"Ms" as written by Augustus Figaro Niso Unger-hamilton, Thomas Stuart Green, Joe Jerome Newman and Gwilym David Dylan Sainsbury....
We can’t lose touch but we can let go, blue and white gun made from Lego.
All the vowels vow to hold your name, keep your estate clean of me.
I’ve pillowed you so many times this week,
Close eyes, open, close again, forget and fall asleep.
The dark seeks dark,
The dark seeks dark,
Darker,
Darker,

The nights of all my youth pressed into one glass of water.
Scattered truths, bewildered beast boohoos, we have our weight: ten thousand ladybirds.
All the vowels vow to guard your name, keep your estate clean, happy.
Some things lie too deep for tears to well,
Close eyes open, close again, feel as my body spells
Dark seeks dark,
Dark seeks dark,
Darker,
Darker,
The shadow burns across like embers tide paper.
Darker, darker, darker, darker.


Lyrics submitted by shemovesshe

"MS" as written by Gwilym David Dylan Sainsbury Augustus Figaro Niso Unger-hamilton

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Ms song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentI initially interpreted the title of Ms as "Ms.", like a woman's title. But after reading the lyrics "all the vowels vow to guard your name", I can't help but think Joe Newman took the vowels out of the girl's name he wrote this song about, and therefore only the consonants "Ms" remain.
    mov22on January 12, 2013   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThis song is describing a divorce, yes. Here is my interpretation, verse-by-verse.

    We can’t lose touch but we can let go, blue and white gun made from Lego.

    --> This first line is ambiguous. I think he means they can't lose touch because they are still going through the legal process. The reference to a blue and white Lego gun evokes wedding imagery--"something borrowed, something blue," and of course the white dress (and overall theme) of weddings. Why a Lego gun? Maybe just a beautiful image. They do this sometimes--having a symbol with no clear attachment. It is a poetic device to create an image in your eyes, something dreamlike. Which corresponds to the hallucinogenic quality of late-night breakup processing.

    All the vowels vow to hold your name, keep your estate clean of me.

    -->You will change your name and otherwise legally separate yourself from me.

    I’ve pillowed you so many times this week,
    Close eyes, open, close again, forget and fall asleep.
    The dark seeks dark,
    The dark seeks dark,
    Darker,
    Darker,

    -->This seems to reference how you would be in bed thinking about the person you are getting over, and it just keeps getting more and more bleak. Falling in and out of grief-crazed dreams, feeling no relief--in fact, feeling worse.

    The nights of all my youth pressed into one glass of water.

    -->The compacted nature of all that reflection you do when you are going through a loss, and suddenly alone. Sitting by yourself, drinking a glass of water, and thinking about your youth. About what happened. Where your life went. Maybe the sadness of that mixed with a loopy relief, because at least it is finally over, and you're reconnecting with who you were before a bad marriage took over your consciousness.

    Scattered truths, bewildered beast boohoos, we have our weight: ten thousand ladybirds.

    -->The weird, almost pathetic quality of crying alone over the breakup. The scattered truths you try to collect to make sense of it. Ten thousand ladybirds--another beautiful image. These are ladybugs in England. See that with the blue and white Legos, the glass of water. Alt-J is very film-oriented. Remember how ladybugs come into your house when it rains, which is a connection to lots of crying. Which would sound, you know. Hella cheesy if you put it that way. So they make it abstract, in order to make the melodrama palatable. (I borrowed that idea from the film critic Zizek.)

    All the vowels vow to guard your name, keep your estate clean, happy.
    Some things lie too deep for tears to well,
    Close eyes open, close again, feel as my body spells
    Dark seeks dark,
    Dark seeks dark,
    Darker,
    Darker,
    The shadow burns across like embers tide paper.
    Darker, darker, darker, darker.

    -->The grief can't get to the bottom of how the breakup has broken him. The tears won't offer catharsis, at least not in any resolved sense. He is just stuck tunneling further downward into the dark. "The shadow burns across like embers tide paper" -- could bring to mind a burning piece of paper. A wedding certificate maybe. Because if you burned a piece of paper in your hand, the ash would burn horizontally--across. The burn marks flickering up and down like a tide of embers across a piece of paper.
    marishimoon February 04, 2013   Link
  • +3
    Song Meaningthis song is definitely about a divorce. the vowels vowing makes me think about wedding vows and name changes, and keeping your estate clean of someone makes me think about divorce. the song title does as well, mrs. to ms.
    meanmython October 09, 2012   Link
  • +3
    Song Meaning“Ms describes the raw nagging hangover of a broken relationship, but is counterbalanced by both the hope of future friendship by both parties. ” - Alt-J's description of the song on their soundcloud page
    jjbbcon October 17, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"I’ve pillowed you so many times this week"

    I can not help but feel this is a reference to Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind (2004) - where Joel and Clem' both part-take in this game in which they try to suffocate each other?

    Or maybe it is just that - that he's tried to suffocate the ex-lover.
    deadevil13on September 17, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe song is about a married man who falls in love with a married woman. ∆ They can't lose touch because they have a feeling in their hearts but neither one can reasonably act upon these feelings. The man would run to her now with unreasonable passion but she is the reasonable, level-headed one and keeps the relationship in the realm of friendship. She is saying we can let go of those passionate feelings but maintain contact. She is trying to keep her estate clean of him. She can't have her stable, comfortable life disrupted by love and she has the need to protect her precious ones.

    He can't sleep thinking of her. And because of their positions, he has to guard her name. This is tormenting to him. The dark is where they can be with each other. The dark recesses of their hearts concealed from the outside world. Since their love for each other is deeper than what is conscious to her, the tears do not well up at this longing in her heart. But he can hear these inaudible sounds even if others can't. The dark is the intuitive, the hidden from sight. The dark is where it is safe for them to love one another. The dark seeks dark. The weight of a love like this: ten thousand ladybirds in flight. It is ephemeral, ethereal, and insubstantial; in other words, a dream...
    kkwon April 02, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commentto me it's obvious that this song is about he's childhood. Like someone mentioned they were inspired about the book where the wild things are which makes sense because that wasnt so much a kids book, but about a kid and they probably saw a lot of themselves in that kid.
    That this is all in hindsight of his childhood...the divorce of his parents, the darkness he found in himself...problems practical every kid faces but they dont understand at the time.
    armstronyon July 07, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about two people who were in love. She married someone else but they are still deeply in love with each other.

    Pillowed you is a masterbation reference. He lies awake thinking of her ever night.
    truereligionon February 25, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about lying in a newly empty bed after a breakup
    tiggydongon July 18, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaningoriginally, I though this song was about a passed lover getting married. He cant sleep because he constantly thinking about her. After reading meanmyth's comment on divorce and deaddevil's pillow reference, I'm starting to agree.
    PJ7687on October 22, 2012   Link

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