These tender old, smiling somber eyes
They win, they win
They survived and showed us how they could dance like angels
And as the light came on the glass, so soft
Some suns never set, just earn admonish
They crawl inside to hide away
From aged-old haters, and wink.
Besides, I tried to hide
But I recall the ailing eyes and what that felt like
Cause they were happy, laughing there
Before the daylight, in no pain

But don't allow yourself to make-believe in any kind of virtuous life.
Because each of us is both of them.
One blowing out, one breathing in.


Lyrics submitted by orian, edited by Dylan1117

Mild Child song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentOk, after listening again a few more times over the past few days, I've corrected my own reading of the lyrics:


    These tender old, smiling summer eyes,
    They win, they win.
    Their survival showed us how they could dance like angels.
    Even when there's a talking on the clouds, the sun, some of you're never set, just learn to punish.
    Being calm inside to hide away from age-old haters and wink(weep?),
    Beside, I try to hide, but I recall the alien eyes and what that felt like
    'cause they were happy laughing there, the delayed window came
    But dont allow yourself to make believe any kind of virtuous life,
    Because each of us is both of them, one blowing out, one breathing in.



    Now, with these seemingly minor changes, I now think the song is a lesson from the perspective of an old guy thinking back on his life, happy about how it went. At the same time, he's also thinking about other old men who are bitter about their past life events and how he himself was like that once ("beside, i try to hide, but i recall those alien eyes and what that felt like") but once time went on and he gained a better perspective on the events of his life, he started to feel better about them and look at them in a more sentimental way ("the delayed window came"). The song ends with a warning to people who are optimists with smiling summer eyes to not look down on those who are more pessimistic because, after all, we all have both attitudes at different times and without experiencing one attitude, we can't fully experience the other ("one breathing out, one breathing in").

    The old man's lesson can then be applied to all kinds of past life events and attitudes, no matter the age of the person.
    musiclover2223on April 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe lyrics are definately hard to pick up. This is what i could get.

    There's ten year old, smiling summer eyes.
    They win, they win.
    They survived and showed us how we could dance like angels.
    There was a talk that came upon the grass and sun. You never said she’s willing to punish.
    Being calm inside to hide away from 'each your haters under wing.'
    He sighed and tried to hide, but I recall the alien eyes and what that felt like.
    ‘cause they were happy laughing there, then the delayed 'window' came.
    Don’t allow yourself to vacantly lead any kind of virtuous life.
    Because each of us is both of them. One blowing out, one breathing in.

    The stuff in ' is words i just kinda made up cause the sound right but the rest i think fits ok.

    Hopefully someone will come along that really gets it soon because it is a great song. Very chilled and melodic.
    viginti_treson December 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWorking from viginti tres,

    This ten year old, smiling summer eyes.
    They'll win, they'll win.
    They survived and showed us how they could dance like angels.
    There was a talk, came on the grass, the sun. Said you never said she’s there to punish.
    Being calm inside to hide away from 'each your haters and your wing.'
    He sighed and tried to hide, but I recall the alien eyes and what that felt like.
    ‘cause they were happy laughing there, then the delayed 'window' came.
    But don’t allow yourself to vacantly lead any kind of virtuous life.
    Because each of us is both of them. One blowing out, one breathing in.

    Maybe 'May you win, May you win' in the second line...
    Rotated8on December 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm also trying to figure out the lyrics here...
    But I thinnk the first and second one will be like
    "He's ten year old, fighting summer eyes,
    They win, they win."
    That way it'll make some senses.....
    What do you guys think?
    lofi23on January 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song has to be my favorite, James mercers voice is amazing especially in this song.
    peacelovefaithmusicon June 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've been trying to figure these out for a few years, but I'll see if I can work off what you guys came up with.

    These ten year old, smiling summer eyes.
    They win, they win.
    They survived and showed us how they could dance like angels.
    And they were talking on the clouds, the sun, some you never said you'd stay in to punish.
    Being calm inside to hide away and ease your haters and their wings.
    You sighed and tried to hide, but I recall your alien eyes and what that felt like.
    'Cause they were happy laughing there, then the delayed window came.
    But don’t allow yourself to vacantly lead any kind of virtuous life.
    Because each of us is both of them. One blowing out, one breathing in.
    woodenpeopleon September 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm fairly certain the lyrics are as follows:

    These ten-year-old, smiling summer eyes,
    They win, they win.
    Their survival showed us how they could dance like angels.
    Even when there's a talking on the clouds, the sun, some of you're never set, just learn to punish.
    Being calm inside to hide away from age-old haters and wink,
    Beside, I try to hide, and I recall the alien eyes and what that felt like
    'cause they were happy laughing there, then the delayed window came
    But dont allow yourself to make believe any kind of virtuous life,
    Because each of us is both of them, one blowing out, one breathing in.


    I think Mercer is saying that we're all part innocent child, part jaded adult, and that we shouldn't try to be just one or other but find a liveable balance.
    musiclover2223on April 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI know James Mercer writes a lot about Catholicism, and as I listened to this song (and looked over the suggestions on this page) I came to the conclusion that this song bore some connection to Eden. Here's my take:

    These ten year old, smiling summer eyes
    They win, they win
    Because the Bible showed us how they could dance like angels
    And as a tap came on the ground (??????)
    Some young lovers had just learned to punish
    Being calm inside to hide away
    But leaves your hairs on the wind
    He sighed and tried to hide
    But I recall the alien eyes and what that felt like
    As though their happy laughing wedding bells
    Were delaying the (????)
    But don't allow yourself to make them mean
    Any kind of virtuous love
    Because each of us is both of them
    One blowing out, One breathing in

    I could be way off...
    megmegmeg87on October 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentListened to it again....yet another take on this:

    These ten year old, smiling summer eyes
    They win, they win
    They lust about and showed us how they could dance like angels
    And as a tap came on the grass/ground, so soft
    Some young nervous head just learned to punish
    Being calm inside to hide away
    Believes you're his ennui....(it could be ennui, or it could be he's not pronouncing the last consonant sound)
    He sighed and tried to hide
    But I recall the alien eyes and what that felt like
    As there were happy laughing meadows
    A delay in no kind????
    But don't allow yourself to make them need
    Any kind of virtuous lot
    Because each of us is both of them
    One blowing out, One breathing in

    I think you could come up with a million different versions of this song. Ennunciate, Mercer! Aww, but you have such a pretty voice...
    megmegmeg87on October 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song would be in the soundtrack of the movie of my life.
    bloomingtonon November 18, 2009   Link

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