"Tin (The Manhole)" as written by Jonathan Joseph Higgs, Jeremy Joseph Pritchard, Alexander Kaines Robertshaw and Michael David Spearman....
I'll be the fox by the road I am
Enormous and evolved.
A predatory mass, in the dark I am unseen
Me dripping oil from my tail and
My eyes are through the fumes
Yellow as the arc of imagined L.E.D's.

I leave a path in the snow little
Rainbow diesel paws
I devour the smoke that erupts from all exhaust.
I make a dash for the median
There's a banshee searing past
And everything is light
And it's noise and I reach the grass.

My eyes are wide and my teeth dropping
Straight out of my skull
They clatter on the road anatomically displayed.
I am as lithe as a vine as I
Whisper up the verge
And I am almost up to the shoulders of a horse.

Little Sea Anemone, pool of rocks
Why'd you see, an enemy I cannot?
Could there be, a more heavenly artifact?
As pure as that?

I sleep a while in the dark of a
Warehouse by the sea
I am now as giant as the sun I used to love.
My limbs are shoots springing forth I am
Impossible and black,
And I can feel the gravity rushing into me.

I feel a pull on my fur and a
A hundred tiny hands
I can feel the men and the women clamber on.
They will embrace me tonight as a
A father and a son,
And I will carry homo-sapiens through the night.

I can not imagine the things they did to you.
I cannot imagine the way it feels for you.
I can feel the gravity rushing into me.
I am but a hole in the fabric of the scene.
I was but a drop in the ocean all along.


Lyrics submitted by toadtws

"Tin (The Manhole)" as written by Jeremy Joseph Pritchard Alexander Kaines Robertshaw

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Tin (The Manhole) song meanings
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  • +3
    My InterpretationSome things I wanted to say about this song.
    There's a fox next to the road, covered in oil and it made a oily trail in the snow to get there.

    The fox attempts to cross to the "median" or the middle of the road.
    (Banshee - dictionary definition: (Irish folklore) a female spirit who wails to warn of impending death)
    So the fox experiences a near-death experience, getting hit by a car. "And everything is light and it's noise and I reach the grass" the fox then pulls itself off the road to the grass.

    As shane says, there is then a description of the mullered body (excuse my slang lol :D).
    "I am as lithe as a vine" lithe is to be floppy or flexible.
    as I Whisper up the verge" Silently moves up along the border between the road and the grass.

    NOW THIS IS THE DIFFICULT PART :D
    "And I am almost up to the shoulders of a horse."
    I think the fox pulls itself towards a horse, but it's pulling itself along the ground, it can only see up to the horse's shoulders.

    The person on the horse notices the fox and describes it as a "Little Sea Anemone, pool of rocks" Sea anemones are different to coral because they have no skeleton. They have jellyfish like tentacles, so the person looks at the wreck of the fox and describes it as a sea anemone.

    "Why'd you see, an enemy I cannot?" the person speaks to the fox, wondering how this happened to it.
    "Could there be, a more heavenly artefact? As pure as that?" the person is intrigued by the fox, how beautiful it is to him/her.

    Then as shane also says, the fox is taken to a warehouse by the sea. It is basically made into a coat or quilt, or something similar that a family buy to protect themselves from the cold.

    Now it's the last lines of lyric that I'm finding very difficult to understand.

    "I can not imagine the things they did to you.
    I cannot imagine the way it feels for you.
    I can feel the gravity rushing into me.
    I am but a hole in the fabric of the scene.
    I was but a drop in the ocean all along."

    Who is speaking? Is it the fox still? If so does it feel sorry for itself?
    Maybe the fox sees other dead animals in the factory and realises that it's not the only animal that is killed and used for it's fabric. That's why it says, "I am but a hole in the fabric of the scene." and "I was but a drop in the ocean all along." He realises that there are many animals who like him are used for their fur.

    That's what I've got on this song. So well written I must say, very interesting.

    -softmint
    SoftMinton December 06, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti love these lyrics - ambiguous but not meaningless. i wish i could write like this.
    my interpretation is this song is about a car crash, and hes comparing himself(or the car wreckage) to a fox on the side of the road. dripping oil from the tail (exhaust pipe) and the LED bit is describing headlights.
    the part after this seems to describe the crash and shock of it
    "And everything is light and it's noise and I reach the grass.
    My eyes are wide and my teeth dropping
    Straight out of my skull"
    i'd love to know what the horse bit means...
    the anemone and rock pool bit doesnt seem to fit in with my theory either, it actually sticks out to me as if it was put into the song later..
    id like to think the last part is about him being in hospital. and hes comparing himself to the injured fox.
    Joeingtonon April 19, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'll be the first to have a go. I absolutely love this song but I'm not sure it's supposed to mean anything.

    What I think it could be about is an urban fox who gets killed crossing the road and then turned into a fur coat........ let me explain.

    The first two verses describe the fox in a polluted environment : dripping oil from my tail , eyes through the fumes , rainbow diesel paws { because of the petrol on his paws the paw prints look like a rainbow } , smoke that erupts from all exhaust.

    He then try's to cross a road describing the car as a "Banshee searing past". He gets hit : "everything is light and it's noise and I reach the grass".

    The next verse is the description of the dead fox lying there.
    "My eyes are wide and my teeth dropping
    Straight out of my skull
    They clatter on the road anatomically displayed"

    Not sure about the 4th verse.

    The 5th verse is where the dead fox is taken to a "Warehouse by the sea" and the fur is harvested.
    "I am now as giant as the sun" could refer to a giant roll of fur from fox hides that have been sewn together.

    Final verse is the fur coat in the store ( i think ). "Feel a pull on my fur , hundred tiny hands" these hands belong to the people trying on the fur coat.

    "They will embrace me tonight as a
    A father and a son, and I will carry homo-sapiens through the night"
    The person who is wearing the coat is embraced by other people , he is a father and a son to others.

    "I will carry homo-sapiens through the night" the job of a fur coat?

    I'm probably miles off......

    Anyway , love the tune!!
    shanefglynnon October 18, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the writer sees a dead fox on the side of the road and imagines what must have happened, fantsizing himself as the fox, not that the song is literally about a fox's actions and thoughts (eg "I'll be the fox by the road...") I think you're both right that the fox is hit by a car, but the reason it is as high as the shoulder of a horse is because he is imagining it being in the air after being hit. Having been hit by a car myself, that was the first thing that occurred to me when I read the lyrics anyway. I don't think, but of course I am totally guessing, that they make road kill into fur coats even in the UK, so the warehouse is, to me, death. The first part of the last lines I take as sort of afterlife riffs of a faceless, anonymous if you will, animal (big as the sun, that he will carry humans on his back, etc.) The last lines are again the writer pondering the fox, he has no idea what they did to him or how it felt to die out there on the side of the road hit by a thing it doesn't understand (a car), and it is the writer who realizes how small and meaningless he is because of this scene.
    whisperfishon March 12, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationwould say it's something to do with the future of humanity and how the fox, wich starts of all animal-y (first verse) having a near death experience (second verse) begins to think that it has a destiny and the "shoulders of a horse" bit is to do with how he is growing in importance (wrong word) and the sea anemone bit is just a non-sequiter about the nature of nature and that the guy talking about the anemone only wants to admire its beauty but it's acting defensive toward him (sea anemones go all spiky and hard when they feel threatend) so he is wondering why if sees him as an enemy when hes not one. the fox thinks is metophorically evolving and sort of expanding with its new purpose (whatever that is) hence "limps springing forth" etc. but he is now so big that he can't appreciate the things he enjoyed as a fox(as giant as the sun i used to love) the gravity could refer to the fact that his mass is so immpossible and huge that he has his own gravity like a black hole. he knows he must complete his mission or message or whatever, and that humanity is looking to him for salvation without knowing it
    so with the burden of that on him he can feel all that pressure and then realises that he cannot do anything and is powerless that's the last few lines in the song. he "cannot imagine" how it feels to be human and can't consieve what they have done to each other. he understands that he is ultimatley meaningless and incosequential. HOW SAD!!!

    (i've express that ver badly, sorry.
    TopCatRobon May 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThose are really interesting ideas. That makes sense too.
    SoftMinton April 12, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with some of the above, mainly the ideas by shanefglynn.

    In addition it seems clear to me that the lyrics:

    "I'll be the fox by the road I am"
    - is the singer explaining to us that he is putting himself in the 'shoes' of the fox.

    "And I am almost up to the shoulders of a horse."
    - is the fox describing being dangled by the person who captured it who is riding on a horse.

    Also:

    "Little Sea Anemone, pool of rocks"
    - is the singer describing the 'pool' of broken bones in the fox's shell which is now like a sea anemone (without bones).

    "Why'd you see, an enemy I cannot?"
    - is the singer being amazed that another human can be an enemy to the fox when if he met he/she in the street they wouldn't seem to be bad at all. He is asking why that should be. (Why do people kill foxes??)

    "Could there be, a more heavenly artifact?
    As pure as that?"
    - Is the singer expressing the beauty and purity of the fox.

    The fifth verse:

    "I am now as giant as the sun I used to love."
    - Is the fox explaining the feeling of passing to spirit.

    "My limbs are shoots springing forth I am
    Impossible and black, and I can feel the gravity rushing into me."
    - is the fox describing how he was eventually killed and the feeling of dying.

    ...the fox's fur of course ends up being worn...

    "I feel a pull on my fur and a
    A hundred tiny hands
    I can feel the men and the women clamber on.
    They will embrace me tonight as a
    A father and a son,"
    - is the fox saying that humans will embrace him tonight as a father and a son (the fox is a father and a son)

    "and I will carry homo-sapiens through the night."
    - is a way of saying that the fur coat that the fox now is will 'carry' evolved apes through the night - in terms of status or social stature.

    (homo-sapien* is a way to describe humans as the evolved ape family)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…

    ...

    "I am but a hole in the fabric of the scene"
    - is the singer feeling like his inaction in the murder scene left a hole in the event so to speak. The singer feels that he left a hole - and if he had filled that hole maybe he could have made a difference. (Fabric refers to the fur the fox now is)

    "I was but a drop in the ocean all along."
    - is the singer saying to the fox that he was so insignificant and that any hope of him saving the fox was like a drop in the ocean. I.e. he is very small in comparison to what was needed. He is feeling the need to explain why he did not save the fox.

    A beautiful song such as this was needed to convey such powerful important lyrics.

    Everything Everything are everything.

    Amen.
    Gremaon May 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the way he sings 'I will carry homosapiens through the night'
    this song is truly magnificent.
    jonjonwinnyon April 11, 2016   Link

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