"Serpents" as written by and Sharon Van Etten....
It was a close call
Sitting in the back of the room
With a bowl you had owned
But they didn't know
Close in on my black eye
I feel safe at times
Certain emblems
Tell me it's time

Serpents in my mind
Looking for your crimes
Everything changes
I don't want mine to this time

You enjoy sucking on dreams
So I will fall asleep with someone other than you
I had a thought you would take me seriously
And listen on

Serpents in my mind
I am searching for your crimes
Everything changes
In time

You'll stay frozen in time
Collaging girls
Controlling minds
You hold the mirror well
To everybody else

Serpents in my mind
Trying to forgive your crimes
Everyone changes in time
I hope he changes this time


Lyrics submitted by TheWrongGirl, edited by Uranium

"Serpents" as written by Sharon Katharine Van Etten Aaron Brooking Dessner

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Serpents song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentSharon Van Etten was in an abusive relationship. That was what inspired her album Epic. This song is probably about her coming to terms with her ex, i.e. "serpents in my mind
    trying to forgive your crimes
    everyone changes in time
    i hope he changes this time"
    theGirlNextDormon January 10, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti think it's a 'boy you would own'

    and 'sucking on dreams'

    my best guess on the last is 'collaging girls' (as if he collects them?)

    dark, nightmarish song about an abusive relationship, i think. it grabs me somehow.
    red norgaardon January 03, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThese are the lyrics straight from the album booklet:

    It was a close call
    Sitting in the back of the room
    with a bowl you had owned,
    But they didn't know.
    Close in on my black eye.
    I feel safe at times.
    Certain emblems
    Tell me it's time

    Serpents in my mind
    Looking for your crimes
    Everything changes
    I don't want to mine to this time

    You enjoy sucking on dreams
    so I will fall asleep with someone other than you
    I had a thought you would take me seriously
    And listen on

    Serpents in my mind
    I am searching for your crimes
    Everything changes
    In time

    You'll stay frozen in time
    Collaging girls,
    Controlling minds.
    You hold the mirror well
    To everybody else

    Serpents in my mind
    Trying to forgive your crimes
    Everyone changes in time.
    I hope he changes this time.
    proposalson March 23, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFor those of you that have the version from the Walking Dead [Serpents (demo) on Spotify or Serpents (basement) on iTunes] The lyrics are different:

    It was a close call
    Sitting in the back of the room
    with a ball I had thrown at you,
    But you didn't know.
    Lookin at my black eye.
    I feel safe at times.
    Certain emblems
    Tell me it's time

    Serpents in my mind
    Looking for your crimes
    Everything changes
    I don't want to mine to this time

    You enjoy sucking on poison
    I will belong to someone other than you
    I had a thought you would take me someday
    And listen on

    Serpents in my mind
    I am searching for your crimes
    Everything changes
    In time

    I was lost in my mistake
    Now I'm looking for my Intentions,
    Even I've been at the dark, dark sea
    Better run, Better run

    Serpents in my mind
    Looking for your crimes
    When everything changes
    There's no more time
    Possibly mine. Nights, Days

    Walking on my street at night
    I feel a little safe, a little in fear this time,
    My hand in clutch,
    You've got a knife? Well I've got a gun and

    Serpents in my mind,
    Looking for your crimes,
    Everything changes,
    Looking for my crimes,
    Twisting in despair
    Masato0hon December 26, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"It was a close call
    Sitting in the back of the room
    With a bowl you had owned,
    But they didn't know.
    Close in on my black eye.
    I feel safe at times.
    Certain emblems
    Tell me it's time"
    He/She, I'm going to say she because this song is sung by a girl, but it could go either ways. She is in an abusive relationship, she's trying to keep it hidden but it was a close call and somebody almost figured the situation out. Also that she feels kind of stuck in this whole situation, she feels "safe at times" she doesn't really know what to do but it's all she knows. It can be really hard to leave a violent relationship.
    "Serpents in my mind
    Looking for your crimes
    Everything changes
    I don't want mine to this time"
    Serpent means a sly or treacherous person, especially one who abuses the trust of a person and tries to exploit you. So by this she is saying she's got untrustworthy thoughts, she's fighting a battle in her own mind over the whole situation. It's difficult for her, she's torn between his manipulation and "serpent" ways but she's also thinking of the things he's done wrong.
    "You enjoy sucking on dreams
    So I will fall asleep with someone other than you
    I had a thought you would take me seriously
    And listen on"
    He's sucked the life out of her, made her feel unworthy. She's basically saying she will find somebody better, who'll treat her with respect and love, unlike the antagonist of this song. I also gather she's tried to speak up about it, but he hasn't taken her seriously or taken the time to listen to her words, instead he's just brushed it off and continued his old ways.
    "You'll stay frozen in time
    Collagen girls,
    Controlling minds.
    You hold the mirror well
    To everybody else"
    Everything seems normal to the outside eye, but it's far from. It's all smoke and mirrors, it's fake, like collagen girls. I'm getting the vibe that he's a charming, charismatic man who seems to present himself well to everybody but his woman.
    "Serpents in my mind
    Trying to forgive your crimes
    Everyone changes in time.
    I hope he changes this time."
    She's got deceiving thoughts, she's trying to convince herself that he's going to change although deep down she knows he's not but that small light at the end of the never ending tunnel will keep her running and running. She's trying to protect him by saying people change, but in her mind she's hoping he changes.
    Just throwing my opinion in, thanks all.
    junglejim4332on April 08, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdefinitely not certain with these. suggestions welcome!
    TheWrongGirlon November 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis one touches me, so much.
    Eudaimonia24thon February 23, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAbsolutely an abusive relationship narrative. What grips me is the fact that she can't get all the negative thoughts out of her head (serpents). It seems extremely debilitating.

    Her ex seems like a narcissist who constantly judges others but never himself. He also seems like a manipulator ("controlling minds") who has left his effect on the singer even after he is gone.
    banto12on October 26, 2015   Link

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