On the border of an orchard
On a cultivated lawn
Where they practice horticulture
There they know what’s going on
They're not afraid to cut it.

Well then, the best get picked
From this virtuous thicket,
By scythe or scissor,
By instrument and implement.
That's how they cut it.

It's time to trim and thin
An invasive vine.
The roots are lifted,
The leaves are dry.
From natural laws to material things,
Nothing in the truth can be changed.

Oh perilous world-
You’re showing every sign of losing your heart.
Fledgling and tattered
during these strange later days
just before it all fell apart.

You can build such fantastic palaces
On foundations of straw,
On weird promises,
But with one fatal flaw.

The seedling is taken as a delicacy,
By the sower who’s mowing down the nursery.
The reaper is hiding in the flowerbeds.
They’re each thinking over what the other said.

They said “We each disturb the earth
But now my friend, yes, you did it first,
Yes you did, la da de”

It's time to trim and thin
An invasive vine.
The roots are lifted,
The leaves are dry.
From natural laws to material things,
Nothing in the truth can be changed.

Oh, you perilous garden.
Forever dying.




Lyrics submitted by boneyardsorceress

The Pruning song meanings
Add your thoughts

10 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentNo, OPW isn't about internet memes at -all-. From the History section on rasputina.com:

    "Creager wrote the songs featured on Oh Perilous World over the last two years after deciding current world events were more bizarre than anything she could scrounge up from the distant past. She obsessively read daily news on the Internet, copying words, phrases and whole stories that especially intrigued her. "

    That said, I can't make the connection between the meaning of this song and recent events either. The emotion it evokes is crystal clear, but the exact terms on which the metaphor is based... are not.
    ccbubblegumon July 28, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of the most chilling songs I've ever heard... it disturbs me on the deeper levels of my mind, but I can't stop listening to it.

    It just struck me, listening to this earlier today, how fitting the lines "You can build such fantastic palaces / On foundations of straw / On weird promises / But with one fatal flaw" are in reference to our recent economic woes.

    No, I'm not suggesting that Melora has a crystal ball and was writing about specific events that would take place a year after the CD was released, but I'd always thought of those lines as talking about how so much of our grand civilization -- our governments, our culture, our economy -- really only continues to exist as long as people believe it does. There are, in reality, no physical laws that cause pieces of paper to have value, nothing that physically forces a business contract or a piece of legislation to be upheld. She touches on this idea again earlier and later in the song with the lines "From natural laws to material things / Nothing in the truth can be changed." We are mortal beings on a fragile planet and no amount of legislation or business transactions can ever change that reality.

    At least... that's what I get out of the song. Still can't quite put my finger on what the reaper and sower are supposed to represent, though...
    purple_ninja_girlon February 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentas the biography on rasputina's site says, this whole album was based mainly off of internet Meme's and fads. So i think this song, (mainly the You can build such fantastic palaces On foundations of straw, On weird promises, But with one fatal flaw. Part) is relating to the internet. I think Melora is talking about building fantasy upon nothing, weird promises, (self explaitory) one fatal flaw being that the internet is not real life. 'nuff said.
    Jack Miceon June 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso, "On weird promises" sounds a lot like "Armed with promises" to me but I don't know which is correct so I'm not submitting a correction at the moment.
    ccbubblegumon July 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn the liner notes, I think this is subtitled as a "kill 'em all off" song. So basically, I think it's about everyone in the story dying off at the end of the war. Something like that.
    evil_laugheron August 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAh, what I was looking for before was "the pending collapse of society."
    Regarding "kill 'em all off," the war metaphor makes a lot more sense than what I was thinking, too.
    Either way, the song is stunning. c8
    ccbubblegumon August 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation"At least... that's what I get out of the song. Still can't quite put my finger on what the reaper and sower are supposed to represent, though... "

    The reaper and sower are like the life-taker and the life-giver. The forces of destruction and creation, death and birth, etc. Her personification of these archetypes is what instantly drew me to this song. The "we each disturb the earth" part is especially profound - the idea that birth and creation is just as much an upheaval as death or destruction, and that they are really working in tandem with each other, dependent upon each other. Beautiful. I think one of her most pensive and spiritual works to date. I liked the "latter days" reference too - adds an interesting 1800's reference (beginning of LDS) along with a cool touch of enthusiastic fatalism. There are some images I have yet to unravel (lol her imagery is like a Buddhist koan you have to meditate upon) but I like that incompleteness. It keeps it intriguing. If everything was easy, it wouldn't be as captivating.
    meklorkaon December 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionIt should read "latter days" not "later days". Clearly its how it is pronounced in the song.
    meklorkaon December 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correctionor maybe it is later. lolz, sometimes it sounds like one, sometimes the other.
    meklorkaon December 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHumanity is the invasive vine.
    Evylinon March 26, 2011   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain