We built fires large enough that it burned the woods.
Remember the sparks that caught the wind and torched the field.
We stomped at the grass in the cracks and the crust to no avail.
And I'll get burned if the wind takes more than it should.
And hey, it's a crazy life.

I got a mark, a stain from pitch and it don't wash out.
And you never know what's buried there unless you dig around.
When we get back we can clean it up and show it off.
I got plenty of bones been chipped from falling down.
And hey, what a crazy life.
And hey, what a crazy life.

I AM. (x5)


Lyrics submitted by Enthused_punk

I Am song meanings
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    My InterpretationThe following interpretation is quite an audacious guess at the meaning of the song, so I will try to justify every point I make as well as I can.

    Jist: I think the song is about accepting himself as a homosexual. (The hidden ending to the phrase "I Am...")

    First verse: About him and a lover developing a relationship ("We built fires) that he sees as being passionate enough to burn entire woods (fire as a metaphor for passion is very common). "Remember the sparks that caught the wind and torched the field" is a reflection on the first interactions that led to the passion. None of this indicates a homosexual passion until the line "We stomped at the grass [...] to no avail", suggesting that they tried to suppress their desires and failed, which suggests a forbidden attraction such as homosexuality. "I'll get burned" is a lament on the perceived consequences of him accepting himself as gay.

    Although I transcribed the repeated next line as "And hey, it's a crazy life" I feel it could also be "And hey, it's a crazy lie" meaning that rejecting his desires is leaving him feeling dishonest to himself.

    Second verse: The first line refers to his "mark" or "stain" that won't "wash out", this fits my interpretation in that he is uncomfortable with his sexuality and see's it as a "stain" that he wishes he could remove. The next line refers to how deeply hidden it is "you'll never know [...] unless you dig around". The next two lines show a slightly more optimistic side to things: "When we get back" refers to a distant future full of possibility, "we can clean it up and show it off" meaning that this "mark" or "stain" that he can't "wash out" could actually become something he's proud of, which fits strongly into my interpretation since many people struggling with their sexuality initially see it as something "dirty" like a "stain" but with time and after 'coming out' can come to be proud of it, this is his hope for the future. The "bones" he's "chipped from falling down" refer to the past hurts from failures, suggesting that he's not convinced that accepting himself will be a 'success' and achieve what he wants, but it's worth a try since it wouldn't be the first time he's been hurt from failing.

    Lastly, the refrain "I AM" at the end is one of the biggest suggestions for my theory, since it is given no explicit explanation elsewhere for what 'he is', this vagueness suggests either it's just a meaningless, pretty thing to sing, or that it's a meaning he'd rather conceal. The fact that he named the song after it suggests that it does have meaning and hence I think the vagueness is to conceal what "I AM" refers to, that being "I am ___" with "___" being gay, homosexual, queeer, etc.

    I loved this song for a very long time before I came upon this interpretation of it and now the more I re-listen to it, the more I feel it fits. A beautiful song with a beautiful, emotional, personal meaning to it (if I'm correct). I adore it either way, of course.
    Enthused_punkon June 24, 2012   Link

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