Slow decay, I won't stop fighting yet

Who do you think that is there?
I came to fight
I am in the air
I know you follow the body
Let go now
To the cold step hypnotic we go
I only call them when I know I don't see them
I only call them when I know I don't see them

Who do you think that is there?
I show beyond, slow beyond compare
I always fall in these fights, I know why
Always fall in these fights, I know why
Controlling the age, it takes a toll on my brain
Now, who do you think that is there?
Only call them when I know I don't see them
I only call them when I know I don't see them

Slow decay, I won't

Who do you think that is there?
Bite to stripe, leading out of despair
I know you follow the body
Let go now
To the cold step hypnotic
It won't stop now
You fake it with taste
Don�t mean you�re making your own way
Now who do you think, I said who do you think now?

Oh, how I pass the days
You know how much I care
Oh, through the wax and wane
You know I will be there
Oh, at your faded grace
I know now not to stare

But slow decay, I won't stop fighting yet

Who do you think that is there?
I came to fight
I am in the air
I always fall in these fights
I know why
And from the birth-strains of life I go right
But controlling my age it takes a toll on my brain
Now who do you think that is there?

Only call them when I know I don't see them
I only call them when I know I don't see them


Lyrics submitted by WooTrippy!

Who Do You Think? song meanings
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23 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI may be crazy, but this song makes me think of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), or just plain lupus, every time.

    Some lines:

    "Slow decay" -- it is a degenerative disease, sometimes leading to progressive damage to organs over time

    "Who do you think that is there? I came to fight" -- it's an autoimmune disease, so your cells are basically attacking yourself

    "I am in the air, I know you follow the body, let go now" -- again, the autoimmune issue, it's within you

    "Oh, through the wax and wane, you know I will be there" -- waxing and waning is the nature of the disease -- but it's always there (treatable not curable)

    "Oh, at your faded grace, I know now not to stare": A classical symptom is a prominent rash on the face, butterfly-shaped

    It's all over really!
    oranjelambon May 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this is my favorite song on OLTA as of now...could change as I listen to more and more of the album.
    It is about how he is involved in a relationship in which the girl is dominated by subtle society and its rotting effects on her as well as on their relationship. As she is sucked into this degradation, he continues to be there for her, for their relationship. He continues to love her "through the wax and waning" of the moons, of the nights and days, of the months, maybe even the years. He, however, is getting sick of it all "as he passes the days" and she "[follows] the body." He wants her to let go of this ever pulling clutch that slowly squeezes out the meaning and value of everyday life. He wants to take off the mask that he is constantly having to wear because of her. The mask gets hot, after a while, and he is suffocating. She is too, and he is warning her before it is too late, before the mask becomes her. He warns her because he cares about her, and thus will always be there.
    seizingreleaseon July 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSounds to me that it's about a schizophrenic guy in a relationship with a mentally healthy girl. 'Controlling the agents' with his medication takes an obvious 'toll on his brain'. He's slowly learned proper etiquette for this girl: 'oh, at your favourites [presumably her closest friends] I know now not to swear'. 'The coast of hypnotic' is a place to which they go when no-one else is around, when he can just be himself, idiosyncrasies, eccentricities and all, and he won't let this 'slow decay' of his mind destroy what is possibly the best thing in his life. The line 'I only call them when I know / I don't see them' is probably a reference to visual hallucinations.

    Anyway, this is a rather difficult song to interpret. Would be interested in hearing other opinions, because it's really top notch.
    cj_17on July 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that this song is about a man suspected of cheating by his girlfriend. The two are in a fight over a suspicious telephone call. When the girlfriend asks 'who do you think that is there?", the guy responds reasonably by saying he only calls people back when he knows who they are and that he doesn't see them, in other words, he's not seeing another person. The line 'I always fall in these fights' suggests that he has these confrontations regularly, however, despite it all he still remains devoted to his girl.

    Also, I think that the line 'I know now not to swear' is 'I know now not to stare', which coincides nicely with my idea.
    Judoappleson July 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI only call them when I know
    I don't see them
    I only call them when I know
    I don't see them

    Reminds me of the phrase "just calling it how i see it", so it makes me think of not speaking ur mind til ur certain of something.
    Lori_lee69on July 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think this song is about any sort of relationship with a woman. I get the feeling that it is about an individual who is constantly obsessed with time and aging, who always feels the presence of time right behind him, hence the "who do you think that is there?"

    He meets this struggle with time with power and determination: "Slow decay, I won't stop fighting yet," of which I think the meaning is painfully clear. "Through the wax and the wane" supports the idea of time being constantly there, nudging him forward.

    "I only call them when I know I don't see them" I think is about how time captures people unexpectedly, when you least see it coming.

    This is from a literary point of view though, so I could be off, but I definitely do not think this has anything to do with a romantic relationship.
    OKRadiohead97on July 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt seems to me that 9 of every 10 Interpol songs are inspired by the lead singer's girlfriend. I know that "I only call them..." could be interpreted in a thousand different ways, but it isn't unlikely that this one was also written with romantic thoughts in mind. The album is also called Our Love To Admire.
    Judoappleson July 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is ridiculously catchy, I hope they release it as a single--it would do well, I know it.

    I think this song could be from the point of view of a person who cares about someone who doesn't care back. That person is leading their life, doing whatever they want and not caring about anyone else, but the narrator always cares about them. The relationship between them is fading and the other person is just following the nearest urge, following a path of selfishness and destruction...."I only call them when I know I don't see them" makes me think of the narrator accepting that their relationship is over, but when that person is in trouble, they will still find them and help them.

    I used to think of this song as being from a God's perspective of humans, but after thinking about it it could be from anyone's perspective...a parent, an ex-boy/girlfriend, a once close friend...and so on.
    It's a good song.
    schizophreniqueon July 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoui this is a tricky song. and fuck, yeah of course i thought of him just in a street man to man fight but as the lyrics progress i got the strange notion that maybe in a physical fight with his girlfriend?
    he has been getting pretty crazy lately.

    or the schizophrenia type thing makes sense too.
    "who do you think that is there"possibly looking into the mirror, which now, btw reminds me of NYC in which he talks about seven faces he has and again in one of the songs off this album, i think mammoth or pace is the trick though i think its mammoth where he mentions seven aching faces or something...split personalities and what not.again he doesnt know which one he is when he looks in the mirror?

    ah i love this website.
    lizamrtnzon July 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh and JUDOAPPLES, you just got me.
    Our Love to Admire.
    i have wondered why it was titled that and you just made it very clear to me.
    i thought it was Our Love, as in the bands love.
    but i take it he means him and his girlfriend.
    lizamrtnzon July 29, 2007   Link

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