"Father To A Sister Of Thought" as written by and Stephen Malkmus....
Rotten device, I'll say it twice
I'm too much, I'm too much comforted here
Costs too much too much, we'll leave you
Everywhere eyes, nowhere to die

No place to shove your sharpened heel
I'm looking looking for a tired face
In case you wanted to go
I know, I'm breathing in to the end

Calling the bluffs, talking so tough
Goodbye to the ugly steeple fear
Good times for ever after
I'm just a man

You see who I am
I'm binding my hooks
And open the books
Dirty black hearts

Angel of Corpus Christi
You're so mystic,
Tell me what I want to hear

I know I'm reeling in
I know I'm reeling in

To the end
To the end
To the end
To the end

I know I'll never know
I know I'll never know


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"Father to a Sister of Thought" as written by Stephen Malkmus

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Father To A Sister Of Thought song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +3
    General Commentmakmus says: "It stands to reason if you spend your life in a pocket of avoidance it will, one day, catch up to you. There are so many levels of self-denial. The human mind is so twisted in its rationalizations, and yet I knew it all along. I am a pitiable, selfish fuck of being."
    imagineiton April 03, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"I know I'll never know" describes, quite accurately, how i feel about the "songmeaning" of this song.

    Too bad - Pavement is one of my favorite bands and this is one of my favorite Pavement tunes.

    I guess a lot of the imagery suggests a guy thinking about dying. dirty black cars (hearses?) angel of corpus christi. the end. no where to die. tired place in case you wanted to go.


    and so on.

    the title is pretty cryptic!
    moikon April 29, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentspeedlimitdriver's comments and overall interpretation of the theme seem the most spot on. I would add to his interpretation that the last verse is a recount of after the marriage.

    I think the "calling the bluffs" line is the woman calling the man's bluff and his tough talk, which fits with the 'goodbye to the ugly steeple fear' (they get married). Then he reminds her that he's not anymore complex then a typical guy- 'bind with my hooks' shows he is emotional and physically co-dependent on her; 'open the books' indicates that in spite of that co-dependence, he needs to push her away, explore his own interests and be an independent man sometimes.

    The 'dirty black cars' and 'angel of Corpus Christi' is imagery of a funeral. The cars are probably hearses. Corpus Christi is not just a city, but the Latin translation of the body of Christ. So the end of the song is a prayer that the man will be saved by heaven/religion and/or the love of his wife. "Tell me what I want to hear" has a double meaning: tell me there is life after death and tell me you will be there (here's where the selfishness comes in- does he love her and really want to spend eternity with her, or does he just not want to be alone?).

    The repetition of "leaning in to the end" is the narrator's acknowledgment of this existential crisis. The crisis is that he may be getting married not for love but to hedge his bets against an eternal loneliness.
    supposablethumbson February 26, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI laughed at 'moik's comment above, nice one! I totally see the religious angle on this one, but for me I've always thought it was about just not fitting in, not feeling like u belong or have a place in the world, and being slightly depressed coz u know you're probably gonna feel like that forever. 'Everywhere eyes, nowehere to die...etc' / 'good times...' / 'i'm just a man...' all those lines make me think he's saying he just wants some peace, he's fed up. It's almost like a cry for help.... Whatever it means it is a superb song. The slide guitar is outrageously good!!
    ed_cefaluon May 18, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHm, you all have smart things to say about it. I LOVE this song. The CD single is one of my favorite recorded things ever: this song, then the song about the ladies at the beach club on a Sunday afternoon (clucking lowly like enemy platoons), then a freakin' great Spiral Stairs song about Pelican Beach being closed. Great cover to the CD single too.

    So . . . anyway, I've kind of vaguely thought it was about fear of marriage? That is, fear of committing and settling down. I guess because a lot of SM's songs from this era seem to be about that subject, and I think I read an interview once where he said that "Rattled by the Rush" was about fear of marriage. If you look at "We Are Underused" from Brighten the Corners, that one seems to be about what he's afraid he'll become after he gets married: a boring, "underused" middle class person who's worried about stupid things.

    So, my lyrical evidence:

    (1) "Ugly steeple fear" is fear of going to the church to get married. "

    (2) Rotten device": he's defensively accusing his girlfriend of trying to trick him into getting married (hey, it happens--i.e. women do it, and men imagine it). Then he says a bunch of mean things about her (her sharpened heel, how he's looking around for someone else in case she breaks up with him because he won't ask her to get married).

    (3) "Calling the bluffs," "talking tough," he's talking about how his girlfriend has, in effect, said, "well, if you love me, why won't you marry me?", and implicitly threatened breakup if they don't get married.

    (4) "Good times forever after," that's the myth of marriage.

    (5) "I'm just a man / you see who I am," he's saying, "I'm really quite simple, I want comfort without commitment."

    But the hooks, books, angel of Corpus Christi, I don't really know how that fits in. If someone wants to connect A to Z for me here, I'd love to hear it.
    speedlimitdriveron December 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNO POSTS!?
    Ok, this song sounds a little to me like he or someone he knows is leaving. Maybe he wants to leave town with someone. Other people, INPUT PLEASE!
    crosseyedstrangeron February 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBecause I really, err, "dig" this band, album and song in particular, I'll post this:
    2nd verse, 5th line; it's not "Tired place..." but "Tired FACE...", as far as I know. Hope I'm correct, haven't checked if there are anyother misspells here. Cheers! :D
    voltaboltaon June 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow.... I really can't believe this hasn't been changed yet!!! Kinda poor... anyways, WHEN u guys decide correct these lyrics; it's also quite audible that Malkmus repeats "too much" in the last line in the 1st verse ("Cause too much, too much will leave you").

    You know what I'm talkin bout! Man, I love this band! :D
    voltaboltaon July 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere is a lot of images related to Christianity, "steeple fear" "corpus christi your so misty" and the concern with the end, and "To the end/I know I'll never know" the idea that one doesnt know what is after death. "Rotten device, I’ll say it twice" I think for the opener is a condemnation of christianity and maybe religion in general, resolving that one can't know the truth in religious matters. Something like that? The title, with father and sister both possibly referring to priest and nuns, further the religious imagery.
    daveawadon January 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPavement lyrics don't have specific meanings (that's my oppinion)
    boda78on April 14, 2010   Link

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