Every time I move I'm in another dimension
Everything I do changes what I want
I see a choice I make explode in thousands of pieces
Every time I choose I become a shard

I could take up science and study cells of the body
Learn to postpone death under the microscope
I'll make my own lab coat and built a house in the forest
You and me eating mushrooms together
We'll stretch out so long, and hope we don't sever

Forever growing centipedes
Forever growing centipedes, you and I
Forever growing centipedes
Through time

I could step outside and walk in any direction
Everything I choose erases ghosts of potential
But it makes some new ghosts that I can fill
I can just choose one as far as I can tell

If I veer off course I'll learn to kick out the habit
If I spin off track I know that I can change
We could both grow up to be a hundred and fifty
But for now we are children together

Every time I move I'm in another dimension
Everything I do changes what I want
I see a choice I make explode in thousands of pieces
Every time I choose I become a choice

Forever growing centipedes
Forever growing centipedes, you and I
Forever growing centipedes

Let's build a Buckminster Dome on an island
We'll seal ourselves in a timeless web
If every second we make new futures
We'll see how long we can hide from death


Lyrics submitted by onethinwallaway

Forever Growing Centipedes song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commenti gotta disagree with the theorys mentioned so far. Quite simply i think this song is about the endless possibilities that life presents us with and how every single action we take leads to an infinate amount of consquences, or metorphorically put; forever growing centipedes.
    zedzedBadnustyon August 14, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDoes anyone notice the references to Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5 here?

    Throughout the book, Billy Pilgrim mentions the way humans see time vs. the way Tralfamadorians see time (3v4 dimensions)

    Tralfamadorians see humans like centipedes with small baby legs in the front and older legs in the back. They see in 4 dimensions which means they can see how a single action affects past, present, and future.

    The references I see here are as follows:

    "every time i move, i'm in another dimension"
    referring to the switches Billy experiences, or the ability of Tralfamadorians to experience time as a dimension

    "Everything I do changes what I want.
    I see a choice I make explode in thousands of pieces, Every time I choose I become a shard"
    the experience of understanding the implications of our actions through time and seeing those implications physically

    "studying cells ... postpone death ... we stretch out so long I hope we don't sever"
    directly relating to what it would look like if a human died to a Tralfamadorian, the longer a human lives, the longer the centipede gets in the eyes of someone who would experience life in 4 dimensions. if you died, the centipede would "sever."

    "forever growing centipedes, through time"
    again. direct relationship to the book

    The next several verses refer to both a fatalystic view of life, as well as a Tralfamadorian-like way of viewing choices as "a habit."
    "if i veer off course" i know i'll eventually get back on SOME course.

    I think there are some direct references to the story as well. When Billy Pilgrim is taken to the world where the Tralfamadorians live, he is placed in a great "dome" to simulate the environment on earth, like a zoo. He ends up making love to a supermodel who is also placed in there with him, and she bears him a child on the planet. Much like animals in a zoo on earth, they don't have much else to do.

    Anyone else, know the book well enough to refute any of these or postulate more, let me know. i'm really interested in this cryptic song.
    sanguinarinesson October 16, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with sanguinariness. This song is about time in either the 4th or 5th dimension. It is said that if we were able to look at a person from the 4th dimension they would look like a centipede because you are watching their progress through time simultaneously - like if you've ever played an old FPS game, gone into clipping mode, and then seen a trail of your weapon when you step outside the map boundaries because the graphics don't get rid of what happened in the past and it all meshes together. The lyrics seem to touch heavilly on this aspect though I too first thought it was more about scientific progress. I love the refrences to the old game. Centipedes are my favorite organisms.

    Now what this means on a deeper level I do not know. I'm not farmiliar with the faint and I'm not sure if they just designed the song to talk about a scientific concept. It seems to relate to the choices we are able to make - with the previously mentioned model looking in the 5th dimension instead of the fourth I think we would look like centipedes branching out in different directions looking at all the possibilities you can engage in through time leading to different outcomes:

    "every time I move I'm in another dimension" because every time he makes the choice (if it is a choice) to do something he alters the course of reality deviating from his previous centipede path and starting a new one (or maybe just taking it in a different direction?)

    No matter what, though, he can only follow one path throughout life. ("I can just choose one as far as I can tell.")

    This is a great song and the only song I've ever heard even mentioning centipedes, which deserve more respect. Really glad I was introduced to it and I feel like I got more out of this song than I do from most music I listen to.
    Xvallon October 27, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think sanguinariness may have found what the author meant by "centipede" but I don't see anyone commenting on the several allusions to quantum mechanics.

    "Every time I move I'm in another dimension
    Everything I do changes what I want
    I see a choice I make explode in thousands of pieces
    Every time I choose I become a choice"

    This references Erwin Schrödinger's popular interpretation of quantum mechanics in which, when there is a "choice" to be made at the quantum level, ALL possible choices happen. Schrödinger is popular for his "Schrödinger's Cat" hypothesis in which a cat is contained in a box from which no light (or information) can escape. A 50%-likely quantum event either triggers the release of poison or does not and, Schrödinger says, neither happen until we *observe* the outcome -- in which case the probability wave collapses in our universe a certain way and, in another just-created universe, the probability wave collapses the other way. Until we open the box, the cat is both alive AND dead. Each is a "ghost of potential" as he calls it in the song. Because our minds are only high-level abstractions of quantum mechanics, every "choice" we make is subject to this forking-universe hypothesis. There are universes in which you never read this webpage because you at some point made a choice which prevented you from reading this.

    "I could step outside and walk in any direction
    Everything I choose erases ghosts of potential
    But it makes some new ghosts that I can fill
    I can just choose one as far as I can tell "

    By "ghosts of potential" he's personifying the different future universes in which quantum "choices" have not been made or observed, therefore all possibilities exist. When a choice is made, then more "ghosts" or possibilities are created which he can (supposedly) choose to fill. The last line, "I can just choose one as far as I can tell" seems to suggest he doubts his own perception of reality since, after all, his consciousness is still subject to the laws of physics. Is reality and choice actually real? It is "as far as I can tell" though we have no extra-dimensional perspective to decide definitively.

    That all being said, I should note that Schrödinger's interpretations of quantum mechanical choices is not the only one and several others exist. Since his Schrödinger's Cat experiment so easily conveys the very abstract concept of probability waves (and it's very sensational), his seems to have caught on the most.

    It's bizarre to see music these days popularizing science. As an atheist, I've found that the splendor of science is an amazingly satisfying replacement for the pseudo-splendor of a contrived religion. If one is to be so openly against religion in an album (e.g. Machine in the Ghost), it's consistent to also express one's perspective of life in a modern scientific context.

    Just another reason to love The Faint. :)
    jickstaon November 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it says "You and me eating mushrooms together."
    Chainsaw Armon July 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlet's build a bat-mitzvah gown on an island
    splitintwoon August 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlet's build a bat-mitzvah gown on an island
    splitintwoon August 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI hear "everything I choose erases ghosts of intention".
    lyzzieon August 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"we can both grow up to be a hundred and fifty"

    note that "centi" is a latin prefix meaning "hundred"
    laurelinwyntreon August 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"you and me eating mushrooms together"

    "The player is represented by a small, "somewhat humanoid head" at the bottom of the screen. The player moves the character about the bottom area of the screen with a trackball and fires laser shots at a centipede advancing from the top of the screen down through a field of mushrooms.
    laurelinwyntreon August 06, 2008   Link

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