"Marrow" as written by and Anne Erin Clark....
Muscle connects to the bone
And the bone to the ire and the marrow
I wish I had a gentle mind and a spine made up of iron

Mouth connects to the teeth
And teeth to the loves and curses

Honey
Can you reach the spots that need oiling and fixing?

H-E-L-P
Help me, help me

H-E-L-P
Help me, help me

Muscle connects to the bone
And the bone to the ire and the marrow

So I pretend these aren't ten strings attached to all ten of my fingers.

H-E-L-P
Help me, help me

If you could only go somewhere else

H-E-L-P
Help me, help me

H-E-L-P
Help me, help me

H-E-L-P
Help me, help me


Lyrics submitted by rainandrev, edited by rsrs1491, actoroutofwork

"Marrow" as written by Anne Erin Clark

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Marrow song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentThe transition from the intro into the frist H-E-L-P is so amazing. These extremely distorted guitars come out of nowhere, completely unexpected.

    CORRECTION***
    If you could only go somewhere else
    Should be
    If you only could go somewhere else
    MichielDeanon May 12, 2009   Link
  • +4
    Lyric Correction"If you could only go somewhere else"

    should be:

    "If you want we could go somewhere else."

    it's a lot more obvious when she plays it live.
    ajaxthelesseron April 10, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe artist has previously mentioned something about her experiencing anxiety attacks, so I think it's about just that, which the sudden twists and turns of the music also reflect. The way the distorted guitars very aggressively come in out of nowhere is very similar the onset of a panic attack. Also, the way the people in the music video are staring at her is similar to how a person experiencing an attack perceives that everyone else is just staring, not trying to or knowing how to help.

    It's a biological response to acute distress that you can't control, sent from the nervous system (partly centered in the spine, connected to bone marrow) to the rest of your body. You respond by panicking even when your mind knows everything will be alright. The mind desperately tries to regain control of the body. (I pretend these aren't strings tied to all ten of my fingers.)

    She wishes she was strong enough to cope with the distress that caused the attack. (I wish I had a gentle mind and a spine made up of iron.) But panic attacks are a tricky business: since it's a biological (and not entirely psychological) response, it's hard to deal with on your own. She pleads for help and for someone to sort-of "mend" her. (Can you reach the spots that need oiling and fixing?) She also wants to escape from the stressful situation or be left alone. (If you could only go somewhere else.)

    But like most songs, I think it could be about many things at once. Lyrics shouldn't be overanalyzed, really. The best songs are usually about very simple matters. ;)
    maydayplzon September 24, 2011   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningTo me, the lyrics sound like they're being sung by a person who feels like a puppet ("Honey, can you reach the spots/that need oiling and fixing?", "I pretend these aren't ten strings/tied to all ten of my fingers") in that she is being controlled by another person. In the other lyrics, she expresses her desperate desire to escape, and also to be less vulnerable ("...a spine made up of iron").


    Also, this song is excellent! As is the rest of the album.
    broke_rock_star77on August 05, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYes, I think she's putting into words the exhasperation and impotence anyone feels when, in spite of feeling you are a self-determining individual with your own ideals and goals, you can't help but feeling also controlled by the outside world
    zitoon January 28, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDid St. Vincent confirm these lyrics, where did ire come from? It sounds like she says eye. Also where did we get "and the marrow", as she clearly says "around the marrow" in both the music video and her live performance at ACL.

    Ire means intense anger; synonyms are wrath, choler, rage, fury, passion, indignation, annoyance, displeasure, exasperation.

    Marrow can mean:
    a. Bone marrow.
    b. The spinal cord.
    c. The inmost, choicest, or essential part; the pith.
    d. Strength or vigor; vitality.

    These are the lyrics I hear in her live performance at ACL:

    Muscle connects to the bone
    Bone to the ire around the marrow
    I wish I had a gentle mind and a spine made up of iron

    Mouth connects to the teeth
    Teeth to the lows and curses

    Honey can you reach the spots that need oiling and fixing

    Muscle connects to the bone
    And bone to the ire around the marrow

    So I pretend there aren't ten strings tied to all ten of my fingers.

    If you want we could go somewhere else
    nbrittonon April 16, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnybody else get a Philip Glass kind of feel from the beginning?
    tdamcbigityon May 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"ten strings tied to all ten of my fingers" implies to me that the narrator is the one doing the controlling of a puppet, rather than the one being controlled. I think the song is saying something about the idea that feminine is the same as helpless -- and rejecting that idea pretty forcefully.
    abirataon January 10, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThough I know iron comes up in another lyric, I always wanted "ire" to be "iron".
    I just like the flow and significance of "iron in the marrow", this element being critical in the blood and function of our bodies but also an elemental metal of great strength.
    warmPhaseon July 14, 2016   Link

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