You know what's wrong with me
You know phrenology
You saw my injury
You can tell just by looking at my skull

Contrecoup, on the rebound
Contrecoup hurt me again
And the second was worse by far than the first
'Cause it made me limerent

When my head was hit
I bounced away from it
Or as someone who is craniosophic would say
The brain went the opposite way

Contrecoup, on the rebound
Contrecoup hurt me again
And the second was worse by far than the first
'Cause the first one woke my feelings for you
But the contrecoup made my words untrue
And it left me limerent
which is to say

How it goes
Couched in terms
No one knows
And as if the choice were slim
As if there's no sentiment

You know what's wrong with me
You know phrenology
You saw my injury
You can tell just by looking at my skull

Contrecoup, on the rebound
Contrecoup hurt me again
And the second was worse
by far than the first
Though the impulse is strong
the connection is weak
But I know what to say
But forgot how to speak
When it made me limerant.


Lyrics submitted by blinxbcr

Contrecoup song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentLove this song. First, unrelated: the terms "coup" and "countrecoup" refer to physical head injuries. When a stationary head is hit with a moving item, it is a coup injury. A countrecoup is the result of a head moving into the object. So, a baseball bat slammed into the back of someone's head is a coup injury, whereas tripping on soap and banging your head on the bathtub water faucet is a countrecoup injury.

    Furthermore, a coup-countrecoup injury (most likely referred to in this song) occurs when the force of a blow to the head is great enough to cause the brain to slam into the opposite side of the head. Both sides receive the contusion.

    It would appear that this "injury" is the latter definition, based on words like "rebound," and "hurt me again," and "the brain went the opposite way." But this is almost certainly a figurative representation of the injury. My thoughts here are that the subject fell in love, which would be the coup action - the word limerence comes from a 1970s scientific study on the nature of love. When you are in love, you share many of the physical characteristics as that of brain injury -- stuttering, pallor, flushing, eye-dilation, weakness, stammering, and confusion. His countrecoup injury affects his ability to speak – he becomes nervous, can’t form his words, because he’s so infatuated with the person with whom he is speaking.

    Phrenology, for those that don't already know, is the study of the bumps on the skull (which equate to different sizes of the brain). This is a form of pseudo-science which involves personality evaluation, using nothing more than the subject's skull shape – areas of the brain that are bigger have more of certain given characteristics that are known to be associated with that part of the brain. This has been proven by modern science to be inaccurate. But in terms of this song, the subject feels that his brain injury changed his personality - he falls in love due to a bump on the head (either a real bump, or a metaphorical one).

    Using phrenology, we can determine the subject’s injury location. His speech has been affected by the countrecoup injury. Depending on which phrenology model you consult, the speech part of the brain is right behind the eyes. If this is the area that receives a countrecoup injury, then the initial injury would have happened to the back of the head, which is the cerebellum, located at the top of the neck. Phrenologists identify this area as dealing with the propensity for physical love.
    Sir_Larrikinon September 19, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with anakoluthon: it's "synonym", not 'sentiment'.

    (For a while I thought it was cinnamon)
    hottoddyon December 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThese lyrics are incomplete. I started with these but the second part is missing. Here's the whole thing.

    You know what's wrong with me
    You know phrenology
    You saw my injury
    You can tell just by looking at my skull

    Contrecoup, on the rebound
    Contrecoup hurt me again
    And the second was worse by far than the first
    'Cause it made me limerent

    When my head was hit
    I bounced away from it
    Or as someone who is craniosophic would say
    The brain went the opposite way

    Contrecoup, on the rebound
    Contrecoup hurt me again
    And the second was worse by far than the first
    'Cause the first one woke my feelings for you
    But the contrecoup made my words untrue
    And it left me limerent
    which is to say

    How it goes
    Couched in terms
    No one knows
    And as if the choice were slim
    As if there's no sentiment

    You know what's wrong with me
    You know phrenology
    You saw my injury
    You can tell just by looking at my skull

    Contrecoup, on the rebound
    Contrecoup hurt me again
    And the second was worse
    by far than the first
    Though the impulse is strong
    the connection is weak
    But I know what to say
    But forgot how to speak
    When it made me limerant.
    admiralthrawn_1on September 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlol i had a vocab test that had phrenology on it and i figured out it's meaning by remembering this song.
    Lucanioon January 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"This song was first recorded in 2005 when John Linnell was challenged by the radio show The Next Big Thing to create a song using the almost-forgotten words contrecoup, craniosophic, and limerent. The Else's version contains a new bridge written for the song's inclusion on the album, and has more of a "full band" sound." - tmbw.net
    This explains the discrepancy between the OP's lyrics and AdmiralThrawn's.

    Also, i'm pretty sure the bridge is:
    Which is to say how it goes /
    Couched in terms no one knows.
    And as if the choice were slim /
    As if there's no synonym.

    In other words, Linnell is saying that the language of the song is deliberately obscure, using words no one knows as if there's no synonym.
    anakoluthonon March 26, 2008   Link

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