Daydream dying
Covered corners, jigsaw mind
Black site
Flood lights
Halls of hornets
My oh my

It's getting weirder
Than I projected
It's saying something
In all directions:

"I held the fear in my mouth
I choked it down and now I'll never let it out"

Breathing water
Blood & iron in my teeth
Safe word
"Redbird"
Nothing's working
My oh my

It's getting weirder
Than I projected
It's saying something
In all directions:

"I held the fear in my mouth
I choked it down and now I'll never let it -"
It's never only the one thing
Always another
Waiting in line

It's never only the one thing
Always another
Creeping behind

(It's getting weirder
Than I projected
It's saying something
In all directions)

I see my daughter
She's ringed in roses
She is a stranger
She doesn't know who I am
I see my father
Nose in the paper
Tapping a pencil
Working the words to his hands
I see my lover
She's singing sweetly
And she forgives me
She knows I am what I am
I see it coming
I see it's here


Lyrics submitted by SoBrokenHearted

Redbird song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationIt seems to me that the first half of this song is written from the perspective of a prisoner in a U.S. black site. The prisoner is water boarded and subjected to the various other forms of torture we now know such prisoners are subjected to, e.g., sleep deprivation, beatings, etc. The prisoner begins to lose his mind as he realizes that nothing he can do will help his situation, and he begins to "hold his fear in his mouth" rather than scream and cry as a normal human being would.

    Right after the second chorus when the tempo shifts, it seems like the song then presents the perspective of a U.S. soldier working at the black site. The man's job wears on him, as there seems to be and endless "line" of prisoners subjected to this form of punishment. And he is merely a functionary, carrying out the will of his government's leaders. In time, he begins to break down and realize the monstrosities he has committed. Beyond that, he's been away for so long that his daughter doesn't recognize him, and his father seems remote and uninterested in what his son has done. But his wife, the only person who really tries to understand, forgives him.

    On the whole, it's a song about the way this aspect of U.S. foreign policy breaks down those subjected to it, both the enforcers and the enforced. There is a deranged and inhuman sort of connection between these two types of "victims," and the only ones who can understand are those involved. Both end up broken human beings.

    The first time I heard this song I liked it, and I could definitely notice the influence of Jesse Lacey. But then I read the lyrics while I listened to the song and I started to cry. And I never cry. It's such a powerful work of art once you relate the lyrics, meaning, music, and "atmosphere" of the song. One of the highlights of Kevin Devine's newest album, no doubt.
    OOLALONGon November 09, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou can hear him explain what the song is about on this video:
    youtube.com/…


    Its about Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who was pulled off a flight in the United States, tortured (waterboarded) all this becuase he was unfortunate enough to share the name of a person on a terrorist watch-list.


    He was literally dropped back off at his home in Canada after months of isolation and torture like nothing ever happened.


    Some really sad and fucked up shit.... we tortured and imprisoned someone by mistake and the media never said much of anything about it.
    JonnyTheMohawkon March 21, 2014   Link

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