"Approximate Sunlight" as written by and Nathaniel Walcott Conor Oberst....
Used to dream of time machines
Now it's been said we're post-everything
As a child, imagining
Neckties and coastlines
I've seen the show, man, what a sight
Drenched us in approximated sunlight
The crowd was small and mostly blind, but kind
You're too kind

Now you are how you were when you were real
Now you are how you were when you were real

There you go again, on that circular trip
Lick the solar plexus of some L.A. shaman
I'm out of breath, I'd better sit
Been living hard, living

All I do is follow, just follow this hollow you around

I wouldn't waste another thought
On what is fair and what is not
The Quinceanera dress she bought
Was unstitched with bullets

All the guests in the garden screamed
Women and tires squealing
Such opulence, such misery
Unwinding, unwinding

All I do is follow, just follow, just follow this hollow you around

Now you are how you were when you were real


Lyrics submitted by littlebabykatie

"Approximate Sunlight" as written by Nathaniel Walcott Conor M Oberst

Lyrics © SONGS MUSIC PUBLISHING

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Approximate Sunlight song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentHes commenting on the the postmodern nature of society, how everything we imagined as children is realized in maturity to be a falsified replication of past romanticized ideals. The Quinceañera dress verses are probably a commentary on the violence in Latin American countries associated with drugs. Its a difficult situation to analyze since innocent deaths are obviously not "fair," but neither is the fact that the people performing the violence are merely acting out of necessity to earn money to provide for their family's. "Now you are how you were when you were real ," I think is a contemplation on what Truth is, and the revelation of it. Is it only a reflection of your own distorted perceptions or is it like how it was when "you were real," honest and pure as in the time of your childhood, which paradoxically may have been a distorted perception itself.
    jackdarkoon February 02, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is such a great and complex song! I expecially love the title, and how it fits in with the verses.

    I think it's about how he once thought at a young age that the world was huge and complex and one day he would experience it all. but in the first verse i think he is saying that the world is a show. "the crowd was small and mostly blind" says that none of the people really know or understand the vast complexities of the world, so they're blind. and they are small compared to everything.
    but i think he's realized all this is false, and now that he knows this and experienced everything, he is almost back to where he started. confused still and looking at the world as a mystery. the way he thought when he was young, but in a different way this time. "now you are how you were when you were real".

    i also think that the song is about conor. he is saying 'you' but really referring to himself.

    what do you all think?

    ps. soooo excited to see him live!!
    ICURAQT2426on February 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I've seen the show, man, what a sight
    drenched us in approximated sunlight"

    album version at least
    Jamouson January 31, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentamazing, amazing, amazing
    the whole album is
    jsscmlon January 31, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my favorite song off the new album, musically, but I'm really not sure what the lyrics mean. I mean, there is the sad story of the quinceanera ruined by violence. I like the juxtaposition between the opulence and the misery, like money can't buy happiness, or perhaps that extravagance can lead only to misery. The comparison between the "hollow you" and the "real you" is very interesting. Maybe that you were just a hollow shell until the incident, and then you had either your emotions again or your ability to think critically. I really don't know, I can't wait to see what others think about this song.
    rawrroseon February 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correction"All I do is follow you around"
    There actually is no "hollow you" part, according to official lyrics.
    flyingxponyon February 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI'm a simpleton, so I'm probably wrong, but... I can't help but feel like this is the starkness of losing one's religion.
    Anilandon February 02, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionI used to dream of time machines
    Now it’s been said we’re post-everything
    As a child imagining
    Neck ties and Coast lines
    I seen the show man, what a sight
    Drenched us in approximated sunlight
    The crowd was small and mostly blind
    But kind, you’re too kind

    Now you are how you were when you were real
    Now you are how you were when you were real

    There you go again on that circular trip
    Lick the solar plexus of some L.A. shaman
    I’m out of breath I’d better sit
    Been living, hard living

    All I do is follow you around

    I wouldn’t waste another thought
    On what is fair and what is not
    The quinceañera dress she bought
    Was unstitched with bullets
    All the guests in the garden screamed
    Women and tires squealing
    Such opulence, such misery
    Unwinding, unwinding

    All I do is follow you around
    All I do is follow you around

    Now you are how you were when you were real
    ThatGouletKidon February 02, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThe starkness and tempo of this makes it sound like a update from Letting Off The Happiness.
    thecomaboyon February 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnyone have a read on what the woman (Corrina?) is saying in the background? 95% of the population is not into what?
    jessiehdcon February 03, 2011   Link

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