"Red and Purple" as written by and Logan Kroeber Meric Long....
There's nobody here
To tell us a joke
We tear off our ears
The fire that we stoke
You wrote me a note
The pages were blank
And I, I should have known
Invisible ink

I know that I am yours and you will be mine
Come and join us in the trenches
Red and purple by our side
Say you'll never leave us
In this company of mine

You carry this dirt
We stole from the source
Its tongue will be hurt
Attack from the north
The color was red
The number was six
Now you're in my head
No more to convince

I know that I am yours and you will be mine
Come and join us in the trenches
Red and purple by our side
Say you'll never leave us
In this company of mine

I bring this back home
Just hoping I've changed
So that you will know
Just how I'm deranged
But you're off on your search
You're crying, then went to church
You're safe, or at least I heard
Until to me you return

I know that I am yours and you will be mine
Come and join us in the trenches
Red and purple by our side
Say you'll never leave us
In this company of mine

Lyrics submitted by evanreyes

"Red and Purple" as written by Meric Long Logan Kroeber


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Red and Purple song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThis is not near as simple as a love in WWI. In fact, it has nothing to do with WWI at all. He uses the ideas that WWI presented, such as fighting for a confusing cause where the only somewhat same place to be is hiding in the trenches that you know you soon will have to leave, only to get mowed down by the enemy's machine gun turrets. There is no hope beyond that of staying within the confines of the trenches for as long as possible to postpone the unfortunate fate that is riding upon your doorstep.

    Well, he is very clearly fighting for a romantic cause that is steadily sustained, which is represented by the repetitive drumming pattern and the recurrence of a chorus, re-stating the same thing. The lines "Now you're in my head/ No more to convince" suggest that the narrator is a man of objectivity, a man that has to be convinced by logic and by effective argument, rather than the 'safety' he can not be sure he endures while she is off pursuing her other ideals, and "But you're off on your search" suggests that the second persona (the first being the narrator) is also an intellectual, or, as the "Now you're in my head/ No more to convince" lines suggest, that she could herself be an idea. The narrator is a pursuer of ideas and knowledge, like a modern-day Goetheian Faust, someone who's life goal is to understand the fabric of the world, as Cormac McCarthy would have worded it whilst writing 'Blood Meridian', and he bids this second persona (either a lover of ideas herself or, most likely, a paradigm that the narrator is currently intellectually flirting with) to join him in the trenches--the place where these idealistic scholarly people hide from the apathetic defensive attacks of the normal world--beside 'red and purple', which are related but absolutely different colors; colors are very abstract devices, particularly when they are similar but still distinctly different, that, in symbolic poetry, often represent such abstract notions as ideas themselves.
    It is the narrator, two separate but related world views that the narrator is battling between, and the persuasive tool of a paradigm that the narrator is so fixated upon. And, as I have said already, he is bidding upon 'her' to aid him in this battle that he is fighting. He has made it all the way to the trenches, his knowledge has brought him to understand all of history and to take him right up against the most formidable foe yet--the populace--whilst hiding for a breather, and he is intent on pursuing into the complicated depths of modern society, even though he is indeed stuck where he lies. He is undoubtedly armed, but as soon as he lifts his head he anticipates loosing it to an onslaught of bullets; he anticipates loosing his control over his knowledge once he presents his ideas to the more apathetic and undereducated world.

    You can use this analytical explanation to go throughout the lyrics and apply my interpretations to each line, and every line holds up. I'll start it off for you:

    "There's nobody here/ To tell us a joke" is clearly explaining the isolation that the scholar experiences because of his argumentative ways, distancing him from people who don't argue and discuss in order to truly figure things out, people who, for some strange reason and despite the teachings of great minds such as Socrates, find it rude when someone asks questions about, say, why you liked a movie that presented nothing of value, or why you purchase clothes that represent a particular social class or social motive. In his pursuit to understand everything, the scholar is not at a lack of humor or lightness, in fact he is often abounding within it, it is only that his ambition comes off to many as aggressive and distasteful at such a degree that nobody calls upon him to experience light or funny or other things that are not 'serious enough'. This isolation, to the scholar, is very real, and once he begins to realize it, he wonders why people have acted the way that they do while facing someone such as him, hence:

    "We tear off our ears", which is both 1) a sarcastic parody of all the people who lack reason and honesty and, above all, the ability to be persuaded by an honest and correct argument, and 2) a demonstration of his frustration with all the white noise of insignificance in the ways of ordinary people that he hadn't anticipated to find in such an intense degree. Because of this, he desperately holds on to everything real and prevalent in the world, hence:

    "The fire that we stoke", which is obvious, and:

    "You wrote me a note/ The pages were blank/ And I, I should have known/ Invisible ink", which is the only passage that is stated in the past tense, indicating that the 'you' of the lyrics--the second persona, the other lover of knowledge or the correct paradigm of thought--wasn't always the way 'she' is now. If 'she' is a person, then she didn't always care about unveiling the fabric of the world, and if 'she' is a paradigm, a philosophy or world view, then the lyrics suggest this world view wasn't always absolutely appealing, and that it took the narrator's digging into the truth of the world, the company of knowledge that he has some experience with which explains why he still seeks it, to convince him that the paradigm is, in fact, correct.

    You can do this with any of the lines in the song, just go through one by one and think them through. It is obviously not so simple as 'a man loves a girl but she can't shoot a gun out in Europe in World War One and so he is real, real sad.' It is very obviously more complicated than that, and the ambivalence itself suggests that it is a complex thing the narrator is dealing with. While what the narrator is specifically dealing with is a matter still to be determined by further discussion and analysis, it is clear that it is something of the nature that I suggest, even if I don't have it down exactly.

    Criticism of my analysis is also welcome. As is both support and discussion.
    zeppelinkamikazeon July 23, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWell this might be taking a overly romantic view on the song, but I see the red and purple as the red white and blue american flag stained with bloodshed, to mix with the white and blue to become red and purple.
    The Pashon December 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere seems to be some obvious reference to WWI in the chorus. How this relates to the singers feelings though I don't know. Anyone got any ideas?
    AshedEyeson June 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyar, its definitely about war, im not sure about red and purple... in my opinion its like "Red and purple by our side" >>> red=bloody, purple=cold?
    great song though
    gusanguson August 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think red and purple were the colors of the first aid/medic's badges on the battlefield during WWI
    sonuvagoonon August 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentpurple..
    Maybe this is a reference to the whole purple heart thing?
    and red could refer to blood,
    Meelzon January 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that this song is supposed to be sung from from the soldier who is fighting in WWI. He seems to be singing to his love. He misses her and wants to her to fight with him in the trenches. I think that purple goes with red because red would represent both love and bloodshed, purple might represent purple like a purple heart, awarded to those who have died fighting. He dies in battle, and only the purple heart is brought back to her. "Say You'll Never Leave Us" might refer to him protecting and watching her even after he dies.
    Lis4Locaon March 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with everyone else about the wwi thing.... he seems to want his lover there but he knows that he can't and is fearful of returning to her and making her life less safe, maybe because of ptsd due to what he saw in war? doesnt stop him from loving her. either way, beautiful song, of course.
    katiediditon June 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have no idea what this song is about, really. It's just one of those songs that anybody can relate to, even if we dont know the specific meaning.
    morethanmistakeson October 06, 2010   Link

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