"Before The Earth Was Round" as written by and Damian Kulash....
Before the earth was round
There was no end to things
And no one tried to measure what they knew

Everything was warm
And everyone was loved
And every contradiction was true

The sun was twice as hot
The moon was twice as far
And the sky was still honestly blue
The sky was still honestly blue

But when the time came
Everything spiraled in
And everyone forgot what they knew

War became a job
And love became a mystery
And heart and head were split into two

Fear and doubt began
And God threw up his hands
And the sky didn't know what to do
The sky didn't know what to do

The sky didn't know what to do


Lyrics submitted by StickstoMagnet, edited by pviddy

"Before the Earth Was Round" as written by Damian Kulash

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Before The Earth Was Round song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionI've been listening to the song a lot lately and I think it's, "And heart and head were bent into two," instead of "bent out of tune."
    affinitty89on February 13, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe lyric "and the sky was still honestly blue" is beautiful to me least of all as it is quietly intelligent. I suppose that part of the message pertains to an age of innocence and where the sky appears blue, it is actually an effect of sunlight passing through the atmosphere. Blue light wavelengths absorbed by the atmosphere are diffused and the sky only really seems to be blue. It's much more romantic to just think of the sky being the perfect blue that we see on a bright clear day. I heard the lyrics and thought it was just perfect. There are loads of lovely subtle things in songs from 'Of the colour of the blue sky'
    etherlullabyon March 24, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationi love this song. when i listen to it, i picture a Wall-E-esque robot sitting on a huge junk pile in a wasteland, staring at the moon and singing sadly.
    smashfeston February 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionI think that "and heart and head were bent out of tune" is actually "and heart and head were rent into two"
    I'm pretty sure the nn sound at the end is just the distortion.
    ReciprocatingSawon March 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThe earth became round when Columbus discovered America. This song is about the native Americans and the world before the ensuing industrial revolution. The laws of nature were true, assuming they survived, everything was free to live and love: everything was war yet everyone would love.

    That was soon replaced with war and the modern version of "love" that is so mysterious we have to seek couples counseling.

    The sky doesn't know what to do: pollution, climate change.

    My favorite part is that God isn't mentioned until the second part, the part where they're explaining how everything is fucked up. I think his exasperation is told as more of a symptom of the problem. We messed the world up, but there's this comforting thought that God and Heaven and a second chance life await us after this one we've destroyed.
    nominalaeonon June 17, 2014   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningSounds like a satirical refutation of nostalgia-fueled reminiscence of 'the good old days'.

    "Back in the good old days, things were better. Not in any way that facts and figures could demonstrate, not in any way that holds up to close examination, but the quality was different and something's been lost!"

    The second half of the song then goes on to make absurd accusations, echoing the cries of the 'world is burning' types. (Who's forgotten anything? War is at relative low in history. Love is perfectly intact. Feelings and logic _should_ be separate. Fear and doubt aren't new. Not touching the religious one. The sky is still honestly blue.)

    Kinda writing this because the rest of the comments seem to suggest the lyrics support the nicer imagery of the first half.
    kaelinringon December 06, 2014   Link
  • -1
    General CommentIn keeping with the line "War became a job", I think the lines above: "Everything was warm" and "And everyone would love" should read "Everything was war" and "But everyone would love". It might not make sense on first considering it, but war needn't be violent. I think it's about struggle only for the sake of triumph, no other agendas. When war becomes a job, it's struggle out of necessity.

    Further, to me the line "and heart and head were bent out of tune" is incorrect. I don't suppose to know what it actually is, but it SOUNDS like "and heart and head were rent into tune". There's definitely a "nnn" sound at the end but it could simply be distortion. I'm thinking it was supposed to be "and heart and head were bent into tune". That kinda makes sense to me, so many lyricists/poets say the head gets in the way of heart matters or vice versa, and the implication is that they certainly shouldn't be "in tune" as that's unnatural (echoes of "everything was war"?).

    This is such a beautiful song. The lyrics have a depth and flow I rarely have the pleasure of hearing. Such a sense of innocence lost and that poor old passive sky becomes a victim and knows regret. How sad.
    Rare a song makes me weep, but this one got me sniffling.

    Technically, I hear some interesting similarities to material from the group Air, and not just the vocal distortion (like Portal's Still Alive), and another group called Battles (that time sig change at the end is so Battles).
    Zecrillonon March 11, 2010   Link

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