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Phox – Nineteen Thirty-Six Lyrics 7 years ago
Edith Ringling was the wife of one of the Ringling Brothers; she was something of a matriarch and helped run the circus business. The band Phox is from Baraboo, Wisconsin, where the Ringling Brothers started out, so I guess "her blood is our [their] blood, too".

I don't know if Edith was into drugs or if her son Robert was actually raised by his uncle Al Ringling. But the "wicked fight" could be a reference to how the Ringlings fought over control of the circus (Edith was part of this, too).

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Stars – In Our Bedroom After the War Lyrics 11 years ago
Also, just to throw a non-Harry Potter literary comment in (though I'm an HP fan myself), when I listen to this song, I think of "There Will Come Soft Rains," by Ray Bradbury. It's about an automated house continuing to run even though its inhabitants are dead from a nuclear bomb. Check it out if you can.

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Stars – In Our Bedroom After the War Lyrics 11 years ago
For me, the song is both about a war and a relationship. Just as the rest of the world is celebrating and picking itself up after a terrible war, this man goes through a breakup. And the voices of the rest of the world--represented here by broadcasters and some ambiguous "us, yes we're back again"--can't convince him to cheer up, because the world's situation often seem irrelevant to someone consumed by his own suffering. "When we went away, you were just a kid" could make the dissonance all the more stark as the war never meant anything to him in the first place; he was too young to understand or care when it was going on, so for him, all he really has to care about is his own life and his own troubles.

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Stars – The Five Ghosts Lyrics 11 years ago
When I listen to this song, I hear a story about a small-town girl who grew up in the provinces. Since childhood, she either had premonitions of her destiny or literally saw five ghosts, and these visions have hounded her all her life. "Oh, what a beautiful day to try to die / Oh, for one sweet second without the eye" to me refers to her lifelong quest to thwart her own destiny and make a name for herself. It could also refer to a desire to not see these visions and to live normally.

In the second verse, I imagine that she's succeeded to some extent and is now a celebrity of some sort. All the opportunity open to her ("All the rivers of the city like flags of blue unfurled") must give her quite a thrill. Perhaps she lives a bit recklessly just to prove that the visions are wrong, and she can "try to die" on her own terms.

However, she is in an abusive relationship, making her living as a high-class escort, or the subject of one night's brutal attack. The vulnerability she feels the morning after brings back her childhood memories of the five ghosts, and perhaps she wonders if she will truly succeed in escaping her destiny.

For the last verse, I imagine that she has retired to her home province and, with her money, built a large estate on her childhood stomping grounds. From her balcony one late afternoon, she looks out and sees the visions again. By this time, however, she has accepted her destiny ("I don't tell them to move on"). As the sun sets, she goes for a walk under the trees she must have played in during her youth. Her "one and only friend" could literally be someone who has stood by her all these years or a personification of the destiny she's tried so hard to avoid--maybe even death itself, the death that has waited patiently for her all her life.

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Stars – The Five Ghosts Lyrics 11 years ago
When I listen to this song, I hear a story about a small-town girl who grew up in the provinces. Since childhood, she either had premonitions of her destiny or literally saw five ghosts, and these visions have hounded her all her life. "Oh, what a beautiful day to try to die / Oh, for one sweet second without the eye" to me refers to her lifelong quest to thwart her own destiny and make a name for herself. It could also refer to a desire to not see these visions and to live normally.

In the second verse, I imagine that she's succeeded to some extent and is now a celebrity of some sort. All the opportunity open to her ("All the rivers of the city like flags of blue unfurled") must give her quite a thrill. Perhaps she lives a bit recklessly just to prove that the visions are wrong, and she can "try to die" on her own terms.

However, she is in an abusive relationship, making her living as a high-class escort, or the subject of one night's brutal attack. The vulnerability she feels the morning after brings back her childhood memories of the five ghosts, and perhaps she wonders if she will truly succeed in escaping her destiny.

For the last verse, I imagine that she has retired to her home province and, with her money, built a large estate on her childhood stomping grounds. From her balcony one late afternoon, she looks out and sees the visions again. By this time, however, she has accepted her destiny ("I don't tell them to move on"). As the sun sets, she goes for a walk under the trees she must have played in during her youth. Her "one and only friend" could literally be someone who has stood by her all these years or a personification of the destiny she's tried so hard to avoid--maybe even death itself, the death that has waited patiently for her all her life.

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Stars – Barricade Lyrics 11 years ago
They may be a Canadian band, but Torquil Campbell is of British descent. So it's not such a weird thing, for him to be singing about football.

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Stars – Dead Hearts Lyrics 11 years ago
I always thought it was about living people with dead hearts, people who used to have dreams but never really got the chance to fulfill them. "Kids that I once knew" makes it all the more painful if you knew these people personally; you knew what they wanted in life and are sad that they didn't get it. "It's hard to know they're out there, It's hard to know that you still care" could mean that you don't really recognize these people anymore ("once knew") and that they've become pretty apathetic; perhaps they've accepted that this is the most their lives will ever amount to. With their hearts dead, maybe they're just waiting for the rest of their selves to die.

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Stars – Dead Hearts Lyrics 11 years ago
I always thought it was about living people with dead hearts, people who used to have dreams but never really got the chance to fulfill them. "Kids that I once knew" makes it all the more painful if you knew these people personally; you knew what they wanted in life and are sad that they didn't get it. "It's hard to know they're out there, It's hard to know that you still care" could mean that you don't really recognize these people anymore ("once knew") and that they've become pretty apathetic; perhaps they've accepted that this is the most their lives will ever amount to. With their hearts dead, maybe they're just waiting for the rest of their selves to die.

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Regina Spektor – 2.99 Cent Blues Lyrics 13 years ago
It just occurred to me that the speaker could be a storyteller-for-hire. Maybe a guy on the street corner telling you that he knows a couple of stories, and for 2.99 he'll tell you the rest.

Town criers used to be like that, right? They'd scream the headlines, and then you'd have to stop them and ask, maybe pay, for the rest.

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Regina Spektor – Paris Lyrics 14 years ago
Perhaps it's about a woman who wanted to travel the world and then settle in Paris, but because of her commitment to this man, she had to defer her fulfillment to her next life.

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Sia – Broken Biscuit Lyrics 14 years ago
I think the character is both afraid and amazed that even in her brokenness, somebody wants her.

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Sia – Broken Biscuit Lyrics 14 years ago
I think the character is both afraid and amazed that even in her brokenness, somebody wants her.

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Sia – Sweet Potato Lyrics 14 years ago
I think youre right about the last verse being the beginning of the story. I love this song, too. :)

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Jars of Clay – Lonely People Lyrics 14 years ago
I think you mean Lennon. :)

This was originally by America, but I love the Jars of Clay version, yes I do.

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Regina Spektor – 20 Years of Snow Lyrics 14 years ago
I liked the first explanation; it made a lot of sense. :)

An alternative one is that the character lived all her life in such an idyllic, rural area, only to find, when she's older, that it's turned into a seedy tourist trap - hence "I got to get me out of here, this place is full of dirty old men and the navigators with their mappy maps..."

But that doesn't seem as thorough as the first comment.

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Aqua – Good Morning Sunshine Lyrics 14 years ago
I just rememberd an ex-boyfriend; whenever things got bad between us and we fought, he'd try to avoid it.

(When the sky is gray and the rain comes down, you will run for cover.)

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Regina Spektor – Mockingbird Lyrics 14 years ago
It's frightening.

Speculation: a father trying to comfort his daughter, whom he might be abusing. If that were the case, the parts about what he'll buy might be his way of trying to buy her forgiveness. At the same time, he seems to be blaming her for the problem.

That's just my idea...

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Regina Spektor – Rockland County Lyrics 14 years ago
It seems obvious that it's memories of her experience when she first arrived in America.

I like the song, because I felt the same way when we came to America. We lived in a hotel first - yeah, also with a foldout couch, now that I think of it. Haha! And then the company my dad worked for let us rent a house, and being in that weird new American neighborhood was like being in a fantasy story.

On the airplane, I played with the kids' toys that the airline gave me.

There's a verse there, I think she's referring to how, when immigrants come in as young children, they become Americanized, think the American way.

It's not that the American way is bad, but I'm glad we went back to my own country before I was too Americanized. Cultural identity is a strange thing.

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Regina Spektor – Après Moi Lyrics 14 years ago
Nick, she did write other songs that referred to Jesus, like the one with the plastic one, and the one with the devil at bethlehem... :)

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Regina Spektor – Après Moi Lyrics 15 years ago
You know, I actually think Dominic is right. I know that Regina's songs have a lot of Biblical allusions, so I wouldn't be surprised if Apres Moi really was about Jesus. The line, "I'm not my own..." could point to the scene in Gethsemane, when Jesus was saying, "Not my will but yours."

I like his idea about how the cold can refer to the blindly religious and communion.

I also think that the cold refers to the dead in general, the dead whose blood no longer runs. Many believe that Jesus will return and raise the dead back to life.

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