"Shade" as written by and John Baldwin Gourley....
Claims, they crawled from those clouds,
over mountains cried
into the streams where they ran the length of
past and time that called out
with their hands beside you as all the people shouted
up to the "northern" territories
My, they glowed like a bug burning at the ends of
shade covered crowns
whose only words were
wicked mumbles shake unstable manners
brought these thoughts about you
lights up like flies and ants that dip about and aim to
to swallow us up like the bread baked gums

Now I remain glowing at the ends
I remain glowing at the ends
It's because it's you they've became

Shade drifts around, southern where the sheets
are growing ash and steeple factories
old boy you'll never know just what they
think, it never finds you
cheap work finding pockets only when we're aimed to
to swallow them up like the bread baked gums

Now I remain glowing at the ends
I remain glowing at the ends
It's because it's you they've became

These lights were waves that spilled through my space (in the plains)
Where no one knows if they'll ever need again (I want to)
These lights were waves that spilled through my space (in the plains)
Where no one knows if they'll ever need again (I want to)
(come and get and take me home)


Lyrics submitted by paco_

Shade song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    My InterpretationIsn't it about slavery around the 1900's, when the factories rised and lots of slaves went to the North to work, and the factory owners hired them because they could pay them a lot less than the white workers, but they were still just disposable?
    Jvrson March 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't fully know but I have a feeling it's about people settling in places (maybe Alaska, maybe not) expecting a new, better life just to have to work their ass off until they're "swallowed up" by the shittiness of a job or that society. I also suspect he wants to go back to a simpler time (maybe a simpler time in Alaska).

    "Where no one knows if they'll ever need again (I want to)"

    I also wonder if this line means maybe people forgot about the good, happy life they wanted. Because now those same people just want to survive so they don't care about being satisfied anymore as long as they live. And he's saying, he still wants that happy life.

    Anywho, that's my guess.
    dm.tymon July 05, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust some minor corrections (removal of some unsung words, etc). Great job on getting the lyrics down. Couldn't figure out what they were singing ><

    ==

    Claims, they crawled from those clouds,
    over mountains cried
    into the streams where they ran the length of
    past and time that called out
    with their hands beside you as all the people shouted
    up to the "northern" territories
    My, they glowed like a bug burning at the ends of
    shade covered crowns
    whose only words were
    wicked mumbles shake unstable manners
    brought these thoughts about you
    lights up like flies and ants that dip about and aim to
    to swallow us up like the bread baked gums

    Now I remain glowing at the ends
    I remain glowing at the ends
    It's because it's you they've became

    Shade drifts around, southern where the sheets
    are growing ash and steeple factories
    old boy you'll never know just what they
    think, it never finds you
    cheap work finding pockets only when we're aimed to
    to swallow them up like the bread baked gums

    Now I remain glowing at the ends
    I remain glowing at the ends
    It's because it's you they've became

    These lights were waves that spilled through my space (in the plains)
    Where no one knows if they'll ever need again (I want to)
    These lights were waves that spilled through my space (in the plains)
    Where no one knows if they'll ever need again (I want to)
    (come and get and take me home)

    ==

    I can't begin to interpret this.
    Socodaxon July 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of my favorite songs off the new album.
    portugal. the man is brilliant.
    animalparadexon July 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of my favorite songs off the new album.
    portugal. the man is brilliant.
    animalparadexon July 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is written a lot about Alaska. like the gold rush and such and i think this song is also trying to capture the natural beauty of Alaska
    which makes sense since John and Zach are from there
    TodVonÜber1979on August 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHaha. Is it just me
    Or is the beginning riff somewhat very similar to Stairway to Heaven?

    Hmm.
    lyricalfraudon February 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyep lyricalfraud, that's just what I thought :)
    it's beautiful still
    Nusskation July 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinitely talking about Alaska. "Northern Territories" is a term typically used to describe Canada. This includes the harsh winters and the distinct difference between the north and south of a country that is already pretty cold and dreary. Pretty much describes Alaska. Most of the people live in the south where there are "factories" and low paying jobs "cheap work."

    A lot of people come into Alaska from the mainland states to work in oil or fishing or build buildings in extreme cold temperatures all to make a buck. It's a lot to these low-skilled workers, but to the average American it's "cheap work."

    Then when you live so far north, you have very long days of sun and also very long days of night "shade." Where literally in the north of Alaska they have a month of total sunlight and a month of total darkness the "shade."

    If this is your life, the "shade," would be a common topic on your mind, because it doesn't seem like complete darkness in the day during the winter, but a really cloudy shade.

    From the people I know who've moved there, people that tend to move to Alaska do so for opportunities (in natural resources?) and to get away for a better life where it's cheap to live and safe. But maybe it's a place where people get stuck. So they go there for an idealistic, natural, winter haven. Then they have kids (the band members) and their children are disenchanted and see it as a boring, depressing place as energy draining as a heavy shade would be on a summer's day. Thus this song.
    brizzle500on May 23, 2013   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThe song is called Shade. Another word that interchanges with shade is shadow. This song is talking about...how should I put it in layman's terms...ghosts or possessive spirits, etc. For a moment I thought it would be a reference to the writer's own dark side, but read the lyrics again and you will see that the shade is outside of him, but then:
    "It's because it's you they've become."

    "Claims, they crawled from those clouds,
    over mountains cried
    into the streams where they ran the length of
    past and time..."

    In other words, it is saying that the shades claim they come from the clouds (a hint at a formless origin, maybe wispy or etheric by nature). "Past and time" indicate the domain they thrive in. Think time, think Chronos, think Saturn, etc.

    "My, they glowed like a bug burning at the ends of
    shade covered crowns
    whose only words were
    wicked mumbles shake unstable manners
    brought these thoughts about you
    lights up like flies and ants that dip about and aim to
    to swallow us up like the bread baked gums"

    It becomes quite clear the nature of "they" the shades (dark). The perspective of the writer describing what they looked like. The writer goes on to say that the only thing "they" communicate are "wicked mumbles." This whole line is pretty fragmented so it can be interpreted from a few different angles. One could be that the "wicked mumbles," or whispers, and their erratic "unstable manners," or behavior, is brought into action through you or gave the thoughts to you in your mind. Next, he says that their aim or intention is to " swallow us up like the bread baked gums." In other words, the shades' aim is to consume us humans, or at least operate through our physical bodies. In the next few lines, this is confirmed from the perspective of a third party. "It's because it's you they've become."

    "Shade drifts around, southern where the sheets." Now we are back to the less personal "Southern" territory as opposed to the more personal Northern from the first stanza.

    "...are growing ash and steeple factories
    old boy you'll never know just what they
    think, it never finds you
    cheap work finding pockets only when we're aimed to
    to swallow them up like the bread baked gums"

    The above stanza refers to the production of ash which is the dead byproduct of burnt organic matter. Another way to look at this is they are growing death from life. The "steeple factories" are an obvious reference to "mass-produced" churches.

    "old boy you'll never know just what they
    think, it never finds you." This line somewhat eludes me as to who is talking and who is being talked to. I assume that it is the "third party" again that tells the writer that they will never understand what the shades are thinking, even though they are able to read our minds.

    "cheap work finding pockets only when we're aimed to
    to swallow them up like the bread baked gums" This line refers to profiting big off of small-time work and that it only works to your advantage if you are willing to swallow our fellow humans like the shades are doing. Quick rewards require large sacrifice of your own kind.

    "These lights were waves that spilled through my space (in the plains)
    Where no one knows if they'll ever need again (I want to)"

    When you see space, think time and space. When you see plains, or planes rather, think different dimensional planes. No one knows if the shades will "ever need again" or in other words, they are unsure if they will ever come back and demand more of the host. And in a creepy manner, a second voice confirms the hosts fears saying "I want to..." or at least that is the way I interpret it.

    The song is one of the most beautifully sad things I have read. Those last lines on repeat are very pleasing on the ear, but in the perspective I am taking, it holds much tragedy and torment for the host, or writer.


    And their you go. I'm not saying I'm 100% correct, but I can't figure out a more clear and concise interpretation of what is going on. Not everyone is going to be able to grasp what I'm explaining, but I know there are a few who may understand the more occultic side to reality.
    Pgranthamon July 26, 2015   Link

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