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M. Ward – Radio Campaign Lyrics 5 years ago
I wonder if this song is an explanation of why so much of M. Ward's music is based on older types of songs.

The first stanzas are about a loss of innocence: "Well I been pushed to the edge", "I got stripped of my soul".

I'm guessing the type of music that he plays is similar to the type that he listened to as a child (ie, his parent's music). So, now he's trying to bring those feelings back by singing that type of music into a microphone and over the radio. He hopes to bring that "peace of mind" back.

Of course, "my little peace of mind" fits perfectly well for a girl that he lost too. But lots of older songs use the construct of a song about a relationship to talk about other subjects.

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The Gun Club – For The Love of Ivy Lyrics 6 years ago
In response to kreeningsons: I think that is a standard country blues line. The exact same line can be found in Bob Dylan's traditional "train song" "Railroad Bill": "I’m gonna find me a pistol as long as my arm /
I’ll kill everybody who’s ever done me harm."

I had just recently heard "Railroad Bill" for the first time - a version by Andrew Byrd. So, I thought it was funny when I heard the Dylan version the first time. I was REALLY surprised when I heard that line though! There's no way it is a coincidence - the singer was making a reference here.

On the "n-word" discussion. I have no problems with it at all. I thought it was dumb for the Japandroids to change the line in their version. The singer is not necesarily the narrator of a song. The narrator of this song is a racist, homicidal maniac basically, so it is not very surprising or shocking that he would use a racial epithet. Like someone already said, it's like seeing the "n-word" in a book about people in the South. I'm sure Cormac McCarthy has written it a few times, for a modern example.

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Iron & Wine – Kingdom of the Animals Lyrics 6 years ago
These are really interesting lyrics. It’s too bad there aren’t more entries here. Anyway, here’s how I pieced my way through it:

"Jenny was gone, And the moon blooms all shining. As we dragged our panic up and down the riverbed, Sweating wild and weird in our Sunday clothes."

I assume “moon blooms” refers to some kind of moonflower. It is open at the beginning of the song and closes at the end. This stanza seems to indicate that Jenny suddenly disappeared. It sounds like they were dragging the lake for her body. I assume Jenny and the singer are young, so this was a “wild and weird” experience.

"Jenny was gone, though I thought that I knew her. And the rain came howling out of Virginia
Blue tick blowing the water out her nose."

Blue tick refers to a Blue Tick Coonhound who was helping to find her. I guess he’s confused that she would disappear.

"Jenny and me in the front row And singing about how heaven calls The kingdom of the animals. All and all revealed to us one day."

These next two stanzas seem to take place in the past, before Jenny disappeared, when they were younger.

I think this addresses the confusion that can be found in religion (or simply of childhood). At some point someone wonders what happens to animals when they die. Is there a “Kingdom of the Animals” in the same way as a “Kingdom of Heaven”. They ask a lot of questions, but finally get the response that everything will be revealed to them, probably in the afterlife.

"Jenny and me on the hilltop And peeking at all their upturned bottles, Jumping like leopards
Jaw harp teasing the brushfire in its rage."

Seems like Jenny and him were peeking in on a party where people were dancing after drinking a lot. Jaw harp (or “Jew’s Harp”) is twangy southern sounding instrument. This is the first of two references a brush fire. Perhaps when fields are burnt at the end of the year.

"Jenny came back, And the wet road still shining. In our eyes, an angel clear and coronal
Clothed in all that's prodigal and strange."

Jenny wasn’t lost after all – she ran away. Since they thought she was dead, she appears like an angel. She’s different now and compared to The Prodigal’s Son.

"Jenny came back, And I thought that I heard her Murmur something about no men in Virginia. Spat on the ground like a letter tossed away."

I guess an indication that Jenny ran off with a guy who let her down. Again, she’s different now. The singer though that he knew her, but now he doesn’t.

"Jenny and me in my dead truck And turning over just where heaven calls The kingdom of the animals Scratching our heads where the wolf would go to lay."

I suppose this takes place after her return. They are older, but still wondering how “The Kingdom of the Animals” would work. Where would the wolf lay down? Next to the sheep?

"Jenny and me as the moon blooms were closing, And both her wide-eyed brothers
Running like shepherds Dreaming the heat of the fields all in flames."

Jenny, the narrator, and her brothers running and dreaming about the brushfire. Time has past (the moon blooms close), and they remember the events of their childhood. It feels like the singer wants to go back to the times before Jenny left and everything changed.

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Bonnie 'Prince' Billy – We Are Unhappy Lyrics 6 years ago
I wonder if the "Nothing is better, nothing is best" is a reference to Bob Dylan's "Nothing was Delivered".

The song seems to be about a loss of faith due to tribulations. Like, a Job who didn't endure or something.

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They Might Be Giants – When Will You Die Lyrics 6 years ago
I assume that this is a parody of how gleefully people sometimes react to the death of another human being. The obvious one being bin Laden. The ablum came out a month after his death, but it seems likely the song was written before then. Either way, the idea of a song about wanting someone to die being so upbeat is interesting.

I just have a hard time thinking that the Johns seriously hated anyone this much, but the lyrics really are pretty straight forward.

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My Morning Jacket – O Is the One That Is Real Lyrics 6 years ago
I would normally agree that "It's about drugs" is a lame explanation of a song, but I'm not so sure here. My first impression is that he's dealing with a friend who is troubled and on drugs.

Leaving the TV on all the time and only answering by phone can be seen as paranoid. It literally mentions the existence of a "dealer". A dealer of what? Cotton Candy?

I wonder if the "O is the one that is real" is kinda' sarcastic. Like, I'm you're friend, but I don't want to see you slinking back to your dealer. I'm here to help you, but it looks like O is the only thing that is real to you anymore.

"The radio, it plays" comes off like, the world just keeps turning while this is going on. It just plays regardless of what you do.

Of course, "O" could be any number of other things that serve a similar purpose. Maybe this is a girl he like, and "O" is just the creep she's obsessed with.

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My Morning Jacket – O Is the One That Is Real Lyrics 6 years ago
I would normally agree that "It's about drugs" is a lame explanation of a song, but I'm not so sure here. My first impression is that he's dealing with a friend who is troubled and on drugs.

Leaving the TV on all the time and only answering by phone can be seen as paranoid. It literally mentions the existence of a "dealer". A dealer of what? Cotton Candy?

I wonder if the "O is the one that is real" is kinda' sarcastic. Like, I'm you're friend, but I don't want to see you slinking back to your dealer. I'm here to help you, but it looks like O is the only thing that is real to you anymore.

"The radio, it plays" comes off like, the world just keeps turning while this is going on. It just plays regardless of what you do.

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The Mountain Goats – Lakeside View Apartments Suite Lyrics 7 years ago
Everytime I hear "You can't judge us - you're not the judge" I think of Darnelle singing it to Judge John Hodgeman.

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Blitzen Trapper – Astronaut Lyrics 7 years ago
I think the line is definitely:

"So if you're gonna play your games with me
Better use some real CHICORY
You better get smart 'cause that lock on your heart
It ain't as heavy as it used to be
In a land without no gravity"

It definitely sounds like he's saying "Chicory", like the flower. Wikipedia says, "It was also believed to be able to open locked doors, according to European folklore." So, it actually makes sense in terms of the lyrics too.

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Gogol Bordello – Uma Menina Uma Cigana Lyrics 7 years ago
The lines:

"As if the birds are free
From the sidewalks of the sky"

remind me of the last lines of "Ballad in Plain D" by Bob Dylan:

"Ah, my friends from the prison, they ask unto me,
'How good, how good does it feel to be free?'
And I answer them most mysteriously,
'Are birds free from the chains of the skyway?'"

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Japandroids – Adrenaline Nightshift Lyrics 7 years ago
"waiting for a generation’s bonfire to begin" pretty much sums up a bunch of Japandroids songs, no? Members of a new lost generation in America. Nothing more to do than smoke and drink.

But, hey, he met some cool chick, so 'eff it!

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Okkervil River – Your Past Life as a Blast Lyrics 7 years ago
I think references to "she" and "Jennifer" are to the girl and references of "him" are to the brother. It sounds like they both fell for the same girl. In the end he says they should, "Shake it off" and "find another", because he really "misses him."

However, the brother doesn't make the same decision ...

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Spoon – I Summon You Lyrics 7 years ago
There's no such thing as "over-analyzing" a song. It's cool that you want all those words to simply add up to "long distance relationship", but there's no reason everyone has to believe that. It doesn't matter that the lead singer said it was about that. Artists do that all the time.

Do you believe Bob Dylan or Lou Reed's explanations for what their songs are about? It'd be hard to do since they give multiple explanations. Most artists do not want to define what a song is about. It's supposed to be a two-way experience. The listener uses their own experiences and brain when figuring out what it means *to them*.

Robbie Robertson, of The Band, once said that he didn't even like having the lyrics printed. He'd rather have the listener figure those out too. So, your personal experience of the song being about a divorce is great.

It's not like us over-analysers are not enjoying the song or something. Music and lyrics are more interesting when you free yourself of what the song is supposed to be about and think instead. Other people get more out of just listening.

Anyway, regardless of what the song is "about", that doesn't mean that the song doesn't have something else to say. Do you think those old blues singers were really just singing about some girl?

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Iron & Wine – Southern Anthem Lyrics 8 years ago
Yeah, the "Southern Anthem" could be just about anything, but for me it's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down".

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Spoon – Chicago at Night Lyrics 8 years ago
I wonder if the village mostly came into existence, or had a big population increase, after the Berlin wall was built.

I started thinking that the wall in the song is not a wall in Chicago, but actually refering to the Berlin Wall as a general symbol of the communist takover of much of Eastern Europe, including Ukraine.

That makes the "second language" part make sense. Because so many people's lives were disrupted and they had to move to America, they now have to speak in a second language.

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Warren Zevon – Fistful of Rain Lyrics 8 years ago
Is the idea here that once things get bad enough, you might as well do things that make no sense?

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Iron & Wine – Lovesong of the Buzzard Lyrics 8 years ago
Many artists also dislike giving out "official" explanations of lyrics/art because it makes everyone's brains shut off.

P1: "Wow, this song really touched me. I think its about someone overcoming thoughts of suicide."
P2: "No, it's about his dog that died. He said so in an interview on YouTube."

Bleh. You're making it sound like thinking about the words is somehow bad or takes away from the song, but that's how many people really grow to love a song. I can easily overlook a song just letting the sounds flow over me, but suddenly really love it once I come up with my own interpretation of the lyrics. I'll never forget the song then.

(Nothings wrong with just liking the sound either though. Many people get more out of music that way, like what Jim James is talking about in "The Way He Sings".)

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The Mountain Goats – Beautiful Gas Mask Lyrics 8 years ago
This reminds me of Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est" about gas attacks in WWI. Besides the title, there are several images of gas, masks, and death.

I think burningwaffles has a really good point though. The song definitely has themese of uncertainty ("Who will be there to catch us in his jaws"). Surviving something like war can be seen as nothing but a random event. Why would you survive, but the guy next to you dies? Of course, the same principle applies outside of war. We're all "blinfolded and bound" in life, not knowing what happens after death.

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The Dodos – Joe's Waltz Lyrics 8 years ago
Yeah, one of the Scientologists basic approaches is to offer a personality or stress "test". When you finish that, they'll offer to help you by using those e-meter things.

The next bit about needing to kneel sounds more like a standard Christian pitch though.

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Fleet Foxes – Grown Ocean Lyrics 8 years ago
"Grown Ocean" ties together many of the other songs on the album, so I figured I would post my general interpretation of the album here.

The song "Helplessness Blues" establishes the main dilemma of the album. The singer has led a dissolute life (he's the prodigal son in "The Plains / Bitter Dance") and now, faced with his own mortality, wants to make a change. He rejects the materialism of his former life ("Montezuma"). He idealizes some of the innocence or purity he had in the past ("Bedouin Dress") and connects this with Innisfree. Part of this is a relationship he had ("Battery Kinzie" and "Lorelai").

In "Someone You'd Admire" he pushes himself to find this new way of life, or to change his ways. He realizes that he can become someone to be admired, but if he fails then he will become embittered and not care anymore. The final stanza of "The Shrine" indicates that he fails at this point. He greedily hordes the apples. The last verse in the song indicates the he either literally or metaphorically attempts suicide.

In "Blue Spotted Tail" he discovers that he survived the suicide attempt. This still leaves him in an existential crisis as he ponders death and the absurdity of life.

Finally, in "Grown Ocean" he dreams of reaching his goal and returning to "Innisfree". Part of this dream is being reunited with Lorelai. In fact, she seems integral to his dreams for the future. He realizes that this reunion won't happen until he has finally "woken". The line "In that dream I could hardly contain it \ All my life I will wait to attain it" is very hopeful. He's decided not to give in to bitterness, but to continue searching for the truth.

However, he acknowledges that failure is still possible. He fears that Lorelai, the "wide-eyed walker" from "Battery Kinzie", will betray him. Perhaps she is the singer in "Sim Sala Bim" who considers betraying the person she loves "despite the reservations". Either way, he hopes to "awaken" before this can happen. However, she has left in the past, and he fears this will happen again.

Overall, this gives me the impression that Pecknold is saying that the search for truth is a lifelong struggle. He wants to live in such a way that he helps his fellow man, while not just being a cog in a machine. He seems to reject Tolstoyan "passive resistance" in "Helplessness Blues", but questions how force can be used to overcome evil. He struggles to find meaning in a life that will someday end in death, but, at the least, finds meaning in that struggle. Now, he just worries that he can struggle to the end.

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Fleet Foxes – Blue Spotted Tail Lyrics 8 years ago
Yeah, I'd say "Someone You Admire" is part of this too. The singer realizes that he has to change his life from his prodigal ways (from "The Plains"), but is fighting to decide how. He wants to be "Someone You Admire" but is afraid the opposite will happen: he'll fail and become bitter. Depressingly, at the end of "The Shrine", the latter seems to happen. He selfishly clings to his apples. This leads to a suicide attempt.

This song's first lines can be read as, "Why am I still alive? Why didn't I die?" Even if the suicide attempt is only metaphorical, the singer then considers the absurdity of life. This then leads to the dream in "Grown Ocean".

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Fleet Foxes – Someone You'd Admire Lyrics 8 years ago
Most of the songs on this album are about making a big change your life. The singer has still not been able to accomplish this. He's now reached a critical point. He's afraid that if he is unable to find a way to change his life, he'll become embittered and not care anymore. The singer here could easily be the "prodigal son" in "The Plains / Bitter Dance", hoping to be admired by his father.

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Fleet Foxes – Battery Kinzie Lyrics 8 years ago
Battery Kinzie is a concrete Battery located on Fort Worden, Washington (http://fortwiki.com/Battery_Kinzie). A battery is a group of artillery.

Ok, so this is all out of order, but I get the impression that the singer really liked this girl who was very innocent ("wide--eyed"). He warns her about wandering in the dawn for fear that she'd be caught by someone. She does get caught. He tries to help her escape, but is caught. He can then only watch from a distance.

This probably isn't supposed to be literal though. It's like he loves this girl, but can see that she is vulnerable. She ends up in a terrible relationship and is trapped there. The verses about dying and death indicate how helpless he is to stop this and how it affects him.

Perhaps Battery Kinzie is, to the singer, an indomitable force.

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Fleet Foxes – Sim Sala Bim Lyrics 8 years ago
"Sim Sala Bim" is (a possibly fake) meaningless Indian phrase comparable to "Hocus Pocus". Delilah is from the Old Testament. For money, she coerced Samson to tell her the secret of his strength, which lead to his capture. A “Delilah” is a treacherous and cunning femme fatale.

The narrator seems to be singing about someone who travels a lot, and is, therefore, away from him a lot. The line, "What do I see in your eyes, besides my reflection hanging high," indicates that he is the singer’s father; his reflection is hanging high above him in his father’s eyes. The singer loves him because he is his father, but he has reservations for good reasons. The guy is always travelling away from his family. He even leaves his family to go on spiritual quests, reciting, "Sim sala bim." At certain points the singer sees through his familial love and starts to realize that his father is far from perfect ("the dream to break"). "Cutting off the hair of someone’s young" could refer to the father having a second family. He should be cutting the singer’s hair, not someone else’s young.

My only guess on the last lines are that the singer is actually his daughter. She perhaps feels that she is betraying her father by feeling that he is not a good person. If he would accuse of her of this she could finally break away from him. I guess everything above works pretty well if the singer is actually his wife.

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Radiohead – Bloom Lyrics 9 years ago
Makes sense. Sea Turtles are one of the few creatures that can eat jellyfish.

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The Decemberists – January Hymn Lyrics 9 years ago
To me, this song seems to parallel two similar situations at a different time. The first is in the presence tense, and the narrator is an adult shoveling snow. He is parting with someone, and I get the impression it is his wife. He doesn’t know what to say as she leaves.

This makes him remember walking through the park with, I guess, a different girl in his teens. He didn’t know what to say then either and it seems things didn’t work out.

I wonder if he’s wishing he would have figured out what to say back then to avoid the situation he is in now.

Either way, it’s a really beautiful song.

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The Decemberists – Calamity Song Lyrics 9 years ago
@oksure: Yes, California will never fall into the ocean, but that line does probably refer to the belief that it would happen. Don't you remember Lex Luthor's plan in the first Superman movie?

The bits about living underground remeind me of the Omega Man.

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My Morning Jacket – The Bear Lyrics 9 years ago
Really great song. That drum line at the beginning is pretty much "Be My Baby" by the Ronnettes.

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My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges Lyrics 9 years ago
I agree with mineonly here, and he/she doesn't seem to be lashing out at anyone. The lyrics themselves say, "It ain't evil baby, if it ain't hurtin' anybody." Well, someone is getting hurt in the situation described.

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Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) Lyrics 9 years ago
I keep thinking that the album is not so much about how horrible the Suburbs are, but how they represent the basic human condition. In this song she asks if she can ever escape from the sprawl. Well, no, because the same problems that you see in the suburbs can also be everywhere else. Even if you disappear into the wilderness of Alaska (or the jungles of New York) you will still have to face the realities of life.

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Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) Lyrics 9 years ago
"Punch the Clock" refers to an old system where employees would stick a timecard in a machine that would then punch a hole indicating when they started and when the stopped. Sometimes the new digital versions are still referred to as "punching the clock".

There is also a song and album by Elvis Costello called "Punch the Clock".

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Arcade Fire – Wasted Hours Lyrics 9 years ago
Kids/teens often dream about the day when they’ll finally be free. This album talks a lot about leaving home as well. However, in the end, you realize that you will always be stuck on that bus no matter what you do. You can take this negatively (life is pointless) or you can try to make a life that you can live.

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Arcade Fire – Half Light II (No Celebration) Lyrics 9 years ago
I think that Half Light I establishes the “half light” as starting to move away from the sheltered sunny existence that your parents created. At some point, you start to see the realties of life, which can be exciting and positive, at least in the half light.

In Half Light II the narrator is describing how the night finally descends. He leaves home to pursue his idealistic half light dreams, but they eventually fall apart. He goes back home to try and recapture the innocence of his childhood in the “full” light. Of course, when he gets there he finds that it’s all changed. I don’t think the city itself had really change, but his childish perception of it had. The night is now closing in and he prays to not live to see the real truth. He’s surprised at how fast this disillusionment has come.

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Arcade Fire – Half Light I Lyrics 9 years ago
Their parents tried to shelter them in the light, but inevitably the night will come. As they start to think for themselves they enter the “half light” which changes how they feel about everything. I think this captures the excitement of starting to really think for yourself. You start to question your parent’s beliefs and find beauty where it wasn’t before.

However, the whole song is very ominous. They’ve entered the half light, but that means that the night is coming with disillusionment and loneliness.

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Arcade Fire – Rococo Lyrics 9 years ago
A lot of the lyrics on this album have the narrator looking back at his childhood and comparing it to today’s kids. Obviously, he’s not to impressed with these kids trying to sing “Rococo”. However, I wonder if part of his criticism is actually being leveled at his own childhood. Is there any chance that when he was a teenager that he was a true original and not wearing the same “colors” as his friends?

I don’t think he’s really saying, “Kids TODAY are so horrible,” but rather that teens have always been awkward and immature. He’s describing a basic cycle of life. You are the angsty, know-it-all teen and then you grow up to realize how silly they all are.

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Arcade Fire – Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) Lyrics 9 years ago
Wow, I'm surprised it took 4 pages of comments before someone mentioned Plato's Allegory of the Cave. I was hoping to be the first!

Anyway, the bits you quoted above first made me think of the Allegory, but also the lines, “Light a candle for the kids, Jesus Christ, don’t keep it hid,” seem applicable as well. Having discovered the real light, he tries to show it to them. In the Allegory, Plato wonders if doing this would lead the cave dwellers to kill the light bearer. Interestingly, that’s exactly what happens with Jesus Christ.

I guess what is also funny here is that the electric light in the song servers as a distraction like the shadows on the walls. When the lights are on in the house, they are off in the “hearts of man”.

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Broken Bells – The Ghost Inside Lyrics 9 years ago
A type of firecracker.

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Mastodon – Hearts Alive Lyrics 9 years ago
Heh, this reminds me of a great SNL sketch where Captian Nemo tries over and over again to explain that a league is a measurement of length, not depth. The Nautilus travelled 20,000 leagues across the ocean, but it didn't actually dive really deep.

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Tori Amos – 500 Miles Lyrics 9 years ago
Well, "Communion" normally refers to the "breaking" of bread in remembrance of the body of Christ. However, in a more general sense, it can simply refer to joining together in mind, spirit, or body. I think Tori’s "lover’s communion" could represent the relationship described, or simply just sex. Tori is certainly being sacrilegious here, but, hey, the album is titled "Abnormally Attracted to Sin".

So, he travels 300 miles to bring some kind of euphemistic bread to her, which I guess they’ll be consuming on this 500 mile trip. I think the weird part in the middle (from "Step it up" to "some actress"), is just some idle chatter before the trip. She’s watching the news and pointing out random things. Some famous couple broke up.

Maybe the line "We fought in the Land of the Midnight Sun" reveals how shaky this relationship is. That makes the lines "Will he break?" simply mean, "Will he break my heart at the end of this (lover’s) journey?" I guess he travels at the beginning, and she travels at the end. So, it makes sense that he might break her "again".

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Bob Dylan – Percy's Song Lyrics 9 years ago
The final line: "And the only tune My guitar could play \ Was, 'Oh the Cruel Rain And the Wind.'" is a reference to a real song, "Oh, the Wind and Rain (The Two Sisters)". You can read the lyrics here: http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiTWOSI10.html.

Apparently Dylan performed this folk song early in his career, and I'm guessing the tune of Percy's Song is somewhat similar. The lyrics describe completely different circumstances, but in the end, both instruments can only play, "Oh, the cruel rain and the wind."

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The Band – The Weight Lyrics 9 years ago
I'm glad someone posted that Robertson quote above. I really like the "Impossibility of Sainthood" interpretation. I just wanted to add a couple more notes to one of my favorite songs. Overall, thing’s just keep going wrong on this trip.

The lines about Carmen and the Devil are pretty funny. He wants to go have some fun with Carmen, but she gets out of there. And leaves him there alone with the Devil. Great!

I think the line is, "Crazy Chester followed me and he caught me in the fog;
He said, 'I will fix your WRACK if you'll take Jack my dog.'" ‘Wrack’ is an old way of saying ‘wreck’. So, he wrecked his car in the fog and now he’s stuck with a dog. Apparently, a pretty terrifying dog if Jack wants to get rid of it and the narrator’s reaction is to claim he is a "peaceful man". I can almost see Jack smiling when he says, "feed ‘em when you can," like that’s not the easiest thing to do. You certainly aren’t going to be petting or playing fetch with this dog. Yikes!

"Catch a cannonball now to take me down the line." Well, I guess Jack didn’t get around to fixing his car. The cannonball is a train. Maybe the narrator just got impatient. Who know what would happen next on this crazy trip. Hey, can dogs ride on the train?

So, just like Robertson said above, it’s about a simple trip to say hi to everyone for Fannie. He took that weight on. There’s that interesting theme though of taking on someone’s trouble and how it is really difficult to do that. Next thing you know you’re taking on a bunch of other problems. Maybe you shouldn’t even try? Cause, you know, Fanny’s just gonna’ keep adding on more weight.

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Les Miserables – I Dreamed A Dream Lyrics 9 years ago
It’s bizarre that Les Mis gets confused with the French Revolution. In the book and the play, the uprising is crushed by the end (but they are free in heaven). I can understand mixing up the dates, but don’t people find it confusing that the revolutionaries lose? Why didn’t the Bastille get stormed? The French Revolution actually overthrew the government. It wasn’t just a Parisian street fight.

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Titus Andronicus – No Future Part III: Escape from No Future Lyrics 9 years ago
There's a lot of goofy references in this album. "Fortress of Solitude" is the ice fortress from Superman. “Waiting for my man” is a song by the Velvet Underground. “All I Want For Christmas (is my front two teeth)” is a funny song by Don Gardner.

As for meaning, I think this is pretty straight forward. He was once “a volcano” and he could look at himself in the mirror, but he threw that away. Now he stays inside his shell. He feels like he’s become an automaton. I guess there’s an indication that becoming a robot has brought him some success in the world (although he has to medicate himself to maintain this). The rebellious volcano side of himself is still there, trapped in a dungeon. The repeated lines, “You will always be a loser,” certainly sound negative, but the final line “and that’s okay,” seems to negate that. I guess his inner “volcano” liked it better when he was a “loser”, instead of the sheltered life he lives now.

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Robert Johnson – Cross Road Blues Lyrics 9 years ago
Ha ha, ok, I admit I did misread your original post. I think your 3rd point is the one to focus on here. We both agree that the myth of selling your soul to the devil at a crossroads is helpful to understanding the song. I was definitely being a bit prickish in my response. I didn't pay enough attention to your last paragraph. I get overly annnoyed when someone declares that they are the sole guardian of the meaning of a song. You didn't actually do that though.

Heh, I hope you enjoy writing long deconstructions of what some goofball wrote on the internet. That must have taken awhile ;-) You have seen this xkcd, right: http://xkcd.com/386/

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My Morning Jacket – Phone Went West Lyrics 9 years ago
FetusTree is not completely joking. “Back door” can be a reference to anal sex. However, a “back door man” is usually someone who sneaks into a house. So, if your woman is cheating on you, she is doing it with a back door man. I’m pretty sure “back door” is being used here in the second sense.

So, I think the line, “Is there a lock on your back door?” means, “Are you being faithful?” The song seems very desperate. Like he is in a relationship with someone he knows will cheat on him. It sounds like he’s always asking about it, but she won’t give a clear enough answer (“Tell me I’m wrong, Tell me I’m right.”). He wishes a doctor would just make everything in the relationship right.

In the end we have him knocking on the front door and someone else knocking on the back door. Which door does she answer? Given the pusillanimous nature of this guy, I’d suggest going for the back door.

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Spoon – You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb Lyrics 10 years ago
I think of a cherry bomb as something rebellious teenagers are into. It's like a symbol of angsty adolescence. With that in mind, the singer is trying to get her to give up on her childish ways. Life really is fair, you don’t have to go around blowing up mailboxes anymore to get back at “the man”. You should just settle down. Reminds me of “Furr”.

Obviously, this is just my personal take on it. Above, the writer of the song pretty much says it’s a breakup song. But still, why a cherry bomb? Why’d he pick that specific thing? Maybe my idea is still a little correct. Maybe he’s leaving her because she’s a bit childish. Maybe that’s why a cherry bomb seemed like the perfect symbol for her. Or maybe he just needed an explosive with a wick that sounded good.

submissions
Tori Amos – Caught A Lite Sneeze Lyrics 10 years ago
No, you are the "moron" for trying to reduce the song to nothing more than "about her relationship with Trent Reznor". There are mentions of Saints and Nuns in the song, so it would not be terribly wrong for someone to think that maybe, just maybe, the song has something to do with religion. But, let's just ignore that and say it's simply about Trent Reznor. She didn't layer in any other meanings. She didn't use that reltionship as the basis for a song that can be applied to a variety of situations. That's not what artists do apparently. They just write simple factual autobiographies. Would your analysis of Thomas Wolfe's "Look Homeward Angel" be "It is about Wolfe's childhood and adolescence, morons"? I think they may be a wee bit more to it.

People are not morons when they actually use their own brains to try to understand art and apply it to their own lives. That is sort of the point.

Thank you so much for "just clearing things up". We can all now stop thinking about the words she wrote.

submissions
Tom Waits – Murder in the Red Barn Lyrics 10 years ago
@Phweemaggot: Well, it is more interesting than that, right? For one, I like how suspicions are different based on class. They immediately assume that it could be one of the drifters living under the fridge, but no one considers Cal who suddenly has a scar and bloody axe! Also, the idea of murder being a cyclical occurrence like different types of roadkill is certainly worth thinking about.

submissions
Bob Dylan – Motorpsycho Nightmare Lyrics 10 years ago
This does not prove the Dylan is "so far above Lennon" since some of John Lennon's work is definitely better than this. Most of Dylan’s other songs are better than anything John Lennon has wrote though. I didn’t even know there was such a debate.

Anyway, this song is almost awful. Dylan is really stretching to get out some awful rhymes and besides Castro’s beard it isn’t very funny. It is only forgivable in that Dylan probably made it up as he went. Seriously, Dylan’s rhyme schemes usually have an amazingly good flow to them. This is just awkward sounding.

submissions
The Band – The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down Lyrics 10 years ago
Both! That's what's so great about the chorus. It can easily be viewed as Northerners celebrating victory or even Southern relief at the end of the war.

However, as poitned out below, I always hear, "Na na na", and think of it more as a mournfull song.

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