"Song Of Imaginary Beings" as written by Suzanne Powell, Liam Coverdale-howe, Chris Corner and Ian Pickering....
Her mother said that she couldn't love
The physical way a woman should
Then where else could she go?
Where the sisters and the fathers can't save her soul

Send them in, see them on
She can't find a lover, she'll fashion one
Imaginary men
Like the burned out poets in the hinterland

The phoenix says,
The devil says,
The serpent says,
The siren says,
Why use the word, when the word means the beast?
Why use the word, when the word means the beast?

The hourglass sees what shelf life does
She asked, exactly tell me
"What is love but grieving life alone?"
Just the words from prophets and religious shows

Imagine hurt, imagine tears
She opened up until she disappeared
Vanished, hand in hand,
With all the long-lost children locked in Neverland

The phoenix says,
The devil says,
The serpent says,
The siren says,
Why use the word, when the word means the beast?
Why use the word, when the word means the beast?

The phoenix says
The devil says
The serpent says
The siren says

Oh, the phoenix says
Burn for me
The Devil says
Lie for me
The serpent says
Beg for me
The siren says
Die for me

Oh, the phoenix says
Burn for me
The Devil says
Lie for me
The serpent says
Beg for me
The siren says
Die for me


Lyrics submitted by pinkillusion

"Song of Imaginary Beings" as written by Liam Coverdale-howe Suzanne Powell

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Song Of Imaginary Beings song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationI think this girl may be intersexed (born with ambiguous genitalia; raised as a girl from birth). Her mother makes her feel inadequate and is in a self-defeating, despondent state. She is ashamed about her body and turns to religion and/or celibacy to escape earthly desire and/or societal expectation in how a woman should function. She has failed to find a lover who would accept her as she is. Besides, she isn't getting any younger (see references to 'hourglass' and 'shelf life') and any hope of conceiving children (if she had any potential at all) is fading fast. She has to face the fact that love continues to elude her and may have to spend the rest of her life alone, "in grief" of love that was never found (as opposed to a loss). In her lifetime "love" has given her only grief so she retreats into herself... maybe she becomes mentally absent or ill as a result.

    Perhaps she perpetually lives in a fantasy world. Why all the mythological figures? The phoenix represents rebirth, renewal... The devil and serpent reminds me of Adam's wife [Lillith and/or Eve]? And the legendary siren song that seduces men to their deaths? Fantasies that sort of fulfill what the woman longs for to some extent.
    pragmaticon January 02, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's about being suppressed by religion. There are a lot of references to religion in the song "sisters and the fathers can't save her soul" "prophets and religious shows" and "why use the word when the word means belief." I think the "sisters and fathers can't save her soul" line is slight sarcasm - you know how when someone thinks they're helping you by putting their belief system on you?

    I think maybe the whole song is about the sexual side of love being denied to a person because of religious values.
    Liquid-Spear-Waltzon April 13, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think liquid is onto something. my first impression right away was that this song was about a Nun.... a girl that was maybe forced into sisterhood by her mother? so she is told that sex is wrong but she still has these desires that she has to, er, satisfy herself. but maybe i was thinking about it in too narrow of a sense.. maybe she isn't necessarily a nun but rather just a girl struggling between some imposed conventions as to what is right/wrong and what her primal needs are. more than just wanting sex, she is also deprived of a romantic relationship at all, thus her questions about what is love...
    whatshe_saidon August 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI am somewhere between cakeY's and whatshe_said's interpretation. Both of interpretations are very good, I think, and probably better than mine.

    I think that song is about being sexual deviant or maybe, if "deviant" is too strong ephitet, maybe about having anormal sexual needs. The girl sees that she have different sexual needs than others and she cannot deal with it, because people around her don't accept it. Maybe she has moral or religous problem with it. She can't find support in religion wich condemn her and she can't find in family which throw her away. "She can't find a lover" who would understand her different needs and who would satisfy her, so "she'll fasion one", she'll imagine lover, she'll escape to unreal world, world of her own fantasy. And later, she's too emotionally involved in this, she cannot come back, so she "disappeared". She doesn't want to come back to world which throw her away. She probably suffers from that kind of life, and she doubts in love. I know, my whole interpretation is too complicated, and that probably wasn't that what chris corner meant, but that's just what this song means to me.

    P.S. I'm sorry if my english is wrong.I don't use that language usually in my country. Anyway, I hope that my post in understandable.
    Mirlokeon April 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAccording to Chris Corner via a blog on their myspace:

    With the Song of Imaginary Beings i tried to create a kind of fairytale . The character is sexually retarded, twisted almost angelic one. She ,like half of the women in my work, is me. She follows a path of desperate longing, to bring about a person into the world that will forever love her, but ends up burning in the flames of an eternal loveless hell.
    That's an insight into my experience with relationships.
    lauraonfireon November 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOh and p.s. I am pretty sure he is saying "double" and not "devil". I looked up The Book of Imaginary Beings that NiceFace mentioned and there is a "Double" mentioned in there, except in german it translates to Dopplegänger. It is pretty much an evil twin by my understanding. So maybe that provides a little more insight.
    lauraonfireon November 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about being transgender, I THINK. I might be totally off.


    '
    nasveratuon August 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBy the way, the lyrics are off, it's

    Why use the word, when the word means the belief?

    Why use the world, when the word needs the belief?

    I'm 90 percent sure.
    nasveratuon September 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNo, I don't think it's about being transgender. I can see why you might, but it says that her mother said she couldn't love the physical way a woman SHOULD. If it had been could, I would say that makes a pretty good case for it being about someone transgendered, but the use of the word 'should' implies that she can't love the physical way that SHE should. You wouldn't tell a boy that he can't behave the way a woman should -- it just doesn't make sense.
    Meinoson October 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought it might have been about a transgendered GIRL, especially the first verse.
    fluffmittenon March 08, 2007   Link

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