"Normal" as written by and Steven John Wilson....
Here is my car, my phone and my TV
I've got it all, but you can see through me
But am I here? It's kind of hard to tell
I do a good impression of myself
But what's normal now anyhow?

Sullen and bored the kids stay
And in this way wish away each day
Stoned in the mall the kids play
And in this way wish away each day

Prescription drugs, they help me through the day
And that restraining order keeps me well at bay
And what's normal now, anyway?

Sullen and bored the kids stay
And in this way wish away each day
Stoned in the mall the kids play
And in this way wish away each day

Sullen and bored the kids stay
And in this way wish away each day
Stoned in the mall the kids play
And in this way wish away each day

Wish I was old and a little sentimental
Wish I was old and a little sentimental
Wish I was old and a little sentimental
Wish I was old and a little sentimental

Wish I was old and a little sentimental
Wish I was old and a little sentimental
Wish I was old and a little sentimental
Wish I was old and a little sentimental

Wish I was old and a little sentimental
Wish I was old and a little sentimental
Wish I was old and a little sentimental
Wish I was old and a little


Lyrics submitted by christsizeshoes, edited by ToasterBoxes

"Normal" as written by Steven John Wilson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Normal song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +4
    General Commentgreat stuff. I guess it's fair to say this is a sister song to the more mellow sentimental.

    with the 'cars, phones, and televisions', you'd think the character in the stanza is doing fine in his life when he's actually not. it could be because he or she's materially satisfied but not happy or at terms with his life or himself. maybe he pursued a stable desk job, got a car, a family, and all that because that was his idea of a normal life... but maybe now he starts to question just what is 'normal' after all.

    in fact, the character could be one of the restless kids that FOABP was touching so heavily about, but now he's a young adult, seemingly normal on the outside but with the personal problems he had as a child still lingering on in his head. as a kid he's had a hollow life, and now wishes he has something, anything to be sentimental about, even if they weren't particularly happy memories.

    the chorus adds to that; maybe he sees the kids stoned and wasting their lives in the mall and they remind him of his younger, meaningless days.

    well that's my interpretation of the song and it's a fairly straightforward one. the new EP is awesome, as is PT.
    headphoneduston September 15, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentidk to me it seems like sentimental's lyrics are supposed to target a person at an age of maturity.it seems like he thinks that as hes gotten older hand as he continues to grow he will have to start letting go of his dreams and grab hold of the concept of a "normal" life"I'm finding it hard to hang from a star". and then in this song normal he has what most would call a "normal" life but knows hes not really living just surviving and wait for some sort of sign that will show him the way to live truly happy. "You gotta see the waves. look for the bottle in the waves now" bottle=happiness? idk :p
    porcupinebushxDon July 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe first line of the chorus is "sullen and bored, the kids stay", not "stoned in the mall". This is a direct reference to their other song, "Sentimental", which has a similar structure in the chorus. The second line, however, does say "stoned in the mall", as written here.

    Can anyone make out the interweaving lyrics that are sung over the "Wish I was old and a little sentimental" lines? I think they'd provide great insight into this song. All I can make out is "You've gotta see the way he's looking (????) at the waves now." I'm not even sure that's entirely correct or if it changes at all during the repetitions.
    phydeaux420on September 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSteven Wilson sure likes to repeat lyrics and themes eh? Agreed with headphonedust... this is Sentimental's other version I suppose. Glad the other one was included on the album though - way better in my opinion.

    Anyway, I think the song is from the point of view of someone who to know what it's like to feel sentimental - to look back on something and remember it fondly. The drugs that are referred to in the song might not allow them to do that any longer perhaps. Or they make it difficult to remember what life was like in general because remembering what went on while taking the drugs doesn't produce any feelings at all.

    Interesting stuff.
    soundless_spaceon September 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentphydeaux420: Good catch on the chorus lyrics, fixed it.

    I can't make out the background vocals at the end either, so I didn't bother putting them in - figuring we'll have to wait for an official lyric sheet. Sounds like "you gotta see the ?? wine bottle ?? the waves now" to me, but who knows.

    Anyhow, I see this as a reworked or alternate version of "Sentimental." Not only the identical chorus, but the melody of the verses are quite reminiscent of one another as well. This is quite speculative, but I wonder if maybe this is an older incarnation of "Sentimental," a song which perhaps got its name from the lyrics of this version (interestingly, the word "sentimental" never appears in the album version).

    I prefer this over the album version, though, primarily for the "wish I was old" bit at the end with the Floydian vocal harmonies. Very direct lyrics, so not much to discuss in terms of the "meaning."
    christsizeshoeson September 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song should be 'located' between Sentimental ("and I don't really know if I care what is normal") and "Way out of here" ("covered my tracks, disposed of the car") not as an alternate version, but an independent song that tell us something else about the story of the main character in FOABP, but for some reason it didn't make it into the album.

    I also like the reference to Anesthetize ("I do a good impression of myself"). Maybe when the DVDA comes out with the full and re-arranged tracklist everything will make sense then.
    eraserwordon September 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnswer to the question of interweaving lyrics at the end of the song:

    you gotta see the waves, not the wine bottle in the waves now

    The other line that loops sounds like "wish i wasn't lonely," although that isn't listed on the sleeve with the other two lyrics.
    lintasmic9000on October 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe part where he sings "Wish I was old and a little sentimental" has some simply beautiful chords going on! Great song!
    Carvalhoon January 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAgreed, Carvalho!

    I can't say I prefer "Normal" over "Sentimental", but this song sure has a special place in my heart that "Sentimental" doesn't touch on. I think this is because of the way he sings the verses, especially the first. The emotion is a lot more raw to me.
    TheSOADGirlon March 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy guess is this song was probably written before Anesthetize and Sentimental and the took stuff from this song to make those 2 songs.
    [Service to busy]on July 26, 2008   Link

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