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Joni Mitchell – Passion Play (When All the Slaves are Free) Lyrics 5 months ago
@[patmatt113:40444] \r\nBut Exxon Blue can only mean the oil company. Radiation Rose is the nuclear radiation maybe? The guy is up the tree to stop it getting cut. I took the marketplace as like the stock markets and oil prices and so on. But its thin enough. But I\'m probably just a crazy hippy and see connections where there are none\r\n\r\nI totally get what you are saying about the redemption though, and Zachacceus the tax collectors. I think in that version if Zachaccheus is now redeemed and no longer a sinner, who is going to collect the tax (the dirty work?). Also references to the magdalene laundries too? given then reference to the washing on the line. Maybe the Exxon blue is the horrific colour the nuns wore. In that case the dirty work would be done by the washing machines, not the slaves.

PJ Harvey – Let England Shake Lyrics 1 year ago
Death's Debt is Paid in Full

Death's debt is then and there
Paid down by dying men;
But it is a promise bare
That they shall rise again

PJ Harvey – In the Dark Places Lyrics 1 year ago
Who is Saved from the Grave?

Age after age entirely dark hath run
When not one dawn revealed a rising sun.
Things change and pass, the world unshaken stands
With all its western, all its eastern lands.

The pen flowed and the fiat was fulfilled,
The ink dried on the parchment as fate willed.
Could the king his governors around him save—
Or Caesar his patricians—from the grave?

Joni Mitchell – Passion Play (When All the Slaves are Free) Lyrics 6 years ago
Is she comparing environmental damage to the crucifixion of Christ here?
Is 1991 too early to be talking about climate change?

George Harrison – Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) Lyrics 6 years ago
When I went to look up this song I was shocked at how few lyrics there was. I had an impression of it much lyrically longer song I think, but it's the same pieces repeated over and over.

Now I think that the composition reflects the rebirth cycle that he is singing about - especially since the last two lines lead back into the first few.

Justin Bieber – Love Yourself Lyrics 6 years ago
@[lawrprry:9144] I agree - but I also take him literally! he's saying that she's too into her looks. I think she has self-esteem issues, is insecure and she needs to love herself a bit more on a deeper level, instead of admiring herself!

Damien Dempsey – Choctaw Nation Lyrics 6 years ago
The perfect example of how great folk music can be! Bringing a tragic story and lesson to a wider audience. What a fantastic song!

Bell X1 – The End Is Nigh Lyrics 6 years ago
I just love the humour and the drama in Bell X1 songs!!!

Like the Apocalypse is coming - will be a fireball "or will be all take to the bed!!? (ha ha ha)", and then he drags you straight back down "laid low by a new pox" by which I think he means depression, and how prevalent it is!

The lyrics are so fragile "These moments are fleeting as they are pure".

What a beautiful song!

Bell X1 – Careful What You Wish For Lyrics 6 years ago
The lines
"The crack is wide enough, already
Any more would be too bright," remind me of Kavanaghs Advent poem. "Through a chink too wide there comes no wonder"
and I think it's the same sentiment, albeit in different circumstances.
Keep the mystery in your relationship as long as you can - you won't get it back!

PJ Harvey – In the Dark Places Lyrics 6 years ago
Hi Erica, yes - what a great track, and album. I love your comment especially "goes back to what I was saying about all the wars throughout time - she's counting out all the places where there have been battles fought: in the fields, in the forests, at night and all day, fighting all throughout the fall, spring, summer and winter. And always, it's the young men they want to send."

This reminds me of Jona Lewie - Stop the Calvary, where he says "I have had to fight, almost every night, down throughout these centuries".

Yes, you are right about the mountains - they are damned because men are dying in them.

The Smiths – Frankly, Mr. Shankly Lyrics 7 years ago
@[1imaginarygirl:4539] I agree, but also, I think he wants to love so much that he is prepared to take risks.

Leonard Cohen – Chelsea Hotel #2 Lyrics 7 years ago
I'm a bit confused by the "I need you, I don't need you". He says she never said that - does he mean she never played games with him?

I thought maybe she fixed herself was that she expressed an opinon (clenching her fist against the beautiful ones), but then corrects or fixes herself and says not to be angry but to embrace her ugliness, because it helped to make her a better musician!

Hozier – In the Woods Somewhere Lyrics 7 years ago
@[maximus104:707], @[hokealogenous:708]. I suppose the fox crying in pain could be similar to a woman screaming? the whole sequence is very dreamlike! It's like he's in the woods at night and hearing all these weird noises, and letting your imagination run wild, and imagining all sorts of wild creatures and wild scenarios. I think what he finds in the woods is courage!!

Two things struck me - one was the large teeth, like the wolf from red riding hood.
The other was in the final two verses, we've another two animals deer (dear) and a bear (bear).
Don't know if that adds any insight however.

Hozier – From Eden Lyrics 7 years ago
@[clara10155:706] Definitely - in Ireland a long beach is often called a strand.

Joni Mitchell – Blue Lyrics 7 years ago
I think that maybe the "foggy lullaby" is a lighthouse, or rather a foghorn. In areas where the sea is often foggy lighthouses also ring a bell or sound a horn to warn of danger, as the light can't be seen.

Bell X1 – In Every Sunflower Lyrics 7 years ago
I think it must be about both, and deliberate mixing of metaphors of Lot and Medusa. Mabybe to emphasize that the he's choosing to remember her, maybe even setting aside some time deliberately to think of her, even though the memories bring him such pain? He's certainly saying if he could start all over again (with fore knowledge of her death) he would choose to be with her.

Damien Rice – Trusty And True Lyrics 7 years ago
this is a beautiful song. so simple, but such beautiful imagery. And a celebration of the diversity of human relationships - just come as you are (and let yourself be wrong). We just don't hear that enough!!!

I wonder was this inspired by people writing to him about how much his music meant to them?

Paolo Nutini – Iron Sky Lyrics 7 years ago
I think he is saying that the war we are fighting now is against the "machine society". We don't know what to think because we haven't been told what to think!

Mass confusion spoon fed to the blind
Serves now to define our cold society

He is saying that you can rise above it all (whatever "it" is!) by allowing your mind to be free.

Morrissey – Dear God, Please Help Me Lyrics 7 years ago
I think he compares the love of his lover with the love of God, and asks God:

Will you follow and know
Know me more than you do
Track me down
And try to win me?

(Like his lover did).

Also, I think he is drawing the reference to his heart being free is in contrast to the view of the church on his soul. And how could it be wrong for his heart to be free? I think he says, "Dear God, if I could I would help you" as he has sympathy with God for not being able to feel human love, and make love.

Finally, I think the Rome thing is showing his appreciation of art created by or celebrating homosexuality (like all the nude male statues and all that stuff!). That's why Rome has helped him to feel free, because he's not afraid to write an explicitly sexual song to celebrate his love.

I think it's a beautiful love song anyway - thanks Moz!

Damien Dempsey – Sing All Our Cares Away Lyrics 8 years ago
This is a fantastic song with very stong lyrics. Ok, they're not subtle, but this is contemporary folk at it's best!!

Hozier – Like Real People Do Lyrics 8 years ago
I think it's about a first kiss with someone new after a relationship has ended, and how hard that first kiss is. In fact I don't think they do kiss (that's why he changes from should to could). I think he feels like a ghost, pretending to be a "real" person.

Hozier – It Will Come Back Lyrics 8 years ago
This is my favourite Hozier song so far - and there have been a few crackers!

It seems to me that he is comparing himself and his relationship (including a part of his anatomy) to a stray dog or a wolf (or both).

Just so raw and fantastic.

Public Image Ltd – Don't Ask Me Lyrics 8 years ago
This song was released 25 years ago next year. To me it still sounds modern - ok there are a bits that are a bit dated, but the lyrics are still so clever and relevant that it shows us how little progress we have made. And that the attitude of "i told you so" is getting the environmentalists nowhere!

Neil Young – Are You Passionate? Lyrics 8 years ago
Also that it took me a long time listening to the song before I could hear the lyrics - somehow the washed over me and I got a bit of a shock the first time I "really heard them"

"Once I was a prisoner,
I was riding in a truck,
Cleaned up for public display.
I looked at those around me,
And when they looked at me,
I let them see my soul that day."

Neil Young – Are You Passionate? Lyrics 8 years ago
Just commenting because I want more people to listen to this song! A fantastic song that asks some of the deepest questions about the human condition.
Just thought that I'd add that apparently the ancient Greeks would ask one question on a mans death: “Did he live with passion?”.

Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime Lyrics 8 years ago
I kind of agree, in that it is a comment on capitalism, but I think it was written deep in a recession when the consumer flow was not a flow at all, but rather the money was flowing underground.

Joy Division – Shadowplay Lyrics 9 years ago
I get that too from the line 'I let them use you for their own ends,' especially. I think the "you" is creativity or inspiration. And how it the imagination can be used for good or bad.

PJ Harvey – Let England Shake Lyrics 9 years ago
The more i think about this, the more i think it must be Bobby Sands.

The line "The Wests asleep" references an Irish rebellion poem, and indeed the title Let England Shake is a variation of the the line Let England Quake in that poem.

The reference to the lovely mouth must be to the 1981 hunger strikes. Pack up your "troubles".

Finally, and this might be stretching it a little, but a famous Bobby Sands quote is "Our revenge will be the laughter or our children" so I wonder if that's why that line about laughing is there.

But I'm not sure exactly where the imagery of the Fountain of Death is coming from, I suppose it's just as an opposite to the Fountain of Life. A very unsettling image comes to mind of blood rather than water in a fountain for me.

PJ Harvey – In the Dark Places Lyrics 9 years ago
Ok - I'm still thinking about this song.

IMO the first verse must be from the point of view of the soldiers (surely?). I suppose one of the few descriptive phases she uses in the song is the expression "damned mountains"? So why are they damned? Because they are cold and high? Because they are not alive?

Emphasis on nature but without glorification is significant too although I'm not sure exactly how. Maybe the sun and the moon are just the passing of time, since the soldier died. Is summer passing before us a young man who passes before the autumn years?

"In the fields and in the forests,
Under the moon and under the sun
Another summer has passed before us"

I also though that maybe the repetition of the same line (almost) three times from slightly different angles might be from those who betrayed the young men (like Jesus).
e.g. their country, their lover, society, their commanding officers? Is young men a euphemism for children?

Also, does the "so" at the beginning of the sentence "so our young men hid" verse mean that the young men hiding with guns somehow "caused" by the revelation (or non revelation) of the secrets of the world?

Neil Young – She's a Healer Lyrics 9 years ago
My blue-eyed woman is a love ghost,
Without that woman I'm toast.

lol Neil

Joni Mitchell – Blue Lyrics 9 years ago
Somebody had noted about this song that "crown and anchor" is a sailors gambling game on this ages ago. That comment seems to be gone....lost in the transfer?

Maybe a bit of siren imagery - a song about songs maybe? get's under my skin anyway!

Joni Mitchell – Come In From The Cold Lyrics 9 years ago
I think these are some of Joni's saddest lyrics. I think the core of the song speaks about the conflict of those who were trying to work towards a better world (the hippies!) and the corporate world. Similar to Big Yellow Taxi I think that she uses the metaphor of young love to bring the issue into focus, and the parallel issue is losing innocence.

"We really thought we had a purpose
We were so anxious to achieve
We had hope
The world held promise
For a slave to liberty
Freely I slaved away for something better
And I was bought and sold
And all I ever wanted
Was just to come in from the cold"

So the hippies sold out or were sold out. Maybe she felt exploited. Maybe by the dream itself, or maybe by the music industry where her innermost feelings were a currency.

I thinks she also says that the hippie movement was judgemental in some way
"I made some value judgements,
In a self-important voice".

But for me the amazing thing about this song is the sense of humanity - it feels like a forgiving song.

I know we never will be perfect
Never entirely clear
(when the moon shines)
We get hurt and we just panic
And we strike out
Out of fear
(you were only being kind)


U2 – So Cruel Lyrics 10 years ago
don't really know what this is about - love darkclaw's interpretation!

When I was a teen one of the boys in our class died from an illness. The girl he had been seeing up to close before his death was really messed up obviously. I think he broke up with her because he wanted to save her from the pain of his death, rather than not caring about her. She went out with other guys, and got a bit of a hard time for it, especially after he died - I suppose we were all grieving and it was hard to watch her try to move on. The funny thing is, that she was definitely still in love with the boy that had died, and the new guy, despite being crazy about her, couldn't do anything right to please her.

I was listening to this album a lot at the time, and this song seemed to really fit their situation (still does kinda!) and will forever remind me of them.

Paul Simon – Graceland Lyrics 10 years ago
hi, i think at least some of this song he about is pondering if he will "get into" heaven or grace land. IMO the fact that his travelling companion is his 9 yr old son is important. I think we should assume that the boy would be received in graceland. SO... "I have reason to believe we both will be received in graceland". So the both he refers to is not his son and him, but imo the mother of his son and himself - who are not still together, as he says it is the child of his first marriage.....and he is wondering if what they've done is so bad that they won't get into heaven.

Maybe the graceland is the son forgiving them for not being able to work their relationship out? Don't know if the "she" of "she comes back to tell me she's gone" is the first or second wife, but it's clear that they couldn't have stayed together because "losing love is like a window in our heart, everybody sees your blown apart". Also for me that the "everybody can see the wind blow" reminds me emptyness - like the empty sockets. Very fantastic song.

Bob Dylan – Make You Feel My Love Lyrics 10 years ago
good spot re shatters! I think you're right.

Joni Mitchell – The Magdalene Laundries Lyrics 10 years ago
I was an unmarried girl
I'd just turned twenty-seven
When they sent me to the sisters
For the way men looked at me
Branded as a jezebel
I knew I was not bound for Heaven
I'd be cast in shame
Into the Magdalene laundries

Most girls come here pregnant
Some by their own fathers
Bridget got that belly
By her parish priest
We're trying to get things white as snow
All of us woe-begotten-daughters
In the steaming stains
Of the Magdalene laundries

Prostitutes and destitutes
And temptresses like me
Fallen women
Sentenced into dreamless drudgery
Why do they call this heartless place
Our Lady of Charity?
Oh charity!

These bloodless brides of Jesus
If they had just once glimpsed their groom
Then they'd know and they'd drop the stones
Concealed behind their rosaries
They wilt the grass they walk upon
They leech the light out of a room
They'd like to drive us down the drain
At the Magdalene laundries

Peg O'Connell died today
She was a cheeky girl
A flirt
They just stuffed her in a hole!
Surely to God you'd think at least some bells should ring!
One day I'm going to die here too
And they'll plant me in the dirt
Like some lame bulb
That never blooms come any spring
Not any spring
No, not any spring
Not any spring

© 1994; Crazy Crow Music

U2 – Mysterious Ways Lyrics 10 years ago
I think that's what's so brilliant about U2. I never used to get mysterious ways - it's got a complex rhythm that scared me (is there 4 sets of rhythm going on? - two drums plus a bass and rhythm guitar??)
The band nearly broke up while making it, and i think you can really hear that (wikipedia). it contains a depth lyrically that One comes nowhere near imo.

As for the lyrics, I think it's about all of those things, and that he meant it to be about all of those things, or at least was influenced by all those things. The reference to Johnny is definately John the Baptist, and the dive in the rain is the baptism water, and all of Oscar Wildes Salome - there are belly dancers in the video too.. and there is definitely innuendo going on. The imagery of man without woman (living underground, eating from a can!) is kind of funny kinda tragic. Really good.

I also get some images about fertility and pregnancy and the miracle of birth when i listen to it. I think that's the "mystery". the man inside the child suggests that to me too.

What is alright? or who is he saying it's alright to? I think he's saying it to a crying baby. all knowing wikipedia has a lot of info on the song, saying that edge influenced the "nursery rhyme" feel to the lyrics of "johnny take a walk with your sister the moon, let her pale light in to fill up the room." just some thoughts!

Pixies – Where Is My Mind? Lyrics 10 years ago
@musicaleuphoria: I feel this song it's almost tangible. Well anyway my take.

I kinda see this song as an interpretation to dreaming. next time you are dreaming and are in the clouds. Just ask yourself to spin your head around. wkd cool right?

This song is asking a literal question. Where do the thoughts in my head physical exist?

I agree I think he is asking an literal question - where is my mind? Every time he thinks of the brave little fish trying to talk to him that's where his mind is. It's swimming around in the caribbean.

but my weird twist is that he's said we need to turn it upside the way he was at the time. And at the time it was like a memory he was making for all the future times he'd think of it....and maybe even sing it.
Ok so that's a bit out there. But even without the weird twist it's still cool that the more literally you take the song the more "trippy" it becomes!

PJ Harvey – Let England Shake Lyrics 10 years ago
oh or bobby sands?

PJ Harvey – In the Dark Places Lyrics 10 years ago
Hi ai9652. That makes brilliant sense - of course that's what she means by that.

Was just thinking there too that while the first verse seems to be, on the surface at least, about the soldiers the second verse is from those that not fighting i.e. she says our young men. so it's either from the people left behind while they go to war, or even from the countrys point of view. The repetition of the dark places in that verse suggests fear to me, more than anything else. the fear that soldiers must feel, and the fear that those left behind must feel.

"Cruel nature has won again" on battleship hill is another very nihilistic sentence to me. so i'd agree with you.

PJ Harvey – England Lyrics 10 years ago
I think it's Kurdish - according to this review


"She spoke in particular about a Kurdish love song sung by an Iraqi woman and how in the song “England” she wanted to marry its sentiment to that of an Englishwoman’s love for her country, but her intention is for any listener to relate it to the complicated love they have for their homeland."

PJ Harvey – In the Dark Places Lyrics 10 years ago
Just thought I'd start the ball rolling. It seems fairly straightforward here - there isn't too many metaphors or symbolism. She's saying it straight - imagine getting up in the morning as a soldier. Wash your face. Put up crosses for your fallen comrades. Then go back to war again. Fairly heavy thoughts. Maybe we could guess at what she means by
"not one man has
and not one woman has
revealed the secrets of the world"

I think the most revealing thing on this album is that she doesn't really relent, an intense album with this the most intense song i think.

Bob Dylan – Visions of Johanna Lyrics 10 years ago
Hi i think it's essentially stream of consciousness, but i think it's about "making art". about wanting to make something that will survive him. Maybe that's where the Van Gough Johanna comes in. i think it's a bit like the yeats - the circus animals desertion and the foul rag and bone shop of the heart. He's searching for inspiration, and Louise although holding a handful of rain is too "real" and is coming up short in being his muse. For me the conflict is that Johanna (abstraction of art) is working for him as a muse, but he actually loves louise (life).

I don't know how to express how I mean. he's rejecting the pedlar/countess artist/benefactor relationship because he won't be able to use Louise as his muse, but rather whatever the countess desires. To me the reference to the Mona Lisa and the opera and the stage and the fiddler show that he's considering other art forms and comparing himself. He feels that he's coming up short. He's got a harmonica instead of a paint brush and the skeleton keys (musical keys) and he's worried that people won't be listening to harmonica recordings in 300 years time, but the harmonica is all he has.... But he then concludes that it's not the form of expression of art that's important, but the muse itself - which is why it's visions of Johanna that remain (in his mind and in our minds). at that point I think that Johanna represents both the muse and a real muse combined and louise and Johanna are the one person. He's trying to reconcile his muse being a real person.

According to the internet Johanna means "god is gracious" and louise means ~"fame and war or famous warrior."

Bob Dylan – It's All Over Now, Baby Blue Lyrics 10 years ago
I really like your comment above. Just thought I'd say that i think he uses the word folding for the sky to give the imagery that the sky is only a painting. I think folding is definitely more "trippy" than falling, because falling would be a natural thing in the sky.

PJ Harvey – Let England Shake Lyrics 10 years ago
Robert Mugabe?

Joni Mitchell – Sweet Bird Lyrics 10 years ago
Wow this song is amazing....makes me feel so tiny. "Guesses based on what each set of time and change is touching" reminds me a litte of mathematical sets - you know those circles that intersect.

Part of a really excellent album!

I should be studying instead of listening to this but somehow I can't!

Joni Mitchell – California Lyrics 10 years ago
hi i agree there. i think she's saying that the red neck on the grecian isle was good at making the monster (goat dance) with two backs, but her heart cried out for California. Plus I think that paris was the real test, in california (imo even if it wasn't real at least) they believed in peace. so it's both a metaphor for a man she loves, but also a real longing for california. not sure if the man she remains "strung out on" is Europe or she went to Europe to escape him?

Bob Dylan – Make You Feel My Love Lyrics 10 years ago
is it just me or does the whole song sound sinister, a bit like a threat!! he says he'd go crawling - down the avenue - surely a reference to picking up a prostitute "to make you feel my love". I don't know i think it's more than a simple love song, to me there's definitely an undercurrent of, maybe not obsession, but something like it.

Joni Mitchell – A Case Of You Lyrics 10 years ago
One of my favourite songs ever - gets better with each listening!

Just something I thought I'd add - for me the opening lines are ambiguous -

Just before our love got lost "you said I am as constant as a northern star"

if you look at it as a single line from him to her he's saying that she's the constant star - he wanted to be guided by her, and she says back, and she can't because she is lost herself "constantly in the darkness". I think she's embracing the ambiguity of relaying a conversation through a song.

I think it's important she mentions he's like "holy" wine because he's not just ordinary. I think sacremental wine is definitely alcoholic in Catholicism too - remember there she is drinking actual blood. maybe just a simple reference to something very complex. She says in live performances that it's like hit me with your best shot - so she wants to get drunk on him but she can't. they say too that the better the wine, the less falling down drunk you get! I can only afford cheap wine so I wouldn't know!!

i don't think the painter could be anybody but herself.

Really brilliant mother/prophet imagery too!! Don't even know how to begin dissecting that.

Neil Young – After the Gold Rush Lyrics 11 years ago
Agree with the past present future! Think the past is the most celebratory of the three verses - like it's about being at one with nature and worshipping the world around us. For me "the archer split the tree" is a recognition that even in medieval times we split the tree to make weapons. Also think the knights in armour coming might be the stars talking about a queen - the sun (or even the moon - traditionally associated with the female). my friend reckons the fanfare to the sun is the dawn chorus - sounds spot on to me. (He also reckons it's about a suicidal religious cult which I'm not sure about.)

The middle verse is the most honest or something. The replacement definately has military undertones, as does the sun burst through the sky - definite nuclear subtext - but maybe also the balance to the full moon? Remember Neil records during a full moon - so that probably has some special meaning to him in terms of creativity.

To me the final verse reminds me of a futuristic Noahs Ark - and I reckon the silver seed is the counterbalance to the goldrush. don't know how to interpret it more than that.

PS love the other interpretations - shows how really good songs leave lots of scope for that without losing their strength.

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