I went down among the dust and pollen
to the old stone fountain in the morning after dawn
underneath were all these pennies
fallen from the hands of children
they were there and then were gone

and i wonder what became of them
what became of them

sunlight over me no matter what i do
apples in the Summer all cold and sweet
everyday a'passin complete

I'm not one to ever pray for mercy
or to wish on pennies in the fountain or the shrine
but that day you know i left my money
and i thought of you only
all that copper glowing fine

and i wonder what became of you
what became of you

Sunlight over me no matter what i do
apples in the summer all cold and sweet
everyday a passing complete
apples in the summer all cold and sweet
everyday a passing complete

-

In the morning waking up to terrible sunlight
All diffuse like skin abuse the sun is half its size
When you talk you hardly even look in my eyes
in the morning, in the morning

In the doorway holding every letter that I wrote
in the driveway pulling away putting on your coat
in the ocean washing off my name from your throat
in the morning, in the morning

in the ocean washing off my name from your throat
in the morning, in the morning

-

Green apples hang from my tree
they belong only to me
Green apples hang from my green apple tree
they belong only to, only to me

and if i just stay awhile here staring at the sea
and the waves break ever closer, ever near to me
i will lay down in the sand and let the ocean lead
carry me to Innisfree like pollen on the breeze


Lyrics submitted by rockisgroovy

The Shrine/An Argument song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +8
    General Commenti think the three movements represent 3 different moments in the relationship (whoever put these lyrics up separates the movements with '-').

    the first movement is 'the shrine.' It's a time after they have separated, when the singer is still angry about what happened, and determined to be happy despite it all. "Sunlight over me no matter what I do..." "everyday a'passin complete" etc. Yet he still does think about her, and puts pennies in the shrine and wonders "what became" of her.

    the second movement is 'the argument.' This is the moment when she actually drove away and they separated. The second stanza is my fav, describing three different images of her leaving. First line is her standing in the doorway with letters -- presumably love letters he wrote to her. Second line is her driving away. Third line is her recalling the angry words that she spoke at him, trying to get rid of the memory... the bad taste left by the words. (Either that, or I was also thinking maybe that line is from his perspective, which would kinda conjure an image of him strangling her in the ocean... hmm).

    the third movement I think is him much further down the road. The anger is gone and now he is simply regretting being alone. The apples are nice and all, but the joy of having them is gone because he's alone. He seems to have given up, or been defeated. Now he simply lays down and longs for heaven or utopia, which he dubs Innisfree -- the name Innisfree being taken from a Yeats poem where the poet is longing for an ocean village (Innisfree) where all problems are gone. In the poem Yeats lives on the Walden-esque island with his lil cabin, rows of beans, etc. with the ocean lapping on the shore.

    All in all, tough to be sure, but definitely a lot to this song.
    Caveman7on July 20, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General Commentthis is the centre piece of an amazing album
    honiczon July 03, 2011   Link
  • +2
    Lyric CorrectionLine 4: the second "they" should be removed

    Line 11: "n" should be changed to "in"

    Line 15: "become" should be changed to "became"

    Line 23: the entire line should be changed to "All diffuse like skin abuse the sun is half its size"

    Line 24: the entire line should be changed to "When you talk you hardly even look in my eyes"

    Line 26: the entire line should be changed to "In the doorway holding every letter that I wrote"

    Line 39 (last line): "in the sea" should be changed to "Innisfree"

    :)
    casiopt10on March 26, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe ending feels like my heart is being raked.
    musicheadnumber9on May 12, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song seems to be influenced by Paradise Lost by Milton… Each book begins with the "Argument" or a summary. Milton also references heavenly beams as a "shrine." The text basically details the fall of man. In paradise there was only one season--like an eternal summer. Sunlight is good in paradise and heaven and symbolizes God. The apples could represent the apples of the tree of knowledge which appear sweet until experience educates otherwise.
    After the fall of man, the seasons are created, and the sun is taught how to shine brutally, creating the contrasting image of "terrible sunlight," and Adam is so furious at himself and that he listened to eve that he can barely look in her eyes. The "waves" could symbolize both the innocent sea of heaven or the lake of fire in hell. just an idea but there does seem to be an uncanny correlation
    courtsparkon December 03, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdefinitely a favorite from the new album<3
    seabeariaon March 31, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI hear "everyday I'll pass incomplete" and/or "everyday I'll pass and complete."
    asSTARSfallxon April 25, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm generally not that good at interpreting songs, but this one is *I Think* fairly obvious. It seems to be about a relationship, especially apparent in the end of the song, that broke apart. He still misses her, thinks of her, makes wishes on pennies about her.. Seems like the apples are something they shared together, or maybe it is a symbol for something else, perhaps just a summer love. Either way, I do love this song and I love Fleet Foxes. They are brilliant! Only problem I have with this song is the transition when Robin is singing his heart out "sunlight over me no matter what I do" and then transitions to "apples in the summer, all cold and sweet" (which I thought was 'ARE cold and sweet', but it doesn't matter)... the transition is weird and it tends to bother me. I think he could have bellied out another line with that sexy, scratchy voice.. but instead it kind of weakens and goes to something light and airy. Either way, the end part "In the morning waking up to terrible sunlight..." soo wonderful.. "when you talk you hardly even look in my eyes" I love it!
    megpie16on May 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is the centre piece of an amazing album
    honiczon July 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"In the ocean washing off my name from your throat."...interesting lyric
    romurbson July 12, 2011   Link

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