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The Tallest Man on Earth – Honey Won't You Let Me In Lyrics 8 years ago
Just to throw in my two cents:

I'm pretty sure it's fists' divorce. As in they are no longer holding hands.

Give us a few more years and we'll have all the lyrics down :)

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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – The Willow Garden Lyrics 8 years ago
If this ain't Freudian I don't know what is. It's actually quite a meaningful song if the murder is taken to be the deflowering (her name is "Rose") of the girl. He sleeps with her down on the banks of the river, and then because of his selfishness and lack of patience he has ruined his potential love, as symbolized both of their deaths. "I drew my saber through her; it was a bloody sight (or night)" seems to be the most obvious reference. Contextually it also makes perfect sense. They were courting and falling in love. It doesn't make sense for him to kill her. Also, the correlation between sex and death has been around at least since the early Renaissance, most likely earlier as well, so chronologically this could make sense.

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Sufjan Stevens – Vesuvius Lyrics 8 years ago
Good thoughts. Read most of it :). Thanks for your clear explanation of "host." Like you mentioned at the end of your comment, I am convinced that the entire song is a questioning of faith, and one of the most powerful I've ever heard put into a song. I think I can explain the "murdering ghost" that you were struggling with. This line is climactic and central (right before the flutes etc. come in), and refers to the violence of Christ's love and grace. Christ's love is not merely gracious, it also cuts like a sword, demanding that we die to our self, that we remove self from its central position in order to all the entrance of Christ's love. This is a Christian theological concept explored by many Christian theologians and artists (my personal fav being Flannery O'Connor). The murdering ghost is the Holy Spirit commanding Sufjan to die to him self. "Why does it have to be so hard?" Yeah, no kidding.

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Sufjan Stevens – Vesuvius Lyrics 8 years ago
"Forget"?? I don't know how you are hearing that. It is "favour" every single time. Headphones in with loud volume and there's no way there's any "figure" or "forget" in there.

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The Antlers – Zelda Lyrics 8 years ago
I wonder if a good place to start would be with Zelda Fitzgerald, F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife. Many considered Zelda to be something along the lines of "crazy." F. Scott was the anchor in the relationship, and fought to keep Zelda's mind from going to unhealthy places. The relationship is portrayed through the characters of Dick Diver and Nicole Warren in Tender is the Night. In the novel, Nicole has fits of insanity, in which she distances herself completely from reality, and Dick, a psychiatrist, works through these fits with her. I think the song is playing along the same lines of one person aiding another with staying in touch with reality (although both are struggling, which also lines up with the novel).

The copy of a copy thing is also a quote from Fight Club, and maybe somewhere else... ? Edward Norton says it in describing what life is like with insomnia.

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Oasis – She's Electric Lyrics 9 years ago
wow, I've been singing this song for years and never thought about what it was talking about. Awkward.

So he falls in love with this girl and she's exciting but then he finds out that the whole family is, well, exciting, especially the female ones. He doesn't get along with her brother, but with her mother there's some weird tension, "I think that she likes me." One of the cousins is pregnant, "got one in the oven," but the singer is maybe unreliably denying his involvement, "it's got nothin to do with me." As for the sister, well, once we realize what's given her a blister on her hand, then I guess we realize why he's missed her so much. No wonder he "needs more time": sounds like a complicated situation.

Hope I never offended any more perceptive person than myself singing this song in front of them lol.

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St. Vincent – Cheerleader Lyrics 9 years ago
umm... sumeragi. Good on ya for taking an art theory class, but you're not giving earlier commenters the credit they deserve. Let's face it. There's more than just "one line" where gender relations could be suggested: "held your bare bones with my clothes on," and "I don't know what good it serves, but for you I could work," could very well suggest unhealthy romantic relationship. Also, the image of cheerleader is loaded with implications for gender discussion: females standing on the sidelines of usually male-dominated sports events wearing little clothing and dancing for the audience. Hmmm.

Although I admit that you are right that Annie definitely goes further than JUST gender issues in this song. Lines like "America with no clothes broaden the scope big time.

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St. Vincent – Actor Out of Work Lyrics 9 years ago
After watching the music video, I was thinking something along the lines of Thoreau's "We all lead lives of quiet desperation." I thought all the metaphors were pointing to how we act like everything is under control, calm, but in reality we are fragile and confused. If you haven't seen the video you should watch it... I thought it was pretty cool.

However I have to admit that when I just read the lyrics w/out the video, it seems more like a woman expressing bafflement over a certain relationship. She realizes she's too dependent on him (you're a bandage, salve etc.) and she realizes he's pretty screwed up (you're a liar, boxer etc), yet she loves him anyways.

Both interpretations kinda work imo...

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Bon Iver – Beth/Rest Lyrics 10 years ago
Beautiful, beautiful tune -- just like almost every other song on this album. But totally impenetrable lyrics -- also, unfortunately, like almost every other song on this album. Sure we could spend hours discussing possible interpretations but I'm pretty sure it'd be fruitless. Ultimately you'll take out of it what you bring to it.

Being someone who always listens to lyrics first and loves a well-crafted poem, it's a bit disappointing, but I've come to accept it. Basically, in order to listen to Bon Iver and enjoy it, I have to turn off the part of my head that wants "meaning" and listen to his lyrics kindof like I'd listen to a song that was written in French. It's like Vernon is speaking a different language.

So, in my opinion it's pretty crappy poetry, but it does serve some purpose in providing impressions and giving some mental images. But meaning... not so much. Perhaps Vernon just struggles with the poetry-side of making music, so he intentionally decides to not even shoot for crafting lyrics that will hold together and just goes for catchy word snippets instead.

Thankfully, his brilliant musicianship still makes the album very worthwhile.

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Fleet Foxes – The Shrine/An Argument Lyrics 10 years ago
i think the three movements represent 3 different moments in the relationship (whoever put these lyrics up separates the movements with '-').

the first movement is 'the shrine.' It's a time after they have separated, when the singer is still angry about what happened, and determined to be happy despite it all. "Sunlight over me no matter what I do..." "everyday a'passin complete" etc. Yet he still does think about her, and puts pennies in the shrine and wonders "what became" of her.

the second movement is 'the argument.' This is the moment when she actually drove away and they separated. The second stanza is my fav, describing three different images of her leaving. First line is her standing in the doorway with letters -- presumably love letters he wrote to her. Second line is her driving away. Third line is her recalling the angry words that she spoke at him, trying to get rid of the memory... the bad taste left by the words. (Either that, or I was also thinking maybe that line is from his perspective, which would kinda conjure an image of him strangling her in the ocean... hmm).

the third movement I think is him much further down the road. The anger is gone and now he is simply regretting being alone. The apples are nice and all, but the joy of having them is gone because he's alone. He seems to have given up, or been defeated. Now he simply lays down and longs for heaven or utopia, which he dubs Innisfree -- the name Innisfree being taken from a Yeats poem where the poet is longing for an ocean village (Innisfree) where all problems are gone. In the poem Yeats lives on the Walden-esque island with his lil cabin, rows of beans, etc. with the ocean lapping on the shore.

All in all, tough to be sure, but definitely a lot to this song.

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Radiohead – Lotus Flower Lyrics 10 years ago
The original use of the Lotus Flower in literature was in The Odyssey--the scene where Odysseus and his crew come to the island of the Lotus-eaters, where the people eat the fruit of the lotus flower, which puts them into a state of continual apathy and contentedness. For the crew of Odysseus's ship, eating from the fruit is a terrible thing because it makes them forget about their longing for their home. Odysseus eventually has to literally drag some of his crew away from the island.

I thought this song was working off that idea. But then I read on Wikipedia that the in Buddhism and some other religions, the Lotus Flower is a symbol of dis-attachment and sexual purity. Both those ideas seem to work better with this song than the Odyssey reference... unfortunately for my original theory :(.


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Sufjan Stevens – Vesuvius Lyrics 10 years ago
Ok, so admittedly I look at life through a Christian lens, and sometimes that makes me a terribly biased song interpreter.
But here's how I see the song (which I absolutely cannot stop listening to).

First off, "Vesuvius" and "Fire of Fire" and "permanent blast" are the same thing. Sufjan's using the famous volcano as a symbol for the ultimate fire, which is God.

That said, the entire song is Sufjan's internal dilemma of whether he will follow the "flame" or whether he will fall on the floor. According to Christian belief (with which Sufjan is very familiar), the believer must choose between following the Spirit of God which resides within him, or the flesh, which is always the easier choice ("Why does it have to be so hard?").

It's also interesting that Sufjan consistently uses the word "ghost" to refer to the Holy Spirit in his music (To be alone with you f.e.). And so here, the "murdering ghost" is a picture of the Holy Spirit within Sufjan urging him to die to his self and follow the proddings of the spirit.

Also, the lyrics are "article of eminent death" and not "immanent." Eminent death could possibly be a crucifixion reference, although it's tough to be sure.

The latter part of the song seems to be Sufjan's decision to choose the ghost, rather than flesh. It's going to be terribly hard, but it's better to follow the flame than fall on the floor.

Anyways, not saying I'm right, but this is how it jumped out to me as one who holds to the same beliefs as Sufjan. In any case, the song is incredibly powerful.

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Joanna Newsom – '81 Lyrics 11 years ago
The title of the song is '81, presumably referring to Joanna's birth. The only reference to this in the lyrics, however, is in the line "seceded from the union in the year of A.D. 1." Working off some of the more obvious religious imagery in the song, it seems that Joanna is bringing up some kind of comparison between the birth of Christ (which probably wasn't exactly in AD one, but was definitely in the near vicinity), and her own birth. I think she's throwing out ideas regarding sin and forgiveness ("what is meant by sin or none," or "unending amends you've made"), but at other points it seems to be more of a romantic song... or a breakup song. Always tough to say w/ Joanna.

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Elvis Perkins in Dearland – Shampoo Lyrics 11 years ago
I have a different version of the song (that I got off Daytrotter)

There is an extra verse that comes in after "my blood" and goes like this:

But I don't want to die,
I'll never die*, tomorrow maybe
Above a near perfect square of sun*
You are worth your weight in gold
you are worth your weight in sorrow baby
though you will never know why

*equals I don't really know

* This information can be up to 15 minutes delayed.