"Aberdeen" as written by Matt Shultz, Brad Shultz, Jared Champion, Daniel Tichenor and Lincoln Parish....
I've been tryin' real hard
To realize
But somethings take a long long
Long long time (a long time)

Hold the phone
Hit repeat
You got me foamin' at the knees
Saw the flame tasted sin
You burned me once again
Cut the cord, she's a creep
Aberdeen
Way back
Way back
Way back

Never saw my dark side
In, in your eyes
Back and forth bloody fingers
Paintin' up the sky
The sky

Hold the phone
Hit repeat
You got me foamin' at the knees
Saw the flame tasted sin
You burned me once again
Cut the cord, she's a creep
Aberdeen
Way back
Way back
Way back

Hold the phone
Hit repeat
You got me foamin' at the knees
Saw the flame tasted sin
You burned me once again
Cut the cord, she's a creep
Aberdeen
Way back
Way back
Way back


Lyrics submitted by awholelottabang, edited by vyachslav1

"Aberdeen" as written by Daniel Tichenor Brad Shultz

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Aberdeen song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +6
    General CommentPretty sure this is about drug abuse.

    1) Much like the hit song (shake me down), this song features themes of life and death/lifespan. Aberdeen is most likely a reference to the birthplace of kurt cobain; here functions as a symbol of birth, beginnings and potential.

    2) The opening line is "I've been trying real hard to realize; but some things take a long long long long time (a long time)". Clearly this is a reference to lifespan (craving, temptation, living and learning, making mistakes and potential consequences). The part where he says "I've been trying real hard to realize" seems to suggest the naive curiosity surrounding drugs; people view drugs as giving access to higher understanding or experiences otherwise unavailable to them, often illusory.
    The repeats of long (long long long long) suggest a struggle, an inability to overcome obstacles in life... making the same mistakes over and over. This is a reference to drug abuse and the compulsive nature of it. So there is this duality in this line of the curiosity and excitement (of experimenting and recreational use of drugs) and ultimately the stagnant compulsive need to use (of drug addiction).

    3) "Hold the phone; hit repeat; you've got me foaming at the knees" seems drug related as well, again seems to reference a cycle of compulsive self destructive behavior and powerless craving associated with drug addiction.
    "Saw the flame; tasted sin; you've burned me once again" This is clearly drug related. Flame represents the inherent danger, tasted sin describes the forbidden indulgence. Being burned again clearly describes the ultimate result of drug use - being spent, ashes. Play with fire, get burned. "once again" is another reference to the compulsivity of drug use.

    4) "Cut the cord, she's a creep" - this is the most powerful line of the whole song as it describes severing himself from drugs. The phrase "cut the cord" has a dual meaning, as cutting the cord literally means to sever ties from something, usually something destructive to you... however the double meaning is that cutting the cord can also symbolize rebirth as in the umbilical cord. "She's a creep" would be his realization that his relationship with drugs was illusory and harmful, a new realization and beginning.
    Immediately after he says this line (cut the cord // shes a creep) he screams "ABERDEEN...WAY BACK, WAY BACK" which is clearly a reference to new beginnings/opportunities/birth. As in, cobain was born in aberdeen, way back when... way back before he ended up in a rehab center in heroin withdrawals leading him to kill himself impulsively.


    5) "Never saw my dark side in your eyes; back and fourth bloody fingers paintin up the sky...the sky"
    This also seems to suggest drug use & addiction. "Never saw my dark side in your eyes" suggests his vulnerability to end up a drug addict (that is, he never thought he would end up a drug addict initially because all he was thinking of was the pleasure of the drug )... or it could be a reference to the utility of escapism through drugs (while high, everything was okay, he had no darkness).
    "Back and fourth bloody fingers paintin up the sky" again references compulsivity of drug use (back and fourth), it also seems to continue the prior theme of moral guilt and temptation ( bloody fingers painting up the sky, much like the line "saw the flame / tasted sin" suggests craving, guilt, consequences). Hands are said to be bloody when one does something immoral, and drugs create a feeling of expansiveness which would conjure images of the vastness of sky (as jimmy hendrix said, "excuse me while I kiss the sky"). Jimmy Hendrix was another casualty of drug addiction, might I add.

    I would also mention he seems to imply sexuality, and seems to compare the temptation of drugs similar to the temptation of sex, as sex from a religious perspective is an old sin and a condemned pleasure, much like drug use is in modern society. He gives the drug use a gender ("she's a creep") and "back and fourth" sounds sexual as well.
    In fact, the whole song could apply to a bad relationship just as well as drug addiction... however the title of "aberdeen" (kurt cobain's place of birth) clearly makes this a song about drug addiction and the potential consequences of it.
    Noonie!on February 11, 2011   Link
  • +6
    My Opinionwhat is all this shit about cobain? would it not make more sense that this song title is in reference to aberdeen in the uk, where they lived for some time?
    Godless Dunceon March 31, 2011   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaningwell Considering Aberdeen is a city the one who wrote the song (Matt mostlikely) may have gone to Aberdeen and did some bad things. He never "Saw his dark side" in aberdeen's "Eyes" as in he never was a mean or dark person while in aberdeen because he was having so much fun but he finnaly got caught or arrested maybe for doing the "Sins" in aberdeen which refers to "You've burned me again"

    Also considering that Aberdeen sounds like a cool girls name maybe it's a girl he's sining about but I think the "she" is just a metaphore refering to the city.
    GibsonGoldTopon January 17, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm so glad I'm not the only one who thought this sounded like a pixies song. Seriously though Kurt Cobain literally has nothing to do with this song or band. Just because Kurt was born in Aberdeen how the hell does that make this song about drug use or him? I don't see the logic at all. That's like saying that every song written about New york is about Frank Sinatra and that's just fucking stupid. way to grasp at the proverbial straws kids. I'm not saying It's not about drugs though, because I'm pretty sure they have something to do with it but they aren't representing the whole metaphor either. I think it just a song about self control or lack there of.
    withafunnyhearton May 26, 2011   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningYou've all missed the point, but it's understandable. Butler County - KY. The guys of Cage know Aberdeen. It's a song about someone losing his virginity and taking a girls virginity in dear ole Aberdeen, KY.
    bekahbmomyon July 23, 2012   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song seems to be linked to Nirvana in several ways. The beginning sounds, to me, a lot like a Pixies song. Pixies were a big influence on Kurt Cobain. Cobain was, as mentioned by someone else here, originally from Aberdeen. The closest link I see to Nirvana, however, is the style of the lyrics. I was just re-reading some Nirvana lyrics today and they are very similar; short, strong phrases that evoke images that are open to a lot of interpretation (and sound real cool). Aberdeen could be the city, drugs, a girl, etc. My guess is that the song isn't strictly about any of these things. The songs off their first album seemed a lot less cryptic.
    charlie1deron March 21, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah I don't understand the Cobain thing either. I am in Aberdeen WA right this moment,born raised and at the age where I have met some very talented people in this place, and am fairly positive that one, these guys have never been here I'm pretty sure I'd know about it knowing who I know. I mean yeah, I suppose it could be about him, but I am more inclined to believe its about an Aberdeen they would be personally connected too. There are several Aberdeen's around the globe and speculation on which one they're talking about is fruitless. The joy of songs is they have personnal meaning to each person, if it makes you happy to believe its about Kurt, then do it, music is meant to bring an emotional response, so make it yours and think whatever you like because once that song is released, it belongs to everyone, not just the artist.
    kryanon February 07, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMakes a great song though, huh? Back and Forth - bloody fingers were his. She wasn't a creep. Just a freaked out girl too, from way back.
    bekahbmomyon July 23, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs far as meaning goes, I'm not positive, it could mean a lot of things. Either way Aberdeen is a fantastic Cage the Elephant song. It has a feel all it's own and an amazing sound.
    sabresfan4on January 14, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationFirst off, great song. The singing in the last 30 seconds to me is somewhat similar to arcade fire's vocal tone. These guys have a really unique sound. As for the meaning, I agree somewhat with gibson. The lyrics bring a dark place to mind, as well as a dark place of mind. It seems the singer lost something or left a place and trying to move on. As the chorus comes in, the tone of the singer changes and seems to suggest a positive force, like a light at the end of the tunnel. I believe the title refers to the city Aberdeen which could be where the setting of the events of Matt. Nirvana was based primarily out of Aberdeen early in their career, so that comes to mind as well.

    Either way, great song with a great feel of nostalgia.
    AD93on January 20, 2011   Link

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