"A Beginning Song" as written by and Colin Meloy....
Let's commence to coordinate our signs
Get them square to rights
Get them square to rights
Condescend the calmest riot in your mind
Find yourself in time
Find yourself in time

I am waiting, should I be waiting?
And I am wanting, should I be wanting?
And all around me, all around me

Document the world inside your skin
The tenure of your shits
The temper of your lips
Now commence to carry each brick apart
To center on your heart
Starting with your heart right heart

I am waiting, should I be waiting?
And I am wanting, should I be wanting?
And all around me, all around me
All around me, all around me
All around me

I am waiting, should I be waiting?
I am wanting, should I be wanting?
I am hopeful, should I be hopeful, all around me
All around me

It's the sunlight, it's the shadows
It's the quiet, it's the word
It's the beating heart
It's the ocean, it's the boy
It's you, my sweet love
Oh, my love
And the light, bright light
And the light, bright light
Bright light, bright light
It's all around me
It's all around me
It's all around me
It's all around me
It's all around me


Lyrics submitted by Amii83, edited by virtualRefrain, Mellow_Harsher, rakastettu, ArboDoughty

"A Beginning Song" as written by Colin Meloy

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A Beginning Song song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationI too love this tune as many do. The hallmark of a great songwriter is whether they can evoke emotion and speaks to the human condition. IMHO, the Decembrists are the modern day version of Dylan. Lyrics drawn from life experience and literature/art.

    Whomever posted the original lyrics missed some of the most elegant lines. Someone else above made a damned good correction. I'll just add that chorus is:

    "And I am waiting. Should I be waiting?"
    And I am wanting. Should I be wanting?
    (And I am hopeful. Should I be hopeful?"

    Whether this is autobiographical, or some combination of a story and life experience, only the band can say. Dylan is a master at weaving his own life experiences with fantastical stories. Of course, Dylan and Maloy have penned songs that are autobiographical.

    This song struck a great chord with me because it reminds me of my own life experience of loving someone (my former wife and mother of my daughter), and feeling the pain of not being able to break down the walls we put around ourselves, to hide ourselves because of fear, insecurity, and the past hurts we humans tend to accumulate. "Beginning Song" is a great title and may be a play on words. Is it actually the "beginning" of something new, or perhaps the "beginning" of something (love) that is dying and is out of our control. Anyone who has loved deeply and list that love can likely relate to the heart breaking ...and feeling helpless.... And caught between emotions, questioning whether to leave or to stay ("And I am waiting, wanting, hopeful... Should I be waiting, wanting, hopeful?).

    Lyrics like "condesend to calm the riot in your mind, find yourself in time" and "Document "Now commence to kick each brick apart, center on your heart, starting with your heart, bright heart". These lyrics speak to the incredible pain one can feel wanting a lover to let go of all the walls and barriers that cut deep intimacy from happening two people. The lyrics also show the deep pain "when all around me...." Is the embrace of the beauty and sometimes shadow side of life .. Yet. the pain there is tremendous when, on the one hand, one feels the "bright light" or "sunlight" and yet can't get through the deep sadness of a lover. Reminds me, you cannot heal another person and they cannot love you they way you are so hopeful about when your relationship starts with such promise, but you find they cannot because they struggle to love themselves. And hence have built walls around their heart.
    ArboDoughtyon August 13, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's more about taking perspective; not being all consumed with the ends and enjoying this gift of life.
    wrwrighton January 29, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSimple- he's waiting on a love but he's contemplating whether he should be waiting on her.
    makeitcleveron January 24, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCorrect lyrics :

    Let's commence to coordinate our sights
    And get them square to rights
    (Get them square to rights)

    Condescend to calm this riot in your mind
    Find yourself in time
    (Find yourself in time)

    If I am waiting, should I be waiting?
    If I am wanting, should I be wanting?
    And all around me
    (All around me)

    Document the world inside his skin
    The tenor of your shins
    The timbre of your limbs

    Now commence to kick each brick apart
    To center on your heart
    Starting with your heart (bright heart)

    If I am waiting, should I be waiting?
    If I am wanting, should I be wanting?
    And all around me
    (All around me)

    It's it sunlight, it's it shadow
    It's the quiet, it's the word
    It's the beating heart It's the ocean it's the boys

    It's you, my sweet love (my sweet love)
    Oh, my love (oh my love)

    And the light, bright light
    And the light, bright light
    Bright light, bright light

    It's all around me
    It's all around me
    It's all around me
    Cyberghoston January 30, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song! It is by far my favorite....at the moment anyway. It's a great album!
    Something makes me feel this song is about dying. Knowing you are dying. The beginning of the after-life.
    I haven't put it all together yet, but it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when he goes into the "chant-like" passage at the end:
    It's it sunlight, it's it shadow It's the quiet, it's the word
    It's the beating heart It's the ocean it's the boys
    It's you, my sweet love (my sweet love) Oh, my love (oh my love)
    And the light, bright light And the light, bright light
    Bright light, bright light
    It's all around me It's all around me It's all around me

    It's like he's recalling the things he loves about the world, ending with lover (oh my love)
    and then the bright light (of death?) "it's all around me.
    There is a ton of references of seeing a bright light when you die. Walking "into the light", etc.

    Still working on the front part of the song and how it might tie in to dying.
    untabubbaon February 14, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh, the boys......he has two sons.
    untabubbaon February 14, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with untabubba - there's a lot of imagery about death here. A few plays on words (square to rights / last rites double meaning) and a lot of words that essentially be summing up a person's life. And some reflection of funeral practices, such as heart weighting, which I think is hinted at here.
    DSzyon February 14, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationFirst of all I think this song is really personal to Colin Meloy, even though I can relate a little too.

    As I see it the song starts off with him being confused and distracted by the world around him and trying to concentrate to something or someone. Is he trying to coordinate his sight with another person, to target his goals? He's probably trying to find what has true meaning to him. To whom is he suggesting to calm? To another person, to his audience or himself? Maybe all of them. To "find yourself" you have to focus ("center") on the heart. Colin could be doing that to find what he is really waiting for; what he wants. He documents and analyses the world in his efforts, but he is still distracted by a something that's all around him (a kind of light as he reveals by the end of the song, but i'll get there in a sec). So he remains confused and in the refrain he is wondering what he should be doing.

    "And I am wanting, should I be wanting, when all around me.." (..is this light)

    Then the song drops it's pace while he starts focus and wonders what this (light) all around him is. I find this part of self discovery incredible and it's not hard to notice his tone changes with each thing:

    "is the sunlight ?"
    "is the shadows ?"
    "is the quiet ?" All clear questions.
    "is the work" here it's not a clear question. The thought that this light could be his work seems to sadden him.
    "Is the beating heart" from his tone this seems to be more a realization than a question
    "is the ocean ?"
    "Is the boys. Is you.." by this point he's not really questioning anymore. He has found that the light isn't his work or even the sunlight. It's his boys and his wife and now that he is certain he sings it with all his heart.


    I believe the "beginning" refers to him starting a new life concentrating more to what has meaning to him In the same album there are tracks like "The Singer Addresses His Audience" "Anti-Summersong"(humorously) that give out the feeling that he his work isn't exactly fulfilling right now. The same air is given out by some interviews.

    I also think that many people can relate to this song in their journey to discover their light.
    Aspromavroson April 19, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song so much, it displays everything brilliant about the band and this album in particular.

    When I first looked at the lyrics I wondered if it was a song sung to someone who is experiencing mental health issues or just overwhelmed by life (the wife of a celebrity perhaps?).

    The singer starts by saying "Let's commence to coordinate our sights
    And get them square to rights."

    He is saying "OK, let's make sure we're on the same page before we get into this."

    Going on he says "Condescend to calm this riot in your mind.
    Find yourself in time."

    I take that to mean the subject has a riot going on in their mind but given the right love and support they will 'find themselves'.

    As for "Now commence to kick each brick apart
    To center on your heart" the singer is saying he will get rid of any obstacles which stand in the way of getting to the heart of the one he loves.

    He then goes on to complete the repeated lyric "all around me ..."

    Then comes a list of all the reasons for his being there, some are polar opposites (The sunlight, the shadow - the quiet, the word). These opposites reflect the almost bi-polar nature of the subject.

    In the end the reason the singer has for being there is the person he loves and the bright light they are to him.

    Anyway, that's my first ever contribution to this page (first of many I hope) :-)
    SalvadorDalekon June 22, 2016   Link

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