"Scars on Land" as written by Eirik Glambek Boe and Erlend Otre Oeye....
We take what's dead
And breathe life in
And move like knives
Through scars on land

Still untouched
No stain of hands
In a tilted light

No chain stays unbroken
All aims get forgotten

The weight of lead
On floors of sand
The idea reduced again
To outcome

No chain stays unbroken
All aims get forgotten

Lyrics submitted by haruki

"Scars on Land" as written by Erlend Otre Oeye Eirik Glambek Boe

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Scars on Land song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationFive years after submitting this lyric I still listen to this song and find it powerful and mysterious. I've always assumed the speaker is talking about humanity writ large. The first verse talks about the way people spread from place to place. Any unoccupied space is "dead", or empty, even though it isn't ACTUALLY empty, until we "move like knives through scars on land", potentially a reference to the valleys where humans have often congregated around rivers or other water sources—and "breathe life in" (create settlements, start farming for food and surviving as a group).

    The second verse might be talking about the spaces where humanity is still thin on the ground—the few places on Earth left "still untouched", the "stain of hands" being our mark upon the spaces we've settled. I think "caramelized in a tilted light" is just a poetic way of describing, perhaps, the late-day sunlight upon these places; that they appear golden, sweet, and/or unspoiled by our presence.

    The last verse is the most opaque, but I think smorgasborddd is on the right track. To me it's a comment on how human culture works. "Floors of sand" would naturally be shifting and unstable, causing the "weight of lead" to be ill-supported. Perhaps this is a reference to the fragility of humanity at large, in the face of an uncaring universe—even our most secure-seeming structures (physical or cultural) can be obliterated by disaster, or just the march of time and slow decay. And "the idea reduced to outcome" might be a reference to how high-minded ideals or philosophies can often be corrupted by a pragmatic or twisted vision, leading to suffering.

    The chorus, it seems to me, unites these ideas in a kind of melancholy existential dread. The first line suggests a rigidity or cyclical certainty that even if we think we've broken something that binds us (an idea, a cultural institution, a philosophy, maybe even a physical constraint) it will not stay that way. It suggests that despite our efforts to change our circumstances or ourselves, we really can't. And the second line suggests that, perhaps in an even larger sense, even our pursuit of these ends is doomed to failure because we can't even keep in mind what our goal is.

    Heavy stuff.
    harukion December 09, 2014   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningTo me, it sounds like "We take what's dead
    And breathe life in" can refer to trying to bring back a relationship, or something that can't be brought back into culture. And opening up old wounds (through scars on land)
    I'm not sure what the middle verse means. Something that seems pure is actually not in a different view or perspective?
    Old wounds are being opened up and things are being destroyed, and the original purpose for these actions were forgotten.
    It sounds like the third verse is talking about oppression.
    This is a very hard song to interpret.
    smorgasbordddon August 10, 2010   Link

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