|Van Der Graaf Generator – A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers Lyrics||10 years ago|
The song tells the story of a man who had everything and lost it all and decided to live his life in isolation, sadness and bitterness as a mean to punish himself. This is my personal interpretation of the story:
Eyewitness: starts off the song in a really gloomy mood. This part of the song definitely talks about solitude, feeling low and practically a vegetable and going really mad beyond any salvation (I’m so far out I’m too far in)
Notice the change in the way of singing at the start of â€�I am a lonely man…â€�, the person still holds a little hope and humility, but is mostly consumed by despair, agony and unwillingness to live.
â€�I prophesy disasterâ€� refers to the fact the man knows he will end up badly, â€�…shining, dyingâ€� means that although he has something to offer everyone else, the fact that he is completely isolated he feels undernourished and close to death. (I know that I am almost lost)
On the next verse, he contemplates suicide and may give a clue that this man is a rich and powerful king or a high member of society that has everything except what he wants more than everything else: company and love. So while contemplating suicide he fixates on the surrounding objects that will contribute to his suicide. â€�On the table lies blank paperâ€� to write his suicide note, â€�my tower is built on stoneâ€� suggests he could jump from a window and plummet to his death. â€�I only have blunt scissorsâ€�, yet another object he could kill himself with and the â€�bluntest homeâ€� refers that his own home is the death of him because of all the solitude and despair that lies inside with him.
Next, he believes that if there is one witness to death itself is himself after going through a slow death, hell and torture (seal of death lingers in the molten wax that is my head), death has been stalking him for quite some time. He also has prophesized his own death through ancient myths he’s heard throughout his life, figuring these myths are how he is supposed to end up and served him as some kind of warning (… ancient myths are solemnly directed straight at you)
Eyewitness II: we get to know that this man has been bad in the past and this whole process of feeling solitude is his own way of punishment for himself (â€�no time now for contritionâ€�) but as time passed on, he kept everything to himself, afraid to speak aloud for shame someone might hear what he did, so this cause an implosion to his character and is now the reason he has gone mad (â€�…walls are thin as tissue… locked in silent monologue, in silent screamâ€�)
As he realizes this, he becomes possessed by some entity or force and â€�finds out that I am overcome…â€�
S.H.M.: the man is now terrorized by ghosts that fall from the sky, in this case the ghosts of people who used to steer ships (helmsmen). These ghosts are obviously a fragment of his imagination, now that he has gone mad.
The man is now afraid and tries to get away from the invading specters and climbs a wall and falls into the sea while is tower is invaded with strange entities he just cannot understand how or why (no paraffin for the flame…)
It may be worth mentioning some kind of irony between the title of the portion of this song and the content. I suppose S.H.M. refers to the physics motion of Simple Harmonic Motion where the basis is equilibrium and balance, yet in the song the character knows nothing of what is happening and there are no reciprocal actions between the man and the entities, since one entity attacks and the man fleas and things make no sence (again, no paraffin for the flam)
Presence of the Night/Kosmos Tours: the ghosts still taunt him about his loneliness, and now the man is out of the castle and has nothing left, he feels the night is the only true friend left (the only life I feel at all is the presence of the night… would you cry if I died?...) and notice how the solitude is immensely expressed musically with so much echo and the abandon of the instruments and just a faded, distant voice that turns from sweet to bitter and angry. (kudos Peter Hammil!)
He realizes that his social isolation is starting to take a toll on him and now he discovers another terribly bad feeling: regret. (I know there’s no time… I don’t want to hat, I just want to grow) It is by this point that the song turns strongly psychological and depressing.
It seems he is still haunted for what he did in the past and cannot let it go in order to live peacefully whatever life he has left, which by this point it seems like he’s lived forever in agony (…but I die very slowly alone) By this point he has gone utterly mad (listen to the music)
He proceeds to describe his memory has a leach or a â€�vampireâ€� which consumes him until he can no longer keep up and falls into hopelessness and madness.
(Custard’s) Last Stand: he begins to analyze how to get out of the rut he’s in. He realizes he wasted his life being bitter and alone and wants to correct this (…it seems that I have lost my way)
But he also realizes that if he changes, he will inevitably become someone else; a stranger to his own eyes (…now I am the stranger I stay in).
While he’s meditating on his life, he also realizes all the agony he’s seen and possibly cause left him somewhat traumatized and cannot see things clearly yet eager to run to a place of peace (… but I hold experience in my head… too close to the light I don’t think I see right.)
The Clot Thickens: yet another impasse in his quest for happiness and peace, existentialism. The man wonders if God exists, who will make everything good once more, will the cosmos be in charge of making things right and when? (I am me, me are we, we can’t see…)
Interestingly enough we find out what this man did wrong long ago and why he has been punishing himself for so many years. Apparently he caused the love of his life to leave him and blames it on the universe, or in this case â€�chanceâ€� (chance has lost my Guinevere)
Far in the distance he sees â€�lemmingsâ€� (small rodents) which is a metaphor for people he thinks are inferior to himself and asks himself the question of his life: does he join the â€�inferiorâ€� community and no longer feel loneliness or drown in the sea and put himself out of his misery once and for all (do I join or do I founder)
Land’s End (Sineline)/We Go Now: …and so the man decides to put himself out of his misery and drown in the sea. The man is now dead. (…I feel I am drowning… hands stretch in the dark…it doesn’t feel so very bad now: I think the end is the start) We also know now that what really happened to the man’s love is she died and he was left completely alone (I feel you around me…I know you well) and he now feels he is with the love of his life and although now he is dead, he is now happy finally (… doesn’t feel very bad now, I think the end is the start, begin to feel very glad now…) and realizes he is now where he should be, he now feels whole and complete and belonging to someplace now where he feels complete and isolated from the rest of the things he used to suffer for (all things are a part/all things are apart)
In my opinion this is one of the most disturbing songs I ever heard, because it shows human nature at its most bare. How we sometimes do things that change our lives for the worst and end up punishing ourselves for the rest of our lives, except the man in the story took it so far as to go insane. But notice that under everything we appear to be, we all need other people to keep sanity alive and let things be after a while. Sadly the poor chap from the story when so mad that he jumped into the sea and drowned in the end, without letting go the feeling of despair and solitude (notice how he chooses to kill himself instead of joining a group of other people, in this case represented by rodents… old habits die hard when you deep in oblivion).
What impressed me the most from the song aside from the narrative is the amazing musicality and representation to tell the story. In the beginning you hear a haunting melody and as the plot changes the music also progresses with the narrative, like when he escapes from the ghosts, when he questions everything during the man’s crisis existentialism and notices the sound of solitude at the 10:33 — 10:42 time mark… everything about it is brilliant.
These kinds of themes are often revisited by the band on other albums, one of my favorites being â€�After the Floodâ€� from their second album â€�The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Otherâ€�, the band is truly progressive in every sense of the word.
|The Verve – Endless Life Lyrics||12 years ago|
Wow! First review!
This song could mean a billion things to different people, but here is my interpretation of it.
This guy is really messed up in his mind that he can't seem to diferentiate what's real and what's fantasy in life. He prefers to be stuck in the fantasy life and enjoy the artificial beauties he encounters (nights like these I only read/dreamt about) and as I read the lyrics on, I found out that the genius of Mr. Ashcroft had written one line on the lyrics about fantasy and the other about reality.
For example, "drink the water to ease my pain" - reality, the guy is in a lot of pain and cannot bare the real world.
"Nights like these..." now he is in a fictional life, in another world deep in his mind.
"As we turned, as we rolled I felt... you" - his is again back to reality and he doesn't feel too good about it
"Saw little lies, something so bright, I think it was the real thing". Very tragic, he is back to fantasy world once again and he can now tell real from fantasy, but he wants to stay in the world of beautiful, bright lies and tries to convince himself that it is real so desperately that he wants to stay in this ideal world.
"Come back and get me a life... falling in the endless life" - back to real world he's just begging for an ideal life in fantasy world because he feels he's falling and his life is endless and he keeps suffering, therefore there is a tragic ending in the song and the song "ends" in an open ending.
Really a tragic song of abstractism, like many other Verve songs. This is a really good song that makes you think pretty hard about existence.
|The Verve – A Man Called Sun Lyrics||12 years ago|
I think sweetbliss has got a point. This song could be about God, but I actually think it's about a certain "someone", an inspiration and influence in your life that makes you want to keep going in your life and improving; looking ahead to see what's good for you and what you will achieve, thus God could be one inspiration to people. I really like the "sun" metaphor because it's the sun that tells you when to get up in the morning and seize the day however you can, and Mr. Shine is that special someone that could also be someone you love that you are motivated by and you desire to be a better person because of him or her and you are driven by the fact that you can achieve so much in life with your own "Mr. Shine" beside you and that really is your role model. This song is definitely about hope, influence, inspiration and sucess, making it one of The Verve's most possitive songs; therefore there is another side of it... a darker side of it.
Mr. Sun can also be a drug that gives you strength to bare through another day without collapsing, some drug that lifts you up spiritually when you're depressed in life and sick of it. (He lifts you up he shines and then he's gone, but you know you need him more when he's gone) scary line that appears as it came out of the Dirt album by Alice in Chains. Reminds me of Layne Staley of Alice in Chains. I know there's no connection, but it really does remind me of him and how his life was cut short because of his addiction to drugs. One of my idols, one of my Mr. Suns, ironically.
That's what's magic about The Verve, nothing is ever for granted and can easily be tangled with your own self, depends on how you see it.
|The Verve – Gravity Grave Lyrics||12 years ago|
I think the song is pretty clear of what it represents. It represents manipulation, dependance and fixation/obsession towards someone you love. It's like a drug, like a fuel you need to keep going or else you stay where you are and waste your life away while your whole life passes you by and you do nothing about it. If your love, your "drug", your "fuel" is never consumed by you, then you wait for it and waste all your life just waiting by even if it takes years waiting for that someone. (I've been here since I can remember when) and you desperately need that someone to guide you through life, but you mistake guidance with manipulation and controling (my life is a boat being blown by you with nothing ahead just the deepest blue). The "deepest blue" is a metaphor that there is nothing else in this person's life other than him being pushed through life by his lover.
But from the chorus on during the song, you realize the guy is actually tired of this practice, he doesn't want to wait anymore and realizes that the "someone" is actually a person that doesn't care about him, in the end she leaves but comes back again. (to me you're like a setting sun, you rise then you're gone).
In the second verse of the song the guy realized that life has passed really fast, he is old and regrets not having lived long enough to see the other things in life because he was busy waiting for this "someone" and realizes that he stood still, but he still grew old and the "someone's" life wasn't altered by this guy's life, thus showing that he meant nothing to her (your world just spins whilst mine stands still). He realizes it's late and when he's dead and gone it'll feel the same as when he was alive, hence "gravity grave" (the guy is in a never ending fall, but he isn't immortal and knows that his death will be the reflection of his life)
The song, once again, takes another twist when these words are mention in the final chorus repetition: "but I want the light so bright it burns my eyes, seems like the perfect way to end my life". This means that after all he really does want his lover to come back one final time and he can die peacefuly, since he calles his lover a "sun", the light he refers to is the glow that the lover represents to him. He want one final meeting with her no matter how painful it is because he knows he's about to die and has nothing to lose(...so bright it burns my eyes, seems like the perfect way to end my life)
The 8 min version of the song features a long instrumental part from 4:20 and on (coincidence: 4:20?) that appears "non-ending", maybe to keep the essence of the song that his life appears never-ending while he waits for his love and there's an enternal repetition. The song eventually ends by fading out, it doesn't have an ending rather than a continuum.
One of my favorite's from Verve. Truly magical.
|The Verve – She's A Superstar Lyrics||12 years ago|
I think the song us about fear. Fear of giving yourself to love and all the responsibilities that it implicates, devotion and moving on with your lover as well. The female lover is kind of pressuring her lover to move on and make a commitment but he responds to nothing at all (she got my love, got my head but it's all the same... she got my woe got my hand took the dreams right outta my head).
The female lover is begging for something back to the point that she manipulates her man to the point of controlling him. The guy knows that his lover is moved on with the relationship, but he is afraid and doesn't want to, at least for now (I know she's in the air and I don't want it go).
The guy is patient to wait to lose his fear and grow with his lover and succumbs to depresion and pills because he doesn't know what he wants, or at least he knows what he wants but is unsecure to take the chance and risk everything for what he desires.
Unbelievable song... one of my favorites. Verve really achieved perfection on this one.
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