"Terrified Eyes" as written by and Craig Finn....
Sean says he can't sit here and tell her that it's really that simple
Because it's not that simple, it's exhausting and confusing and it's scary and complex
He hates how Shannon talks about herself like she's a whole separate person
And he's still pissed at her doctors but he's mostly just sick of not connecting

What the hell are we going to do when they finally let you come home from the hospital?
Sit around the house and make fake plans and then walk down to the Wagon Wheel?
The bills are gonna come and we'll just shrug our shoulders at the notion
The numbers so far into the beyond they look a little bit surreal

Satisfaction is a funny thing
Funny enough that when she brings it up he laughs a little bit
Before he breaks down.
It was obvious to anyone
The way she took her medication at the bar
The way she crossed herself
When it's the bartender's round

He's not gonna tell her its a matter of just kind of trying harder
He's not going to tell her if you love someone then you should set them free
He wishes that she wasn't always saying that she's sorry and looking up with terrified eyes
He said I wish that you could try to love yourself the same way that you love me

Frustration is a funny friend
Funny enough that he keeps coming up
And making me do things that I don't like
When you come home from the hospital
We can't go back to the Wagon Wheel
And if we do we can't go every night

In the middle of the day, she mostly feels okay
But when nighttime comes, she just feels terrified


Lyrics submitted by mdon06

"Terrified Eyes" as written by Craig Finn

Lyrics © RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Terrified Eyes song meanings
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  • +2
    My InterpretationFor me, this is a song about a couple trying to make it through their overall station in life with the male lead (Sean) taking on the parent role whether he likes it or not. Shannon is in rehab and is an alcoholic, and maybe Sean is an alcoholic as well; he is certainly an enabler. And possibly he doesn’t want her to change.

    Sean doesn’t really believe in rehabilitation or, perhaps, doesn’t believe Shannon can be rehabilitated. He certainly doesn’t trust the doctors, and is leery of what will happen to their relationship when/if she actually does come back clean. "What the Hell we gonna do when they finally let you come home from the hospital? Sit around the house and make fake plans and then walk down to the Wagon Wheel?” He certainly doesn’t see change on the horizon, because there will still be the same massive bills and worries at home after she is released from the hospital that caused her (maybe him) to turn to alcohol abuse in the first place.

    Shannon loves Sean in a way she doesn’t love herself. She’s a good but beaten down person and she knows it. She is constantly saying “to him that she’s sorry lookin’ up with terrified eyes.” I don’t know if she does this because she is ashamed or because Sean abuses her. She’s got her problems and doesn’t even try to hide them as she takes medication at the bar, and crosses herself Catholic style when receiving a free drink.

    Sean is frustrated by Shannon’s behavior, but he can’t let her go. He holds on. “Frustration is a funny friend, funny enough that he keeps coming up and making me do things that I don't like.” Does that mean he wants to let go of her but can’t, or is that an excuse for his potential abuse I spoke of earlier? I don’t know.

    I do know this; Sean decides to leave the door open for Shannon to continue to be her self-destructive-self after leaving rehab when he says, “When you come home from the hospital we can’t go back to the Wagon Wheel. And if we do, we can’t go every night.”

    Great song by Craig Finn, per the usual.
    asbiichleon January 27, 2012   Link
  • 0
    MemoryI think this song's about a woman (Shannon) with depression who tries to kill herself ("It was obvious to anyone The way she took her medication at the bar") and ends up in a psych ward for a while ("What the hell are we going to do when they finally let you come home from the hospital?").

    I don't think any big thing happened with her though, I think she just can't cope with life, ("Sean says he can't sit here and tell her that it's really that simple Because it's not that simple, it's exhausting and confusing and it's scary and complex") ("the bills are gonna come and we'll just shrug our shoulders at the notion The numbers so far into the beyond they look a little bit surreal") ("He's not gonna tell her its a matter of just kind of trying harder") possibly she hates herself because she can't do so ("He hates how Shannon talks about herself like she's a whole separate person") and she consciously feels bad about it ("He wishes that she wasn't always saying that she's sorry and looking up with terrified eyes"). I think she's okay as long as she can stay distracted "But when nighttime comes, she just feels terrified"

    I think for his (Sean's) part, he's beating himself up because he can't say anything or do anything to help her ("Because it's not that simple, it's exhausting and confusing and it's scary and complex") ("he's mostly just sick of not connecting") ("He said I wish that you could try to love yourself the same way that you love me") but that he's also guilty because he's kind of fed up with it now - he loves her and is scared she'll kill herself ("when she brings it up he laughs a little bit
    Before he breaks down.") or is scared of what she tried to do, but he wants her to just deal with things ("Frustration is a funny friend Funny enough that he keeps coming up And making me do things that I don't like") without trying to commit suicide and in the end he just kind of enables her because he's too tired to keep coping with it ("We can't go back to the Wagon Wheel And if we do we can't go every night")

    I also get the impression that her overdose affected him more than her, there's something about the lyrics that make her sound more blase ("Satisfaction is a funny thing
    Funny enough that when she brings it up") and him sound more exhausted from the constant worry. ("What the hell are we going to do when they finally let you come home from the hospital? Sit around the house and make fake plans and then walk down to the Wagon Wheel?")
    barbedwirekittyon June 10, 2012   Link

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