"Sylvia (An Introduction)" as written by and Peter Joseph Silberman....
Please, curtains in, start us off
You swing first, sorry
I don't know what I said
But you're crying now again
And that only makes it worse

Let me do my job
Let me do my job

Sylvia, get your head out of the oven
Go back to screaming and cursing
Remind me again how everyone betrayed you
Sylvia, get your head out of the covers
Let me take your temperature
You can throw the thermometer right back at me
If that's what you want to do, okay?

Please, please calm down
Steady out, I'm terrified
Sorry, I want us to ally
But you swing on little knives
They're only sharp on one side

Let me do my job
Let me do my job

Sylvia, get your head out of the oven
Go back to screaming and cursing
Remind me again how everyone betrayed you
Sylvia, get your head out of the covers
Let me take your temperature
You can throw the thermometer right back at me
If that's what you want to do, okay?

Sylvia, can't you see what you are doing?
Can't you see I'm scared to speak
And I hate my voice because it only makes you angry

Sylvia, I only talk when you are sleeping
That's when I tell you everything
And I imagine that somehow you're going to hear me


Lyrics submitted by chris-jericho, edited by Cyberghost

"Sylvia" as written by Peter Joseph Silberman

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Sylvia (An Introduction) song meanings
Add your thoughts

3 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentI found this really interesting. It is basically a more literal, less allegorical version of the Hospice story, woven over one song rather than several.
    TryQuicheon August 05, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis sounds like a well-blended 'Bear' and 'Epilogue' mix, doesn't it? Edges a little more to Epilogue, but still, all three sound really similar, the main difference located in the chorus.
    Was that on purpose or on accident? I like to think it was done deliberately; as if Prologue and Epilogue are parallel stories to each other.
    'Prologue' appears to be the events just after the beginning of the album- when it was told that our patient (I'm going to call her Sylvia for simplicity's sake) was diagnosed with a terminal illness. It's hard to interpret, at least, for me, so I may go about it a little literally- with prior knowledge that Sylvia is a cancer patient (bone cancer, to be specific), she probably knew she had the cancer even when she was a child (it was most likely inactive until the events of the album, however). At this point, they're both supportive of each other and Peter Silberman is trying his hardest to support her. In other words, their love hasn't gone downhill yet.
    However, he doesn't know how she feels. He cannot relate to her anger towards herself being sick nor can he relate to her own self-criticsm and guiltiness towards that dead boy. In 'Wake', which is, I believe, a song dedicated to his friends who he shut out when caring for Sylvia, he states, 'Some patients can't be saved; but that burden's not on you'. I feel that this line is from his friends and co-workers; as kind as these words are, however, they do not understand how he feels at this point.
    By Epilogue- which, I believe is several weeks or even months after Sylvia's death- an interesting change occurs.
    Prologue and Epilogue are closely tied to each other.
    Pro and Ep repeat the same line- "[His/Your] face is up against [yours/mine] and [you're/I'm] too terrified to speak ".
    Sylvia must have gone through a similar experience to Peter's when she was younger. She must have gotten treatment for her underlying cancer when she was young, and might have met someone who was going through similar- if not, worse- situations. They might have gotten close as friends; obviously, however, he died and she felt guilty. (At this point, I'm kind of just inferring, without any evidence- I don't think she felt guilty for causing his death. I think she felt guilty because, maybe, she thought she should've been a better friend, should've made him happier, etc).
    In 'Prologue', Peter says "I won't pretend I understand, because I can't and know I never will."
    While it's not stated in Epilogue that he has now understood her (or at least, is able to relate to her at some level) at this point, it's certainly implied, especially in that repetitive line.
    I believe that this entire album's story did not consist only of the downfall of what was once a perfect relationship- I believe it was a relationship that was imperfect in the first place, got worse, and, morbidly, came to a satisfied end. Sylvia and Peter most likely did not see eye to eye during her illness- her anger towards him and his ever-growing frustration and exasperation with having to put up with it- he never understood why she did what she did. He questions it constantly throughout the album. He knows it's because she's angry that she was ill- however, he doesn't relate to the feeling.
    By Epilogue, he has understood her- he has realized the feeling of losing someone so close, and the feeling of anger towards oneself for not being able to keep them from that fate. Now, he can truly come to terms with not only the death of his beloved but the death of their relationship.

    Several things, however, I can't make good sense of- could someone explain?
    He makes several remarks about Sylvia putting her head under a stove, or under a house; he also makes several remarks about relating dreams to stories and nightmares being woven. I know it is significant, however I can't...seem to say what they represent.
    fivetreeson August 29, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCorrect lyrics:

    When you were younger, you had nightmares
    You had scissor-pain and phantom limbs
    And things that kept you nervous
    Through that twelve-year interim

    When you fell crossing that street
    South of Houston, old Manhattan land
    Those nightmares fell from building-tops
    And took you by the hand

    And you were brought into those rooms
    With sliding curtains, shining children's heads
    And one of them, that boy
    Was not as lucky as you then

    But he returns to you at night
    Just when you think you might have fallen asleep
    His face is up against yours
    And you're too terrified to speak

    Oh, Sylvia
    Oh, Sylvia
    You may think that I'm not listening
    But I am, goddamn, I am

    I won't pretend I understand
    Because I can't, and know I never will
    But something makes you sting
    And something makes you want to kill

    It made you crawl under that house
    And stick your head under the stove
    It's all connected
    In those complicated nightmares that you wove

    Oh, Sylvia
    Oh, Sylvia
    You may think that I'm not listening
    But I am, goddamn, I am
    Cyberghoston August 05, 2015   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain