"Antebellum" as written by and Vienna Teng Alex Wong....
In the fall,
We circle through the leaves
And talk about the little ones.
And we smile, but never say too much.
The moment always vanishing.
One by one the neighbors' lights come on.
Our October day is almost gone.

I know the border lines we drew between us
Keep the weapons down,
Keep the wounded safe,
I know our antebellum innocence
Was never meant to see the light of our armistice day.

In the spring,
We climbed the rolling hills
And talked about our budding plans.
And we smiled,
Our faces like a mirror
Showing us our secret sides.
But then the fights
The sharp words splintering the night,
How I couldn't be what you'd need
But oh how I could make you bleed

I know the border lines we drew between us
Keep the weapons down,
Keep the wounded safe
I know our antebellum innocence
Was never meant to see the light of our armistice.
But how much would I give to have it back again?
How much did we lose
To live this way?

You'll go home, I'll stay here
Seasons keep on marching
I'll stay here, you'll go home
With only strangers watching


Lyrics submitted by sheela_l

"Antebellum" as written by Vienna Teng Alex Wong

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Antebellum song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentVienna Teng uses "war" as a metaphor to describe a strained relationship between a couple. From the lyrics, I think the couple is married with children ("talk about the little ones"). The couple got into a fight and have agreed to a truce, however, the love hasn't returned.

    ("I know the border lines we drew between us")
    Her and her partner are at a distance, but more importantly, "border lines" invoke the feeling that this distance was agreed to.

    ("keep the weapons down")
    Their "weapons" are their hurtful feelings and "sharp words."

    ("keep the wounded safe")
    Assuming the couple has children, I think of them as the wounded. However, I think it can also be applied to the couple themselves.

    ("I know our antebellum innocence was never meant to see the light of our armistice day.")
    She knows that their "antebellum innocence" (former love) wasn't going to survive for their "armistice day" (truce).

    Clearly there is more to the song. In response to the other poster, I don't think of this as having anything to do with the Taiwan/China conflict because the lyrics state "our antelbellum," "our armistice," "the border lines we drew," etc. The pronoun usage makes me think that this conflict is very personal. Not to mention the entire second verse just screams how this is about a troubled relationship. ("But then the fights: the sharp words splintering the night, how I couldn't be what you'd need but oh how I could make you bleed")

    I think the most important aspect of this song is the "armistice." This isn't just about a fight--it's about a "cease-fire." The conflict has been recognized and acknowledged by both persons but it's nowhere near resolved.
    wing_areaon February 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationFirst Post here. A friendly "Hi" to the Community :-).

    Well firstly i thought the song is just about a broken love / friendship.
    The contact has been reduced to a minimum so that old scars won't bleed again with no chance of a forgiving agreement.

    But after a few times hearing i now must always think about the Taiwan-China conflict.

    Since she is a clever one and it's a very personal album ( with her family directly affected with this conflict ) i can imagine that there is more to this song.

    It's hidden because of this delicate subject ( though she doesn't take sides .. as always ).
    Does this make sense?
    Lightcasteron February 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn American history, "Antebellum" refers to the period roughly before the Civil War, associated with the South. The feel of the song seems to conjure the landscape of the southern states. Notice how "budding plans" sounds like "battle plans" and "sharp words splintering" sounds like "sharp wood splintering" --- all war imagery.

    The last stanza reminds me of a soldier coming home after the signing of the armistice...
    sheela_lon April 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think this song is about a couple that was once married, now divorced. They meet every so often to catch up - they still have an intimate connection based on their history and having come to know each other, but they know that they're not quite what each other needs. They half-long for a return to the time right before the divorce, but they know that the same thing would happen again.
    pgunnon August 23, 2009   Link

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