"I Say Fever" as written by and Brent Knopf....
Before she met me she took herself to wait five years
After I met her, her teacher said "Best wait five years."
I ask my neighbors, they said it's wise to wait five years.

I say "Fever."

I told a friend how I'm feeling and this made her sad
'Cause she fears that no man will ever desire her so bad.
How dare I feel this and do naught but sit on my hands.

I say "Fever."

Hold my heart like a hot potato,
Push the clock for an hour later.
This is just code to decipher
Found my ploughman, chased the piper.

That ended up.
That's all now.
These are the ones who talk.
Never a lick, needs her to kiss him.

The first five years go by and we are no longer here.
I blame myself for not taking steps to draw her near.
I try to decide what to do now based on love not fear.

I say "Fever."

(Four years)

Hold my heart like a hot potato,
Push the clock for an hour later.
This is just code to decipher
Found my ploughman, chased the piper.

Lyrics submitted by halftruth

"I Say Fever" as written by Brent Knopf

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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I Say Fever song meanings
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  • +6
    General Comment"This is just code to decipher"



    FFerreton September 02, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI find it hard to truly master all of the subtexts in this song. Of course I can see that it is primarily about the center of extreme tension between romantic engagement and the urge to let things develop over time. But the drive to delay the relationship five years seems to me to be quite elusive.

    What is the speaker waiting for exactly? At first, I considered sex, or marriage. Then, he blows that inference right out of my hand by stating that he had missed the chance to draw her near. I couldn't help but be taken aback and ask myself, "What the hell? He didn't even get close to her in that time!?"

    So what's the reason for this ridiculous delay? On a literal level, the speaker tells us. The woman, her teacher, and the neighbors all suggest that a five-year wait time (for some stage of engagement in the relationship) is ideal, if not necessary. A female friend, with an envious frustration, tells him that's bollocks and that he should go for her right then.

    But he doesn't listen to her, and then they are eventually separated. And he's left with that raw emotional drive inside him as four more years go by. With a hamlet-like indecision, he reasons that he is solving a puzzle through delay, "this is just a code to decipher."

    How he reaches this thought process also escapes me. Maybe it has something to do with the line "found my ploughman, chased the piper," which I don't fully understand. I can think of the piper part as an allusion to the story of the Pied Piper, who lead the rats out of a city. So perhaps he's admitting that he is hunting her down in his mind..or maybe that his thoughts have led him in a stray, however organized he pretends they can be (juxtaposing the image of all the rats falling into a line, but ending up in demise).

    If you put a gun to my head and demanded an interpretation, I would conclude that the song is about the extremely passionate desire for a romance with someone who does not feel ready to reciprocate. Compounding that is all the "neighbors," "teachers," envious other parties, and "the ones that talk" which create these oppressive social circumstances that create these tensions in the first place. At the end of the day, he is left with his extreme fever of an unrequited love, infatuation, or lust (you be the judge).

    I absolutely adore the vocals in this song, and the crescendo at the 1-line chorus, and the music video (which you MUST see if you haven't already--it's phenomenally creative--check it out on YouTube).
    proofplzon January 08, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"So what's the reason for this ridiculous delay?"

    If I had to guess, he thinks he's not in a sufficiently objective or analytical mindset to make so serious a decision. This is what might give that away:

    "How dare I feel this and do naught but sit on my hands.

    I say, 'Fever.'"

    If those two lines actually are sequential in the story, his explanation for his own inaction is fever, presumably as in a feverish emotion that needs to be tempered by a long wait:

    "Hold my heart like a hot potato,
    push the clock for an hour later."

    He's not going to make a decision until his heart calms down and, one thinks, lets his rational brain take over. But of course this is a disastrous strategy, especially when the cool-down period is FIVE YEARS. As for the ploughman/piper thing, well...damned if I know. The best I can come up with is that he wants to locate the ploughman in himself - the grinder, the hard worker, the blue-collar thinker - and expel the piper - the flighty, energetic, irresponsible thinker. It's a bit of a stretch, granted, but it's all I got.

    You've hit the nail on the head, by the way, about oppressive social circumstances. This guy is obviously fenced in on all sides by self-appointed experts who in reality don't know jack. It would've been one thing, I think, if the object of his desire hadn't put herself in the same camp, but it's just not realistic to think you can singlehandedly reshape somebody else's thought process when that person has the weight of common knowledge behind them. Add that to this person's seeming inexperience (naivete, one might even say) and he basically never had a shot.
    larrynivenon January 08, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the two of you are spot on with your interpretations of this song. I don't have anything to add to these, but I do have a couple of interesting tidbits that I gleaned from carefully watching the video many times. I don't know if the video and the song are related, but it seems to me that they aren't, but I could be wrong. However, here are some things about the video I noticed and found interesting:

    0:16 - The elderly lady in the stagecoach holds the bottle of perfume for the younger woman. The bottle says 'Fieber', which means fever in the German language.

    0:20 - The three men inside what looks to be a saloon of some kind, appear to be playing spades. The right-most man throws down what appears to be a Jack of spades, the highest trump.

    1:45 - The wanted posters say "Proclamation of the heads of our faire towne. Wanted. For acts against the peace and dignity of our townspeople. (Then a picture of the hawk) Rewards, for the arrest of-"

    2:06 - The time on the stopwatch held by the boar in the forest is 10:30.

    3:19 - The grim reaper can be seen in the background, as the woman is running towards the rabbit man.
    AvNon August 20, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFor those of you speculating the relevance of the video to the song lyrics, they are in fact very tightly knit. The video simply offers a 3rd person and objective perspective to the events conspiring, whereas the lyrics only provide the perspective of our protagonist.

    The lyrics of the song would have you believe the man is pursuing a naive and innocent damsel whom society deems necessary to keep naive and innocent. Our protagonist has fallen madly in love with her and his desperation to have her is crippling.

    The video however, reveals the other side of the coin. Our damsel is far from naive or innocent. She has in fact used her sexuality as a means to manipulate the willpower of our protagonist in aiding her in her true motives. The Perfume sprayed when she first meets the man, does nothing but further indulge this theory. It's as if she places him under her "spell". You can infer that the idea of a 5 year wait is still relevant in the video by seeing that he has fallen ill. This is most likely a metaphor for his pain of not having the one he adores, more so then a direct statement of illness.

    The Removal of human heads, and the revelation of the animal heads is very simply the revelation of that individual's true primal nature. You'll notice that our protagonist, when revealed, is an innocent hare, with no inkling of the terrible danger he is in, or that he has been used. Whereas our damsel, is in fact the vicious and cunning wolf, who will take him as prey after he has fulfilled his role in her plan.

    The stage is set for some form of exchange. Late, and in the forest, the man we are lead to believe is the villain (our gun-toting hawk) has met with another man. It appears he is exchanging the heads for a some of money or some other treasure. The heads most likely being direct metaphors for the most valued and prized personal possessions of the townsfolk.

    We then see that our protagonist is stalking the man and waiting to seize his gains from the encounter. We can quickly infer by events that transpire afterward, that the damsel has set him up to this. He is motivated by the idea of proving his love to her, and that he may have her if he does what she has requested. He intercepts the hawk and attempts to claim the funds.

    After his success, our damsel then reveals to have been watching all along. She comes to claim her winnings after having the grunt work done for her. Our protagonist, startled, flustered, and genuinely surprised to see her, then has his world shattered upon the revelation of her true motives.

    When realizing, that he has in fact, been used; he attempts to end her. He fails. Her true nature is revealed and she takes his life. Collecting the items from both sides of the exchange. This we can tell because her carriage is filled with the heads, and we can assume she also leaves with the bag. She then puts her "human head" back on as her facade to move on to whatever it is she has planned next.

    The part that will really get you however, is when you wonder if she was also manipulating the hawk through the same means.

    The video is brilliantly presented. It is an elaborate and artistic way of telling a story with one of the most common and simplistic of themes.
    Emprahon March 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne question to you all: I've got the feeling, that the people in the video - at least some of them - resemble famous persons. For example the steel guitar playing "dwarf" becoming a Lion - Leonardo da Vinci? Also some of the others seem known to me but I can't really allocate the faces.

    An idea?
    BattleMageon October 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionI think that in the "hot potato" verse the last line is "If I'm the plowman, she's the piper."
    As for this verse that follows, I'm at a loss myself to what he says, but most of the written lyrics sound inaccurate to me... Unfortunately I don't have a better take on it to provide.
    tgbrowon January 08, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso, that should read "A sum of money" not "a some of money". My apologies lol.
    Emprahon March 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe video was done by Bent Image Lab, Portland Oregon. Ramona Falls is out of Portland, Oregon. I'd like to assume that the video, had some oversight by the musicians that produced the music
    mrdennmannon December 11, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationVery simply, I believe this song is about a man who is in love with an underage girl. The clues are all there, but by his own admission he has purposely obscured them (because, let's be honest: the topic is controversial, to say the least).

    Okay, first off, the very first sentence is a bit of a red herring in context. The notion that this girl "took herself to wait five years" refers to the fact that she had already promised herself not to have sex until after she had graduated high school. It doesn't have much of anything to do with the song's narrator, as it was something she decided before she ever met him.

    Then we move on strictly to his point-of-view. He has fallen for a very young girl--13, I'm guessing, since it would take a 13-year-old five years to reach the age of consent. When the narrator says, "This is just code to decipher," what he's really saying is, there are clues to the girl's age in the song if you're paying attention, the first and most prominent being the five years that serves as the song's leitmotif. But there are other clues too.

    One of the biggest ones is the reference to the Piper. The most famous in all of literature is the Pied Piper of Hamelin, and if you know the story, then you know that the Piper wound up leading all of the town's children away from town after the townspeople refused to pay him for ridding it of rats. This is a pretty solid metaphor for the idea that it would be easy for the narrator to lead this girl (who probably has a major crush on him) down the wrong path. Kids are easy to manipulate and that's the point there. So, when he says he chased the Piper, he means he chased off the temptation to take this girl before her time.

    As for the Plowman, in The Canterbury Tales the Plowman was a symbol of great virtue. Thus, when the narrator "found his Plowman" he means that he found his virtue and resisted temptation. Thus, "Found my Plowman, chased the Piper" are really just two ways of saying the same thing.

    Another clue is, "hold my heart like a hot potato." Hot Potato is, of course, a game famously played by children. Thus, this girl has the narrator's heart in her hands, but she is too young to know what to do with it.

    Finally, the biggest clue comes in the form of one of the people advising him: her teacher. Who has teachers? Adults usually do not. This is a young girl still of school age.

    His final realization about all of this is that, five years after the fact, when the girl finally reaches maturity, she is no longer interested in him: "The first five years go by and we are no longer here." Thus, he decides, "I blame myself for not taking steps to draw her near. I try to decide what to do now based on love not fear." He's saying he should've seized the opportunity while he had it, struck while the iron was hot, so to speak. Instead of being afraid of the consequences, next time he will make his move based on his heart, not his head.

    Now, please keep in mind that this song is just a song. It deals with a difficult theme, and it's point is somewhat obscured, but it says nothing about Brent Knopf, okay? Just so that's clear.
    Starwatcher23on May 31, 2017   Link

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