"Jejune Stars" as written by and Conor Oberst....
Every new day is a gift, it's a song of redemption
Any expression of love is the way to return
To that place that I think of so often, but now never mention
The one the voice in the back of my head says that I don't deserve

Come fire, come water, come karma
We're all in transition
The wheel I'm becoming erases the physical mind
Until all that remains is a staircase of misinformation
And the code we inherit, the basis, the essence of life

So I go, umbrella under my arm
Into the green of the radar
How'd it get so dark in the day?
It's just so bizarre
Is it true what we're made of?
Why do I hide from the rain?

Inside's so cloudy, nostalgia
But there are no features
Look at ourselves through a porthole
The passage of time
See that sunny day that we snuck out, hid under the bleachers
Kissed as the band marched
Everything fell into line

So I go, umbrella under my arm
Into the green of the radar
How'd I get so lost? I'm amazed
It's just so bizarre
All the things I'm afraid of
Why do I hide from the rain?

Sure I have my doubts
But I know it now
We are Jejune stars
So it starts again
At our childhood's end
I'll die young at heart

So I go, umbrella under my arm
Into the green of the radar
How'd it get so dark in the day?
It's just so bizarre
If it's true what we're made of
Why do I hide from the rain?


Lyrics submitted by littlebabykatie

"Jejune Stars" as written by Conor M Oberst

Lyrics © SONGS MUSIC PUBLISHING

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Jejune Stars song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentJejune:
    -without interest or significance; dull; insipid
    -juvenile; immature; childish
    -lacking knowledge or experience; uninformed:
    -deficient or lacking in nutritive value.

    Obviously the first few verses are talking about love, which is mentioned throughout the album. When we express love, it's "a way to return" to what I think is this "basis, essence of life" that is mentioned in the next verse. The rastafarian theme is all about love, and Danny Brewer (the guy talking throughout the album) reiterates this point - "love has always been the message," and the last thing he's talking about at the end of "one for you, one for me" is love/compassion/mercy. It seems like at some points it is hinted at that love is the way to get to wherever we go after this life, aka: the basis, the essence of life - the ultimate reality the Wheel of Becoming refers to.

    This song seems to express the struggle we all have inside of ourselves that we will never be able to achieve this afterlife, whether it's heaven or a second life or a life as a tree or whatever. We all struggle with that, but we get close to it when we act out of love.

    There is a theme in this album about "codes." For example, in "A Machine Spiritual" he talks about forming some kind of code - maybe this means pattern, as in the pattern of society/mankind. I'm honestly not sure.

    "Come fire, come water, come KARMA, we’re all in transition
    The WHEEL OF BECOMING erases the physical mind
    Till all that remains is a staircase of misinformation
    And the CODE we inherit, the basis, the essence of life"

    The Wheel of Becoming is a representation of Buddhist beliefs about life, death and rebirth. It is the belief that karma or past actions traps us in this cycle of existence (code?). Life within the wheel is considered captive reality, and life outside of the wheel is considered ultimate reality. I think this is what is meant by "the basis, the essence of life."

    BrightEyesAtheist, I think you have a good point about hiding what we're made out of.

    "Green of the radar" means it's raining, but he has an umbrella. I personally feel that he's basically saying, if we're made to love, why do we hide it/hide from it?


    "Inside some cloudy nostalgia where there are no features
    We look at ourselves through a porthole, the passage of time
    See that sunny day that we snuck down, hid under the bleachers
    Kissed as the band marched, everything fell into line"

    This, to me, is expressing looking back on memories of love (nostalgia) through the passage of time. It's as if you can feel the nostalgia at this part of the song, it's my favorite. Looking back on memories where you were sharing with someone else , it feels so right because you're showing love and that's what we're MADE OF/here to do, and "everything [falls] into line." but then it ends, and we're scared, hiding under our umbrellas and avoiding what we're made of.


    "It's just so bizarre, all the things I'm afraid of.
    Why do I hide from the rain?"

    The fact that we hide from it makes us jejune? or maybe this makes relationships we share jejune? I'm still not sure.

    That is my take on the song. Please let me know what you think!
    megbird1691on February 09, 2011   Link
  • +5
    General CommentAs I interpret it, this song is about FEAR OF DEATH.

    The first verse is a reference to christianity and the christian view on death. In order to get to heaven, you should be thankful for every day and love and forgive. "Every new day is a gift, it's a song of redemption, Any expression of love is the way to return" The place he is then talking about is heaven. He feels guilt, and that he has lived his life in a sinful way (not as a christian should).

    The next verse is a reference to Buddhism and the buddhist view of death and the meaning of life. This is then tied together with the scientific outlook on the meaning of life and death. "The wheel I'm becoming erases the physical mind" Basically he is talking about how according to science, the mind is only physical, and according to buddhism we have some sort of spirit or immaterial soul. The "staircase of misinformation and the code we inherit" is of course DNA, and how according to science the meaning of life is to reproduce and make sure our genes are passed on, because after we die, our offspring is all that remains. If you're an atheist, DNA really is "the basis, the essence of life."

    Then comes the slightly more obscure chorus which is more open to interpretation. Personally I think he is using the forecast of rain ("the green of the radar") as a metaphor for the anticipation of death. We all know it is coming. We can't change the weather, and we can't change the fact that we are going to die. The umbrella symbolizes our futile or jejune attempts to escape death. He then goes on to suggest that it is "bizarre" that we are afraid of death, if it is "true what we're made of". Because if we are no more than atoms and molecules, we really do not have anything to fear. So why do we hide from the rain?

    The next verse reflects upon love or perhaps life itself as the meaning of life. "Inside's so cloudy, nostalgia [...] Look at ourselves through a porthole" is about him looking back and remembering his life. Although we live for quite a long time we forget most of it. "Cloudy" has a double meaning since it both means obscure and how the clouds, or the decay of our memory anticipates rain or death. Likewise "sunny" gets a double meaning in the next few lines as it both means that the weather was sunny and that he was young and alive. When we're young love usually seems like the meaning of life and it is what our lives revolve around. ("Kissed as the band marched, Everything fell into line")

    In the last verse he finally concludes, based on all of these different perspectives on the meaning of life and death that we are "Jejune stars". Exactly what he Conor means with that I am not sure. As someone already pointed out it is an oxymoron, which I think highlights Conors conflicted view on the meaning of life. At the same time as the human life is jejune; insignificant, naive and oblivious to the great mysteries of the universe, our lives still have the beauty and light associated with stars.

    I really love this song.
    sussuon February 16, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI don't think jejune stars, as he uses it here, is an oxymoron. While jejune can mean dull/boring/lacking in originality, etc - it can also mean childish (in terms of one's understanding of a subject). So when i read the title of the song (long before I heard it or read the lyrics), my first thought was "Baby Stars" - which ties in a bit to the Ladder Song's reference to a star being born. I think the idea here is that we are just at the beginning of our consciousness - that when we live a long life and die feeling old and decrepit, we'll still be just babies in terms of the universe. You see shades of this in Beginner's Mind (with the reference to dying young at heart) and even back in Don't Know When But A Day's Gonna Come (I'm not a child, I'm so much younger than that.)
    eclipse799on February 27, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSounds to me like he's asking, if we're made of water, why do we hide from it with our umbrellas? Quick comment because I'm going to school. haha Love this song!
    BrightEyesAtheiston February 02, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSuch a great song, such a great album. I guess my take on it is how we're all equal, I've rolling the word jejune around my head the whole freaking day (partly because I've been listening to this album the whole day) but a basic dictionary definition is sort of ordinary and naive. So jejune stars? All these feelings, all these emotions we thought were so profound, they're all part of life. We should just make the most of it. Doubt my meaning is even in the area of the real meaning of the song, but my opinion, right?
    RA2y5on February 19, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"And the CODE we inherit, the basis, the essence of life"
    To me that sounds like DNA but I don't know which may go along with Danny Brewer's ancient alien stuff. I think oberst's lyrics are meant to be open to personal interpretation.
    Tntidwell40on October 05, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's

    "Come fire, come water, come karma
    We're all in transition.."
    Alyssaliftedon January 31, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song just reminds me of how much bright eyes has matured, the way he sings. how the instruments seem to have more "umph". one of my favorites of the album so far, just listening will later try and grasp a meaning.
    nyukkaboomon February 02, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song just reminds me of how much bright eyes has matured, the way he sings. how the instruments seem to have more "umph". one of my favorites of the album so far, just listening will later try and grasp a meaning.
    nyukkaboomon February 02, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThis is simply one of the catchiest things anyone could have ever concocted in 2011. I love it.
    Anilandon February 02, 2011   Link

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