"Magazine" as written by and Michael James Edwards....
This line is metaphysical
And on the one side
And on the one side
The bad half live in wickedness
And on the other side
And on the other side
The good half live in arrogance
And there's a steep slope
With a short rope
This line is metaphysical
And there's a steady flow
Moving to and fro

Oh look you earned your wings
Are you an angel now
Or a vulture?
Constantly hovering over
Waiting for a big mistake

Oh my God, what have I done?

Wouldn't you love to be
On the cover of a magazine?
Healthy skin and perfect teeth
Designed to hide what lies beneath

And I feel the darkness growing stronger
As you cram light down my throat
And how does that work out for you
In your holy quest to be above reproach?

Wouldn't you love to be
On the cover of a magazine?
Healthy skin and perfect teeth
Designed to hide what lies beneath
What lies beneath


Lyrics submitted by dan.

"Magazine" as written by David Shannon Bazan

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Magazine song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis song is criticizing arrogant christians that force God on people. i'm not saying that's how all christians are, i for one am a very strong christian, still, that's what the song is talking about.

    "And oh look you earned your wings
    Are you an angel now, or a vulture
    constantly hovering above
    Waiting for a big mistake"

    That part is talking about power hungry christians that, because they believe they have all the power in the world, criticize other christians.

    "I feel the darkness growing stronger
    As you cram lies down my throat
    How does that work out for you?
    In your holy quest to be above the reproach"

    This part is talking about how these arrogant Christians increase the darkness because of their forcefulness of the word of God. God's word isn't meant to be forced on people, it's meant for people to learn from and accept on their own. This doesn't mean you shouldn't share God's word, it does tell us to go out and be disciples, but we should force it on people.
    were not orphanson April 12, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the lyric is actually "This line is metaphysical" not this life. And "constantly heaven reign of vogue"? what does that mean? I'm pretty sure it's "constantly hovering above."
    That said.. what a great song. that whole imagery of an imaginary line with the "good" vs. the "evil" is the whole theme of Control and is summed up nicely in this song.
    jefeon May 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyes...a great song and you are right...it is "line" but the other is "constantly hovering over"
    chairman_maoon May 29, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song seems to be a paranthesis in the story. It is a reflection of why things have gone wrong, not only with this couple but more with society as a whole. According to the theology of David Bazan, half the world lives in wickedness and the other half in arrogance. He could not be more true in defining the way the two halves view each other. And of course the truth is not hidden in this line, “there is a steady flow moving to and fro”.
    The half that live in wickedness seem to be the ones saying this line to the other half, “Are you’re an angel now, or a vulture
    Constantly hovering over waiting for a big mistake.” The arrogant (who think they are righteous) are just waiting for the wicked to make a mistake so that they can call them on it. I think this is why Bazan paused from the story. He wants to make sure that all the good listeners (the arrogant) are not just judging the wicked, because if they are they are closer to vultures than angels.
    Bazan also delineates the righteous as being on a “holy quest to be above reproach”. But in reality they are more closer to wanting to be on the cover of a magazine. With this song, Bazan draws in the half of the audience that think they do not relate to the wicked and show them they are also wicked. They are striving for “healthy skin” and “perfect teeth”, not “being above reproach”. Now everyone should be ready for the second half of the story and able to sympathize (or actually empathize) with the characters.
    through.being.coolon June 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTHIS IS THE BEST SONG ON THE ALBUM!!! That said, I have to agree with most of through.being.cool's lengthy explanation with a few twists and amendments.
    First, this song is about the division between people of righteous and everyone else. The righteous are viewed as pompous, arrogant, selfish, and condescending while the wicked are seen as amoral heathens. But the truth of the matter is that nobody is 100% one or the other... that's why the line is metaphysical.
    Secondly, I argue that the one who got their wings is the wife... thinking that she's so perfect (angel), when she's really just waiting for him to make his big mistake so she can catch him in it and further prove her superiority.
    Quite frankly, I don't get the "darkness" line. I get the gist of it and the tone but I don't understand what he's referring to. That's all.

    P.S. I'm in Salt Lake and PTL played here the second night of their Control tour here. I had a chance to meet David for a sec and I've gotta say that he's amazingly cool, respectful, and down-to-earth. I just wonder sometimes why he writes such dark stuff.
    Bjorkmanon June 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with Bjorkman when he says that it's the best song on the album. But rather than saying that David see's the world this way, perhaps it's just the opposite. On his past three albums (Whole, Winners Never Quit) David has made a musical play of sorts from OTHER PEOPLE's PERSPECTIVES. He uses logic to show how some people can hurt so much, and to encourage people on the "good side" to help the people on the "bad side". I believe he is expressing some people point of view of Chrisitanity. As a person who was a strong athiest until I had a personal experience with Jesus, I can attest that some people actually see all christian's as hypocritical people who attempt the jam thier "light" down peoples throats. So many Christians are too afraid to develop relationships and love people as Christ has called us to do.

    As far as the "darkness" line, I can say that when I found Jesus, in my spirit, it felt like my whole mindset had been dark and gloomy, but what He showed me was the light of His grace, the key word being grace (not force).

    I don't think David actually thinks this way, but instead is showing what some people do actually believe. It challenges us as Christains to help save these people that God loves just as much as anyone.
    tealfixedsyson July 02, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI should've clarified my possition better in my last post... I agree with tealfixedsys... I don't think this is actually how David actually views the world... it's just how the character does.
    Bjorkmanon July 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the darkness line comes out of the perspective that he is talking from. He is talking to the arrogant side, from the wicked. Thus he's talking about when the arrogant think that the way they have it is right (thus righteous) and they try to convince the wicked of this. (as you cram light down my throat.)
    it been said but the sense that he uses the word metaphysical it mean vague to the point of being hard to understand where one side starts and the other ends. and thus in some ways there are no sides, just one group of people, and all of them are wicked. but yea... this song is amazing.. definatly the best on the album.. definatly something to live by.
    behind0youreyeson July 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy favorite line of any pedro song is "i feel the darkness growing stronger as you cram light down my throat." the more you try to be good for good's sake instead of being aware that you SUCK and trying to do better the more you just want to be bad.
    battaryacidon September 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhen i first heard this album, i was so shocked. i really thought pedro the lion had gone downhill and was moving away from the whole christian thing. but the more commentaries i've read on this album, the more i've come to love this album. i really like looking up these lyrics and coming to my own conclusions about them, as well as reading others'. i know a lot of christians who totally struggled over the meaning of this album and were debating on whether or not they should listen to it or recommend it to other people. i personally feel that david has grasped the freedom to create the way he does, and i admire that. there's so much that people want to pretend they don't experience, and i think it's awesome how david's touched on those issues. makes you really think about so much.
    hearshotkiddisasteron October 14, 2002   Link

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