darling cruises the streets for pleasure
sky-scrapers in the dead of dawn
robbing blood, a selfless creature
here forever and then she's gone

radios play nothing when she's far away
tv antenna, nothing, gone to waste
radio, transmitting nowhere, falls away
she's far away

every corner creeping panic
fleet lightening in an abstract mind
rubber stamps and dreams of cash flow
while blood is start-and-go

radios play nothing when she's far away
tv antenna, rusting, gone to waste
radio, transmitting nowhere, falls away
she's far away

every day i feel more like her
she trained magic in the bed and gone
out for blood, my selfless lover
forever yours, then she's gone

radios play nothing when she's far away
tv antenna, nothing, gone to waste
radio transmitting nowhere falls away
she's far away


Lyrics submitted by meg;

Antenna song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI agree with Santiagof - it actually makes a lot of sense that the subject of this song would be the band in itself. The lyrics seem to insinuate both how timeless and how rusty their own history is. Their history is inescapable and permanent. It’s almost as though Sonic Youth cannot escape their own narratives about themselves and their place of influence in the music scene. Sonic Youth also doesn’t want to fall into history so they continue to create new music so they don’t fade away. I think that some of these ideas cumulate with the timeless images of New York City in the first verse. New York City is their origin and a place where they constantly go back to. The metaphors of the city being full of grime, gore, sex shows (cruises the street for pleasure) remain cemented in the public’s (and even the band’s) psyche even though there have been drastic changes to the city during the bands 30 year history. The sex clubs in Times Square have been closed, the lower east side is now a tourist venue etc. But, no matter what, there is still a heavy foundation on these images of a past New York and past New York musicians.
    notyourfiendon June 20, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti have seen so many people on so many amazing songs say "why hasnt anyone commented on this song?"...

    but seriously, why hasnt anysone said anything about this song...totally my favorite one on the new album

    sonic youth is the most unappreciated band out there.

    dmbstanon June 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm wondering if this is about Thurston realizing he's lost Kim? She's out doing whatever she wants and he's left on his own; to his own devices? He's unsure how the band can go on even?

    "Radio's play nothing when she's far away!"

    Honestly, ever since Sonic Nurse, I've always felt the songs seemed more personal but I just couldn't tell from what. Now, since the announcement of the seperation between Thurston & Kim, I can't help but wonder if majority of the songs are actually about their relationship with each other?
    mwanteroon November 09, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAgree. Pretty much as the chorus says, not commenting here is like going to waste, heh.

    I was thinking that the "girl" portrayed by Thurston here could be youth itself. After all, he's past 50...
    And he's speaking about someone who goes away quickly and is quite intense.

    Just a thought.
    Santiagofon June 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn the first stanza, pretty sure it's "Throbbing blood, my unselfless creature/forever yours and then she's gone." And in the second stanza, it's either "while blood has started crime" or "started cryin'"
    realitysoldieron August 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhile the bit about "cruising the streets for pleasure" could be about prostitution, it could also just be about young people roaming the city looking without any monetary compensation in mind. So, I would agree with people who think the song is about an intense affair that ends quickly just due to happenstance - new job or school or whatever puts people in different places before they've had the chance to discover how they really feel about one another.
    grasswidow103on November 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe song seems to about Eva Prinz, Thurston's mistress. Kim stated in her book that on the last tour "Thurston made it clear that he didn't want to play this Sonic Youth song, or that Sonic Youth song. It became clear that some of these songs were about her [the mistress]." Sonic Youth had played "Antenna" at almost every show in 2009 and 2010, but was conspicuously absent in 2011.

    And look at the last verse;

    "every day i feel more like her
    she trained magic in the bed and gone
    out for blood, my selfless lover
    forever yours, and then she's gone"

    He's falling in love, not trying to save a dying relationship. But he misses seeing her on tour thus the "forever yours, and then she's gone" line, followed by the wistful chorus.
    Jestoon425on August 03, 2015   Link

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