Hi, I'm Mel. I help songwriters write lyrics that tell powerful stories. I am a story consultant & a Story Grid Certified Editor. I use the craft of storytelling for creating concept albums that tell captivating stories. Find out more: StoriesinSongs.com
|Red Hot Chili Peppers – If You Want Me to Stay (Sly and the Family Stone cover) Lyrics||3 years ago|
This song is about a strange proof of love that the protagonist in this story considers doing.
He is in a dilemma.
His loved one doubts his love.
So how does he show her that he really loves her?
He thinks he has to leave her to convince her of his love when he returns: "You'll never be in doubt that's what it's all about". This line tells us that he just wants to eliminate her doubt. He wants to make her see that she will always be his number one.
And even though he loves her dearly, he is willing to take the risk and leave her for a while (this is what makes it a proof of love). He really wants her to get the message. But if he will be succeeding? We just don't know how it all turns out.
|Red Hot Chili Peppers – True Men Don't Kill Coyotes Lyrics||3 years ago|
I know there are some interpretations about native Americans, primarily through the line 'Pale face die.'
But for me, this is a song about a man who wants to get out of the artificial life one might encounter in Hollywood. He wants to get back to the roots: Dig the dust and do barbeques in the hills.
But he seems delusional. Maybe he took some drugs because he's still not in the vast lands. He's just talking about his plans while still being stuck in his old lifestyle. After all, he wants to ride a saber tooth horse or a paisley dragon.
He's looking for the ultimate encounter of being eye to eye with a coyote hoping that this will make him a true man. But it's weird, and I think it's just a man talking big without really pulling through.
|Red Hot Chili Peppers – Baby Appeal Lyrics||3 years ago|
What a great revelation for the character in the song, or the RHCP. They did their street performances only to find out who their real target audience is.
When we look at how the painted scene progresses, we can say it goes like this:
GOAL: Street Performance to get noticed as a band.
UNEXPECTED EVENT: Older man doesn't like it, but the younger generations seem to dig their stuff.
CROSSROAD/DILEMMA: Play for the younger ones and embrace the fact that their target audience is not the one they thought it to be OR change their music to appeal to the more grown-up population?
DECISION: Embrace the fact that they have baby appeal.
RESOLUTION: Their fan base has already grown to 5.000 younger people.
I like the performance element in this story that mirrors the band's experience as they started. And I love the message of the song: You gotta stay true to yourself and release your gift for the people who like it without worrying about what other people think or want.
|Placebo – Bosco Lyrics||3 years ago|
This song is very strong. It is! It's about a man who abuses his wife and who regrets that he's hurting her. He understands the problem is him getting drunk and he can understand that he's sucking the life out of his loved one who takes care of him nonetheless. This revelation is very important, but we have no idea how the story continues. Will he be able to stop drinking to save his relationship and her health or will he try to drown that revelation with another glass of alcohol?
It's a song that can turn both ways and though we hope that the protagonist is able to redeem himself and sacrifice his addiction for her love, we can't be sure. He says 'So I keep on lying to your face' but even though this sounds like his final decision to keep on drinking, the narrative suggests that he is still reflecting on what he'S doing and that gives us a sense of hope.
|Placebo – Begin the End Lyrics||3 years ago|
In Placebo's song 'Post Blue' it was said: 'I'd break the back of love for you'. Now this song picks up where the blind actions of the protagonist had led to: 'The fact that I was breaking to your bend' refers that he had changed too much about himself and lost who he was in the process.
But what makes the song so sweet is that the protagonist knows exactly what led to this night that is all about them breaking up. He understands where they are at now and he can reflect on the dreams they once shared 'You and I kept looking to transcend'. The good thing is that the protagonist has no regrets: 'Now I tried, God knows I tried' and that sounds very believable. And he still empathizes with her ('And I don't enjoy to watch you crumble. I don't enjoy watching you cry') but he knows he's making the right decision and that's why he has to break up with her.
A very mature decision, There is, though, no story told in the song because we only hear so much of the climax decision of the protagonist after he's been in a dilemma of what to do. And though a climax decision belongs to storytelling, there's just too much missing as to tell what had led to this moment of the breakup. It's just a moment, but there's no climactic value charge. There's no change from beginning to end.
|Placebo – Purify Lyrics||3 years ago|
|Another song that is obviously about sex. At least this time the protagonist is not fantasizing about it like in 'Exit Wounds'. He's enjoying every last moment as they go on making love. And the protagonist actually thinks that he can redeem himself by having sex with her: 'So wash away my sins, give me catharsis! Re-magnetize my moral compass'. That's, of course, an illusion and a sign that the protagonist can't think straight anymore. He thinks she's absolving him from all his sins because she must be an angel 'I gotta testify to how you purify'. The strange thing is, he's asking her if she can feel his kisses, which might be a hint that he's totally aroused by her but she not by him.|
|Placebo – Exit Wounds Lyrics||3 years ago|
The protagonist has lost his loved one to another person and he can't live with this fact. He wonders about their sex life and that's basically the only thing that he can think about. So that says he wasn't in a committed relationship with his ex and it was solely about desire.
And this song is testimony to: 'Love Fails when the lovers don’t evolve beyond desire.' But what makes the song so sad is that the protagonist has lost his way. He doesn't care if he lives or dies: 'I'll take a drug to replace it Or put me in the ground'. The character clearly needs help, but his obsessive tendencies 'Want you so bad I can taste it' get in his way to be able to get help.
|Placebo – A Million Little Pieces Lyrics||3 years ago|
In the first verse, the protagonist is stating what happened to him although he leaves some mystery for the listener because we don't know what was the turning point that left him in this big dilemma he's in now. He used to feel love and his partner made him smile, but something happened that made him lose all faith in love. He's disillusioned now and he's lost his faith entirely.
He's stuck in an all is lost moment and nothing seems to be meaningful anymore ('But now I feel I've lost my spark'). He just wants to let it all end ('So I'm leaving this worry town') because that incident that happened to him is draining the life out of him '(I won't last another day)'. This song could either be about depression and understood like a suicide note or the protagonist is saving himself by getting out of a place that's not good for him.
But the song ends with the protagonist saying 'All my dreaming torn in pieces' which refers back to having no hope whatsoever left. It's a very tragic and devastating song because you would have wanted him to regain some strength, some hope, a spark.
|Placebo – Rob the Bank Lyrics||3 years ago|
This song is about someone who is so much in love with his partner that they do not care what they do. They can rob banks or paint swasticas on walls, as long as they return back to them. The person has lost their sense of right and wrong.
Their judgment is clouded by this obsessive love they feel towards their partner. And they will not let go of what they have: 'You worry though we had enough of you and me. Of fire and scorn', or it will end badly.
|Placebo – Hold On to Me Lyrics||3 years ago|
|'But I'm still doing all I can To try and get me some redemption' points clearly at a morality - redemption story. This idea is supported by the protagonist who offers: 'Kindly lend a helping hand. Come over. And hold on to me'. Morality - Redemption stories are all about sacrificing oneself for the greater good. And this person here is searching for the balance between the earthly and heavenly life. Searching for his purpose is his journey to find himself.|
|Placebo – Too Many Friends Lyrics||3 years ago|
I just love the following line: 'If I could give it all away, would it come back to me someday?' I think the protagonist is very courageous in getting rid of all that social media that defines his life 'my computer thinks I'm gay'. This song is clearly criticizing all those 'friends' or followers you have on social media that you'll probably never meet in person.
While it's great to spread your ideas and find likeminded people, at one point in your life, especially if you're famous, it can become overwhelming. The protagonist is sad or better feels sorry for all those people he can never be there for although he knows how much they'd love a minute of his time. But he can't. And then, there are all those applications (apps), he's talking about, that he blames his sorrow on because they made his dilemma possible. The line 'When all the people do all day It staring into a phone' is the strongest and clearest line to see him criticizing the new era of smartphones and how people live more in virtual reality than in their normal life.
|Placebo – Scene of the Crime Lyrics||3 years ago|
This song is clearly about sex, but what makes the song interesting is the slight hint to the underlying message of the song: 'Love Fails when the lovers don’t evolve beyond desire.
' And the main character recognizes this by calling their passionate endeavor 'scene of the crime' because the crime is that their love is not evolving and they are only with each other because of the great sex they have. The line 'We almost made it But making it was overrated' refers to both: the act of the sex being more fun than the climax as well as they almost made to get into a committed relationship but relationships are overrated. So we see that the protagonist is not yet mature enough to be in a committed relationship.
|Placebo – Loud Like Love Lyrics||3 years ago|
I think this song is about childbirth as well. The main character talks about this amazing dream that is becoming a reality for them. They had their love and now he's asking her: 'To see the birth of all that isn't now Can you imagine a love that is so proud?'. He still can't believe he's about to be a parent. Abandoning the love in the dreams might refer to giving up what he once thought was love because when you become a parent, you discover that there's another level of love.
The love you have for your child is stronger than for any partner you could have. And the main character really wanted to be a parent: 'For all of our youth We have craved them Their beauty and their truth' - Children are innocent and always tell the truth. And that's the beauty about them. And yes, 'So we name them And somehow they pull us through' is showing how much strength we gain by being a parent. It's a whole different adventure. A new challenge unlike anything else, but children give us the strength to. So yeah, this song is all about becoming a parent.
|Placebo – Kings of Medicine Lyrics||3 years ago|
I think this song is about two people meeting for the first time, probably in a bar. 'Were you looking for somewhere to be Or looking for someone to do?' refers to her stepping into the main character's life.
The main character regrets having met her 'Stupid me To believe that I could Trust in stupid you'. He knows better now that he should not have fallen for her or let her tempt him. But they had fun together and made plans, which probably let them get into a car together and drive drunk.
'Now that old buzzard Johnny Walker Has gone And ruined all our plans our best-made plans' refers to they've drunk the entire bottle, and the consequence is that they got into a car accident and all their plans are ruined because they're severely injured: 'They’re picking up pieces of me While they’re picking up pieces of you In a bag, you will be before the day is over'. So we know she won't survive. And we find out too, that the main character won't survive either. 'Don’t leave me here, my guiding light,' is referring to the light of being alive.
'Cause I wouldn’t know where to begin I asked the kings of medicine' - He feels lost and overwhelmed with what happened to them. He once had his way 'And on the back of my hand Were directions I could understand' which could refer to her giving him her phone number and he certainly knew what to do with that. But he got lost in the moment in the bar too, and one thing led to another, 'It’s a case in point baby That you never thought it through' referring to her maybe giving him directions, but then they just got stuck in that place and went on drinking together. 'And on the tip of my tongue Were words that always came out wrong ‘Cause they were drowned in Southern Comfort And left to dry out in the sun' might refer to him at her funeral and he couldn't get out the words. And he's scared to be left and alone: 'Don’t leave me here to pass through time Without a map or road sign' . He doesn't know how to go on from this tragedy. 'I asked the kings of medicine But it seems they’ve lost their powers Now all I’m left with is the hours' - referring to he tried to get drunk again but it's not working anymore for him to drain his sorrows. So all he's left with is the hours of regret. He feels damned.
|Placebo – Come Undone Lyrics||3 years ago|
|There's not much to the lyrics of the song. We're not told a story, but nonetheless, the message of the song is clear. And that's very important for a song in order to resonate with the audience. We're basically told if you're unsure of how you come across, you shouldn't pretend to be someone you're not. It's always better to stay true to yourself. And the main character in the song acts like a mentor figure to the person the song is addressed to. But the mentor lacks the right words in communicating his worry. Nonetheless, the message is clear. It's a cautionary tale.|
|Placebo – Breathe Underwater Lyrics||3 years ago|
I think this song is about a man who has lost the love of his life. In the first verse he's saying: 'This attitude that I embrace For the love I'm trying to replace.' He's trying to find someone new, but since his attitude is in the way he's simply not ready for another relationship. Maybe he thinks it will fail, either because the new partner is not like his lost love or maybe because he's scared he'll lose her too.
So every relationship he had since, had failed: 'Here comes another fall from grace I'm always falling on my face'. And added to that he's saying: 'I try to kill the song 'cause the melody's all wrong' which refers to once again feeling this cognitive dissonance that something's not quite right.
He's killing the song because his new relationships aren't the same as the one he was used to. So instead of trying to work with the melody, he's just breaking up with his new partners. But he's finally hit a turning point in his life. He's fallen on his face one too many times, and he understands now that he can't stay underwater any longer. He needs to get out of that place that numbs every feeling. 'It's getting hard to justify And it won't be long 'til I collide' - he even sees where his behavior will lead to. His friends have already abandoned him because he just got drunk in self-pity or even in alcohol, and it won't be long until he collapses.
Having come to that revelation, he's ready to start living again 'Breathe!'. It's a great song that shows how someone who's truly at the bottom finds his way back to life again. He recovers from a Worldview-Disillusionment incident and wants to find meaning again.
I also love how the song begins with the image of 'falling' and ends with him 'rising'.
|Placebo – Happy You're Gone Lyrics||3 years ago|
|The answer to what 'How many times' refers to is given at the end of the song. It's revealed that the protagonist's partner has lied to him too often. And that's the cause of why he's breaking up with her. If we look at the title, then we already know the resolution: The protagonist broke up with her and is relieved that she's gone. I think the turning point for him was discovering that she had lied to him again. But that's not mentioned in the song. The lyrics are all about the break up itself and that she'll forget him in which she should find comfort, but the way he's saying it is very hurting, but I guess that just reflects how hurt he's feeling himself.|
|Placebo – Julien Lyrics||3 years ago|
|'You thought you'd never shed a tear So this must astound and must confound you' seems like the all is lost moment for the protagonist's friend. He's finally hit rock bottom after having become a drug addict, and the protagonist uses his chance to try and talk sense into his friend. He's understanding of how quickly someone can get addicted to that stuff and he reveals to his friend the ending of where drug abuse leads to: to death.|
|Placebo – The Never-Ending Why Lyrics||3 years ago|
|This song is very philosophical in dealing with the question of the never-ending why. The message is clearly communicated in the song that you can't seach all your life for all the answers because there's simply not the time for it. No matter what happens to you in life (good or bad) you should not lose yourself in asking yourself all the time why it happened. Time will heal the wounds, but it will never be able to give you an answer to that question. So you should better move on.|
|Placebo – Speak in Tongues Lyrics||3 years ago|
'Speaking in Tongue' usually refers to the saying of 'tongue in cheek', not speaking clearly of what you mean. And I guess 'speaking in tongue' is just a reference to speaking the language of love.
Of course, 'speak in tongue' hints at a relationship that's only build on desire, but I don't think that's the case because of the last lines of the song: 'We can build a new tomorrow, Today' - that's something you say when you want a commitment and not just sex. And that's all the protagonist wants. He knows he has messed up before but she's back and he wants to be with her again.
He wants to kiss her, but there are people not in favor of the relationship. The interesting part is that the protagonist changes the person he's addressing in the song. At first, he tells the audience about that girl Kitty. But then he stops addressing the audience, and addresses her directly: 'I burn to touch you just the same.'
And he wants her not to listen to what others are saying, but he wants to rebuild their relationship because he's learned from his mistakes. Since we have that shift in who the narrator is talking, too, his words to her are probably the reason what might throw her life out of balance. But we never know because we have no idea how it all turns out for those too.
|Placebo – Bright Lights Lyrics||3 years ago|
|Once again, this song is from the point of view of a character who looks back on his life. He's mature now because he's able to reflect his past and understands what lessons life taught him. And the lesson he's learned is so important, that it's been said twice every time: 'Because a heart that hurts is a heart that works. A heart that hurts is a heart that works!'. I think that's a wonderful message for everyone who listens to this song. If you feel hurt and broken, that doesn't mean that you've met your end. This means that you still have a heart and it will always belong to your true and inner you. The title is not in the lyrics, but I think 'Bright Lights' refers to the previous song of 'Battle for the Sun'. In that song, the protagonist was willing to fight for what's right even if that meant getting hurt along the way. And 'Bright Lights' continues this quest following hope while he learns to understand that he's still a normal human being and he hasn't lost himself. He's hurting. And that means he's still alive and has a heart.|
|Placebo – Devil In The Details Lyrics||3 years ago|
|This song is externally about the fight every creative person has to take up: Fighting resistance and making their own work the best it can possibly be. But there's more emphasis put on the internal state of the protagonist. Even though there's the morality of the protagonist addressed: 'All of my wrongs and all my wicked ways will come back to haunt me', the revelation is stronger that changed the protagonist's worldview. It's a Worldview Revelation scene because realizing that the devil is in the detail is the main character's discovery. Or even better, that'S what we in the Story Grid say to this internal genre and it fits perfectly to the song: "When a protagonist, with well-developed will but lacking in essential facts, experiences doubt about their circumstances which leads to a revelation of a shocking truth, they can make wise and appropriate decisions."|
|Placebo – For What It's Worth Lyrics||3 years ago|
'I always aimed to please But I nearly died' was a big revelation for the protagonist and hence a turning point in his life.
This is the first step into realizing he needs to change his approach to achieve what he wants.
But the song is not about taking better actions through that revelation because the protagonist is still reflecting on what led to this revelation.
At first, he wants to distract himself ('Come on lay with me 'cause I'm on fire') and he tries it one more time the old way ('I'd tear the sun in three to light up your eyes') showing once again how much he's prepared to do for his love, but ultimately he reflects on the things he's already done for her ('Broke up the family').
He understands that she's his 'disease' and he understands the position he's in now 'No one cares when you're down in the gutter'. So it's clear he's not ready to change yet. All this talk about 'For what it's worth' is like him saying 'What does it matter what I'm doing. I've fallen so low anyway. Can also make the best of it.'
This refers to ignoring the call to change and just having sex with her again by following his sexual desires ('Fill the cavity. Your God-shaped hole tonight').
The resolution of the song is that he's hit rock bottom. He's in the gutter and he's lost her too - the one person he gave up everything for. And that's a cautionary tale: If you lose yourself in order to be with someone and reject and push away everyone and everything else, then one day you'll end up completely alone and with nothing.
But when you look back at the first verse, the protagonist said: 'I always aimed to please but I nearly died'. This refers back to the ending of the song. The protagonist had been in the gutter but he made it through. He nearly died there. And now he can act as a mentor for other people who might be caught in the same situation.
|Placebo – Battle For The Sun Lyrics||3 years ago|
'I will battle for the sun' is a great line.
It tells us that the protagonist knows what's right and good in this world and he will try everything to reach it.
But like in every story, there's a villain too.
An antagonist who tries to hold the protagonist back from reaching what he's set out to do.
That antagonist is fighting the protagonist, mentally or physically. Probably more mental torture because how the antagonist tried to win over the protagonist for his evil deeds was the turning point for the protagonist.
'Cause I have stared down the barrel of a gun' shows in what deep shit the protagonist found himself in just because of doing the things he knew were wrong.
'I will brush off all the dirt' as well as 'I am the bones you could not break' shows how resistant the protagonist is. He's not going to be led astray again.
He has experienced what's wrong in this world and he chooses the light, not the darkness. He has seen behind the facade of the antagonist, seeing him as someone who's a fake because they were not true to their words.
The words: 'Dream brother. My killer. My lover' reveals the deep relationship those two persons had with each other. They were very close, but one is on a downhill path into darkness, and the protagonist won't follow. That's what makes them foes.
|Placebo – Space Monkey Lyrics||3 years ago|
This song is the first song that I was almost giving up on trying to understand what it means. But then I gave it one more shot, and here's what I've come up with now.
I think the global message of the song is: Fight for a stupid cause like a space monkey to avoid feeling numb will only lead to damnation (losing your moral compass).
'Space monkey in the place to be' - I think the reference to Fight Club is essential for understanding this song. So 'Space Monkies' are the foot soldiers all wearing the same uniform. Tyler Durdan refers to them "Like a monkey ready to be shot into space!". Monkies are used for test runs because for Tyler they are stupid and easily replaceable, like all the men who follow him on Project Mayhem.
In the song it says 'Riding in a rocket to a planet of sound'.
This might refer to breaking away from their numb existence and finally, feel something again (hence all the fights in Fight Club until it grew to a bigger movement because Fight Club gained more and more power throughout the country).
'Shooting the moon' is a change in the saying: 'Shooting for the moon'.
They want to accomplish something, but instead of reaching a higher and noble goal, they burn the very place that starts revolving around them. And because they are all wearing uniforms, they are ' playing dominoes in drag'. Every action has a consequence and they still see it as a game to implement chaos into the world.
'With a chemical peel and a picture of Mary' shows the contradiction that exists in the protagonist - like in Fight Club with Tyler Durdan and the narrator played by Edward Norton. The protagonist is wearing another skin while still holding on to believing he's doing the right thing. But he feels there's something off. There is some cognitive dissonance: 'Out on a limb in the carnival of me' because he doesn't know anymore who he truly is. And saying: 'Raising the temperature one hundred degrees' might refer to the threat of damnation that he's coming closer too. Like in Fight Club, damnation was at stake for the narrator if he can't defeat the villain inside of him (Tyler Durdan).
In the chorus, he talks about being 'sown together' with a hypnotizing woman. Marla (Fight Club) was the character that proofed that the narrator was capable of having an intimate relationship, but who has a lot of growing up to do to be ready for this kind of relationship that could be more than just sex. And he needs her: 'And don't, and don't, and don't Let me down' because she's the one good thing in his life even though she has lots of problems of her own.
The song has a different ending than Fight Club. While in Fight Club the narrator ended up with a hole in his cheek (he shot Tyler Durdan to get rid of him), in the song the woman ends up with 'a hole in her head'. After that line, we listen again to the line 'Raising the temperature one hundred degrees' which refers to being damned / in hell now.
|Placebo – Peeping Tom Lyrics||3 years ago|
The protagonist is mentally sick.
He only feels superior if he watches someone in secret which gives him a feeling of power over that person.
It's all he has left 'I'm weightless, I'm bare. I'm faithless', but what makes the song really interesting is the confession 'I'm scared'.
He has come to the realization that he has nothing left that's worth living for: 'On my own for far too long Problems with the booze Nothing left to lose'.
He had gambled, lost many things, and he knows it's wrong what he's doing, but he can't stop being a peeping Tom because he's scared of what might happen to him once he loses that last bit that lifts him up a little from the ground.
|Placebo – Narcoleptic Lyrics||3 years ago|
Narcoleptic is a very strong song because it builds up momentum.
It shows how the protagonist tries to make his partner see that their relationship has failed.
And we progress through different stages with him.
In the first verse, there's the first argument between the lovers 'my first offenses' which throws the partner off balance and who tries to justify 'talk in paragraphs' while the protagonist has already made up his mind "I write my sentence'.
In the second verse, the partner is still fighting against the shocking truth the protagonist tells them 'defenses'.
While they hold on to what once was 'frame the photograph', the protagonist is ready to leave 'I sit on fences'.
The turning point moment is the confession 'Change of season, love can die'.
They had a wonderful time together but it was just a dream and now they have to wake up and accept reality. They can't stay in that dream any longer or they will never get out of a life in which they are not meant for each other. The 'tumor' refers to the illness that has befallen their relationship, and as the saying goes: Better a miserable end than endless misery.
|Placebo – Haemoglobin Lyrics||3 years ago|
In this song, Humans can be savior and murderers at the same time.
All the talk about hemoglobin is referring to what can give and take a life.
And that decision is in your own hands.
I guess the song is about someone who tried to commit suicide.
But someone finds him and the doctors save him, even though he didn't wanna be saved.
In the last verse, the song shows the revelation that the protagonist comes to: 'the whole world wants my disappearance' refers to why should he stay alive if society doesn't accept him for all his troubles.
And those 'theories of conspiracy' might refer to the contradiction that the doctors saved him and that he might have another purpose in this life. And he recognizes that. And even if the entire world is against him, he will fight now. He won't give up anymore and take the easy way out. He will fight for his life. And he'll make sure that he connects with others like hemoglobin does to have a healthy life.
|Placebo – Commercial For Levi Lyrics||3 years ago|
The friend's worldview is blind-belief (Worldview - Disillusionment).
That means he needs to self-actualize to understand that he can't go on like this - no more drugs and whoring around, or he'll ruin his life. His friend, the protagonist, tries to warn him because he had been there once, and he can understand the magic of this life, but also knows its dangers.
|Placebo – Slave To The Wage Lyrics||3 years ago|
|Even though the answer to the problem of the song is helpful (Wave worries goodbye) the song is a cautionary tale because it emphasizes what will happen if you don't take responsibility for your own happiness: You are just a rat in a race to die = you will work your ass off and time will fly until you die.|
|Placebo – Blue American Lyrics||3 years ago|
The protagonist lashes out in his rebellious attempt to state ' I don't care'.
He's fed up with the world he's living in because he recognizes that so many important things have just gone wrong.
And he's a part of it. He's thinking differently and for that, he should hire a psychiatrist to become another case study that will be published in another self-help book and put on a shelf.
But that's not the solution to the problem.
And the protagonist knows it.
That's why he rather sacrifices himself ('I don't care for myself') to criticize what's wrong than to be numb to all the wrongs that happen in his country.
He's writing that novel for his country ('You') to make it seem that he does not agree with how things are dealt with. No matter if Uncle Tom or Mom are having different opinions.
There is no turning point in this song. No crisis. From the beginning of the song, the protagonist is criticizing. Nothing changes that, everything that happens only supports his way of thinking.
|Placebo – Black-Eyed Lyrics||3 years ago|
"I'm forever black-eyed - A product of a broken home".
There's no revelation for the protagonist.
He sees himself as the victim of his upbringing and won't change who he is because he has accepted who he thinks he has to be.
His worldview is naivete masked as sophistication because he thinks he knows about the world when in truth he does not.
Otherwise, he would be able to understand that only he has the power to become who he truly is. It's his choice. No one else's.
This song could be the answer of the person to the previous song 'passive-aggressive'. The person is just too pessimistic to see what the other person tried to make them see.
|Placebo – Passive Aggressive Lyrics||3 years ago|
I don't think that the song provides a helpful solution to the problem: 'How to tell a person that their negativity is something only they can change.' because all the protagonist does is talking.
He's not taking action. It's great that he confronts that person with the problem they are facing, but he's doing nothing to support them or find a helpful solution.
|Placebo – Spite and Malice Lyrics||3 years ago|
Let's go with the common perception of this song that Queens are homosexuals, Jacks are straight and Aces are bisexual.
It's clear that Jacks do not belong to the world of aces and queens because it's a 'no go zone' for them and 'they can touch themselves instead'.
It is also referred to as that boys beat themselves up over girls. 'You look well suited like you came to win' shows that Jacks think of themselves as something better, but in the end, you see there's a cohesion between queens and aces: 'Ace take your chances. Queen wish you luck.'
And later it's 'Queen take your chances'. This song is clearly a song about a sexual revolution. A fight for acceptance. By referring to 'everything will blow tonight' it could mean that there'll be an explosion or there will be a huge sex party with blow jobs - no matter if a friend (queens and aces) or foe (jack). Either way, change is coming.
|Placebo – Special K Lyrics||3 years ago|
The song ends with repeating the word 'Gravity' which could refer to a drug that's wearing off or pulling them down to hell, or someone is putting their feet back on the ground to be down to earth again.
It could either be something negative or positive depending on the interpretation of the song: Is it about love or drugs?
I consider it to be a cautionary tale because when you feel like your slipping away (sand metaphor) that's probably something bad.
And even if you fall in love, you still gotta be careful. And the protagonist is saying: I never ever wanna crash' but he feels the gravity and is threatened by it.
So he fears to come back down from 'falling in love' or being high from the drugs. It could also refer to how attracted to her he feels, which means he can't escape his feelings for her: he's hopelessly in love, but because he 'hits the ground' I'd say he's in love with someone who doesn't share his feelings. (Or it's just about drugs. Who knows)
|Placebo – Days Before You Came Lyrics||3 years ago|
Isn't it strange to think about a man who finds love and tells her about his depressing life without her and all the drugs he took, and instead of making better choices now, he wants her to follow him a downhill path.
He's very selfish because he can't stop taking drugs. He rather destroys her only to have someone in his life. Not caring about her at all.
|Placebo – Taste In Men Lyrics||3 years ago|
|I have already analyzed over 140 love songs (see my Westlife Analysis on my website storiesinsongs.com) and I've found out that a weak protagonist who can't fight for what he wants is no one a listener can look to for guidance. Especially in matters of love. This song is a very weak love song and as a first single that is there to represent the album, I don't think it was such a good choice to use this song. After all, in comparison to the last two albums, there's no story told in this song. We just have a pathetic protagonist who's waiting.|
|Placebo – Ashtray Heart Lyrics||3 years ago|
'You are the burden to our ways' refers to the protagonist's partner who ruined what they had by falling in love with him/her: 'You took a jump into forever. A leap of faith I could not take'.
He didn't want her to because he was just using her for satisfying his sexual needs. And for a time they had something nice 'We have found treasure?', but ultimately he understands in the end that she was in love with him long before he noticed and he recognizes what he did to her: 'I tore the muscle from your chest. And used it to stub out cigarettes'.
He still feels somehow attached to her calling her his ashtray heart in English and in Spanish.
And I think he's somehow sorry but trying to comfort her by calling her his ashtray heart over and over again.
And I don't know if the last line 'Now watch the bedsheets turn blood red' refers to someone having committed suicide because they couldn't live with the truth that the love they had for the protagonist wasn't shared.
|Placebo – Kitty Litter Lyrics||3 years ago|
'I need a change of skin' is basically saying that he wants someone else to satisfy his sexual desires.
He's in a relationship ('Love of mine'), but the further he gets himself caught into watching this other girl dancing, the weaker the love gets that he holds for his partner until it finally doesn't matter to him anymore: 'This fortress in our heart comes crashing down' because 'The way you're moving, hips from side to side makes you all that I desire'.
The song is really obvious: 'Bathsheba of my choosing, I'm so unsatisfied And you've got what I require' meaning he's sexually unsatisfied and she'S the woman he needs because she got the hips.
|Placebo – In The Cold Light Of Morning Lyrics||3 years ago|
I don't think this song provides a helpful answer to the question it raises: How to deal with falling back on things you don't want yourself to do anymore?
Basically it's saying: 'Tomorrow's only a kettle whistle, whistle away' meaning you can still change tomorrow.
But that's just trying to avoid the situation at hand.
The protagonist dislikes who he has become: all the drugs and the whoring and the pretending to be someone he's not ('a cock in a dildo's disguise') when in truth he's a loser who can't even lead a normal life (waking up in the morning yawning as everybody else does).
So all he does is trying to forget the last night and hoping that 'tomorrow' will be better.
So that means he's basically not mature enough to see the consequences of his/her actions and they need a better understanding of the world.
They lack a mentor and some guidance to make better decisions, and I guess as soon as the protagonist will experience misfortune, they will fall.
|Placebo – One of a Kind Lyrics||3 years ago|
I think the song is about the problem: How to deal with having come so far on your own but still having people around you who want to tell you what to do.
The protagonist has reached the top of where he always wanted to be, but 'these skies are breaking' are referring to how far he can fall.
He was once in a place where he felt more comfortable, but now he's up there on top of the world where there's only the 'void' around him.
And he has reached some level of success, but the people around him are only thinking about profit (cold) and if he does not comply or flies too high, either the people around him will burn him or he will burn out.
I'm thinking of the Ikarus story, but in this song, the protagonist has reached a better level of understanding before getting burned. So he's able to act as a mentor figure to others telling them what he has achieved.
And he will keep doing what he does best, even if that means being alone.
He won't trade goals 'I don't need yours I'll keep it with mine,' because he knows he has to stay true to himself. 'I wanna try but I get annoyed' means he wants to go on but there are many people around who wanna tell him what is best for him that it gets really hard to continue doing their own thing. Because they are one of a kind and only they can achieve their goal.
|Placebo – Broken Promise Lyrics||3 years ago|
It's important to know that this song is meant to be a dialogue between two persons.
The first verse belongs to character 1 who has broken a very important promise (possibly adultery).
After that character 2 takes over and we experience how much pain they feel.
This promise must have been something very dear to them (like wedding vows).
And character 2 can't accept the apology of character 1, because words don't mean anything anymore. A promise was a promise. A promise was broken and words lose their meaning.
The lines 'We'll rise above this, we'll cry about this' are a very bad apology indeed.
They seem like someone justifies their actions by saying: At least we can grow stronger out of this complication.
And that's insane.
But it's also crazy that character 2 wants to retaliate.
Pretending to love someone (Hate masquerading as love) is the worst form of love there is. It's the negation of the negation.
And the threat: 'I'll wait my turn to terrorize you. Watch you burn.' is heavy.
Of course, the tables have turned, but very dramatically.
Character 2 loses it and in the chorus, we get a feeling of how character 2 wants character 1 to burn in hell. It's so aggressive.
|Placebo – Pierrot The Clown Lyrics||3 years ago|
I don't think that the person is talking to her/his abuser directly.
It seems like the person is talking to herself but is addressing the abuser as if they would be in the room with them.
There's no story told because there's no revelation or action taken that puts the protagonist in a crisis.
She/He doesn't have a decision to make because they have come to accept the way it is. They are okay with being beaten and abused and even though they feel the pain they will still act as if they enjoy it: 'I'll be wallowing in sorrow, wearing a frown, Like Pierrot the clown.' - Just to please their abuser.
They need to please him because he/she loves them so much that they want them to come back to them.
And that's crazy.
The protagonist lacks a mentor/guide who helps them see the truth of what they are doing. But this love obsession is doomed to fail.
|Placebo – Blind Lyrics||3 years ago|
I think the song is from the perspective of a fan who's in love with their star.
'If I could tear you from the ceiling' refers to a poster or a higher place that the other person is standing on.
They know they don't have anything materialistic to offer that might attract them, so they want to show them how much they love them by making their life meaningful through loving them.
'And find a place we both could hide' might refer to having that 'star' only for themselves. They want to possess that person so that no one else can take him/her from them.
After all, they know the ' best have tried', and there's competition.
So they want to have that one moment in time that lasts forever when the person they're in love with can't escape them anymore and they become the only thing in their star's life: 'Your eyes forever glued to mine'.
Ironically, the listener knows that the protagonist is already blind.
They are too naive to accept that they can't be the savior of their star no matter how much they highlight: 'I know you're broken'.
They won't be able to fix them.
At least not in the way they want to.
Maybe it would help to take their loved one out of their routine with all the superficial materialistic things and to give them a new sense of meaning.
It's kind of noble IF the protagonist would do it only out of love for the other person without personal gain.
But the hint of the obsessive tendencies with 'Your eyes forever glued to mine' is just too strong.
|Placebo – Song To Say Goodbye Lyrics||3 years ago|
This song could either be about a protagonist talking to himself or to a dear friend.
The accusations that are made in the first lines probably aim at getting the attention of someone who's so lost in their delirium because it's very hard to get to them.
So you insult them to use their emotions as a gateway for what you have to say hoping some things will make their way into your friend's consciousness.
So after getting their attention, the protagonist relates with them which shows his empathy 'I'm well aware of how it aches'.
He tells his friend that he knows what they are going through but is left out 'And you still won't let me in'.
'Now I'm breaking down your door' refers to him having to use insults to break into their consciousness because he wants to help them get out of the misery they're stuck in.
And to keep their attention, the protagonist insults them some more: 'You lying, trying waste of space' showing for the first time how the protagonist himself is feeling about the situation of his friend 'Though I don't like you anymore'.
Then the protagonist reminds him of the luck and happiness they once had until something tragic happened 'Before our innocence was lost' that they both had to get through.
The second verse starting with 'You were Mother Nature's son' highlights the person they once were as addressed in the chorus.
And once again the protagonist confesses what he's doing: 'Now I'm trying to wake you up' (same with breaking down his door).
But what changes is that he tries to get his friends empathy now too: 'Cause if I don't we'll both end up With just your songs to say goodbye'.
So he tells his friend basically the ending and that his actions do not only affect him but everyone around him.
It's a song about how friends could and should save each other's life when you see that your friend's life is threatened by the things he does (be it drug abuse, alcohol or depression.)
|Placebo – Because I Want You Lyrics||3 years ago|
This song is about a protagonist who comes to the understanding that he can't go on the way he does.
He's depressed and he drinks ('When I hit the bottle 'cause I'm afraid to be alone'), but this behavior threatens the only good thing he has: his love.
He understands that those two things make their relationship suffer and what once was good has turned into a place where they can't feel happy anymore ('This house is no longer a home').
He begs his love not to give up on the dream they once had because his love for her is still true. But at the same time, he knows it can't go on like this and he's dragging her down with him.
That's why he's telling her that he wants her to give up (tear us in two). She has to make the decision because he can't. He doesn't want her to suffer anymore.
But at the same time as he tells her this, he takes it back and confesses that he still loves her 'Because I want you'. So the protagonist is stuck right in his crisis moment: Shall he let her go and let her find her happiness but be alone OR shall he make her stay with him to not be alone, but be responsible for making her suffer.
|Placebo – Post Blue Lyrics||3 years ago|
The protagonist in this song is very mature.
He has understood that there are no external influences to blame for who they truly are.
So he's saying 'it's in the water' because water is one of the five elements. It's something very natural.
And when you feel bad for something that makes you You, you have to learn to accept yourself. Can't change who you are.
The song refers to the movie 'It’s in the Water' where a man blames his homosexuality on the water.
And that's ridiculous.
Being gay is part of him.
And in the song, the protagonist sees how depressed his loved one is by fighting to see the truth that he is gay, too.
All the pills he takes and the booze he drinks ('bag of golden brown') only support the assumption that he's homosexual. And all it leads up to is him and the protagonist.
The protagonist has already come clean with who he is, but his partner is still fighting, hence 'Bite the hand that feeds and tap the vein that bleeds' (emotionally) referring to the protagonist himself who is the one who suffers the more his partner resists the truth.
'Down on my bended knees' could refer to a blowjob and that the protagonist would do everything for the one he loves and he would even 'break the back of love' for him probably by that blow job position when he tries to show him how much he loves him.
|Placebo – Follow the Cops Back Home Lyrics||3 years ago|
I love that song. The lyrics are so powerful that they have the power to take you right to that bar where those two men are sitting.
Just listening to the first lines brought the images of Vietnam to mind. Or basically, of every war ever fought, that was justified on apartheid.
In the first verse, those two men meet in a bar and one tells the other about his time in the army. There was this 'call to arms' that was all lies. And now he's drinking trying to get over the stories that left him mentally (or even physically) bruised.
And he keeps talking - just another round until he's finished.
This man is depressed.
When you look at stories about worldview, this man is the perfect example for the subgenre: Worldview Disillusionment: "When a sympathetic protagonist, with developed will, positive motives, and wholehearted idealistic beliefs, experiences a loss or trial that forces them to realize the darker truth, they lose their faith entirely" (© Story Grid).
And he did.
Everything he believed in has turned out to be false. He's probably wasted a good part of his life ('Its such a silly thing to do') being ill with the 'psychedelic yuppie flu' - the illness leaders in his country might still have to order things that do not make sense.
And all he's left with are the memories of what he did and he lives in the past without being able to look into the future and see something positive again ('And now we're stuck on rewind'). The only thing he can think of is lashing out against authority figures, like the police and invade their homes as he once invaded another country.
The reference to 'Let's spend the night in Jimmy Choo's,' could refer to all the Vietnamese shops that you encounter everywhere in the world and who basically offer lots of different things. By saying 'I'll give you nothing else to do' he refers back to the time when he was in the army and how senseless it was. After all the world's still as it is.
And now he can only get through the day by taking meds, maybe PTSD.
And with everything he has experienced, he was supposed to reach a better understanding of the world 'Sophisticated points of view', but that's what made him disillusioned.
And now he's lost looking for something to do in this stupid world where he doesn't fit in because he knows the darker truth: 'War lacks meaning when leaders are corrupt and dishonor soldiers’ sacrifices on the battlefield.'
|Placebo – Drag Lyrics||3 years ago|
This song is an admiration song that could be addressed to a friend, but what makes me think is the title of the song. It's not called 'Drag Behind' but simply 'Drag'.
So it could be that the protagonist has invented an alter ego for himself. He's a drag queen, and since he felt inferior his entire life because he was never the best at anything, he gave the one woman he portrays when he dresses in drag, all the personality traits, and abilities he wishes he had himself. 'Drag behind' means that he is the one behind all the makeup. Behind the drag persona, he is still himself.
'You're the monkey I've got on my back That tells me to shine' could refer to the inner voice that tells him that he can still shine by being a drag queen. Maybe that' the one thing he exceeds in.
|Placebo – Infra-Red Lyrics||3 years ago|
'Shuffle of the planet' does not necessarily mean 'die'. It's more a metaphor that symbolizes the end of something. Probably being used by that one person the song is addressed to.
'There is no running that can hide you' doesn't literally mean the protagonist got a sniper rifle with infra-red sight. It could also be that the person doesn't need to bother themselves with some lame excuse anymore because the protagonist has reached a better worldview and can tell now when the person is telling lies. And the protagonist will set things clear in front of everyone (birthday, beggar's banquet). He has not forgotten all the things the person had put him through and it's time to come clean.
Even though the protagonist moved from 'ignorant to knowing', he still hasn't reached wisdom. If he was wise enough he would know not to make threats but seek another form that would expose the falsehood of the person that wronged/betrayed him. The threat of 'there's gonna be an accident' is a sign for the heat of the moment, in which it is known, that people sometimes do things without thinking of the consequences.
So I guess this song is a cautionary tale for both parties: the ones who betray (Don't do it because you will suffer the consequences) and the ones who are betrayed (Find a better way to warn others than harming another person).
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