the beams we used to build our house are breaking at last.
the building will not hold together very much longer.
my arms are young, and they can do the work if called upon to do so.
but the house itself has weakened and it's tilting on its axis.

in the picture that you sent, i could see the windows getting soft.
and i could see the heat had gotten straight out of hand.
and i knew that none of this is what you'd been meaning to send along.
i did not mean to say what i'm saying now if we're gonna talk about what intentions were.
but the house itself is weak, very weak,
though you and our three daughters believe in what you want to believe.
from where i stand stability is everything.
in the room i'm standing in stability is everything.
and in this world, in this world stability is everything.
from where i'm standing right now stability is everything.


Lyrics submitted by shewouldnt

Letter from a Motel song meanings
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    General CommentGives me chills every time I hear it.

    Seems like part of the alpha series of songs, what with the metaphors of a decaying house and the couple who are clearly at odds. When I heard the first line I immediately came here for the lyrics because I was sure it was another alpha song and wanted some confirmation, but nobody's written about it which is a shame. I read elsewhere that it was originally titled "Letter from the Alpha Motel" but I've also seen people call it "Letter from the Alpha Privative Motel"--I don't know which, if either, of these is correct but it certainly seems tied to the alpha series.

    I think it's the alpha male recognizing that the marriage is a total failure ("the beams we used to build our house are breaking at last/the building will not hold together very much longer") and there's nothing he can do to actually fix it--only prevent it from falling apart for a little longer ("my arms are young, and they can do the work if called upon to do so, but the house itself has weakened and it's tilting on its axis")

    The alpha female sends him a picture to entice him to return, but it has the opposite effect ("in the picture that you sent I could see the windows getting soft. . . .i knew that none of this is what you'd been meaning to send along") and reminds him of how they have no chance to reconcile things. This realization prompts him to finally admit that he was wrong or deluding himself about their marriage but realizes she may not come to the same conclusion ("the house itself is weak, very weak/though you and our three daughters believe in what you want to believe").

    The first time he says "from where I stand, stability is everything" seems to relate to the previous statement about their relationship: the fact that their relationship was so unstable is what made it fall apart. But then the statement seems to take a less metaphorical, darker turn when he specifically relates it to the room he's standing in. In my opinion these sound like the words of a man standing on a chair who is about to hang himself--stability is now *literally* everything that is keeping him alive.

    There is no resolution to this tension in the song itself, but I think the fact that it's called "a letter from a motel" indicates that he does hang himself, and it also explains why he'd be willing to finally admit his errors after avoiding them for so long--he knows that he won't have to deal with yet another confrontation because he'll be dead by the time she reads it.
    SubstanceMeon March 08, 2012   Link

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