"Beetle in the Box" as written by and Louis Pip Linklater Abbott Philip Rodney Hague....
Hold your tongue the unwilling and the safe
Make your mark in your own tiny way
Your own miniature firework display for one

Fear of facing the shadow on the shore
Tied in knots and hung out on the backdoor
The 'boy-done-good' thoughts of valour and the all for one

It's the beetle in the box that shakes in your hands
And it's formed out of feelings I don't understand
They're mapped in the gaps and the spaces between
The worry of bearing the ghost in the machine

I eat your words and you mark my mistakes
We set the dictionary up to fail
The work of poets is a vapour we exhale it's gone

Fleeting fondness is a flicker in your frown
Spilling out in adjectives and nouns
A mess of letters once it's chewed and swallowed down all gone

It's the beetle in the box that shakes in your hands
And it's formed out of feelings I don't understand
They're mapped in the gaps and the spaces between
The worry of bearing the ghost in the machine

How do you feel pain?
(Tremors through the floor)
How do you hear sound?
(Tapping on the walls)
I wish I could feel it all

It's the beetle in the box that shakes in your hands
And it's formed out of feelings I don't understand
They're mapped in the gaps and the spaces between
The worry of bearing the ghost in the machine


Lyrics submitted by heatherooo, edited by Devenney

"Beetle in the Box" as written by Joseph Delaney Rattray Joanna Collinson Scott

Lyrics © NETTWERK MUSIC GROUP

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Beetle in the Box song meanings
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    General CommentThis song is a an answer to 'These Barren Years' a song on Fallow's previous album 'Boot's Met My Face' due to the line 'I eat your words and you mark my mistakes' compared to 'Pepper your paper with spelling mistakes' from 'These Barren Years'
    scottishmusicon April 09, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song seems to be a pretty clear reference to Wittgenstein's writings on consciousness and subjective experience. Without delving into the real theories too far, the basic premise is that you need to imagine that everyone's mind is like a thing they carry around in a box that no one else can see into. And everyone calls it a beetle, but no one really knows what's inside anyone else's box, they just assume that it's the same as what's in their box. So, when he mentions the beetle in the box, he's talking about subjective experience and how people can't know what other people are really feeling, and what feeling is really like to them. The ghost in the machine is what Wittgenstein called consciousness, making a comparison between the human body as a machine and consciousness as a "ghost in the machine" so to speak, something that isn't located in any one place, but is there regardless.
    caponeon February 26, 2014   Link

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