"Nomenclature" as written by and Andrew Wegman Bird....
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Lyrics submitted by tikwid, edited by abirata, Tyqui

Nomenclature song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentJust a note, Bird references the "See 'N Say" children's toy (misspelled in the above lyrics as "sea and say"), the one on which you pull a lever and a the device tells you "this is a cat" or "listen to the cow" depending upon which picture is indicated by the arrow. Asking the See 'N Say to bring a different nomenclature is a symbolic rejection of the labels and categories to which we are limited by culture, language, instruction, bias, etcetera. It's a call to look at things anew, to eliminate Wittgenstein's colored lens through which we see and understand the world or at least become aware of it.
    thriggleon January 05, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationA nomenclature (system of labels/names) is washing away. By categorizing and naming the things we see in nature, we are diluting the actual beauty of it and restricting our perception with the language we use (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…).

    "Now the colors have bled to grey, To ones that don't exist in nature". Perhaps we are getting carried away with naming things. Perhaps we are "washing away" the beauty of things when we create a nomenclature other than the one nature gives us.
    electrofolkeyeson April 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentfunny thing
    nomenclature is the naming of things
    bass5137on February 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is an appeal to artists to change the nature of their thought, to forego the status quo and attempt to make something "real", something that reflects the colors of nature. If not, the song seems to say, we will continue to ignore those whose misfortunes outweighs our own and eventually it will wash us all away.
    fgevilmonkeyon January 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this songs extends to more than just artists; but to our actual heritages and older more simple ways of lives that has been forgotten about. As time ticks away, and we all "melt" more into this melting pot of America, we loose the valuable resource of our elders, their names--- nomenclature, their traditions, their very stories and with that the beauty and art are washing away. It sure compells me to pick up my french lessons again.
    Bug2on January 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song refers to a wave of change that should wash over our way of life and change it forever. The title refers to exactly that, we must find new names for everything for all the old will be carried away.
    It could perhaps be referring to an artistic change as the first comment suggested but I think it refers to more than that.
    Cyberghoston January 06, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis could just be a projection because of my own thoughts and views on the world. Anyshoo.. I think Bird is talking about a disdain he has for modern society and the decadence and destruction thats synonymous with it.

    The first line is considering all the other alternatives there are.
    Instead of selling the coats like we do in our consumerist world, we could be making our own (this encompassing all the other things we could do ourselves also and referring to other cultures who still do or a time when we did, while living more harmoniously with nature) and yet we don't because its not 'the easy way' Its much easier now for us to 'pay to play' as it were.

    Then he is telling us its time we collectively asked for this to be changed. He cleverly referenced See'n'say here, asking them to bring us an alternative vernacular to what we have and know. Our scientific taxonomy is not the only naming system there is. Other groups of peoples have their own taxonomy, which again I believe he's referring to other cultures and how their ways of living are in a lot of respects superior to our superfluous occident ones. Appealing for a different nomenclature is appealing for a different way of viewing and interacting with the world.

    Colours bleeding to grey to 'ones that don't exist in nature' i took to mean our monotonous man-made colours that we've painted over nature with.

    'A Nomenclature is washing away' is referring to the 'things' that we've given whole naming systems to, slowly becoming extinct ironically because of us which thus renders our catalogues redundant and our efforts worthless.'its washing us all away' then could loosely be talking about global warming effects and our impending doom! ...perhaps?
    bugitaon May 08, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe posted lyrics are from a different song also called "Nomenclature" by The Grand Silent System. The lyrics to Bird's "Nomenclature" are

    Just think of the lives you could swap with your own
    While you're selling your coats, you're sewing your own
    You know it's not the easy way

    Sometimes we've got to pay to play
    With finger paints and macramé
    It's time we asked the sea and say
    Could you bring a different nomenclature?

    Now the colors have bled to gray
    To ones that don't exist in nature

    A nomenclature is washing away, washing away
    A nomenclature is washing away, washing away
    But did it carry you away, carry you all the way?

    Did it carry you away, carry you all the way?
    Nomenclature's washing away, oh it's washing us all away
    Nomenclature's washing away, oh it's washing us all away
    abirataon December 12, 2012   Link

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