"Anesthetize" as written by and Steven John Wilson....
A good impression of myself
Not much to conceal
I'm saying nothing
But I'm saying nothing revealed

I simply am not here
No way I should appear happy
Stop whining please

Because of who we are
We react in mock surprise
The curse off, there must be more
So don't breathe here
Don't leave your bags

I simply am not here
No way I should appear happy
Stop whining please

The dust in my soul
Makes me feel awake in my legs
My head in the clouds
And I'm zoning out

I'm watching TV
But I find it hard to stay conscious
I'm totally bored
But I can't switch off

Only apathy from the pills in me
Its all in me, all in you
Electricity from the pills in me
Its all in me, all in you
Only eMpTV, cod philosophy

We're lost in the mall
Shuffling through the stores like zombies
What is the point
What can money buy

My hand's on a gun
And I find the range, God, tempt me
What did you say
Think I'm passing out

Only apathy from the pills in me
Its all in me, all in you
Electricity from the pills in me
Its all in me, all in you
Only eMpTV, cod philosophy

All the apathy from the pills in me
Its all in me, all in you
Electricity from the pills in me
Its all in me, all in you

Water so warm that day (water so warm that day)
I counted out the waves (I counted out the waves)
As they broke into

The water so warm that day
I was counting out the waves
And I followed their short life
As they broke on the shoreline
I could see you
But I couldn't hear you

You were holding your hat in the breeze
Turning away from me in this moment
You were stolen as black across the sun

Water so warm that day (water so warm that day)
I counted out the waves (I counted out the waves)
As they broke into shore (as they broke into shore)


Lyrics submitted by rocinante79, edited by misteree, Shirudo, Octavarium64, smoledman, CharMarRules, spacedye, cherrytcbp, Ravenh, ElBastard

"Anesthetize" as written by Steven John Wilson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Anesthetize song meanings
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44 Comments

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  • +7
    General CommentHello everyone! First off I'd like to point out that the PT section of songmeanings has one of the best groups of submitters and commenters and I am thankful to read your thoughts and opinions. I've been banging my head against a wall trying to figure out some of the words to this tune. Steven Wilson is doing this trick which I've heard Geddy Lee do a lot...where he'll pronounce words in such a way that they sound like they could be different words! You know what I mean? I love it, its ambiguous, and frustrating!

    So if you hear this differently please share your thoughts!! I can't wait for the album to come out. This song is one of their best.
    rocinante79on April 12, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General CommentYou have the correct lyrics with the CD. Also, as always, the correct lyrics are on Porcupine Tree's Website. I wonder how you can discuss about the correct lyrics with all this possibilities.
    Definitely the best song of the new album, maybe the best song they ever wrote, too. As you may know the whole CD is a concept album about a kid/teenager who's unable to deal with the modern world. Starting with a description of the life, ending with suicide (or with love, though I think this is just an interpretation from some optimists, if you read the whole text of "Sleep Together").
    Anyway, to say something about this song:
    In the first part the teenager describes the senselessness of his existence. In the chorus he first starts to fall into a depression with realising he is actually more a ghost than a human. Not really living in this world, just existing. Without any sense, without attention from anyone. But just as he starts with this thoughts, he stops himself by saying "Shut up, be happy, stop whining please.". He tries not to let this thoughts getting the upper hand.
    In part two we have a description of the life you have when you successfully stopped this thoughts. An empty, boring life as a consumer. With nothing you can really look forward to, your mind is switched off. I guess I don't have to explain that any longer.
    Part three...what a beautiful song...
    First it's just a picture he describes. How he looks to the sea and the waves. In combination with the music I guess he is there to have a distance from reality. To have some space to dream a bit. You can compare this short way of the waves with his own life as well, maybe this is why he is smiling into the sun. A little way to the shoreline and everything is over. No sign of pain.
    While he's doing this he sees his (first) love. He is just watching her and notices that she doesn't share this feeling with him as she is turning away from him. That's why "There's black across the sun".

    I hope it's understandable. The more I want to say, the more I notice the problems I have to express what I want to say in english...
    XCrusherXon April 18, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentHmm. I agree with Suspense for parts one and two.

    For part three, though?

    I believe the third part is actually set at a point before the depression kicked in - I believe it takes place before part one. If you look at the tense throughout the first two parts, it's all present tense - "I'm saying nothing", "We're lost in the mall", etc...
    In the third part, however, it's all past tense. The mood seems dreamy, slightly reminiscent, and the multiple voices seems to add to this. It seems like the narrator is trying to remember something: "The water so warm *that day*."

    Perhaps part three is actually about what caused the narrator's depression. My personal take on this part is that the person 'holding their hat' is someone the narrator loved and lost.
    The inclusion of the word 'stolen' indicates that the woman was suddenly taken away from the narrator. This could mean she left for someone else, but personally I believe it means she died at some point, hence the inclusion of black in the final line, as this colour is normally used to represent death and mourning.
    The line "there's black across the sun" could also indicate that the woman leaving or dying was what set on the narrator's depression, which lead to the events in parts one and two.

    There's my two cents.
    wilemion May 09, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAn amasing song, Ive heared many people comment that it was too long...
    YOU SUCK
    The song is amasing, its 3 different parts of the same story seamlessly joined in beautiful harmony
    Kudos to PT for this achievement, great song
    Blernon November 04, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI went to repurchase NIN's "The Fragile" and I was wearing A Tool T shirt at the time. That is when the guy behind the counter suggested I may like this album. I had never even heard of them so FOBP was my first taste of PT, and this is high quality music for sure. I'm even more amazed at their discography. Another 90s band survived! Does anyone know where I can get there other albums? I live in Sydney.
    -ReNeGaDe-NiNjA-on November 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWow. I love the line "So don't breathe here..." Haunting. Moving. In my opinion, the best song on the album. One of their best songs since the Delerium years.

    Shine On
    Unsoundon June 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOk, so this is my first song interpretation thing on this website. I felt compelled to share my views on this fantastic song as many others have.

    I think the meaning of this song has a lot to do with the title, "Anesthetize". And, bear with me, is largely relating to the somewhat unpopular view (held by many individuals and notably scientolgists) that Anesthetisa for treatment of mental conditions such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder is either morally wrong, ineffective or at least over used in modern society.

    As has been mentioned, there appears to be three distinct parts to this song. Each I believe dealing with one individual in three different stages of their mental struggle.

    The first section of the song I believe deals with someone who has a mental condition of some sort, be it depression, anxiety or something more serious such as schizophrenia. The lyrics (as with most PT lyrics) are rather vague but I believe that they (and the way in which they are spoken) convey a clear message of someone suffering from a slight mental illness of some sort, possibly brought on by living in the modern society. The modern world can run people down quite easily and as a result many people feel they are depressed, paranoid or anxious, despite not actually having anything seriously wrong with them. And as a result, they see their psychiatrist who loads them up with prozac and sends them on their way.

    The second section of the song is the part where the individual has been "Anesthetized" by the drugs he has taken to combat his mental issues. As a result, he has been made into an apathetic, consumerist, almost unconscious individual. There are numerous references that can be made here:

    "Apathy from the Pills in me": Rather straight forward. The side-effects of depression drugs.

    "Electricity": Cerebral Electrotherapy - Controversial technique used for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

    "Cod philosophy": Psychiatry?

    There is also a comment regarding holding a gun, which could be a possible relation to shootings that have occured with people loaded up on depression drugs such as prozac. For instance, Steven Kazmierczak who shot up Northern Illinois University earlier this year (worth noting that FoaBP was released quite some time before this incident).

    The third part of the song I'm not so sure about.

    I believe, just prior to the third section (possibly at the climax of the instrumental section of the song) the indivudual abandoned the treatment he was recieving including the drugs and electrotherapy that he was undergoing that essentially Anesthetized him.

    The final scene we are left with is the individual on the shoreline taking in the beauty the world has to offer him which he previously had not noticed nor felt whilst Anesthetized. The key words being "warm" and "smiled" as they denote feeling, something non-existent to him during the second section.

    In regards to the final line, I think it may be similar to XCrusherX interpretation, whereby the individual looks to his partner or lover to see if they too are taking in the beauty of this moment, only to see that they are still Anesthetized and don't feel the things that he feels.


    Longwinded, but thats my take. FWIW, I don't necessarily believe that Steven Wilson actually believes such things about psychiatry. SW said that doesn't specifically send messages through his music that this is wrong or this is right, instead it is supposed to hold a mirror to what's happening in the world at any given time.

    The overuse of depression drugs such as Prozac for the treatment of mental issues is all to common in today's society, and given FoaBP is pretty much a concept album on the issues of modern society, this could be the image SW is trying to convey in his mirror.
    Suspenseon April 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFor anyone who didn't know, I'm pretty sure Fear of a Blank Planet was based on the novel Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis, which I'm currently reading. And I noticed that the first line of the book is "You do an awfully good impression of yourself." And the first line of this song is "A good impression of myself."

    I know in the book the first line is meant as an insult based on a Hallowe'en costume, but I'm not sure what it means in this song.

    If I find more similarities I will post them.

    Outrageously good song, by the way.
    Tarquin77on May 08, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentweird, last third of the song painted the most vivid picture for me. the line "I could see you, but I couldn't hear you" always suggested to me like it's almost as if our kid the protagonist has died and his spirit or ghost is still connected to this world somehow with unfinished business of some sort, presumably with his childhood love most likely. and the bit about how warm the water felt would be so much more poignant from the POV of a ghost, but anyway that's just the image I always get in my head listening to the ending, which IMO is one of the best outros SW has ever written.
    headphoneduston July 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne more thing

    i realized that the end of this song bears a strong resemblance to these Pink Floyd lyrics.
    "There Is No Pain, You Are Receeding. Distant Ship's Smoke on the Horizon. You Are Only Coming through in Waves. Your Lips Move but I Can't Hear What You're Sayin'."
    dhgrossman92on November 29, 2009   Link

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