"Foreground" as written by Christopher Robert Bear, Daniel Raphael Rossen, Christopher M. Taylor and Edward Droste....
Take on another shift
Palms in the middle, hands in the middle

Work out another rift,
Something is muffled, another juggle

This is a foreground
It is a foreground

A cross country miss
Take directions, can't connect it

I'm afraid this is
Ten detected, nine in a wreck and

A little jetty fight
Pattern evolving, motion insolvent

Something about this might
Take all evening, I'll just be cleaning

This is a foreground
It is a foreground


Lyrics submitted by rainandrev, edited by ecatherine, aneroid

"Foreground" as written by Edward Droste Christopher Bear

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Foreground song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentThey really know how to close out an album. The whole album is amazing, but this really ties it up perfectly. Everything about it is absolutely beautiful, all the rises and falls...



    I don't think I could have been more pleased with Veckatimest.
    kirstenalyssaon March 25, 2009   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationBefore I offer the incomplete interpretation below, I would like to note that I hear "chuckle", not "juggle", in the fourth line. (A muffled chuckle would seem to make more sense than a muffled juggle.)

    While the song lends itself to any number of wildly differing interpretations, I view it in this way:


    "Take on another shift
    Palms in the middle, hands in the middle"

    -The narrator accepts more work; the 'hands in the middle' suggest the end of a huddle in a team-based competitive sport, the players demonstrating 'team spirit' by laying their hands on each other's hands in the middle of a circle, in an affirmation of solidarity and resolve. The narrator may be acting as a "team player", but not necessarily in accordance with personal desires.

    "Work out another rift
    Something is muffled, another chuckle"

    -The narrator tries in earnest to mend a broken relationship, but is met with incredulity.

    "A cross country miss
    Take direction, can’t connect it"

    -The narrator misses a cross-country flight and is forced to drive, relying on directions.


    The other lyrics' meaning is anyone's guess, as far as I'm concerned. I believe the "foreground" the song refers to is the narrator's mundane and often frustrating daily life.

    A more far-fetched interpretation might contrast 'foreground' with 'background'–what officials attempt to piece together and understand as it relates to a death or suicide.

    Perhaps, the song is the narrator's explanation of the very real situations that might be considered, but not truly appreciated emotionally or viscerally, by investigators into the circumstances of a death or suicide.

    A person's 'background' connotes something prosaic and dead, while a person's 'foreground' connotes something immediate and alive, the real experience of a real human being.




    cagilletteon July 28, 2009   Link
  • +3
    Lyric CorrectionThese lyrics are completely wrong.
    According to the Grizzly Bear website;

    "Take on another shift
    Palms in the middle, hands in the middle
    Work out another rift
    Something is muffled, another juggle
    This is a foreground
    It is a foreground

    A cross country miss
    Take direction, can’t connect it
    I’m afraid this is
    Ten detected, nine in a wreck and…
    A little jetty fight
    Pattern evolving, motion insolvent
    Something about this might
    Take all evening,
    I’ll just be cleaning

    This is a foreground
    It is a foreground"


    grizzly-bear.net/music/
    mangofiendon November 10, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is stunningly beautiful.
    4barbelaon March 18, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI always picture doctors and nurses at a hospital when I hear this song.

    "Take on another shift, palms in the middle, hands in the middle"

    Someone has taken another shift and as it starts everyone working creates a huddle and just hopes for a good shift.

    "I’m afraid this is, Ten detected, nine in a wreck and…"

    Nine in a wreck is a mass car crash that the hospital has to deal with, and it will "take all evening."

    Combining it with cagilette's interpretation, this is the narrator's "foreground" or life.
    lilblig7on October 06, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTake on another shift---- two people taking another chance at their relationship


    Hands in the middle palms in the middle---- they make a pact to try to work on things


    Work out another rift---- they knew what they were doing before wasn’t working so they are trying to figure out something that will work (almost like writing a new guitar rift when the one you have just isn’t meshing with your song)


    Something is muffled another juggle---- they can’t understand each other’s needs (muffled) and they can’t seem to compromise so they have to juggle what they both want


    This is a foreground it is the foreground ---- fighting seems to be the main part of their relationship and the most dominant part


    A cross country miss- ---they have tried to fix things over and over again but it just never works. (they have taken their relationship “cross country” but they always miss getting it right and end up fighting.


    Take direction can’t connect it---- they promise to take control of the relationship and fix it but when push comes to shove they can’t put what they say they are going to do to work


    Im afraid this is ten detected, nine in a wreck and--- had a bit of trouble with this one. The only thing relevant to what I think the song means that I could come up with was that he is pretty sure this is about the tenth time they have tried to fix their relationship and the past nine times have been a disaster


    A little jetty fight---- the literal definition of jetty and basically the only thing I found it to mean is “A structure, such as a pier, that projects into a body of water to influence the current or tide.” So maybe he is comparing their relationship to an ocean with unpredictable tides and “jetty fight” means a fight that is going to drastically influence the direction of their relationship


    Pattern evolving---- means the same pattern they have been through (fighting and breaking up and getting back together and fighting again) is happening once again.


    Motion insolvent- ---no matter what they do to try to fix their relationship, it seems insufficient when compared to the fights they have


    Something about this might take all evening I’ll just be cleaning----- this is the part of the song that really influenced me to believe this was about a relationship that cannot seem to be fixed. I picture them fighting and him realizing that it’s never going to stop and I picture him doing the dishes while she is yelling at him from across the room. I picture his face looking down and silent tears rolling down his cheeks because he knows it is never going to change between the two of them.


    This is the foreground it is the foreground---- again, fighting is the dominant part of their relationship.
    mstreacon March 01, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Take on another shift
    Palms in the middle, hands in the middle
    Work out another rift
    Something is muffled, another juggle"

    To me this whole song is about someone working on a complicated relationship, and that's what I feel this first verse is about, "Take on another shift, palms in the middle" etc. is them praying that whatever they're doing, or that their work will be enough. I feel like the last two lines show [them] moving past an issue and forgiving each other for it, but not really being open with how they felt or what the problem really was, and so nothing was really resolved, hence "another juggle"

    "This is a foreground
    It is a foreground"

    To me, the foreground is talking about appearance vs. reality; the way this person's lover or whomever is acting is only to give off certain impressions, and what's actually behind the actions (the background)is unknown. I think it's trying to rationalize this person's actions by saying "this is not what they truly mean", but again not actually knowing what it is they really mean.

    "A cross country miss
    Take direction, can’t connect it"

    These two lines mean to me that the person tried to do or say something that they thought would have a lot of gravity ('cross country' showing the lengths they went to), or they put a lot of effort into, and they didn't receive the response they wanted. Instead, they just have to keep trying to do what they feel their lover wants/needs, but they don't understand entirely what it is that they truly want.

    "I’m afraid this is
    Ten detected, nine in a wreck and…
    A little jetty fight
    Pattern evolving, motion insolvent"

    This part of the verse shows the past turbulence of the relationship, and how the person singing is afraid that it'll mimic the way their relationship has been in the past (on and off). It also shows how they feel that something so small could be taken out of proportion because of the lack of clarity and security in their relationship.

    "Something about this might
    Take all evening,
    I’ll just be cleaning"

    This to me shows how the singer is already preparing for the worst, and saying that they will bide their time until everything resolves itself as it always has in the past, again showing the extent of how complicated the relationship is.

    "This is a foreground
    It is a foreground"

    Again, the foreground used as a metaphor to show that all their problems are only on the surface and that there is more to be discovered.
    kat011235on July 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentincredible incredible incredible
    ap0theosizeon March 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcagillette did a great job. awesome song.
    ferretwhereitaton August 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is being used on an advert here in new zealand for starship children's hospital! :D
    iluvyougoldenblueon September 04, 2009   Link

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