He stumbled into faith and thought,
God this is all there is
The pictures in his mind arose
And began to breathe
And all the gods in all the worlds
Began colliding on a backdrop of blue

Blue lips
Blue veins

He took a step but then felt tired
He said, I'll rest a little while
But when he tried to walk again
He wasn't a child
And all the people hurried past
Real fast and no one ever smiled

Blue lips
Blue veins
Blue, the color of the planet from far, far away

He stumbled into faith and thought,
God this is all there is
The pictures in his mind arose
And began to breathe
And no one saw and no one heard
They just followed lead
The pictures in his mind awoke
And began to breed

They started off beneath the knowledge tree
Then they chopped it down to make white picket fences
They marched along the railroad tracks
And smiled real wide for the camera lenses
They made it past the enemy lines
Just to become enslaved in the assembly lines

Blue lips
Blue veins
Blue, the color of the planet from far, far away

Blue lips
Blue veins
Blue, the color of the planet from far, far away

Blue, the most human color
Blue, the most human color
Blue, the most human color

Blue lips
Blue veins
Blue, the color of our planet from far, far away



Lyrics submitted by 16996602, edited by rswalrath, beyx2, scribyuniverse

"Blue Lips" as written by Regina Spektor

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Blue Lips song meanings
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87 Comments

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  • +8
    General Comment:To me this song has a very clear meaning with lots of hidden religious references.

    The line:
    "They started out beneath the knowledge tree"
    is a religious reference to the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" which is symbolic to Christians and Jews. In Genesis chapters 2/3, we are told how The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (also known as the Tree of Knowledge) is in the centre of the garden of Eden.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…

    Look on that link for more information.

    I think the message in this song is that our creator has made a perfect world for us all to live in yet we are mindlessly destroying it:

    "They started out beneath the knowledge tree.
    Then they chopped it down to make white picket fences"

    I think this line means that people's consciences are being destroyed by the media/goverment/the world we live in. The cutting down of the tree is the destruction of our consciences. When Regina tells us that they made the tree into fences, it is symbolising how people are greedy, out to make money from anything they can.

    I believe the character in the song, the man who "stumbled into faith", is a highly religious character who is observing the collapse of soceity and goodness:

    "And all the people hurried fast,
    Real fast,
    And no one ever smiled"

    This line is saying how everyone is so caught up in their own lives they never take the time to look around and see what they are doing.

    "And, marching along the railroad tracks,
    They smile real wide for the camera lenses.
    They made it past the enemy lines
    Just to become enslaved in the assembly lines"

    These lyrics are saying how people are proud of such little achievements, everyone is becoming the same, nobody stands out, everyone does the same. There is so much I could write about this song! :)

    I would also agree with envirohodges, saying blue, the colour of our blood connects everyone.
    Lozelion April 07, 2007   Link
  • +5
    General Comment:I can't believe nobody can see that blue is the colour of sadness? "I'm feeling blue"? "The Blues?"

    Blue - the colour of our plant from far far away? - everybody's unhappy. Blue, the most human colour; the most human emotion. Captain Obvious.
    andymac24on May 21, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General Comment:i find that this song describes an awakening from a religious slumber. the character realizes something is wrong with religion and the idea can't be stomped out, and instead multiplies. "a picture in his mind awoke and began to breed."

    religion may have had sacred roots, but it's become something bloody and manufactured. "god is a million dollar industry, he made it for you and me, get down on your knees.- shelter by the dead trees." beliefs don't matter because in the end we are all human, we bleed, and we ultimately die (blue lips on corpses.)

    I love the songs where Regina challenges the religion and various other taboos, but regina is amazing no matter what.
    indierockesson December 14, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General Comment:This song reminds me of Carl Sagan and the Pale Blue Dot photograph of Earth. One tiny planet seems so big from here. I don't think this song is so much outright critical of humanity than it is a brief history of human existence.

    Sagan was an atheist...

    This is from his reflection on the Pale Blue Dot photograph.

    "Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
    The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

    Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves."
    sheela_lon March 22, 2009   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretation:The beauty of this song is that it can be interpreted as almost anything, and I could be way off, but I see this as sort of about the cultural evolution of humanity.

    You start off with different cultures developing across the planet, each one asking questions about existence, and developing creation myths:
    "The pictures in his mind arose,
    And began to breathe.
    And all the gods and all the worlds
    Began colliding on a
    Backdrop of
    Blue."

    The next verse could reference the seventh day of rest in the Old Testament creation story, or, from a human perspective, more of the Rip Van Winkle story - how gradual changes in the world can appear so fast if you remove yourself from them, and come back to find everything changed.

    "He took a step, but then felt tired.
    He said, "I'll rest a little while."
    But when he tried to walk again,
    He wasn't a child.
    And all the people hurried fast,
    Real fast,
    And no one ever smiled."

    Then there's the dual metaphor - the tree of knowledge is from the Garden of Eden, of course, but the picket fences line can also refer to the growth of societies, rather than nomadic tribes, and the very different approach to faith that entails. Now, we're closer to the present. Warring nation-states finally make peace and turn into modern nations, and we see the start of the Industrial Revolution.

    "They started out beneath the knowledge tree.
    Then they chopped it down to make white picket fences,
    And, marching along the railroad tracks,
    They smile real wide for the camera lenses.
    They made it past the enemy lines
    Just to become enslaved in the assembly lines."

    And throughout everything, from the beginning to the present, there's life (blue veins), death (blue lips), and the knowledge of the smallness and beauty of humanity in comparison to the universe as a whole (blue, the color of our planet from far far away). (The last one can refer to the space race, as well).

    Like I said, just one interpretation, but I was surprised to see how well it fit.
    Sophicon May 21, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Comment:I think its she talking 'bout the struggle between Man and the difficulty of having faith in something also it tell how you gave up something for a lost cause

    Questions? Comments? Concerns?

    Reply back
    ThatOneGuyWhoLikesWaffleson May 25, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Comment:A beautiful ambitious song: an attempt to sum up the entire human condition in a simple song.

    Mankind, the "He" of the first line, is born into a world that seems insufficient to his imagination: our "blue veins" carry blood back to our hearts for oxygen until such time as we die and our "lips" too turn blue. We respond to the realisation of the brevity of life and fast-approaching death with dismay; "God. this is all there is!"

    Burdened ("tired") by this realisation, man conjures up meanings for his life ("pictures in his mind awoke") and proceeds to believe in all sorts of Gods ("all the gods") and material ambitions ("all the worlds"). Each human taking smatterings of these awoken ideas and explanations to create their own belief system, which "collides" with the belief systems of other humans, on "a Backdrop" of our "Blue" planet.

    We all can recall the first fascinating picture taken of our blue planet by the camera we sent into space, all those years ago. This blue planet is the context for all the hopes and dreams and ideas with which we frame our lives.

    Regina does not say whether the ideas of gods "awoke(n)" in us are true or not. This is a tale of the lonely confused human condition we are all born into, not a commentary on which belief system is right. Regina simply describes the existential anguish we all feel as we try to figure life out.

    And the evolution ("breeding") of all people's varying beliefs and ways of living causes us all to become disconnected from each other ("all the people hurried fast, Real fast And no one ever smiled"), so that we lose the human connections which do make us feel happy.

    The "white picket fences" we construct around our lives, with our gathering "breeding" "evolving "knowledge" protect us from real existential danger ("the enemy lines"), providing necessary shelter, clothing, etc, but simultaneously, mankind is formed into lonely "assembly lines" of different people accepting different truths and roles in the world, no longer focused on the common truths of universal striving and death.

    Our blue lives on this blue planet can indeed be mournfully, sadly blue, even as we phonily "smile real wide for the camera lenses" we created in our delusions of progress.
    yhtrownuon June 22, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Comment:As a painter, this song has made me think about the meaning of the colour blue so much more deeply.
    The way Regina describes blue as "the most human colour" is so simple and perfect. Here's how (in my mind)"

    1. There is not a ton of blue in nature besides the sea and the sky. The sea and the sky are the two things that I think all humans would agree provoke the most wonder, pondering, cognition, etc... Humans are set apart from other creatures because we are able to look back and philosophize about our own existence. Not to mention, when people gaze at the sky or the ocean, the sight of something that vast and deep reminds us how small and insignificant we are in comparison to everything bigger than us. (BLUE = THINKING = HUMAN)

    2. In our everyday societies and cities, blue is often a very clinical colour. In a hospital, for example, blue is a very clean, cold, solid, almost metallic colour. Blue pens, blue ties, blue cars... blue seems like a very manufactured or technological colour. (BLUE = INDUSTRIAL = HUMAN)

    3. Blue is well known for being The Sad Colour. It seems like a very typical human thing... to associate a colour with an emotion. Blue is the colour of sadness, loneliness, emptiness... human depression? (BLUE = SAD = HUMAN)

    4. "Blue lips,
    Blue veins.
    Blue,
    The color of our planet from far, far away."

    This line pretty much says it all. Earth is, as far as we know right now, the only planet that has such complex life as humans: "The Blue Planet"... The blue veins that run through all of us humans. These lines show that you can look down, and see blue veins inside yourself, right there, so close that they're part of you... and then even if you zoom out so very far until you see Earth in outer space, you still see blue, symbolizing the existence of humans.
    HulyeMajomon June 23, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:My take on the song is that the protagonist is God himself.

    His only role is to be himself ("God, this is all there is?")

    He created the universe as a child, and then he rested as it is told in the creation story, but when he got back up again, he found that he could not move- suggesting lack of divine intervention in human life.

    People hurrying fast and never smiling suggests the modern life we see today.

    I feel that when she talks about 'blue lips' it suggests a lack of oxygen, as if something is in space as many believe God to be, as part of the universe.

    'Blue veins' suggests royalty, or highness, as with the term 'blue blood'.

    This song explains the distress the protagonist feels towards what he has created and what he wanted it to be like, and how the world and its inhabitants have disregarded him in his old age and destroyed what he created.

    I love this song :)
    Sakasamaon September 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I can't believe no one's commented on this song, it's so amazing! I absolutely love the chorus. I'm still trying to figure out what it means to me though.
    shobhna_guerinon January 12, 2007   Link

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