"The Apocalypse Song" as written by and Anne Erin Clark....
I'll be swifter than the speed of light
Carbon my body a billion years of time
You wake with the stitches over both your eyes
And deny me my body and all earthly delights

It's time
You are light
I guess you are afraid of what everyone is made of

All your praying moments amount to just one breath
Please keep your victory
But give me little death

It's time
You are light
I guess you are afraid of what everyone is made of

So take to the streets with apocalypse refrain
Your devotion has the look of a lunatic's gaze

Lyrics submitted by mistercrinkles

"The Apocalypse Song" as written by Anne Erin Clark


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The Apocalypse Song song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentIt seems to me like she's mocking (or, more politely put, criticizing) a religious fanatic for denying facts ("You wake with the stitches over both your eyes") and his conservative social views, particularly when it comes to sex ("You'll deny me my body and all earthly delights;" "All of your prayers amount to just warm breath/Please keep your victory but give me little death.")

    Registentionalism, I agree with your interpretation, but only as it applies to the line about "little death." The song really seems to be about much more than sex.

    We can all probably speculate as to who this religious fanatic is. Just take a quick look at who she's played music with in the past ...
    dodaon July 06, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe line "All your praying moments amount to just one breath" is a direct biblical reference to the brevity of the life of man in the grand scheme. I love how she follows that with a suprised gasp.
    The song is full of these contrasting ideas of extremely long periods of time and brief, flashing moments. It's a metaphor for the conflict between her and the person to whom she is singing. Personally I see a double meaning: the relationship aspect--the long period of time (the relationship) and the short moments (sex). It sounds like she's only happy when she's sleeping with him, if she is at all.
    Then there's the religious aspect that they disagree how to spend this brief life of theirs, she wants to just enjoy it and go out like a shooting star, he takes it as an urging to live devoted to his religion and convert people (Doesn't have to be Christianity necessarily). Either way, she thinks his devotion is lunacy and he's blind to her desires, so maybe they both think each other is crazy.

    I don't think the song is about Sufjan. He's deeply religious but not in the same way this song seems to describe.
    rocknrollgirl47on September 16, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt seems like she is talking about the repressive nature of religion (she was raised Catholic mostly) in regards to sexuality but more specifically the kind that is not hetero. She is supposedly gay so this would make the most sense.

    You wake with stitches over both your eyes [...] and deny me my body and all earthly delights: you're blind to reality (science) and try to repress my natural desires (attraction to/sex with women)

    It's time, you are light. Time is something we manufactured...we however are light, something natural. (It's time to wake up)

    And yeah, give me little death is a direct translation of the French word for orgasm (le petit mort) which could either be literal (as she's claimed is her typical writing style) which would imply this song is speaking to a specific person (which makes me think the person is for whatever reason withholding sex) or it could be in general. Allow me to have an orgasm with whomever and whenever I want without being judged.

    I guess you're afraid of what everyone is made of: Obvious. Religious fanatics are driven by fear which makes them appear to be afraid of human nature.

    The rest is also pretty obvious I think.
    vinnystarduston May 27, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI find it really disappointing that there aren't a ton of comments on these songs...St. Vincent is phenomenal shit.

    In any case...I just want to say that lyrically, this is perhaps one of my favorite songs on the album. If you read into it the right way...the way that most people tell us not to read into things...this song is just about sex. Really now.
    "Please keep your victory, but give me little death." Little Death, i.e. La Petite Mort, orgasm.
    Great transformation of epic (or attempting epic) sex into beautiful music.
    registentionalismon October 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm wondering if "And deny me my body and all earthly delights" means she wouldn't want to live in an afterlife where we wouldn't have our bodies and we'd be just like floating spirits or something (which is what some people believe will happen in heaven. I personally DO believe in an afterlife, but one where we have the same bodies as we do now, just better, "made perfect"). Anyway, I don't know if that interpretation is accurate, considering the previous line "You wake with the stitches over both your eyes" signifies an afterlife WITH bodies, but imperfect ones (hence the stitches). But then again the stitches could be purely metaphoric.

    Maybe this line: "I guess you are afraid of what everyone is made of" could be her speaking to God, saying that not everyone thinks this afterlife is so great, some people preferred life on earth and that alone; she'd rather die than live in this so-called heaven.

    Okay, I think I'm wrong now. I don't think I can be right if "give me little death" means give me sex/an orgasm. Unless she wanted it to have both meanings?
    bittersweet637on November 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"All your praying moments amount to just one breath" Should be changed to: All of your praying, amounts to just one breath. Atleast I'm pretty positive
    benjaminteddyon September 02, 2010   Link

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