Frail hinges pivot
On a case's door
Souvenirs from places
Containers change with occasion
Cellophane encased
Displaying paper
Credit years of service
A tool of central enterprises
The early hope
For permanence
The words the rings
Social security
The miracles high tragedy
A thought mistaken for a memory
Dress lengths assassinations
Fractured family ties and christenings
Local posts will list your friends
In order of disappearance
Lawn scattered tins feed birds
The portion baked
For absent guests
The mass edition icon
God sent comfort
Your salvation
But who grants absolution
For sins that never were committed
Tension makes a tangle
Of each thought becomes
Sound never penetrates
The servile edges break and faint
A thought mistaken for a memory
Clear the dust
From smiles in boxes
Pass the patterned wall
Recall their voices

Lyrics submitted by kornchick

Tension song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentThis is a song that you understand more and more as you get older, the layers of memory and layers of physical artifacts in an old house. Slowly, year after year, without your direct awareness, the house becomes your memory, and your memory becomes a kind of house. Thought and memories and patterned walls become interchangeable. Even the nicks on the china (the servile) register as mental events.

    For example, one of my earliest memories is of my mother crying after the assassination of President Kennedy. And for me, the "mass edition icon" was a massively large white bible in four translations belonging to an aunt. Each event or thing was a world, contained in a house, now contained in my mind. Natalie sings about all this, and also your world, and your house, and your mind.
    cbmira01on July 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song was taken directly from an essay Natalie Merchant wrote in school. The song is about her granparent's curio cabinet.
    Artimuson August 06, 2010   Link

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