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Dashboard Confessional – Heart Beat Here Lyrics 7 months ago
Out of devotion, I have never taken off my ring, though I sometimes spin it. It reminds me that something powerful, heart rending, heart changing, a bond and connection, life, growth, youth and age, and -- above all -- the wonder! All that and more, I find in the touch between skin and gold.

Yes, something is indeed at stake! I thank God I wear a ring.

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Neil Young – Powderfinger Lyrics 2 years ago
@[leefroy:10104] I do not know if this is the correct interpretation or not. However, I learned about a piece of history I'd never heard before, and so I offer my humble thanks for the commentary.

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Johnny Cash – Cocaine Blues Lyrics 3 years ago
"Nah Drugs are fine, really they are." Sarcasm? Not sure. Notice it's said in a thread about a song sung by a drug addict in a prison undoubtedly populated with multiple addicts.

Been in the shit, like Cash. Twenty years after this recording, he once referred to the temptation of "That sweet little Percocet sitting there," And I get it.

I went through rehab, and everyone *wanted* to get clean. After a month, I saw the beauty of life return to so many, the Grace of God working through the counselors and each of us as we fought for each other and ourselves. Still, after our month, maybe 5 of 20 lasted two weeks.

-Pie

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Johnny Cash – The Man Who Couldn't Cry Lyrics 3 years ago
"His ex-wife died of stretch marks: is one of my favorite lines in any song, happily married though I am. Wainwright III nailed this song from beginning to end.

I always wondered why our protagonist cried every time it would rain. It may be as simple as the connection between water from the skies and from the eyes. But sometimes I think maybe the cleansing beauty of rainfall did him in, like a baptism in the night.

-Pie

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Nirvana – Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam Lyrics 3 years ago
Generally, I never reply, but this is my second on this song.

Sadly, I agree with you here. "Don't expect me to cry for the reasons you had to die." That one line is loaded with ire, overtone and undertone. Rejecting the idea of my own sin, the notion that it required a sacrifice, that God would make that sacrifice, one that only He could make, and out of love rather than vengeful wrath.

One thing we often forget, so many many Christians suffer like Kurt Cobain, to the point of committing suicide themselves. It is indeed hypocritical to pretend otherwise, as that means Christians are denying the very same sin and sacrifice this song criticizes.

-Pie

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Nirvana – Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam Lyrics 3 years ago
criticlathinking says, "That's the lowest any person can go, to pawn off religion as art. Religion is opposite of art."

Indeed? Michelangelo, with a chapel ceiling, and Da Vinci with a Last Supper, Durer placing himself in his own face of Christ (comedy is art too), Bach, Vivaldi (The Red Priest), Handel, Haydn (taught Mozart & Beethoven), oh .... Mozart, and what's that other guy's 9th Symphony I hear so much about? The one where we hear the words "Fur Gott" repeated in an Ode to Joy.

Critical Thinking is truly an honorable pursuit, and I do mean that, but it requires a lot more thinking than criticism. One is too much easier than the other.

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OneRepublic – Tyrant Lyrics 4 years ago
I know a tyrant -- I swear! -- maybe all my life. Think of the most evil dictator, from Saddam to Stalin. They got nothin' on this one -- doesn't deserve forgiveness or justification.

A liar? I know it. In my heart. Such wonderful lies! All I could ever want, there for the taking! And you know what? I close my eyes, blind myself to what I know -- regret, sadness, pain -- and I take it!

Yeah, moonlight -- or sunlight -- shine like truth, but I hide in shadows because I hurt the ones I love -- and lies sound sweeter than that! But forgiveness? I want it... but no! I don't deserve... no! Justify me? Don't even offer... no!.. because I'll reach out... grasp it...

And I still choose the lies.

-Pie

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Patti Smith – Boy Cried Wolf Lyrics 4 years ago
Along with my previous, here is another of my viewpoints.

If innocence had its day, how do we get that back? History, told and retold, of our long fruitless search, often looking to the earth herself. Druidic human sacrifice (legend has it, inspiration for Christmas ornaments, and traditional red and white). Dancing and crying to the moon, flowers and garlands of blood. But the earth is the earth. Powerless, like cries to the wind.

But one image stands out: "Slain the lamb that is himself." (Or as sung Slain is the lamb that is myself / Pray to the lamb that is himself). All before was certainly futile. But this?

It takes me back… To a King lifted, a King thrown: tied to a tree like Saint Sebastian, turned his head willingly, painfully as the points drove in… And the human tide, Lost, now received, finally, finally… retrieved...

-Pie

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Patti Smith – Boy Cried Wolf Lyrics 4 years ago
Amanda Bynes, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Marie Antoinette, Joan of Arc, Saint Stephen, Jesus Christ… Wolves, all of them! Wolves they say. Wolves you say. Wolves I say! Tear them up and tear them down. Shred and rip and maul and bound about in a dance of reverie!

-Pie

- Credit to Slate Magazine's Gung Ho Review for guiding me to such insights.

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Patti Smith – Glitter In Their Eyes Lyrics 4 years ago
My predecessor Acephalous seems to be on to something, and coins often have two sides.

I have that glitter, dazzled and bedazzled by the Televised and advertised. The want the want, there's so much need in the world but not in the malls, not in the halls of Dow or between the walls Disney -- where my want lives. I tune in but don't tune out -- with glitter I gaze, and my children's children's children, I taught them that same haze. The more the more, the want the want, and our gold, it glitters in the grasp of their hands.

-Pie

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Paul Simon – Can't Run But Lyrics 4 years ago
I'm not perfect, but I can do better. I mean, can't I?

Can I?

-Pie

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Paul Simon – Spirit Voices Lyrics 4 years ago
An American Indian friend of mine speaks of the spiritual connection between all things, that all have a spirit. Humans, animals, trees, even inanimate objects, he referred to them as "my brothers." These are the Spirit Voices I hear in the song, from leaves of a banyan tree, to a falcon call, to the trickle of holy water.

The song also awakens in me a magical story from when the world was young. It starts sad, of separation and loss, all due to a single, tragic choice. What happens next sounds like a brujo's curse, recited over all: over man, over woman, and over the whole Earth itself -- for there is a shared, tangible spiritual connection between all.

Even more beautiful to me, the story continues of na forca do amanha -- healing and atonement. And we wait, tense, anxious, doubtful... but not alone! For in the story, the Earth herself -- the soil and all that spring from it -- cursed because of us, waits impatiently with us, to share our promised saving grace.

I am moved by this beautiful song, and I like to imagine it's "my brothers'" Spirit Voices whispering "se esmera, coracao e confia."

-Pie

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Extreme – Who Cares? Lyrics 5 years ago
A colloquialism everyone masters as a kid. It's not even a question any more: Who cares!

To Extreme's credit, they can use words we simply react to as a cut or put down, making the question something ponderable again.

In the singer's voice I hear the question, but it sounds like it's the last in a string...

Why am I here?
What's it all mean?
Does anything I do matter?
Who actually cares?

So, if you care or even I care, what's it matter after we die? Or when humanity is merely dust in the cosmic wind, who will care then? And if the answer really is "nobody," doesn't that add up to one big "NOTHING"?

So if I say one thing and do another... well then, why does it matter either way?

Who cares? WHO cares?

-Pie

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Extreme – Am I Ever Gonna Change Lyrics 5 years ago
I remember the first time I listened to this. I'd really enjoyed Extreme's cynical backhandedness of Pornographitti and songs like Peacemaker Die. Fun, funky rock that makes you laugh -- and think at the same time...

But this really surprised me!

That heart-wrenching recognition of falling short. Of desperate need. Not just of one walking in the Dark either, but even of the soul who embraces saving Grace, who falls down to pray... and I still have my lies, and I live them ... helplessly. I am no saint, like the one who cried out about will being weak but flesh being strong.

When I hear this song, I know I need to fall on my knees again...

-Pie

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Extreme – Seven Sundays Lyrics 5 years ago
I've always thought this song conveyed an interesting double-meaning. It leans toward the committed love between a man and woman: "You and I will hold each-other..."

But Sunday... that day has such significance!

And there I connect with the singer's longing for the end to this endless separation. To hold and be held. Finally! To embrace True love. Perfectly and Eternally. A love so meaningful and deep and everlasting, it makes that torturous separation seem as fleeting as tears in the rain.

For now -- and though it's merely once a week -- we have our Sundays...

-Pie

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Patti Smith – Gone Pie Lyrics 5 years ago
Equating pie with the wonder, joy and adventure of life... a stroke of pure genius!

Okay, maybe I'm a bit biased here, but still... Genius I tell you!!

And yes, I will have another slice....

-Pie

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Patti Smith – Redondo Beach Lyrics 5 years ago
It's a common misconception that this song is about a lesbian couple -- I even thought so for a time!

In Patti Smith Complete, Ms. Smith says that she wrote this song in 1971 after a "rare" argument with her sister Linda. Linda left after the argument. Patti describes what she herself did: "Worried... I took an F Train to Coney Island and sat on the beach until the sun rose. I came back, wrote the draft and fell asleep. When I awoke, she had returned. I showed her what I had written and we never quarreled again."

What a beautiful counterpoint! One, a song of regret, of lost opportunity, pain, guilt, remorse. The other, of forgiveness, reconciliation, an embrace full of future possibilities to be cherished...

-Pie

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Patti Smith – Till Victory Lyrics 5 years ago
Here is the corrected text for the mistake after the first citation.

Rend the veil and we shall sail
The nail, the grail
That's all behind thee
In deed, in creed

Ah, verses reminiscent of Biblical images of the crucifixion! The nail (in the cross), the veil (in the temple) rended at Christ's death, the grail (eternal life) at Christ's resurrection. That's the *first* victory, 2000 years ago (behind thee, Christ). Be without Shame and feel free to join in, to take charge, take aim at this first victory!

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Patti Smith – Till Victory Lyrics 5 years ago
Patti Smith never ceases to amaze me. She has something offensive for everyone. Rock N' Roll Nigger for the Staunch Conservative, the judgmental Christian, the bigoted Redneck. Dead on!

But what has she for you, the dyed-in-the-wool Liberal, unyielding atheist, the science-minded, the enlightened few?

Why, Christ's Second Coming of course! 'Til Victory.

Rend the veil and we shall sail
The nail, the grail
That's all behind thee
In deed, in creed

cross), the veil (in the temple) rended at Christ's death, the grail (eternal life) at Christ's resurrection. That's the *first* victory, 2000 years ago (behind thee, Christ). Be without Shame and feel free to join in, to take charge, take aim at this first victory!

The *second* victory is later, when fate unwinds and souls arise... when Christ returns.

Fate Unwinds.
Souls arise. God do not seize me please
'Til victory."
...
Legions of light
Virtuous flight
Ignite, excite

(What could be more virtuous than the final victory of Good over Evil?)

I saw heaven standing open (raise the sky) and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. (Virtuous in flight) He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven (Legions of Light) were following him (in V formation), riding on white horses (through the sky) and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.
-Rv. 19:11-14

'Til Victory! Amen.

Object! Reject! But do so in Truth! Ask yourself why you would. Maybe the idea is too far-fetched, too poorly argued. Touche! But is that all? Or is it simply just *too offensive* to contemplate Patti Smith singing of the Second Coming?

-Pie

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Jonas Brothers – Critical Lyrics 8 years ago
I personally don't see the "couple's broken up" image.

I actually think it's about falling in love, but after not ever feeling committed before, and even being afraid and running away from love in other relationships, he's realizing he's passed a point of no return. It's become serious, critical, and it's scary but it's unstoppable and wondrous.

-Pie

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U2 – When Love Comes To Town Lyrics 10 years ago
The problem with interpreting this as strictly human love, or love between husband/wife, is the link back to Love Rescue Me in the second line.

These two songs taken as a whole, or two parts of a connected theme, strike me as dealing with faith lost and found, and the power of Love -- God's Love for humanity -- to save us, to conquer that great divide between us and God himself.

-Pie

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U2 – Love Rescue Me Lyrics 10 years ago
I agree with the interpretation about faith lost, and re-found. I believe Bono tends to use the word "love" as "Love" in the Biblical sense -- God's love for humanity -- throughout Rattle and Hum.

Love Rescue Me links back to this song...

I was a sailor, I was lost at sea
I was under the waves before love rescued me

-Pie

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The Clash – Hateful Lyrics 11 years ago
This year I've lost some friends
Some friends? What friends?
I dunno, I ain't even noticed

I see this as possibly heroine. So strung out, you get the vague notion your friends ODed, but... the needle makes thought so fleeting.

And the spiral continues... the needle makes it so fleeting.

I know how it fuckin' feels, I'm writing this in withdrawals.

-Pie

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Patti Smith – Rock & Roll Nigger Lyrics 12 years ago
It's a powerful image. Those people who think and feel and speak such radical TRUTH -- found through the suffering and the storm -- that they're out of society, so far out that they're labeled nigger!

Damn right Jesus Christ was a nigger!

Outside of society, that's where I want to be.

-Pie

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Joan Osborne – One Of Us Lyrics 12 years ago
And yet, there's LP's comment: "In an interview, Joan Osborne stated that the song was less about religion and how we view God, and more about how we see each other."

Wow! I've been looking at the song backwards!

What if God were one of us, but I didn't know who... and yet I share this planetary bus with all these people, and maybe, just maybe that slob here, or that lost person there, is God.

What would I do differently just thinking that? What would everyone do? Would we stop ignoring the slobs and the lost, and treat them with love and compassion, simply because of how special they might be?

But wait, they *are* special.

-Pie

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Joan Osborne – One Of Us Lyrics 12 years ago
I've always viewed this song as self-evident. Indeed God WAS one of us, he walked more than a mile in our shoes, he's nearer than we perceive, and in touch, and understands our day-to-day joys and pains.

This song took off like wildfire, but I heard very few people make the connection to Christ -- by becoming one of us, he experienced life as depicted in this song.

And yet...

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Joan Osborne – One Of Us Lyrics 12 years ago
ax2groin - Good call on the Alan Lomax. The opening is Nell Hampton's "The Airplane Ride." Recorded by Alan Lomax in the '70s, found on the New World Records anthology The Gospel Ship.

-Pie

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Joan Osborne – St. Teresa Lyrics 12 years ago
I heard soem time ago that this was about an addict that lived on the street near Joan Osborne's home.

-Pie

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Bob Dylan – Disease of Conceit Lyrics 12 years ago
A beautiful exposition on sin.

-Pie

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Bob Dylan – Man in the Long Black Coat Lyrics 12 years ago
A friend of mine said he thought the song was about being deception, being deceived.

Listen to the Preacher (but it damn well does stick in the throat). "A man's conscience is vile and depraved... you cannot depend on it to be your guide." This is the exact OPPOSITE of what the conscience is, indeed it serves as our guide. (This is why I don't agree with the anit-religion interpretation... The Preacher is preaching the opposite of Christian beliefs.)

"There's no mistakes in life some people say." No mistakes? Yet agian, untrue, a lie, a deception.

It looks like the Man in the Long Black Coat may be Death, but what of these two stanzas? Why are these outright lies (deliberately) in the song? Is he death? Is he good? Is he evil?

Or, like death, maybe he's more than an enigma, forever.

-Pie

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U2 – The Unforgettable Fire Lyrics 13 years ago
The title refers to the art exhibit as stated. But does the song? And I don't think "one night stand" quite covers it. The temptation of desire and passion seems a little closer to the mark.

Nobody's mentioned the contrast between the title and first line:

The Unforgettable Fire
Ice

The fire of passion, of desire, shared with someone as cold an unloving as ice? It's as if the Unforgettable fire is this passion... unrequited... or weilded, without care for the object of your passion.

Passion, so powerful, it's like the horrific fire of the atomic bomb.

-Pie

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U2 – When Love Comes To Town Lyrics 13 years ago
Sexual imagery is there, but it conveys the tension of humanity. The edge between sin and salvation.

I was there when they crucified my Lord
I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword
I threw the dice when they pierced his side

"Lord" capitalized refers to Christ. The soldier drew his sword to pierce Christ's side at the crucifixion. The dice is what they rolled for Christ's clothes when he died.

Sin, salvation, and I stand on one side of the divide, like us all. But all the hope in the world is wrapped up in one line:

"I've seen love conquer the great divide."

Amen!

Now where's that train? Where's that flame?

-Pie

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U2 – Pride (In the Name of Love) Lyrics 13 years ago
I know this song is about Jesus and King. I always wondered if it referred to others as well, but I get the impression it only covers these two wonderous people.

One man come, he to justify. - Jesus (Justification... Awesome!)
One man to overthrow. - King

The next verse has always left me somewhat confused. Looks like it refers to differen people in each line.

One man caught on a barbed wire fence.
One man he resists
One man washed on an empty beach.
One man betrayed with a kiss.

If we break it in two, though (similar to previous verse), it may apply to just Jesus and King.

King obviously resisted racism. But he was never literally "caught on a barbed wire fence." But a barbed wire fence divides two worlds. And it's a terrible divide, one you don't cross lightly or easily. But King didn't just cross it, he bridged it -- racism cuts both ways, and he knew it. So this image feels appropriate. In the name of love, he threw himself onto that fence, and endured everything pain and suffering to bridge the gap.

In terms of Christ, he was betrayed with a kiss. (I'm actually surprised people don't know this outright... it's a common colloquialism -- though we are entering a post-Christian era now, sadly.) But washed on an empty beach? Washed up, dead, on a beach? No. But he was "washed" by John the Baptist. Three gospels imply it's empty. The fourth says "When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too." Doesn't sound too empty to me... Hmmm...

Anyway, I am still am not sure about the barbed wire fence, or the empty beach. And those are really the only lines in question in my mind. But this is the beauty and artistry of Bono's lyrics -- he doesn't hand us stuff on a silver platter, instead he challenges our ideas, our visions and our thoughts.

-Pie

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