There's a vulture perching right offscreen
It's bitter and whispers chaotic things
And the weeps turn quick into bullying
It's so easy to see everyone can agree stop listening

I know you've heard it before
But then it wasn't enough
You don't want to be held back from the substitution
I know you've seen this before
And now enough is too much
You don't want to be set back when the substitution comes
I'm sorry

You're a marionette in the center of
The twisting of strings coming from above
It may seem too deep to recover from
It's so easy to see everyone can agree just let it go

I know you've heard it before
But then it wasn't enough
You don't want to be held back from the substitution
I know you've seen this before
And now enough is too much
You don't want to be set back when the substitution comes
I'm sorry

When the voices start spitting just be aware
I've brought enough stones for us to share
That one's grinning that one's burning aim for the throat
Let em choke on the stones that we have to throw

It's the great downfall
The big overthrow
If we shoot them down
It'll make you soar

When reactions turn into hurricanes
And the middle ground feels a little tame
Whether full or empty it's all the same
It's so easy to see everyone can agree you're not to blame

I know you've heard it before
But then it wasn't enough
You don't want to be held back from the substitution
I know you've seen this before
And now enough is too much
You don't want to be set back when the substitution comes
I'm sorry


Lyrics submitted by combatwaffle

Substitution song meanings
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38 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentThis is def one of my favorite songs by them.. what i get from it is that it's sort of refering to negative things around you like the lines "theres a vulture perching right off screen and it's bitter and whispers chaotic things".. and as far as the substitution its up to you if your gona make a change in your life or if your gonna let tha same things hold you back..
    kingdavid24on June 11, 2009   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationIMHO, the song is about the negative thoughts a person has when one feels he/she is about to be replaced (whether by another lover or by someone who's better at something this person does etc.), and the singer advises not to dwell in such thoughts.

    The negative thoughts are symbolized by the bitter vulture in the 1st verse, the twisted strings in the 2nd, the spitting voices mentioned in the bridge, and the reactions in the 3rd verse. The 1st verse even suggest that these thoughts were once sympathetic but then changed into something more forceful ("the weeps turn quick into bullying").

    Apparently, these thoughts were "easy to see", and the singer tells the person to "stop listening" to it, to "just let it go" because it will hold and set the person back, as stated in the chorus. Also, the singer is willing to help out since he "brought enough stones" so that they can both throw at the voices. The chorus seems to imply that he has advised this person more than once, and he's apologetic that he/she had to hear him again and again. Or the line "I'm sorry" could mean the singer empathizes with the person's situation.

    Anyway, I've only heard a handful of SSPU songs, and this so far, I think, is their best one. Plus its overall mellow tone makes it good driving music.
    CantStopTheBugon September 23, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My Opinionreally really depressing song. i think it's about people who are so depressed they hurt themselves or are suicidal. cutting is the substitution for he pain. here's what it said to me:

    There's a vulture perching right offscreen
    [people don't get to see what goes on behind closed doors. you could be in a lottt of pain, and no one might even notice.]

    It's bitter and whispers chaotic things
    [referring to the stuff you tell yourself, and what you may think people say about you.]

    And the weeps turn quick into bullying
    [you judge yourself hurtfully, and people judge you hurtfully.]

    It's so easy to see everyone can agree stop listening
    [when you try to talk to people about how much something like that hurts you they just dissmiss it and tell you to stop listening to the people and yourself but it's really hard.]

    I know you've heard it before
    But then it wasn't enough
    [people can tell you to stop hurting yourself and being depressed, but by now they don't mean as much to you and their opiniuons don't even really matter. --you're that hurtt.]

    You don't want to be held back from the substitution
    [you don't want to stop cutting/hurting yourself]

    I know you've seen this before
    And now enough is too much
    [they want to make you stop, and it's overwhelming. you may have thought you wanted attention for it, but now you realize you don't.]

    You don't want to be set back when the substitution comes
    I'm sorry
    [you don't want it to go on, maybe you've turned to suicide.]

    You're a marionette in the center of
    The twisting of strings coming from above
    [you probably feel pressured to conform to what everyone says you should do, right or wrong.]

    It may seem too deep to recover from
    It's so easy to see everyone can agree just let it go
    [but the pain has corrupted you. people think it's as easy to just let go of whatever's corrupting you.]
    lifeeiswonderfulon February 20, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhen the voices start spitting just be aware
    I've brought enough stones for us to share
    [you know you're a screw-up, and you're constantly reminded.]

    That one's grinning that one's burning aim for the throat
    Let em choke on the stones that we have to throw
    [you find yourself hoping that if you commit suicide or keep substituning the pain they'll feel guilty for it.]

    It's the great downfall
    The big overthrow
    If we shoot them down
    It'll make you soar
    [everyone wants to bebetter than everyone else but can't. the only way to make yourself feel good is by looking at the inadequacies of others.]

    When reactions turn into hurricanes
    [people find out you cut, they blow it out of proportion.]

    And the middle ground feels a little tame
    Whether full or empty it's all the same
    [it doesn't change how you feel. everything is monotone.]

    It's so easy to see everyone can agree you're not to blame
    [you always want to blame yourself in a situation like this. i hurts a lot when people say it isn't your fault, because in your eyes, it is.]


    lifeeiswonderfulon February 20, 2010   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningFirst off, I listened to this many times in a row and watched the music video. I think I may have cracked the meaning to this song. It is about a person who feels so inadequate in his'/her's life and lets the others surrounding them bring them down. They keep trying to fight others hurtful words but it's hard to do so, because they don't want someone else substituting them; they want to be on top. How I came up with this is from the music video the girls are all dressed in the same outfit, different clothing, whispering whenever another girl gets out from musical chairs.. Each girl fights hard for that last chair, cause they don't want to be substituted, so they don't want to be held back when it comes to substituting someone else who may be higher up.. so they resort to tearing people apart, making them feel inadequate, so they can deal with their own failures and insecurities. Here:

    There's a vulture perching right off screen
    And it's bitter and whispers chaotic things
    And it reached in quick ain't it worrying
    It's so easy to see, everyone can agree, stop listening

    [The vulture represents the people who are judging you from the sidelines, your so-called friends, strangers,co-workers, whomever. They whisper things about you that are hurtful, putting you down making you feel inadequate. People can see these people doing this to others and you, that's why they chose not to listen to them, and they're giving you the same advice.]

    I know you've heard it before
    But then it wasn't enough
    You don't wanna be held back from the substitution
    I know you've seen this before
    And now enough is too much
    You don't wanna be set back when the substitution comes
    I'm sorry

    [People say stop listening to it, but it is hard and it isn't enough for people to tell you to stop, they're not in your shoes, they can't see how big of a deal it is to you that you may be substituted cause it just exploits your feelings of inadequacies more. The singer is apologizing because he understands its gonna be hard for you to understand that you aren't what people make you out to be, you're not inadequate. He feels bad you're insecure about your position in life and he gets it because he had to deal and accept that too..]

    You're a marionette in the center of
    All the twisting strings coming from above
    It may seem too deep to recover from
    It's so easy to see, everyone can agree, just let it go

    [You are letting them control you. Their words are controlling your moves and those words have eaten at the core of you that you can't seem to brush them off and recover. They dug so deep that it makes you afraid to face your insecurities head on. But people keep telling you that you need to let it go, be like them, brush it off and let it go.]

    I know you've heard it before
    But then it wasn't enough
    You don't wanna be held back from the substitution
    I know you've seen this before
    And now enough is too much
    You don't wanna be set back when the substitution comes
    I'm sorry
    I'm sorry

    [Again you heard it before,saying that you've seen all this situation happen to many people, they get substituted, replaced, they are failures and you don't want any part of it. The singer gets that it still isn't easy.. the singer apologizes for the hurt you're going through]

    When the voices start spinning just be aware
    I have brought enough stones for us to share
    That one's grinning that one's burning, aim for the throat
    Let him choke on the stones that we are to throw

    [The voices represent the people who are making you feel inadequate. They are obviously just displaying their own insecurities, which is why the singer says i am bringing stones, so we can cast the stones on them, they aren't supposed to judge you. The throwing of the rock symbolizes that you're trying to show them that they can't make you feel inadequate, they can't bring you down to their level, that they will choke on their hurtful words and be seen as the inadequate ones. It also shows how you won't let them find a substitution for you.. you won't allow it. That's why you fight back]

    It's the great downfall
    Not the overthrow
    If you shoot them down
    It'll make you soar

    [In order to make you feel less inadequate you're waiting for the vulture's downfall..and if you seek your personal vengeance then it will allow you to succeed, allow you to feel adequate again. Once the vulture falls, you can substitute them, and be happy about your position in life]

    When reactions turn into hurricanes
    And the middle course seems a little tame
    Whether full or empty it's all the same
    It's so easy to see, everyone can agree, you're not to blame

    [Since you brought them down, making them feel inadequate, that just causes another reaction to the chaos has already occurred. You created a vicious cycle of inadequacy and who will be the top of the social elite. The situation is worse and you might feel full or empty, but it all the same, you caused a situation that just brings more hurt and pain and inadequacy to the circumstance and everyone still keeps telling you to let it go, but we know you're not to blame cause you've been feeling inadequate by these people for a while and you just wanted to get rid of those insecurities that have been plaguing you]

    I know you've heard it before
    But then it wasn't enough
    You don't wanna be held back from the substitution
    I know you've seen this before
    but now enough is too much
    You don't wanna be set back when the substitution comes
    I'm sorry

    [Again you've heard it before, let it go, you just don't want to be substituted.. you don't wanna have someone taking the spot you've created for yourself.. and the singer knows it is tough to let it go, to end what is going on so he's apologizing one last time]

    Pretty much it just seems like the singer is informing us that we live in a world where we will get substituted by someone, but we always try to fight it, but when we loose or when we have power, we exploit other people's insecurities because we aren't accepting our own. It is a vicious cycle that goes on, but there are people who choose not to be apart of it cause they know the negativity that can come from those situations that is why the singer chooses to apologize for how we feel the need to keep going forth with all of that.. and he apologizes for the pain we have caused or we are suffering through.. That's my interpretation. Sorry it is long.
    talanspraggon February 25, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIt seems to me like the song is either about
    some kind of entertainer who was once famous and loved, but then slowly begins to deal with criticism and a downfall of fame (there's a vulture perching right offscreen)
    and the next best thing comes along a "substitution"
    and its difficult for that person because they cant stop it or doing anything about it
    or someone struggling in life and dealing with issues and chaos
    edleon47on September 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAmazing song.

    How do we make corrections? I see some punctuation missing and I'm pretty sure they say "I'm sorry" twice the second time.
    KannD86on February 09, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthere's what I hear in that amazing part towards the end..


    when reactions turn into hurricanes
    and the middle ground seems a little tame
    whether full or empty it's all the same
    it's so easy to see everyone can agree you're not to blame


    I don't know, It's so hard to tell with Brian. This is just what I think would make more sense in the context of the song, which I believe is about the demise of a relationship. I hear a 'the hurricanes' too but it would make more sense if it were this way. I think he's trying to say the part of the relationship where every reaction starts a huge fight. But I still think this part is one of the best melodies he's ever written.
    RobFizzon April 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis new albums sounds great!! i can't wait to pick it up. small change on the lyrics...

    You will never let it the center of
    and the twisting sheets coming from above
    it may seem too deep to be RECOVER? from
    it's so easy to see everyone can agree
    just let it go


    it's the great downfall
    now they overthrow
    if YOU SHOOT THEM DOWN
    it'll make you soar
    nlaroyon April 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthey, the third line is definitely wrong, i dont understand what he says, but i think he says something about "then the creature" not "then we"

    idk tho, thats like, impossible to understand
    modestlybrighteyeson April 14, 2009   Link

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