lifestyle.

    "weather flees underground"

    It's quite difficult not to read this as a reference to Weather Undergound. Weather fleas underground?
    mattion December 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh oh I've got it!

    This song is totally about settler-colonialism. Let's break it down.

    "cruel, cruel grounds
    leak truths never found"

    This phrase could reference the toxification of the soil as a result of environmental exploitation, both insidious and destructive.

    "torturous ways
    whisper from the grave
    a slow-spun song of distortion"

    More here about the poisonous nature of environmental contamination, which is often brought to light too late.

    "bitter, bitter mouth
    spitting out seeds of doubt"

    This is about politicians and corporate elites purposefully misleading folks, as with Shell in Louisiana's Cancer Alley or Dow Chemical in Bhopal.

    "rituals seek root
    razed before they're told
    stories break like branches in the cold"

    This describes the ways in which community culture itself is threatened through corporate interference and ecological poisoning. Traditions and community ties are often destroyed as a way to indoctrinate communities into mainstream consumer-capitalism.

    "seasons trial finds man's mistakes fair game"

    This is about how a lot of the fundamental flaws of society become evidenced through the trials of the seasons, ie how an institutionally racist system was brought to light through the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. (Okay, so I think this song is also about Bush... but Bush and settler-colonialism, are, like, one and the same).

    "careless hand
    lay and law of the land
    falls by the side"

    More about human obliviousness to the constraints and particularities of an ecology. The lay and law of the land is disregarded in settler-colonialism's constant search for new resources.

    "silenced sentient cries
    all within the laws of divine right"

    This stanza refers to the fact that, together with environmental exploitation, settler-colonialism silenced and continues to silence the voices of Native Americans, whose mere presence calls into question the legitimacy of the nation-state we live in. This process is done under the guise of Manifest Destiny, which presumed that humans had "divine right".

    "better bury the tracks in an unclosed case"

    The forces of settler-colonialism attempt to cover their tracks, however do not take the time to "close the case", which produces an effect of haunting, where people in modern society continue to be subconsciously cognizant of the people and landscapes ravaged through the process of colonization.... in other words,

    "weeds of discontent choke a broken ghost landscape"

    "cruel, heartless reign
    chasing short term gains
    right down to the warning signs"

    This portion indicates the way in which the hierarchical, authoritarian governance that we are under prefers to chase short-term profit (as we whiz past the warning signs that we are running out of oil)as opposed to finding sustainable lifestyles.

    "birds refuse to fly
    no longer trust the sky
    drifting out beyond the signals"

    This references the effects of residual military radiation on birds, which when radiated lose the ability to fly and instead wander around shivering.

    "even the horizon is gone"

    A reference to air pollution.

    "weather flees underground"

    Okay, I admit, I have no idea what this line means.

    "future left to wallow in fortune's waste"

    This last part refers to the "alchemy of settler-colonialism" which turns lands which are rich in living natural resources (forests, rivers, valleys, wetlands) into products which are used and eventually discarded into landfills. In this sense, as we participate in the capitalist consumer market, we leave future generations to wallow in the waste of our fortune.

    Anyway, that's just one interpretation.
    tipuon March 10, 2011   Link

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