"Static" as written by and Kristin Hersh....
your mouth fell out of the sky
and suddenly I had it memorized
but honestly, it's like you're dead

i can't shake off voodoo
or your thudding making noise
the pearls you cast before swine
make you seem alive

a pretty picture of you breathing air
and you're just standing there
static

show me how you do it
a thousand miles away from here
you're one micron away from me

your hope is on the wing is on a bus tearing down the road
your road is in the dark is in the sun, in the rain and cold
you're cold you're made of heat you're made of skin, made of cloth and bone
your bones are made of sponge are made of plexiglass, tin and hope


Lyrics submitted by seg

Static song meanings
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    General Comment"Your mouth fell out of the sky/ and suddenly I had it memorized"
    Words that make sense in a spiritual/ abstract way just fall out of the sky and fall into place. This describes KH's writing process. Is this song about songwriting?
    "But honestly, its like you're dead"- once the words have fallen into place, they become static.

    "I can't shake off voodoo
    or your thudding making noise"- Music casts a spell in an irrational way that can be conscious or unconscious
    "The pearls you cast before swine"-I think she may be offering an example of words falling into place automatically- rhymes and idioms- to demonstrate how this kind of canned/ inert meaning makes musicians "seem alive" and meaningful by offering a reference point. The implication is that from the artist's point of view, as implied in the first verse and reinforced by the line about pigs and swine, you dangle static idioms and music structures like marionettes before your audience to simulate live, meaningful subjective experiences.

    "a pretty picture of you breathing air
    and you're just standing there
    static"- Breathing air as opposed to what? This is a demonstration of a lack of meat in a song that is accepted because on purely aesthetic, musical terms. Air is nice, but there's no "there" there, to quote Gertrude Stein. The "you" in "makes you seem alive" is KH, the musician, speaking informally.

    "show me how you do it
    a thousand miles away from here
    you're one micron away from me"-Another demonstration of using automatic patterns, possibly referring to being far off, abstracted, which, followed closely, unites speaker and listener within a microns length.

    "your hope is on the wing is on a bus tearing down the road
    your road is in the dark is in the sun, in the rain and cold
    you're cold you're made of heat you're made of skin, made of cloth and bone
    your bones are made of sponge are made of plexiglass, tin and hope "

    A demonstration of words falling out of the sky into familiar literary chunks: a bus "tearing down the road." Elemental words- Sun, rain, cold- "skin and bone"- offered as a complete example of lyrics animating static concepts. The cool trade-off with herself creates momentum that has nothing to do with the lyrics. Lyrically, it's a pretty picture, but static.

    IMO KH balances her candid admission of meaninglessness- which applies to many of her turns of phrase- with her idiosyncratic voice/creative process. Even if words just "fall out of the sky" for her, we might still see her as a meaning-imbued personality and see this song as the story of her personal perspective.
    xianificenton November 17, 2013   Link

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