sort form Submissions:
Jedi Mind Tricks – I Who Have Nothing Lyrics 13 years ago
A few corrections to the lyrics... Got these by just listening, so they could be wrong. Still, I'm pretty sure they're right:

Verse 1:
Atomic bonds = The tie that binds
in thru time = in due time
to bare = to bear (i.e. to carry)
i've scrawlened = i scrawl in
eloquent in summer = eloquent as summer

Verse 3
on top of = on top a
cheribem = cherubim (plural of cherub, a kind of angel)

Sparklehorse – Eyepennies Lyrics 14 years ago
First off, Sparklehorse is one of those bands that I suspect don't offer lyrics open to holistic analysis (I realize I should be speaking in the singular - it's basically just Mark Linkous - but whatever).

But essentially, this song seems quite easy to get. It's about dying and reincarnation. The 'I will return' sections are about both body and memories (the bear's tooth) rising again. There's also the dichotomy between suffering and gentleness - "black fumes of skin" that, we are told, "so gently bled." The blood suckers and cat seem both external influences that are draining the life from him - these could be seen as the constant pressures of life, constant because they are even present beneath his bed (usually seen as a private place of relative safety) and sleeping on his chest, of which the narrator is very aware. The monkeys leaving pennies in his eyes is about the old tradition of putting coins in dead people's eyes - this is based on the idea that the dead need to pay the boatman a fee to cross (I think) the river Styx into the afterlife.

I'm not quite so sure about the meaning of a few things. Why did the narrator himself bury what are presumably his own 'nails and strings and hair'? Also, what is the meaning of the part of holding his hand into the fire and the wiring being revealed? Is he just a robot, a part of a much larger machine (and is that possibly why he can be so confident that he will rise again)? Any thoughts and ideas much welcomed!

Modest Mouse – It Always Rains on a Picnic Lyrics 14 years ago
To sort of echo the others, yes, this song is amazing. I like listening to it when driving at the end of a long night, just having dropped off the last of my friends, speeding through narrow streets that are usually very heavily congested, and just turning this on. Ideally, it would be raining outside as well...


But a quick attempt at actually offering an interpretation:

Overall, the song seems to me sort of a resigned, but tireless attitude in the face of adversity...

"No, I don't suppose
Downpour, downpour"

I can think of 2 possible interpretations. (i) The literal one: he's looking up at the sky, kind of thinking 'you've got to be kidding' but then it starts raining, or (2) the somewhat deeper one, it's the guy starting to think something, and is then interrupted by circumstances, in this case the rain. What makes it even more tragic is the fact that it happens during a picnic (more on this below... READ ON!)

"It always rains on a picnic
Downpour, downpour"

This, with the title, provides the biggest hint, in my opinion, as to the meaning of the song. In the 2 interpretations I offered of the first couple of lines, I opt for the 2nd one, as it allows us to reach a holistic interpretation of the song. So anyway, this guy is just starting to think of something, possibly productive, possibly not, it doesn't matter; what does matter is that it never comes to fruition, interrupted as it is by external circumstances beyond his control (in this case the rain, but that can be seen as a metaphor for any cicrcumstances beyond our own control that mess things up). The tragic part of this song is the fact that it happened on a picnic - obviously our protagonist has put in effort to get a picnic organized, but still things get messed up. It suggests, in a way, that we simply cannot ever be in full control, and that things may at any time go wrong, without us being able to do anything about it. The picnic, and it raining, is just a big metaphor for anything of this kind that might happen - I'm sure everyone and anyone reading this can think of an example of something like that.

"Don't let go quite yet
Downpour, downpour"

Thankfully, there is a hopeful ending. Don't give up trying, even after setbacks. Accept the fact that this kind of stuff is just a part of life that we cannot escape, so chin up and keep trying.

Alternatively, one can see the title 'it ALWAYS' as meaning that it's useless even trying, but I choose to reject that as a possibility, both because the music, after the beginning with the sound of rain*, is fairly upbeat, and of course, the last couple lines seem quite explicitly hopeful rather than dejected.

*As a personal thing, I imagine happiness when I hear the rain falling. It reminds me of what it's like at the end of a long day, when you're with friends, and everyone's tired, and you're just together and don't need to speak, everyone is just sort of being quiet and thinking to him/herself. Can't really explain it much better, and I'm actually off on a tangent here, no longer really interpreting the song at face value. Still, I think it can't be too bad trying to offer a bit of a personal side to the meaning I see in it!

As always, comments and criticism appreciated...

Modest Mouse – Dance Hall Lyrics 14 years ago
Haha by the way, 'enter', you need to be drunk to have the guts to say f**k online on a message board? What would your parents do if they found out?

He was drunk, made an account (Jan 3rd 2005), typed that, and was never seen again on

Modest Mouse – Dance Hall Lyrics 14 years ago
Well, while avoiding my date with Plato for tonight, I might as well waste some time and see what I think this song means, seeing as so far there's been some very tentative attempts, some of the usual 'wow this guy is so good i worship him', and even some 'i am so drunk/stoned' (probably written by a sober, pimply 13 yr old).

"Well I'm giving myself another one,
I have too much to say."

Having too much to say would probably suggest having too much on one's mind; therefore, he might be taking another one (i.e. another drink) to forget about all that. This is actually a theme running throughout the song. Read on!

"I'm gonna angle or telepathy cuz
I don't have the words to say."

When you're drunk, and everything makes sense, but only in your head. When talking to people, it's just noise.

"Well I'm gonna act up, but not in your fuckin' play.
I'll let you win the argument if things still go my way."

Not really caring what other people think at this point, just quite content regardless. Stopped really noticing what the conversation is about; rather, it's just the state he's in that he's content with, cos it's allowing him to vent his anger/frustration/whatever.

"Well I haven't had enough and I said I had my fill.
The past does not exist and I'm told it never will."

He's now been hitting the bottle for a while, but still hasn't had enough. However, at this point, he's forgot about whatever was worrying him ('the past does not exist'). Furthermore, at this point, he says 'I'm told it never will' suggesting that he's quite pleased with the effect of the alcohol, and basically thinks that he will never worry about his worries anymore. Makes sense... when you're drunk, all your worries seem so far away (except, of course, when you're a type of drinker that gets depressed and starts telling everyone sob stories).

"I guess that I'm stuck here like a plant on a windowsill."

Prospects for the (immediate) future: more drinking.

"I could give myself a shot,
I could give myself a pill."

His options. Alcohol, pills, there's plenty on offer for people wanting to escape it all temporarily.

"I'm gonna go and try to buy a little more time to kill."

Personally, this is my favorite line of the song. Basically describes what all this alcohol and drugs is all about. You're spending money to waste time, basically. It's like he's saying that little productive really happens while drunk/stoned, in which he's got a point. When you go out and get wasted, you're basically paying to waste your time. On the other hand, it seems to be a good outlet for one's frustrations, though - he definately likes it (not sure how he'll like it come the following morning though).

"I need a can opener,
cuz I got some beans to spill."

When you get all philosophical when drunk/stoned. Hopefully he's talking to someone else who's in a similar state, or else things might be a bit awkward when he meets up with whoever he's talking to at some later point, when he's sober again.

"Well somehow or another I fell for every scam.
But I was dancin' on the tin roof, cat be damned.
Committing crimes running down the alley.
I am the captain and you are in the galley!"

Interspersed seem to be actual lamentations (falling for scams, committing crimes), while he also is obviously a bit out of it (dancing on tin roof? cat be damned? im the captain, youre in the galley?). This is the philosophical stage I was just talking about.

"I'm gonna Dance Hall dance all night long right now!"

In a live performance, this would be where he's chug down a beer or something! ;)
Oh, and the repeated part about going dancing, in this (my) interpretation obviously means going out and getting wasted.

Anyway, that's my $0.02. Please tell me what you guys think, I haven't done any literary analysis since finals 3 years ago!

* This information can be up to 15 minutes delayed.
Back to top