While the hands are pointing up midnight
You're a question mark
Coming after people you watched collide
You can ask what you want to the satellite
Because the names you drop put ice in my veins
And for all you know
You're the only one who finds it strange
When they call it a lover's moon
The satellite
Because it acts just like lovers do
The satellite
A burned out world you know
Staying up all night
The satellite

Lyrics submitted by EnjOy IncUbus

Satellite song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThis song is very intriguing. This may be obvious, but since no one's mentioned it, the Satellite is the moon --a strangely detached, oddly technical, way to describe it. This goes well with what NightNeverSleeps was saying about the song be about feeling disconnected from romance; the moon, that beloved chestnut of love songs and poems, is to him, a cold, lifeless satellite. In fact, the narrator is in many ways like this moon, is "staying up all night" , a ", "a burned out world you know" So... for me the poem, has a clear place and atmosphere, and metaphor. As for the relationship at the center, there is much mystery but here's a couple thoughts:
    "you're a question mark coming after people you watched collide"
    I don't know about the second half, but the first half is about his lover coming to him with questions, a desire to communicate and connect.
    "you can ask what you want to the satellite"
    Great double meaning (at least). The narrator could be the satellite (he is, after all, like that cold, lifeless moon). A little sarcastic, maybe. Or just sad. Or, even better detached. It could also be, you might as well ask the moon....cause:
    "cos the names you drop put ice in my veins"
    More detachment. Those moments in a relationship when even when you see someone you once loved in pain, you are able to cut off your sympathies. A brutal place.
    "and for all you know you're the only one who finds it strange
    when they call it a lover's moon"
    I don't know. My favorite line because it sounds so specific,, without being quite placable. Generally, I find out these lines are the most personal ones, that only the songwriter knows (i.e. An actual conversation they had). The very privacy of it pulls me in....
    Great song.

    Oh, and as for drug references, the only one I personally see would be the state of mind that the song is sung from --the kind of objectivity a junkie can get about his own sadness. The ability to know one's one tragedy, but look at it from way above so it, like watching from far out in space as the Earth explodes.
    beloveon October 23, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI tend to side more with Nopoetic, I think the song is about confusion and disconnection from romance. The fact that he's the only one who "finds it strange when they call it a lovers moon" denotes that he is separated from the notion of love ... and perhaps confused by it. The "question mark" also implies confusion. Love doesn't come as easily and simply to him as it does to the people around him. So, in this sense, people "colliding" could just mean people falling in love, and he looks at them with awe and wonder because he doesn't understand how they do it so effortlessly.
    NightNeverSleepson July 30, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"When they call it a lover's moon
    The satellite
    Because it acts just like lovers do"

    This makes me think of the fact that you only see one side of the Moon, the dark side is always hidden. He could be saying the same thing about relationships, that people only show you one side of themselves.
    inhale_exhaleon April 18, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti dont think its really about someone lying to you. i think its about someone who is confused about what they want in life, searching for love but not knowing how to make a relationship work to get that love. they are a very interesting person but are so afride to let go and achieve what they desire. its hard for the people who throw themselves out there but end up falling on their ass with their heart in their hands when that person cant open up to them. "you're a question mark coming after people you watched collide"
    nopoeticon December 22, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti didnt really try to decode the exact meanng of the song....

    But this one reminds me of when a friend of someone in a relationship can't see why their friend is doing a certain thing/ acting a certain way.
    amberlon December 20, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think the lyrics are supposed to be more impressionistic - not really telling a complete story, just creating a little bit of a picture. but holy crap, the guitar chords and progression and melodies are just so unbelievably beautiful, simple-sounding, but so complex musically if you try to dissect exactly what he was doing. fucking genius!
    acmon March 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think he is talking about a girl who constantly finds distructive relationships. He sees her orbiting the moon, she is completly dependent on her poor choices in relationships.
    "Coming after people you watched collide" - she is picking destructive people
    FGranolaon February 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't believe no one has commented on this song. This IS my absolute favorite at the moment. My friend burned it onto a cd for me and I instantly fell in love with Elliott Smith. I honestly couldn't tell you what this song means, but I think it has something to with meeting someone and having them lie to you about everything and no matter how hard you try to get them to tell you the truth, they refuse. You (of course) know they are lying, but what can you do about it? Besides that, I just love this song!!
    atarisemokidon March 16, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis could be a stretch, but I think this is about liking someone who disapproves of drug usage and becomes a narc. The lines "cos the names you drop put ice in my veins/and for all you know you're the only one who finds it strange" seems to me to say that someone's been narcing on his dealer, because she disapproves of his drug use, and he's saying that maybe she's the only one who has a problem with it.
    axdon May 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHas anyone noticed on the 3rd time through he says "it's a saddled lie"?

    goddamn genius, this guy. one of his best lyrics ever.
    ultraviolet99on December 18, 2006   Link

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