"Pitseleh" as written by and Steven P. Smith....
I'll tell you why I
Don't wanna know where you are
I gotta joke I've been dying to tell you
Silent kid is looking
Down the barrel
To make the noise that I kept so quiet
Kept it from you, Pitseleh

I'm not what's missing
From your life now
I could never be the puzzle pieces
They say that God makes problems
Just to see what you can stand
Before you do as the Devil pleases
Give up the thing you love

But no one deserves it

The first time I saw you
I knew it would never last
I'm not half what I wish I was
I'm so angry
I don't think it'll ever pass
And I was bad news for you just because
I never meant to hurt you


Lyrics submitted by EnjOy IncUbus

"Pitseleh" as written by Steven P. Smith

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Pitseleh song meanings
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  • +8
    General CommentI think many on here miss the point of this song. He wasn't in love with this girl. She was in love with him. He might have loved her struggle to love him but now he wanted her to release him.

    He doesn't care where she's been to me is about him not being as into her as she is and possibly avoiding their interactions as each takes them one step closer to him breaking her heart. It's a reaction to the recent times she's asked him why he doesn't care where she's been and who she's been with. Classic girlfriend "prove you like me" behavior.

    The answer to her question is this song. The irony of women is that she'd probably fall for him and see more hope if she read these lyrics.

    The fact is that "no one deserves this". "This" is what he's gonna have to do to her. He's been avoiding it.

    Also, I think too many people miss that most of his lyrics often mean many things at the same time. I think there are themes in this song that aren't just about his "little one" and their relationship. It also touches on his own desires to end himself (possibly a loosely connected commentary on the fact that she's not filling him or curing him or helping him) and his view of evil winning out in all things "before you do as the devil pleases".

    She's a spent of time that's needing to end cause he'll just sit in misery forever but she needs to move on because she wants more than that.

    That's my take. But as always. I'm late to the party.

    Last note: The song itself is haunting and beatiful in a way that only his music can be.
    planks13on April 07, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI love the part of the songs where he sings
    "but no one deserves this"
    and the piano comes in oh god i can't even explain the feeling i get when that happens its just amazing
    i fuckin worship elliott smith
    AWalkDownAlamedaon January 15, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPitseleh is a beautifully sad song - I can hear the fragility of Elliot Smith oozing out in this song. Pitseleh is apparantly a yiddish word meaning "little one" so it is a term of endearment in this song. Obviously he is regretting losing someone he loved, but seemingly someone he had to convince to love him back. Seems like a love that was doomed from the start, but Elliot doesn't seem ready to change who he is to suit her. He realizes that he is wrought with holes, but that's just who he is.
    tubesockson July 07, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's a stunning song but i can't see it optimistically. The lines 'i'm not half what i wish i was, i'm so angry,
    i don't think it'll ever pass' are brutally honest but there's real despair in those words.
    worseforthewearon April 14, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentbeauty
    p1tselehon December 15, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, this song sounds like a love that just never worked because Elliott was too down on himself and he thought he just was never worthy of her. He talks about keeping something quiet from her, and it seems like he wouldn't let his true self shoe becaue he was just too worried she wouldnt love him. So this song is basically a break up, telling her he doesn't deserver her and he says "give up the thing you love" I think he really does want to be with her, but he thinks he's doing it for her sake cause he can't be her "puzzle peices"
    this is truly sad, I cant immagine any girl not wanting to be with such an incredible man :-)
    kateion December 20, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment" i'll tell you why i don't want to know where you are
    i got a joke i been dying to tell you "

    one time i heard a joke i knew my old friend would appreciate but then it hit me that she won't talk to me anymore, and i can't tell her it. love...loss.
    colossal_youthon January 04, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's interesting that some people view this as an optimistic song. I personally think it's a song as a suicide note. It seems to be about a bad relationship and total despair following the breakup. I think he's had suicidal tendencies for a while but hadn't told Pitseleh.
    The_Jackalon January 18, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentto me, this song is about being with someone, and caring about them, but realizing that you're not good for each other, and knowing you need to let them go. but it's hard to let go, so you wind up putting off telling the person. finally, you realize you really have to, because you're just prolonging the inevitable, and hurting them more...so finally after stress builds up("they say that god makes problems just to see what you can stand before you do as the devil pleases"), he ends it. he feels guilty and like a failure over the whole thing("the first time I saw you, I knew it would never last, I'm not half what i wish I was / I'm so angry, I don't think it'll ever pass") and at the end of the song, this sums up the feeling about the whole thing perfectly:

    "I was bad news for you just because
    I never meant to hurt you"

    at least, that's how i've interpreted it...it really matches feelings I've had before perfectly, and in general, it's a beautifully heartbreaking song. it's one of my favorite songs of his, and has been for years. i don't think i'll ever tire of it.
    delialon May 12, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmy last post was a typo - seems u cant edit your posts on this site yet...this one is more clear:

    pitseleh really spoke to me in the same way as it did to you delial. i felt it captured the paradoxical nature of love quite well -

    “i'll tell you why i don’t know want to know where you are”

    -for me this really spoke clearly to the reality of finding it easier to get over someone by totally losing touch...the lyrics further embedded with the imagery of secrets and such are so beautifully honest and pure.

    “im not whats missing from your life now
    i could never be the puzzle pieces”

    - this is one of the most beautiful literal passages in the song for me; how we try to find another person to complete us, to help us understand ourselves, someone that will accept us in spite of feeling incomplete (“I’m not half what I wish I was”)

    “…give up the thing you love”

    - don't we always do this without meaning to

    “no one deserves it “

    - the experience of love can be both the greatest happiness and the greatest despair. And as Elliot eloquently puts, no one really deserves this pain. The empathy as someone noted in Elliot’s music is something that I also find striking – again a certain honestly that isn’t found in all/most songwriting.

    “im not half what i wish i was”

    - Elliot’s voice is so sincere and cathartic. The incompleteness he feels speaks to our constant yearning to be better than we are...haunted by the past, our heads are filled with memories, regrets, guilt, and perhaps most...those experiences that we shared with those we love.
    allaneon May 24, 2005   Link

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