Pet sounds filling pet peeve void's
Black and white TV with the sound turned down
Is it mono or stereo?
Lending aneurysm satisfaction in the
Fruitless gaze of your Mona Lisa lazy smile
Trick ourselves in portable stanzas
Black Russian throated on this
Guillotine cancer
How steep we are
But there's just no telling
Just no telling

Savion is under heel clicking
Morse code through movie stills again

The sky had blackened with carrion birds
Pinstriped suits and cigarettes tapped danced
Through the tepid burlesque
Their mouths were parched with excess thirst
Bridge and chorus candy curse
Still they snag through the strep throat verse

Pet sounds filling pet peeve voids
Black and white TV with the sound turned down
Like breathing blood through lungs of czar's child

If I had a dollar for every plot that you made
In this bed of nails you make
How steep
How steep we are



Lyrics submitted by cbennett

"Transatlantic Foe" as written by Omar/bixler Rodriguez

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Transatlantic Foe song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • 0
    General Comment:i'm so jealous of all these people that can figure out what ATDI songs mean by reading between the lines, this song inparticular is one of the songs i've listened to millions of times trying to figure out it's meaning, i am just amazed reading the lyrics, and the song is just as amazing. this is surely one of my top 5 favorite ATDI songs.
    prodon May 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:well, i'm defintely not one of those people but i'll try anyways. Savion is the first name of a famous tap dancer ( you know, that guy on Sesame Street) and "clicking heels" might have to do with tap dancing. Probably, back in the '80s, the Soviet Union was our "trans-atlantic foe". Holy crap this is tough ! I mean, there are references ranging from music to cigarettes. Out of all of this, i think this song is about the death penalty. i know i'm way off but i tried.
    upsetter940on June 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:To figure out an ATD-I song ya need a dictionary and some patience. Take a line and look up all the words, even if you think you understand the word, look it up because Cedric is so smart he can use a word with a totally different meaning then you think it is. But fucking christ this IS hard. I do believe its about the Soviets and the cold war. The savion line...I think it's like this (bear with me my thoughts aren't collected). Someone is giving information to someone else in obvious ways (keep reading dont lose me here). See Savion may be "under heel clicking morse code" to someone (sending them messages right infront of your face) AGH hard to explain. Now they aren't saying Savion works for the soviets it's just someone giving info to someone (maybe the russians) in secretive ways that you are seeing (on movie stills)

    The US army uses pictures with coded messages in pixels of the pictures to communicate with eachother. See it's sort of like that.

    The soviets could have been doing this but I really don't know much about that whole conflict. I hope your headache goes away soon after reading this....

    The Mars Volta - Sparta - ATD-I
    yacantfademeon June 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I think a lot of these songs aren't meant to have contextual meaning, but the lyrics are impressionistic. Thusly, the label, emo, it deals with emotions, portrays things as you see it rather than as you know it, similar to the Impressionistic era in art a while back. ATDI to me is pure and literal emo, their songs and lyrics reflect pure emotions, whereas other "emo" bands just bitch and whine about how their girlfriend left them. So I wouldn't try and find meaning here, just listen to the melody and his voice.
    KenAndrewsLoveChildon September 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:"whereas other "emo" bands just bitch and whine about how their girlfriend left them. "

    Shut up you ignorant fuck. Learn what bands actually are emo before you talk about it.

    I agree with yacantfademe, cuz that was my old name.
    shokknterroron March 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:"Shut up you ignorant fuck. Learn what bands actually are emo before you talk about it"


    That was really harsh man. Plus, he's technically right.

    Cedric utilizes his emotion through intelligence, and not brutal/trigger happy feelings.

    Come on, 90% of 'emo' bands such as takingbacksunday, savestheday etc.. basically complain/express their angst about lost relationships. But they all perform and express these emotions in a fantastic manner.

    Kenandrewslovechild wasn't suggesting that these bands are shit, more stereotyping the lyrical content of emo bands in general.

    ATDI, Thursday, Coheed & Cambria, Glassjaw are four bands that portray issues of emotional value very intelligently, lyrically AND musically.

    More to the point though, this is my fave drive-in track of all time, and it's in my top ten songs of all time too. "The Sky Had Blackened With Carrion Birds" indeed.
    Mad_Capsuleon March 09, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:"If I had a dollar for every plot that you made in this bed of nails we make"... I love that; it sums up the absurdity of the Cold War brilliantly. Two sides plotting their tactics and contingency plans for a war that is simply going to wipe them both out almost instantaneously. Damn this band is smart. I like Sparta a lot (Mars Volta is too trippy for me), but it's not quite the same.
    TheDude24on March 11, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:"pet sounds filling pet peeve void's
    black and white tv with the sound turned down
    is it mono or stereo?
    lending aneurysm satisfaction in the
    fruitless gaze of your mona lisa lazy smile
    trick ourselves in portable stanzas
    black russian throated on this
    guillotine cancer
    how steep we are
    but there's just no telling
    just no telling"

    This is by far the best opening verse to a song EVER!!!
    Nothing matches the intensity of this song nothing in my opinion!
    This song is so fun to play on guitar and I na band it’s just such a blast and screaming the "Carrion birds part" is a fantastic feeling. I love At The Drive In so much they are by far one of the finest bands ever to come out of The USA. The lyrics are always very complex but at the same time have a deeper meaning some of the songs have several meanings. The statements they make, the way they make them and the way they say them are what make this band so great. But live they were amazing so intense and so just having fun. This to me is punk not the watered down crap that carries the cliché around so much nowadays.
    craiguson April 18, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I always thought that this song was about the escalation of the cold war, and the propaganda, rationalizations and justifications surrounding it. Sort of about how the US among others has developed / stockpiled atomic, hydrogen, chemical weapons enough to destroy the world dozens of times over. That trying to stuff these weapons back into pandora's box and put a lid on it is "Like breathing blood through the lungs of a czar's child" (reference to the assasination of the Romanovs, machine gunned to death during the Bolshekvic revolution that led to the Soviet Union, so trying to ressusitate someone whose been shot)
    baselessboredomon April 27, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:To Mad Capsule

    Emo was a thing of the 80's and ended around 92. Its over with now. When you people call bands emo you are insulting the real bands that REALLY WERE emo.

    This is gonna stay one of those "just call music for what it is" things but I like classifying for some reason. So believe me emo is over and someone needs to start a new name for this bullshit. I know exactly what hes talking about and I know what youre talking about. But its just whiny bitchy produced punk.
    shokknterroron April 27, 2003   Link

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