A mistake on the part of nature,
You're so fabled, so fair, just sit anywhere,
I've pencil-sketched the scene,
It's feeling byzantine

Mistakes on the part of nature,
The living proof of what they're calling love,
Uncertain sideways streets,
Where things that don't match meet

A mistake on the part of nature,
You are a tall glass, a blast from the past,
Yeah, things were simpler then,
You ask exactly when

A mistake on the part of nature,
It's forgiven, moved on, won't wear my sun-
-day suit to walk that street,
That would feel byzantine

Silhouette tell me a tall tale, go, shout it out,
Silhouette shout from the top,
Sweet talk, Sweet talk
Yeah, Sweet talk, Sweet talk

Amnesia becomes ambition,
Ambition becomes a new sort of,
Charming simplicity,
Like always byzantine

A mistake on the part of nature,
It's forgiven, move on, won't wear my sun-
-day suit to walk that street,
That would feel byzantine

(x2) Silhouette tell me a tall tale, go, shout it out,
Silhouette shout from the top,
Sweet talk, Sweet talk
Sweet talk, Sweet talk


Lyrics submitted by EventH

Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionIt's "Won't wear my Sunday suit to walk down that street" and "Amnesia becomes ambition, ambition becomes a new sort of charming simplicity."
    avantexgardeon April 27, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of my favourites off the new album. Love how it borrows (and slightly inverts) the riff from "The Laws Have Changed" in the keyboard part.
    steve7924on April 26, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDoes anyone know what it means he talks about feeling "byzantine"? I can't figure it out.
    imfloatingawayon June 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentimfloatingaway, i found this definition for byzantine, it seems to be the best one.

    4. often not capitalized a: of, relating to, or characterized by a devious and usually surreptitious manner of operation b : intricately involved : labyrinthine
    sleepingarmyon July 09, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I first heard it I wondered about the 'Byzantine' also.

    The way I put it together is saying 'Byzantine' is a reference to antiquity. (i.e.- The byzantine empire of approx. a thousand years ago, obviously this isn't addressed to someone from that age, just kind of a way to show something ridiculously out of date)

    Note the 'simpler then' and blast from the past. Selling meaningless 'Sweet Talk' than substance. Sounds like its being addressed to someone who is old school.

    I believe they are talking about simplicity of the older generation's approach to each other, love, and relationships.

    Maybe just social commentary of the times.
    Consmonauton August 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningMy sense is that the new pornographers aren't overly concerened with song meanings, quite possibly choosing lyrics to suit the music.

    However on meaning that may fit this song is the description of an autistic person. "Mistake on the part of nature" and "wear my Sunday suit to walk the street", an obsessive use of a strange word like "byzantine" all point in that direction. "Sweet talk" refers to *any* talk coming from an autistic, even if to an ordinary observer it doesn't sound very sweet (like a "shout from the top"). There are other little clues, like he sees people as "silouettes" or that he's very literal ("way back then, you ask exactly when"). "Amnesia becomes ambition" points to some sort of mental defect, certainly.

    ablationon August 12, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel like this song could be about trans-gender. Lyrics about someone once being simpler and now being Byzantine (GREAT use of this word, if I might add) sounds to me like someone trying to understand someone's gender identification.
    Anyone who has ever known anyone going through gender identity trouble knows there is nothing simple involved for anyone!

    One part that also screams to me is the part where they say "where things that don't match meet". I feel like this could be directly about gender reassignment surgery, because as you may know, there are some things in the process that just don't match and somehow they have to work (uncertain sideway streets). And that is very confusing if you ask me.

    "Yeah, things were simpler then,
    You ask exactly when" would represent the person the song is about and their feelings. Though it's easy for someone to not see it externally, gender confusion is something that can cause a lot of emotional stress. Before any real transition, it was never simpler to those who are experiencing the confusion even though others may have had no issues.

    The final aspect that makes me think this song may be about "gender trouble" is "mistake on the part of nature". I don't think I need to explain this one.
    penny-laneon April 06, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI tend to interpret songs as chronicling personal relationships, and this one is no exception.

    First stanza: "A mistake on the part of nature" could refer to the narrator's love interest, who is "so fabled, so fair" they don't seem to fit into everyday reality. I think "feeling Byzantine" could mean that the experience of the person visiting ("Just sit anywhere") feels like something from another time and place.

    Second stanza: "Mistakes on the part of nature / The living proof of / What they're calling love / On certain sideways streets / Where things that don't match meet" - These lines may describe the unpredictable nature of attraction. Love seems to happen just by accident, as people that don't seem to match meet and are drawn together.

    Third stanza: The other person seems like "a tall glass" (as in the expression "a tall drink of water"). They are "A blast from the past", which the narrator recalls fondly as being a simpler time -- although their partner is skeptical.

    Chorus, part 1: "A mistake on the part of nature / It's forgiven, moved on" - Maybe the relationship didn't work out, so the narrator wants to write it off as a mistake and move forward with his or her life. However, he/she is avoiding the particular place he/she originally met the love interest in, because that would remind him/her too much of the past.

    Chorus, part 2: not sure

    Fifth stanza: "Amnesia becomes ambition / Ambition becomes a new sort of / Charming simplicity / Like always, Byzantine" - These lines seem to be musing on the cyclic nature of history, perhaps as applied to the narrator's personal experiences. As people forget past failures, they gain new ambitions for the future which may lead to the same problems (or maybe not).
    treanton January 12, 2012   Link
  • -1
    General CommentIn the third line of the third verse the line should be "you were simpler then"
    Surlyglamrockon June 02, 2010   Link
  • -1
    Song MeaningThe song is about the Gulf Oil spill. As confirmed by the band.
    blogs.oxfamamerica.org/index.php/2010/12/15/…
    OnceUponAWhimon April 18, 2011   Link

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