Mild apprehension
Blank dreams of the coming fun
Distort the odds of a turnaround
Gut screams out next to none
So turn it on
Tune it in
And stay inert
You say, "I've got the backbone"
The back way to escape the gun
Climbing a tree with a missing limb
And not saving anyone
And now it hurts
To stay at home
And see
Flash
The mirror ball's throwing mold
You can't get a grip if there's nothing to hold
See the flash catch a white lily laugh and wilt
But if you must smash a glass first fill it to the hilt

Plants
As far as I know are still
Still bending toward the light
And if we dance
Until the heart explodes
It'll make this place ignite
And even if this hall collapses
I can stand by my pillar of hope it's just
A case of Flash delirium

Here's a growing culture
Deep inside a corpse
Ages stuck together
Taking it to the source
Timeless desperation
Pictures on a screen scream
"Hey people, what does it mean?"

Comfort keeps us nice
So quick to donate everything (nothing arrives)
Die wolken drifting blinding smiles circling (einkreisen)
But time's tingling spines
Attaching hands to floor
The rosy-tinted flash

The hot dog's getting cold
And you'll never be as good as the Rolling Stones
Watch the birds in the airport gathering dirt
Crowd the clean magazine chick lifting up her skirt

(Why close one eye and try to
Pledge allegiance to the sun
When plastic ghosts start terrorizing everyone
Geometric troops aligning
Carried up to the burial mounds
My earthbound heart is heavy
Your heartbeat keeps things light
With the violence forever threatening the night
And even if this hall collapses
I can stand by my pillar of hope and trust)
Lines when I close my eyes and just
Aim blindly at the sun
And hear love
When the ghosts start singing terrorizing everyone
Geometric troops aligning
Carried up to the burial mounds with gold
It's a heavy load but your
Your rhythm makes it light and explode
Like a violent star keeps threatening the night
And even if this hall collapses
I can stand by my pillar of hope and trust
That our heads won't bust

66 55 red battleships
40 earthlike planets
3 holes 2 tits
1 fork in its side
Zero tears in their eyes

Sue the spiders
Sink the Welsh
Stab your Facebook
Sell, sell, sell
Undercooked
Overdone
Mass adulation not so funny
Poisoned honey
Pseudo-science
Silly money
You're my honey


Lyrics submitted by owenp277

Flash Delirium song meanings
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62 Comments

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  • +16
    Song MeaningI think I finally get the video! And perhaps the song as well if they are both related.

    The beginning of the video shows MGMT's fans who are excited that they have a new album, so its like a welcoming party. They're old people cause they're old fans of MGMT. And then we see someone try to open the bandages on Ben's neck, as they try to discover another "hit song" by MGMT (I'll explain that later). With the whole puppet part, I think MGMT is branching off from people liking them for the wrong reasons to make a general comment about society, and making the same mistakes over and over.

    Then the woman starts to play that song on the recorder or whatever, which encourages Ben to show his own song. There's a hole in Ben's neck which produced MGMT's more popular songs.. "Kids", "Electric Feel", etc. Its bandaged up, to represent that MGMT won't make any more mainstream songs. It was supposed to heal. Andrew is hesitating on whether or not to show any one another mainstream song from the eel, aka "Electric Feel", aka another hit song. Then Ben rips off the bandage and the 'hit song' starts to play.. and then people have "wtf" looks on their faces cause they were probably expecting the music they played in their previous album. And some other people just see the dollar signs (the military dudes who take it out of Ben's throat), by transforming their music and MGMT's image into something they didn't want. The eel, aka the song, is then put into the music business system "strange machine".As a result of that, the song becomes mainstream, and the people who wtf'd at the song before suddenly like it and are dancing to it! the fake fans of mgmt.. they just like it now cause its popular. The military people could represent MGMT's fans who just are waiting for another "Electric Eel" or "Kids" to make a big deal about.

    And then craziness ensues.. the flashing lights.. meaning the more fame. I think the song is called Flash Delirium because MGMT is blatantly saying they don't want to be mainstream, cause all the flash bulbs of cameras going off by people making a big deal out of them, taking pics, etc, is making them crazy.

    Maybe Ben was thinking about making another "Electric Feel" song, but Andrew told him of the consequences.. and told him that all this craziness would ensue, and they'd become even more famous, which isn't their goal, since there are people who just listen to their popular songs because its "hip" and won't listen to their other songs yet say they are big fans. In the video shows Ben going along with what Andrew said until he was tempted to show the song and then they literally take the life out of him.. (by taking out the eel) but he's famous! "A case of flash delirium" means they are sick of the fame! On the other hand, maybe IRL Ben feels the same way as Andrew w/ the whole thing (most likely) but they did this song to show people what would happen if they just made another "Electric Feel" and how it would drive them crazy.. they don't wanna be consumed by fame.

    Sorry this is repetitive but I was on a roll! Haha, hope this helped.. I spent like half an hour typing this... haha thats sad. I hope I got this relatively right, MGMT, if you're reading this! (:
    suntasticon April 10, 2010   Link
  • +6
    General Commentsuch great song writing right here..
    STAB YOUR FACEBOOK! hhaah
    Proof327on March 09, 2010   Link
  • +6
    General CommentOne of the reasons I find MGMT at once fascinating, entertaining and disturbing (which is exactly the effect I think they intended) is because, unlike most pop bands today, they're not literal, and their lyrics are hard to interpret.

    I'm going to assume that, as with many good poets, they line their songs with multiple layers of meaning, so an eel can at once be a sexual metaphor (i.e. a penis) while also standing for, as some have said, inner-inspiration or a previous song (like "Electric Feel").

    My interpretation based upon the combination of the lyrics and the video is that this is an anti-war song and an anti-modern culture song. MGMT is saying, "There's a disgusting war on, and even those people who are opposed to war or military culture are just kind of tuning out and immersing themselves in meaningless distractions, such as Facebook and consumer culture and scantily clad models in magazines, rather than truly speaking out and being outraged, as 60s culture did."

    In other words, there's been no vocal, viable alternative or opposition to war except a plastic, self-obsessed, consumerist culture.

    For instance, "blank dreams of the coming fun
    distort the odds of a turnaround" could mean that youth culture's fascination with banal fun (Facebook, television, beauty models) makes it unlikely there will ever be a "turnaround" to society that will result in an end to the wars and aggression.

    Instead, we're "inert."

    So why bother striving for some nobler purpose when consumerism seems to negate meaningfulness?: "why close one eye and try to
    pledge allegiance to the sun
    when plastic ghosts start terrorizing everyone"

    However, there's hope for us yet, as nature always aims for something better, some kind of growth and progress... "Plants
    as far as i know are still,
    still bending toward the light
    and if we dance
    until the heart explodes
    it'll make this place ignite"

    That said, the poster who interpreted the lyrics and the video as a reaction to the negative reaction from fans and music critics to their new album was probably on the right track, too, and I think both
    interpretations probably hold merit.
    FunkyFastFreddyon June 17, 2010   Link
  • +5
    General CommentA great single for MGMT, ive been waiting so long for this i love MGMT. The songs lyrics are very powerful and to me this song is about how the world or humanity is emotionless and we care for what we shouldnt care for and that all we do, we do without feelings no emotion and its driving him crazy. this song is trying to tell us to get our minds straight and to look at what society has done to us. Thats what Flash Delirium is about for me. Anyone else have more interpretations?

    eternalflameS2S2on March 10, 2010   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationThis song and video combination is trying to tell a world of things at once. Mgmt is trying to tell us how horrible much of society has come to be. They are trying to show how people get excited over terrible things and how real things that happen every day aren't good enough for us now. People are emotionless and don't realize what really matters anymore. They expect to all be super heroes or to save people's lives, and just living isn't good enough for them. How we all care about things that don't matter at all or care too much about terrible things.
    koldkingon April 05, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI think this song makes many points, one of them being that no matter what nature is always going to strive for the same thing, and that human existence is always going to want more and more, until eventually destroying itself.
    ____________________________

    "Plants
    as far as i know are still,
    still bending toward the light"

    I'd say this line represents what I said before about nature always needing the same thing, and no matter how much light it gets, it will always be satisfied with just that.
    _________________________________

    "and even if this hall collapses
    I can stand by my pillar of hope it's just
    a case of Flash delirium"

    I believe this line means that even if things go terribly wrong, human existence will always want to keep going further in 'hope' that things will get better.
    ________________________________

    "with the violence forever threatening the night
    and even if this hall collapses
    I can stand by my pillar of hope and trust
    that our heads won't bust"

    This is saying the same thing, once again stating how we just keep hoping our heads won't bust after every move we make.
    vovosquirrel397on April 04, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAlright so what i noticed in one little part. after bens throat starts singing the general or whoever he is is freeing ben of his inner demons, and pulls out an electric eel....? reference to something else *hint hint*
    I dont though i would like to know the meaning behind all the lil things goin on. are there more little symbols that represent the past MGMT? haha i have no idea. but i would like to know. so if anyone finds anything interesting out. i wanna see haha
    jakebrasethon April 05, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment'here's a growing culture
    deep inside a corpse
    ages stuck together
    takin it to the source
    timeless desperation
    pictures on a screen scream
    "hey people, what does it mean?"'

    I feel this has a lot of correlation to "stab your facebook". Though, maybe I'm just reading into that because of my obsession lately with Facebook killing this Generation.

    "here's a growing culture
    deep inside a corpse"

    Culture is growing more and more into Facebook and social networking, but it is actually a corpse of socialising, as you miss out more and more on life experiences.

    'pictures on a screen scream
    "hey people, what does it mean?"'

    It is all pointless. What does all these status updates mean in the long run? Stab your Facebook.
    shazzatpmon April 07, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    19 min ago

    Rated 0
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    rate up
    Okay I have a general sense of what they are talking about. First time I read through I had no clue. Pacing myself, it made may more sense.

    "
    Mild apprehension
    Blank dreams of the coming fun
    Distort the odds of a turnaround
    Gut screams out next to none"

    Feels like this is talking about how people are waiting around for something to change -- excited at a coming utopia or perhaps on a smaller level, just a better country. This waiting and dreaming though inspires unrealistic thought, and your gut can sense this pointlessness.

    "So turn it on, tune it in
    And stay inert"

    But the least you can do is be aware of things.

    "You say “I’ve got the backbone”
    the back way to escape the gun
    Climbing a tree with a missing limb
    And not saving anyone"

    Seems to be directed to people who say they got a hold on things -- they know their place in society/the world. They are content with it, and think their plan (most likely consumerist) is "great". They got money in the bank, they are set for life. But the reality is they don't even know their own self let alone what it means to be a human.

    "And now it hurts to stay at home
    and see flash the mirror ball’s throwing mold
    you can’t get a grip if there’s nothing to hold
    see the flash catch a white lily laugh and wilt
    but if you must smash a glass first fill it to the hilt"

    Seems to be talking about how people who've lost faith in themselves and society have to rely on fake and generic culture. They have to stay inside and try and grasp onto the presumably creative thought/mold/ideas that comes from the mainstream media -- but if its all based on corruption and nothingness, you are going to feel empty when embrace society's robotic surface. When nature is just subjected to destruction and carelessness, its hard to not feel like the polar opposite reality is really what you should be following (media, society's politically correct soulless mentality). They also mention how those who rebel with violence better at least make a big stir (if you must smash a glass, fill it to the brim).

    "Plants, as far as i know are still,
    still bending toward the light
    and if we dance
    until the heart explodes
    it’ll make this place ignite
    and even if this hall collapses
    I can stand by my pillar of hope it’s just
    a case of Flash delirium"

    We don't need consumerism. We don't need all this bullshit. All this materialism. Plants do just fine relying on the most traditional concept in the world -- sunlight. If we just focus on pure culture and ourselves free of influence, we'll make the world ignite in a utopia of free thought. Even if the world falls apart, you still have the human spirit to rely upon. This whole world is in a state of very brief confusion "Flash Delirium". This is all going to go away, but right now (i.e. the entire timeline humans have been in existence) we are just confused. We can be hopeful because of this knowledge.

    Here’s a growing culture
    Deep inside a corpse
    Ages stuck together
    Takin it to the source
    Timeless desperation
    Pictures on a screen scream
    “Hey people, what does it mean?”

    Could refer to any type of soullessness present in any culture. Facebook seems to bounce around in circles discussing this song and it is mentioned later in the song. We all want to connect with real humans on a real level, so we become desperate. Unfortunately, because of said desperation -- we make compromises. "What does it all mean?" Nothing, sadly. Good intentions, kinda, but there's nothing there. Its not real.


    "Comfort keeps us nice
    So quick to donate everything
    die wolken drifting blinding smiles circling (einkreisen)
    and time’s tingling spines
    attaching hands to floor
    the rosy-tinted flash

    The hot dog’s getting cold
    and you’ll never be as good as the Rolling Stones
    watch the birds in the airport gathering dirt
    crowd the clean magazine chick lifting up her skirt"

    Took this as a literal call and response of positivity & free thought versus negativity and suppression. The first bit seems to be poetry or more accurately prose, whereas the second bit seems to counter its free spirit/freeness with pessimism.

    "(why close one eye and try to
    pledge allegiance to the sun
    when plastic ghosts start terrorizing everyone
    geometric troops aligning
    carried up to the burial mounds
    my earthbound heart is heavy
    your heartbeat keeps things light
    with the violence forever threatening the night
    and even if this hall collapses
    I can stand by my pillar of hope and trust)
    lines when I close my eyes and just
    aim blindly at the sun
    and hear love
    when the ghosts start singing terrorizing everyone
    geometric troops aligning
    carried up to the burial mounds with gold
    it’s a heavy load but your
    you rhythm makes it light and explode
    like a violent star keeps threatening the night
    and even if this hall collapses
    I can stand by my pillar of hope and trust
    that our heads won’t bust"

    When we get in touch with ourselves, all is right. That spirit is what propels people forward. Even as society collapses and corruption takes it final stand, those who are free from external influence will be models for those trapped in the oppression. Beacons of light. Rhythm/a free heartbeat keeps the hatred back and puts everything in check.

    "66 55 red battleships
    40 earthlike planets
    3 holes 2 tits
    1 fork in its side
    zero tears in their eyes

    sue the spiders
    sink the W :o elsh
    stab your facebook
    sell sell sell
    undercooked
    overdone
    mass adulation not so funny
    poisoned honey
    pseudo science
    silly money
    you’re my honey "

    First bit seems like a bit of a Revelations-like parody. The ending verse seems to be the direct result of all that suppresses free thought and locks you into materialism and superficial bullshit. Absolute madness. But, its the final step before awakening. An ego death. All that craziness is just a flash of delirium. Society's current state and current influence on your traditional human is just that -- confused and temporary. You can break free of it.
    AndrewVSon April 10, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is about the sinking of our generation into apathy and a state of inertness:

    "so turn it on
    tune it in
    and stay inert"

    and our dependency on things that don't matter:

    "pictures on a screen scream
    'hey people, what does it mean?'"

    how we are becoming lazy with comfort:

    "comfort keeps us nice
    so quick to donate everything (nothing arrives)"

    as we lose ourselves to computers and technology:

    "when plastic ghosts start terrorizing everyone"

    Eventually, we grow insane with our constant demands for everything:

    "sue the spiders
    sink the W :oelsh
    stab your facebook
    sell sell sell
    undercooked
    overdone
    mass adulation not so funny
    poisoned honey
    pseudo science
    silly money
    you're my honey"


    _bene_on April 23, 2010   Link

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