"The Flame Deluge" as written by Edward Carrington Breckenridge, James Riley Breckenridge, Dustin Michael Kensrue and Teppei Teranishi....
I feel that I was meant for something more
My curse, this awful power to unmake
And ever since you found your taste for war
You forced me onto those whose life you'd take

While Guernica in peaceful valley lay
And Dresden dreamed of anything but death
The day was turned to night and night to day
You let me loose upon their fragile flesh

And so I hid among the smaller things
You found me there and ferried me above
The flame deluge is waiting in the wings
The smallest thread holds back the second flood

And who will stand to greet the blinding light
It's lonely when there's no one left to fight

Lyrics submitted by Mortisfacio3

"The Flame Deluge" as written by Edward Carrington Breckenridge Dustin Michael Kensrue

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Flame Deluge song meanings
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  • +4
    General Commenthi everybody.
    I chose this song for a comprehension-expression class (i'm a french student in British and American civilisation/litterature). And this is what i came up with. If you manage to get through the whole of it, thank you very much! And you're more than welcome to give me your opinion

    In this thesis, we’ll try to find a possible way of understanding this poem written by Dustin Kensrue, songwriter and singer for the Californian band Thrice. It is part of the concept album called ‘The Alchemy Index’, which is in fact made of four EP of six songs each (extended plays — too short to be call ‘album’). Each one of these EP are related to one of the Four Elements of Nature (Fire, Water, Air and Earth). Both the music and the lyrics are strongly woven with the element. Each EP finishes with a Shakespearean sonnet, in iambic pentameter ; in which the Element is talking to Man, telling its regrets about mankind. The Water sonnet, ‘Kings Upon The Main’ deals with human pride ; the Air sonnet, ‘Silver Wings’, in my opinion, is about how Man isn’t thankfull for just being alive, and is unable to feel simple pleasures brought by Air. The Fire sonnet is ‘The Flame Deluge’, which will be explained futher on. The Earth sonnet is called ‘Child Of Dust’ and I see it as a conclusion of the three sonnets.
    Thus, in this poem, Fire is personified and speaks to mankind, and I’m going to give my point of vue on what the message could be, by taking elements from the text one by one.

    The four first lines are a kind of introduction, iw which Fire expresses its regrets about the way it’s being used by Mankind, i.e for destruction. Man ‘has forced’ it into war. I feel a great feeling of melancholy in these lines, and guilt. During the whole song, these feelings are strengthened by the music, very strong and heavy, yet incredibly full of melancholy and regrets, even more when you take some time to see what the text is.
    I think that the second and third verses can be analysed at the same time. In both there are many references to WWII and to the Bible. I’ll start with the war references. I see what could be the lexical field of planes and bombings. ‘Night was turned to day’ by the light of the explosions, destruction is ‘ferried above’, which I see simply as a bomber plane. Same thing about ‘waiting in the wings’. Guernica and Dresden are examples of dreadful bombings during WWII. Guernica was a small Basque town, and during the Spanish civil war (1937), Hitler sent planes to help Franco. But there was not a single soldier in Guernica, just civilians. Quite the same happenned in Dresden, in a much more bigger scale. Dresden is a city in Germany, which became a safe haven in the last months of the war. Hundreds of thousands of refugees went there, and not a single soldier. But still it’s been the aim of one of the most deadly bombings ever, under bombs from the Royal Air Force and the US Air Force.
    Dustin Kensrue, the songwriter, is a Christian-influenced writer, and that can be felt in a lot of his texts, and ‘The Flame Deluge’ is no exeption. This is one of the main points on which fans don’t agree. Some of them see a Christian point of view in every word, and that tends to annoy non-believer fans. I’m not a Christian myself, but in some cases I find it obvious that Kensrue is refering to the Bible, and this text is, I think, directly related to Noah’s well known story about the Deluge and the Ark. The only difference is that there is no ark here. I don’t see any other explanation for the final words of the third verse, ‘the second flood’, the first being the one of Noah’s episode. Other words make me think of the Bible, in a less obvious way. First, ‘day was turned to night’ could be the simple opposite of the Biblical sentence ‘and night was turned into day’. Kensrue’s words here could express the end of the world. Moreover, the ‘fragile flesh’ reminds me of a Christian theme, the friability of Life.
    In addition, there’s also a strong feeling of accusation in these verses. Twice Fire accuses Man by using the word ‘you’, and once more it’s explained that Man forced Fire in destruction (‘I hid’, ‘you found me’). There is a passage expressing the fragility of peace, and it is the ‘smallest thread’, as if the final bombing was about to fall, feverish. In this respect, as the accusation is getting more and more strong, the music itself is growing louder and even more melancholic, and eventually blasts on the last word, ‘flood’.

    The final two lines are, in my opinion, the strongest of all. A litteral explanation could be a nuclear war, expressed by the blinding light and the fact that no one’s there anymore. This conclusion is heavily armed with regrets and morality. Likewise, the music is following this feeling, leaving all its violence behind, keeping just the sadness and the fragility. In the end, just a weak wind is left, and we can easily picture a post-apocalyptic world, covered in ashes.

    On the Internet, I found another fan explanation. He said that the first verse could also be viewed as a complain from Man to his agressivity, as if Man didn’t want to destroy everything he destroyed. I found it interesting, and I pushed it further on, and I came up with the idea that we could understand the text as a complain from Man’s agressivity. And that is directly connected to ‘Human Aggression’ by Anthony Storr that we studied in class. Fire was supposed to warm us up, and yet we’re using it for self-destruction. Agressivity is one of the ‘qualities which have led to man’s extraordinary success’ (Storr). It could be mainly used for pulling ourselves higher and higher, but we keep using it to bring others lower and lower. Another interesting point is the opposition between the Water sonnet and ‘The Flame Deluge’. In the water sonnet, Water is described as uncontrollable and almighty, whereas water could be seen as the motionless, sleeping element. Fire, on the other hand, which can be seen as the unleashed element, wild and untameable, is in fact painted as a tool easily used by Man for destruction. Finally, that could be related to Pandora’s myth. In Greek mythology, Zeus punished men for stealing the secret of fire from the gods by giving them the Pandora’s Box, in which lay all the evils, ills and diseases of the world. Maybe we’re still not wise enough to use Fire.

    Ysterianon October 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment(quoted from an interview with Thrice)

    “The Fire sonnet deals with fire being resentful and ashamed of the way that it’s been used in destruction and war".

    Mortisfacio3on October 10, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe Flame Deluge is an allusion to an event in Walter Miller's Cantical for Leibowitz. The book takes place in a post apocalyptic world, where the nuclear war that devasted the earth is referred to as 'The Flame Deluge'

    Dresden and Guernica were both sites of heavy aerial bombardment where many civilian lives were taken. Dresden in WWII, Duernica in the Spanish Civil War.

    I think that hiding among the smallest things refers to atoms and thus atomic bombs. 'Ferried above' has to do with bombers, as does 'waiting in the winds.'

    I'm not sure, however what 'the smallest thread' refers to
    Sojourneymanon October 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh nice, thanks for the insight on the lyrics. I got the part about Dresden/Guernica, but the reason as to why it was called "The Flame Deluge" I had no idea about.

    I asked a few friends about "the smallest thread" and nobody seemed to know what that would refer to. And the "Ferried above" makes much more sense now that you pointed out the reference to the bombers. great find!
    Mortisfacio3on October 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUnrelated to this song, however it is Thrice related. Have "The Arsonist" "The Messenger" and "Open Water" that i'm listening to and trying to figure out the lyrics, although like "The Messenger" for example I have what I think to be the lyrics written down, but i'm unsure if it's correct (i'm sure there's mistakes). Should I post up what I got from the lyrics? or just wait till tuesday when it's released or somebody posts correct version?
    Mortisfacio3on October 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwait. I get tired of having to look through lyric corrections and that crap before getting to the good stuff.

    If you didn't know, deluge = flood pretty much, to be more on topic
    Sojourneymanon October 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhere did you guys download this song? i can't find it
    rockryanrockon October 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe lyrics for it are on thrice.net
    Sojourneymanon October 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe fire and water volumes are too fantastic. makes me grow impatient for the air and earth ones.

    such an epic sound to this song. usually that's sorta tacky, but thrice knows what they're doing. perfect way to end the fire volume. . . .
    thommcnealyon October 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSuch a good song. From a first listen, it is my favorite on Fire.
    sabioon October 12, 2007   Link

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