The buffalo have given up on the world.
And Apollo? Apollo is kissing all the valley girls.
We climbed up the cross on the mountain on New Year's Eve:
It was just god, the blizzard, the dream-weaver and me.

My god I miss the way we used to be.
Here's a photograph for you to hold.
It's my picture right before I got old.
It's a picture of a buffalo that we rode into extinction.
That was the crime we committed in the night...

Apollo, I heard your sister is equated with the moon,
but I think your sister is just another run-around Sue.
And where have you been, Erato?
Because it's been a long time since we sat around the willow tree fire,
where Anna played guitar and the rest of us fell in love.
That was back before she changed her name.
Will we ever find our way into Cassandra's gaze again?

Like the days before Anna changed her name?
Here's a photograph for you to hold...
It's a picture of the prize, you hunter...


Lyrics submitted by equivalence

Apollo and the Buffalo and Anna Anna Anna Oh! song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +1
    My Interpretationthis might relate to the Anna Oh! business? ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    cutcopypasteon May 27, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm definitely hearing "crime we committed in the NIGHT"
    afimrtlon May 30, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaningwe climbed up the cross (?) on the mountain on new year's eve
    it was just God, the blizzard, the dreamweaver and me

    my god, i miss the way we used to be
    so here's a photograph for you to hold
    it's my picture right before i got old
    it's a picture of a buffalo
    that we rode into extinction
    that was the crime we committed in the night


    At the recent Vancouver (30/6/09) show Spencer explained some of these lyrics in an interlude.

    They come from an incident years earlier with two of his friends, Hadji (formerly of Wolf Parade) and Steve Snard (?).

    One night in Montreal they had been smoking weed and wandering, when they came across a huge landmark cross. The three of them decided to climb it (god, the blizzard, the dreamweaver & me), setting off alarms in the process (the "crime"). I'm pretty sure he said this happened on a Christmas eve although the song references new years'.
    takktakkon July 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe whole Bertha Pappenheim/Anna O. thing doesn't fit. This song, in fact, this entire album is full of themes about getting older and settling down, and this Anna O. thing has nothing to do with that. Spencer is far more prone to writing metaphors about his personal life than he is to making obscure historical references. The lines about Anna and the repeated "Anna, Anna, Anna, Oh! Why'd you change your name?" to me seem to be a clear reference to Up on Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days. In that song, he expresses unhappiness/regret that this woman (friend? ex-lover?) has enslaved herself to settling down/married life. This song, full of nostalgia, talks about the times when Anna would play guitar and ends with the "why'd you change your name?", (meaning, why did you get married/settle down). But this borrowed thought from Up on Your Leopard has more sadness in this song (there was more frustration/anger in the other) as he is using that event as a metaphor for a larger happening: he is not merely talking about losing "Anna" to marriage but how him and (i'm assuming) his friends are losing their youth and missing those times in the past. You can even see how that metaphor comes to be in these lines:

    "because it's been a long time since we sat around the willow tree fire
    where Anna played guitar and the rest of us fell in love
    that was back before she changed her name"

    If any, I think this line sums it all up: "my god, i wish the way we used to be"

    While I give credit to those of you who have shed some light on the mythological references, I think mostly he is using them almost as pseudonyms for his friends.
    kitschwithteethon September 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTaktak's mention of the Montreal Cross makes perfect sense. Being a Montrealer as well as Spencer Krug, I got the reference immediately.

    "Anna Oh!" is probably a reference to Bertha Pappenheim, an important client of Sigmund Freud's and a major case study in hysteria, who was referred to in Freud's writing under the pseudonym "Anna O."
    TheLastRoboton February 09, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti admittedly need a lot of help/suggestions on this one.
    equivalenceon May 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe buffalo had given up on the world
    and apollo, apollo is kissing all the valley girls
    we climbed up the cross (?) on the mountain on new year's eve
    it was just God, the blizzard, the dreamweaver and me

    my god, i miss the way we used to be
    so here's a photograph for you to hold
    it's my picture right before i got old
    it's a picture of a buffalo
    that we rode (?) into extinction
    that was the crime we committed in the night

    apollo, i heard your sister is equated with the moon
    i think your sister is just another Runaround Sue
    i say where have you been, where have you been, Erato?
    where have you been, where have you been, Erato?

    because it's been a long time since we sat around the willow tree fire
    where Anna played guitar and the rest of us fell in love
    that was back before she changed her name
    did he ever find out where to her side was fame?

    like the days before anna changed her name
    well here's a photograph for you to hold
    it's my picture right before i got old
    it's a picture of a buffalo
    that we rode into extinction
    that was the crime you committed in the night
    that was the crime you committed in the night
    so here's a photograph for you to hold
    it's my picture right before i got old
    it's a picture of a prize (?)

    you hunter, you hunter, oh you hunter

    Anna, Anna, Anna, Anna, oh, why'd you change your name?



    i'm pretty sure about most of that. Runaround Sue is the name a song from the 60s - i'm not sure why it's there but i'm pretty sure that's right and he definitely doesn't say "fool." Erato is one of the Greek muses, and she is generally shown carrying an instrument that Apollo invented, so that makes sense. The last major change I made was "where Anna played guitar and the rest of us fell in love" instead of "we're on the flaming tower and the rest of us headed home" which I'm positive about. And then there were some pronoun changes. The only lyrics i'm not sure about are "we climbed up THE CROSS," but that seems kind of right, "that we RODE into extinction" which could be roll like you had it, but mostly "did he ever find out where to her side was fame?" which i'm positive is wrong but I have no idea what it is.
    jetfan1824on May 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel like "Anna" is a reference to something I just don't get. But it doesn't matter, I love it anyway.

    The other themes, growing old, the moon (artemis), etc etc are recurring... such a great albuM!1!
    JasonBelieveMeon May 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it sounds more like "crime you committed in the name" as well
    tjwellson May 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song moves me.
    owlonthegroundon July 02, 2009   Link

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