"I Was a Lover" as written by and Jaleel Bunton Gerard A Smith....
I was a lover, before this war
Held up in a luxury suite, behind a barricaded door
Now that I've cleaned up, gone legit
I can see clearly: round hole
Round whole, square peg don't fit

I'm locked in my bedroom, so send back the clowns
My clone wears a brown shirt, and I seduce him when there's no one around
Mano why mano, on a bed of nails
Bring it on like a storm, till I knock the wind out of his sails
And we don't make eye contact, when we have run-in's in town
Just a barely polite nod, and nervous stares towards the ground
I once joined a priest class, plastic, inert
In a slowdance with commerce
Like a lens up a skirt

And we liked to party
And we kept it live
And we had a three volume tome of contemporary slang
To keep a handle on all this jive

Ennui unbridled, let's talk to kill the time
How many styles did you cycle through before you were mine?
And it's been a while since we went wild and that's all fine
But we're sleepwalking through this trial
And it's really a crime it's really a crime it's really a crime
It's really criminal

We're just busy tempting, like fate's on the nod
Running on empty, bourbon and god
It's been a while since we knew the way
And it's been even longer since our plastic priest class
Had a goddamned thing to say

I was a lover before this war

Lyrics submitted by .tommy doll, edited by monomania

"I Was a Lover" as written by David Andrew Sitek Babatunde Omoroga Adebimpe


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  • +2
    General CommentSince when was the US all lovers before 9/11? That's a weak analysis. The other political stuff is just vague enough to be interpreted that way. George Bush doing coke barricaded in his luxury suite? That's a ridiculous analysis. If this IS a political song, it's not a very good one.

    I like the interpretation that it is about a relationship going bad.
    hangover grenadeon September 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti cant believe no one has commented on this song. its such a good opener to Cookie Mountain. i love the horn samples and the drum beat. its different. one of the best CDs of 06. i really have no idea what its about. i need to look into it more.
    auto_suggestionon September 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favorite song so far.
    Yadaon September 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is basically about conflicting moral and ethical issues, and the hypocrisy of institutions like religion and government
    hatty_10on September 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentClass song.I think that it's about a relationship thats broken down but it's so complex!Its like gibberish to me in some parts.
    Nooneyon October 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm going to go ahead and disagree with the very interesting interpretation by JonnyRamone. It's pretty cool, but I really don't think this song is about a relationship, I think it's about the current political climate. Allow me to break it down for you:

    I was a lover before this war - obviously he's upset about the war, but I almost think this is written from the pov of Bush, "holed up in a luxury suite behind a barricaded door"..."cleaned up, gone legit, we liked to party" (reference to alleged cocaine use and drunk driving convictions prior to political office). The priest class is his newfound religion helping him justify things to himself.

    The brown shirt is a soldier, and the seduction is the idea of convincing people that the war is just/noble/worth the sacrifice. But he won't look him in the eye b/c he knows it's bullshit. The slow dance with commerce is a nod towards his economic fascination, but it's a slow dance b/c the economy has been slow to recover since the recession of 2001.

    "Talk to kill time" references the flailing admin. trying to worm their way out of commitment to the war, everyone keeps talking but no one's doing anything. "It's been a while since we went wild" alludes to diminishing patriotism, and the sleepwalking through the trial is that we went into the war blindly.

    The bourbon and god this is a southern pride allusion, and how people who voted based on religion are running out of excuses. "It's really a crime," well...duh.

    I didn't mean to go on a political rant, I just think TV on the Radio did.

    kickinarse2niteon December 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it is pretty clearly a homosexual affair with a priest and repression of these feelings
    Ryan_of_erison January 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is responsible for making tv on the radio my new favorite band.
    clairebabyon January 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentkickinarse2nite: spot on!
    bugoffon February 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was a lover, before this war

    for those of us living in williamsburg diring 9/11 - we had quite the view. On the island you don't get the perspective- from across the bridge in brooklyn, we saw everything. It was quite unsettling.

    held up in a luxury suite, behind a barricaded door

    We used to live in what not are SOHO style lofts, in old factories with cement floors and high celings. Kyp from TV on the Radio served coffee for years at a local watering hole. We were all able to scrape by on shit jobs and drink on rooftops at night, it retrospect it ws a time and a place that we'll never get back.

    now that I've cleaned up, gone legit

    we try to get "normal jobs"

    I can see clearly: round hole
    round whole, square peg don't fit
    misscatrockson March 06, 2007   Link

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