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The Knife – We Share Our Mother's Health Lyrics 8 years ago
This interpretation may already be somewhere in the 50 or so comments I didn't read, but I've always thought of the song as a tongue-in-cheek "saga" of the Knife coming to America. They share their mother's health, i.e. they're siblings.

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Wild Nothing – Chinatown Lyrics 10 years ago
well, this one's definitely about drugs. possibly going to chinatown to come down--a TERRIBLE idea.

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Tiny Vipers – Dreamer Lyrics 11 years ago
i feel like this song could be about the problem of trying to really know someone. when she says "outside my head i cast a shadow" she's talking about the person that other people see in her, but she's "not someone who's seen this side of me". she says "i can turn to you and ask you what you saw", to know how she appears to others, but it still doesn't give her any understanding of herself. i feel like the last lines are saying that she's stuck living inside her head, and is "dying for a way out" of it.

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The LK – Private Life of a Cat Lyrics 11 years ago
"for a cat I am rarely offensive"
"my fur is black and the rest is attitude"
"and the postman, and the other lads"

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Fleetwood Mac – Tusk Lyrics 11 years ago
I like the Mick Fleetwood interpretation. It fits chronologically and if I'm not mistaken the drummer's seat is usually referred to as the "throne." It's not one-to-one, but it makes sense.

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Jónsi – Boy Lilikoi Lyrics 11 years ago
finally he kept the promise he made me the first time i heard "agaetis byrjun"

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Disco Inferno – The Last Dance Lyrics 11 years ago
This is probably my favorite D.I. song, such a wonderful sentiment. Some of my favorite lyrics too, second only to "Summer's Last Sound."

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Dirty Projectors – Stillness Is the Move Lyrics 11 years ago
There's a difference between inspiration and plagiarism; I don't think it's even possible for a song to plagiarize a movie. Great song though, like a Talking Heads song if they had formed in 2015 and let Tina Weymouth sing.

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The Twilight Sad – Mapped By What Surrounded Them Lyrics 11 years ago
The title, at least, is taken from the Virgin Suicides:

"In the end, we had pieces of the puzzle, but no matter how we put them together, gaps remained -- oddly shaped emptiness mapped by what surrounded them, like countries we couldn't name."

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Thom Yorke – The Hollow Earth Lyrics 11 years ago
Hmm, this song really reminds me of the Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K Leguin, sounds weird but it's very evocative

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John Cale – Dying On The Vine Lyrics 11 years ago
John Cale really likes Graham Greene and I can see parallels between this song and The Power And the Glory, although he didn't write the words himself. The chorus is supposed to be a pun on "Hollywood and Vine," that notorious LA intersection.

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The Velvet Underground – Heroin Lyrics 11 years ago
I'm surprised no one has brought this up yet, but in John Cale's autobiography he talks about how the first line was originally, "I know just where I'm going." Lou Reed eventually changed the line to "I DON'T know just where I'm going," against Cale's advice. He was furious, because it changed the whole point of the song (to him): anyone who has been addicted to heroin can tell you that it is not really a matter of decision but compulsion. Yet the narrator of the song has CHOSEN to nullify his life, has chosen to become a junkie, because the void is better than the world. And this makes him brave, and principled, and possibly an utter retard. But he knows just where he's going, so don't feel pity for him. Cale can't listen to the song anymore the way it is because the first line renders the whole sentiment of the song unreliable.

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The Magnetic Fields – Born on a Train Lyrics 11 years ago
SADEYEDBABY OTM I've heard the same thing about this being a vampire-themed album but I couldn't remember where; now I feel vindicated in a big way. Also OTM re: Arcade Fire's version, totally robs it of its mystery, although Arcade Fire rob any song they touch of its mystery.

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Propagandhi – Human(e) Meat (The Flensing Of Sandor Katz) Lyrics 11 years ago
Some people might say that writing a song about killing and eating--of all people--a queer icon and spokesperson for sustainable living, because he chooses to eat meat and wrote a book about it, is so moronic it defies belief. Bad taste, at the very least. Other people might say that pursuing an inherently unhealthy diet for the purposes of ego gratification, and writing songs about it for extra backslaps, is so moronic it defies belief. I don't mind Propagandhi but they are way, way out of their depth in this song, and kind of embarrass themselves showing it.

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Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – White Lines (Don't Do It) Lyrics 12 years ago
THE most venomous pronunciation of the word "baby" I've ever heard. Greatest rap song ever?

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The Lovekevins – Private Life of a Cat Lyrics 12 years ago
I hear it as "rarely offensive" and "fur is black"?

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Tears for Fears – Shout Lyrics 12 years ago
Is laying in a room screaming at the top of your lungs really considered a wuss move? I always thought of primal therapy as being more of a man's-man, macho type of psychotherapy. Got problems? Why talk? Scream about them until you feel better! That said I think there's a bit more to this song than that, but not a whole lot more. I don't think Tears For Fears songs necessarily reward deep analysis or deconstruction; they usually just have one line that sums up the whole song (often the title) and a couple verses that elaborate on the theme. That's not a bad thing, though: that's why they're so timeless and great. The drums on this song are f-ing massive.

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Tears for Fears – Mothers Talk Lyrics 12 years ago
And isn't it, "my futures form"?

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Tears for Fears – Mothers Talk Lyrics 12 years ago
It's about how if you make ugly faces your face will stay like that when the wind changes. Maybe. This has actually become one of my favorite songs on Songs From the Big Chair even though it's not quite as timeless as the other singles, and the refrain "WE! CAN! WORK IT OUT!" is one of my favorite lines to sing along to.

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Tears for Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World Lyrics 12 years ago
Sometimes I like to try and analyze a song line by line but it's kind of like critiquing a cake by eating the flour, eggs, sugar, etc. one at a time, you know? Rarely works out. Especially considering--and I do love this song--the lyrics are basically a vehicle for getting to the chorus, "Ev-ery-bo-dy-wants-to-rule-the-world." I think what's genius about it is that even though the lyrics don't hold a whole lot of symbolic weight, they're able to fit all the pathos and anger of the song into one phrase, just the WAY they sing it, you know? For me, I remember it best as the song they played in the previews for the TV-movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley," about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs (Noah Wyle is GREAT as Jobs), and that about sums it up in my mind: the soundtrack for the dream they were railing against. Which is a bit subversive, really.

Lotsa hyphens in that post.

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Long Fin Killie – Pele Lyrics 12 years ago
"Sick of headcase racist jibes, sick of deep-fried arteries" MOST BRILLIANT LYRIC OF THE 90s

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The Clientele – Since K Got Over Me Lyrics 12 years ago
I'm not saying anybody in the Clientele does ANY kind of drugs, but I don't think it's out of the question that Alasdair Maclean might be singing "in character," or that it isn't about k-holes at all.

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The Notwist – Solitaire Lyrics 12 years ago
From the first time I heard this song I assumed it was about the Notwist themselves. I wonder if it has to do with a feeling of dissatisfaction with making music: "we are satisfied/From Monday til Friday/And on Sunday we cry," like, 'Yes we enjoy playing music and consider it our calling but there is a hole it can't fill. In the absence of something to fill it, we'll carry on because it's better than nothing.' On the other hand I'm sure Notwist are very invested in their music and would not want to call into question their commitment to it but it did take them like four years to make an album after this one.

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The Notwist – This Room Lyrics 12 years ago
Maybe the same room as in "Pick Up The Phone." I think this is probably a useful metaphor for understanding Neon Golden as a whole. The circle on the cover is interesting to me, I think if it has any significance at all it's a concise expression of Markus Acher's worldview, implying the closed-off nature of a room and the endlessness of a loop. I would say if I had to sum up the lyrical theme of this album in one phrase it would be "trapped in endlessness."

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The Notwist – Pick Up the Phone Lyrics 12 years ago
I never really thought of the phone as being literal. It ties back to the first verses about being "in a room/Without a door." He's saying, yes, you are trapped in this life with no exit (besides the obvious one); the best you can do is pick up the phone when someone reaches out to you. He's speaking to someone who has been inside their head a long time, trying to get through to them even though it's not really possible.

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Massive Attack – Daydreaming Lyrics 12 years ago
I always thought it was funny that 3D sings "No drugs or pharmaceuticals" in this song because Massive Attack strikes me as being the kind of band that's pretty much fucked up all the time. Then I realized he's singing "No drugs or pharmaceuticals for the body ain't suitable" which is much funnier, even.

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Massive Attack – Man Next Door Lyrics 12 years ago
I don't think that's delay on the drums; each hit in the beat is EQed and processed differently, but it's still obv. the "Levee" break. The vibrato on Horace Andy's voice is all him. I'm surprised that people are so dismissive of this song, it's pretty much the only song with any kind of emotional transparency on the whole album.

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Massive Attack – Exchange Lyrics 12 years ago
Can anyone tell me why this song is on Mezzanine? Twice? It's not atrocious, just comically out of place. If the rest of the album is the sound of modern people collapsing in on themselves, maybe Exchange is the pretty dream that keeps them from totally losing their shit.

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Massive Attack – Karmacoma Lyrics 12 years ago
I imagine Massive Attack as being pretty intense dudes, bundles of anxiety and paranoia. This is the sound of someone who constantly moves at the fastest possible speed to keep from vibrating to bits, smoking pot and subsequently falling apart completely. I always heard the line as "leave us an emotional paste," like one's entire psyche just kind of deliquescing into a comfortable mush.

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Front 242 – Headhunter Lyrics 12 years ago
I imagine the video and lyrics as providing different expressions of the same theme in the song; the lyrics from a social slant and the video from a sexual one. Both share a theme of "hunting," however vague. The man in the video is hunting for the woman (and I think he is holding a giant seed as opposed to the woman's egg-head--the symbolism is pretty obvious), and the narrator in the lyrics is hunting for men, in a more general sense. Then again, I always heard the line as "Three - you slowly spread the legs."

In the end that beat is the only thing that matters anyways.

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Massive Attack – Five Man Army Lyrics 13 years ago
I always thought it was: "I know what I want/To move with thugs" rather than "...don't move with thugs," or at least that made more sense in the context of the song.

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The Tough Alliance – Something Special Lyrics 13 years ago
I kind of imagine most terrorists have better things to do than take out hits on Swedish indie-pop bands.

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Three 6 Mafia – Stay Fly Lyrics 14 years ago
By the way, to clarify:

- Juicy J does NOT shout out Lucifer at the beginning of his verse, he's saying "Juicy!"

- The alleged Satanic message in the background vocals is total bullshit. It's sampled from a Willie Hutch song and she's singing "Do I die? Do I bleed? Do I cry?" I know a lot of people who like this song and none of them worship Satan.

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Three 6 Mafia – Poppin my Collar Lyrics 14 years ago
Where is Project Pat's verse? It's probably the best in the song:

I know you sick of the sicker when you see the rims thicker
The paint dripper, the ice in my range glitter
I straight strip her, the cheese like pancake-ah
Rollin' for cheese like the leaves in my handbreak-ah
Project Pat ah tracting dime pieces-ah
Dirty South-Ah, french braid, gold teeth-ah
I'm out here making sense cause I'm out here making dollars
I keep a fast bro dawg and I pop collars

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Three 6 Mafia – Stay Fly Lyrics 14 years ago
This song is one of the most beautiful that I have ever heard.

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Underworld – Cowgirl Lyrics 14 years ago
It sounds like surrendering emotional attachment, or even the capacity to become attached, in the name of avoiding messy, human anguish. Or not even that maybe, but a song from the perspective of someone who is trying to rid themselves of emotional dependence. I can't really articulate why I think this but the difference between an eraser and a razor is that an eraser leaves its subject cleaner than before and a razor, properly applied, just makes things messy, which leads me to believe, along with the last line "hurt--the necessary feeling," that he doesn't ever accomplish his goal, for better.

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Underworld – M.E. Lyrics 14 years ago
This song seems surprisingly lucid compared to the stream-of-unconsciousness lyrics Karl Hyde usually comes up with: to wit, a pretty standard plea for environmental awareness. What I can't wrap my head around is who the narrator is supposed to be: "I am not a spirit of the world--I heal the spirit of the world" and "I am all that surrounds you/The Earth and the sky" suggest that he is not singing from the perspective of a human, but the kine "I don't want to kill time/I want it to live" is beautiful in any event.

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Kate Bush – Suspended in Gaffa Lyrics 14 years ago
Gaffa is Katespeak for gaffer tape--duct tape to Americans, but the image isn't supposed to evoke being "stuck," as Kate makes clear: "The idea of the song is that of being given a glimpse of 'God' - something that we dearly want - but being told that unless we work for it, we will never see it again, and even then, we might not be worthy of it. Of course, everybody wants the reward without the toil, so people try to find a way out of the hard work, still hoping to claim the prize, but such is not the case. The choruses are meant to express the feeling of entering timelessness as you become ready for the experience, but only when you are ready."

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Madonna – Drowned World/Substitute For Love Lyrics 14 years ago
The title is taken from a JG Ballard sci-fi novel about global warming, though for the life of me I can't figure out how the two have anything to do with one another.

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Bloc Party – Two More Years Lyrics 14 years ago
Maybe it's too obvious, but looking at this song in a political light it seems like this song could be about how politics can affect people personally: the cruelty in the world all around the narrator has turned him crueler, and he's begging his significant other to wait two more years (when the US, incidentally, will have a new president), after which things will be better. The last verse especially--

"we cover our lies with handshakes and smiles
we try to remember our alibis
we tell lies to our parents who hide in their rooms
we bury our secrets in the garden
of course we could never make this love last
i said of course we could never make this love last
the only love we know is love for ourselves
we bury our secrets in the garden"

--has this nonspecific tone of paranoia to it, everyone lying to and hiding from everyone else, and the kids who grow up in this climate learning only how to love themselves. The effects of late capitalist society on the individual, or something like that. But then again, the first time I heard this song I didn't really listen to the words, and sort of naturally assumed it was about Bush.

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Swans – Let It Come Down Lyrics 14 years ago
Also it's the title of a novel by Paul Bowles, who wrote the Sheltering Sky which was a big inspiration for this record.

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Swans – Volcano Lyrics 14 years ago
It's about Courtney Love. Allegedly.

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The Knife – Heartbeats Lyrics 14 years ago
As corny as it sounds I think this song is about falling in love with a drug addict; the way she sings, "both under influence" suggests that they're under different influences--she's in love, he's on drugs. And near the end: "You knew the hands of a devil."

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The Knife – Heartbeats Lyrics 14 years ago
As corny as it sounds I think this song is about falling in love with a drug addict; the way she sings, "both under influence" suggests that they're under different influences--she's in love, he's on drugs. And near the end: "You knew the hands of a devil."

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The Knife – Heartbeats Lyrics 14 years ago
It's not anti-religion. She's just saying that she can't be satisfied unless she's absolutely sure that she got her perfect love all by herself--basically she has to be sure that she wasn't helped, even by a deus ex machina. Which is kind of strange, since in the first verse she mentions having "divine sense/To know what to say."

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Björk – Le Petit Chevalier Lyrics 14 years ago
Nico wrote it but her son Ari sings it on the record.

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The Sugarcubes – Birthday Lyrics 14 years ago
I would just like to add that, to paraphrase Freud, sometimes in songs, even Bjork songs, cigars are just cigars.

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Fischerspooner – Sweetness Lyrics 15 years ago
Some of these lyrics are way off: the first line should be "Violence, paints the sky." Am I alone in thinking that this song is about the World Trade Center attack? I hadn't really ever thought about it before watching the video, where someone (presumably Fischer or Spooner?) is talking about it, being unable to look away. The first line fits in with that interpretation, and if the rest of the song excessively vague, lines like "You smashed the hornets' nest/They swarm around inside/Hope to seek revenge" make sense in a particularly disturbing way. I think it's got to do with watching the events in real time and giving yourself up to the confusion, the "fearsome joy" that's like watching a movie right in front of you, except hundreds of people are really dying.

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Trembling Blue Stars – Farewell To Forever Lyrics 15 years ago
I always heard the last line of the second section, and think the song makes more sense, as, "...time to START living."

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Talking Heads – Road To Nowhere Lyrics 15 years ago
I get the impression that he doesn't mean oblivion in this song. I think he's talking about how homogenized cities have become in the past couple of decades; it's gotten to the point where towns are no longer distinct from each other, don't have anything that gives them a sense of place. It's a bit like "True Stories," looking at the world and seeing that it's all the same and the feeling of freedom he gets from never having to be anyhwere, ever. He's always "nowhere" or on his way there.

That's just one interpretation, mind.

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