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Elliott Smith – A Fond Farewell Lyrics 6 years ago
Smith, in many of his songs, captures the emotion and feelings behind heroin addiction. This song is a perfect example of that. As a fellow heroin addict, the meaning of this song is so obviously about the internal struggle of heroin addiction. To me, this song is about giving up or giving in to that addiction, and the denial that accompanies that path. Personally, the verse that stands out the most is
He said really I just want to dance
Good and evil matched perfect it's a great romance
I can deal with some physic pain
If it'll slow down my higher brain
Veins full of disappearing ink
Vomiting in the kitchen sink
Disconnecting from the missing link
This is not my life
It's just a fond farewell to a friend
It's not what I'm like
It's just a fond farewell to a friend
Who couldn't get things right
Fond farewell to a friend

Living the life of a heroin addict, to me is quite the romantic adventure. It is just filled with such ups and downs, with such great dramas and struggles, pain and relief. When I hear "...really I just wanna dance. good and evil matched perfect, it's a great romance." I think of this desire of wanting to be able to balance as a functional human being and a regular heroin user. And then like I said, the romance of using heroin, the pain of withdrawal and the struggle of getting the money, all the negatives compared to the final relief of doing that shot. And this is a daily event. Constant pain and then a bit of relief everyday; everyday the struggle continues.

And then the line "I can deal with some psychic pain, if it will slow down my higher brain. Veins full of disappearing ink, vomiting in the kitchen sink, disconnecting from the missing link, this is not my life."

It makes me think of the psychological struggle of heroin addiction, the justification of all the emotional/psychological pain for those all too short moment of being high. Any junky understands the brilliance of "veins full of disappearing ink" I think he is just talking about how short the high lasts in full blown addiction. After injecting heroin for years it's like injecting disappearing ink. Instead of being high for hours, it becomes high for a few minutes, normal for a few hours.

Again the chorus makes me think of this internal struggle of knowing that being strung out is a horrible way to live, but recognizing that it is impossible to win. That addiction will always be there. And so you give up on that one part of you trying to do right. And your brain justifies it with denial. "This is not my life, this not want I'm like" this isn't who I really am kind of thinking

"I see you're leaving me and taking up with the enemy"
Again it's that internal struggle, letting go of the good part and follow the addiction.

The cold comfort of the in between
A little less than a human being
A little less than a happy high
A little less than a suicide
The only things that you really tried
This is not my life

The cold comfort of the in between to me again is about being in active heroin addiction. For somebody who has used for years there is comfort, normalcy in that life style, but really it's a pretty cold and harsh way to live. The next couple lines capture more of those feelings. A little less than a human being, feeling low, feeling incomplete. A little less than a happy high. After years of heroin use you don't really feel it the same. The addiction in you makes you think that next shot is going to be so good, if you just do a little bit more, that will feel so good. But by the time you actually take that shot it always falls short. A little less that a suicide. That life is a life of self destruction of soul destruction. Living as a heroin addict is close to killing yourself but it falls a little short. and then the last line "the only things youve really tried" captures that the feelings of wasted time. So much time has to be devoted to just not feeling sick. For most of the people out there reading this, for a heroin addict to feel the way you do now, they got to get money, go wherever they go to get drugs, and find a vein they can stick a blunt needle into. And they got to do this every 20 hours, or 12 hours or 8 hours. It becomes impossible to do anything else. And even if the addict gets clean there is still that constant drive to self destruct. Anyways, brilliant artist, brilliant song.
Thanks Elliott for making the world more beautiful.

submissions
The Beatles – Happiness Is a Warm Gun Lyrics 9 years ago
I believe this song is about heroin addiction. "she’s not a girl who misses much." describes the attitude of a heroin user who is relatively content with her new lifestyle. "She's well acquainted with the touch of the velvet hand" is saying she is familiar with the high heroin produces, comparing the calming feel of the drug with being rubbed by a velvet hand. "like a lizard on a window pane" If you think about what is taking place when a lizard is on a window pane it is not hard to connect it again with opiates. Just think of an animal blocked from the natural world by a window, the outside world is visible but the animal (or heroin user) is disconnected to it. "the man in the crowd with the multicolored mirrors on his hobnail boots." describes a person who could possibly go undetected amongst a crowd but upon closer inspect would obviously be considered odd, someone who is different, a heroin addict. "lying with his eyes while his hands are busy working overtime" says that this addict is trying to conceal his drug habits while he is busy pursuing them. "a soap impression of his wife which ate and donate to the National Trust" refers to the corruption of his once clean lover who he consumed (turned her into an addict) and changed into something disgusting (turn her into trash and flushed her down the toilet: donating to the National trust) "I need a fix cause I'm going down, down to the bits I left uptown. I need a fix cause I'm going down" is saying: I need to use heroin because I'm coming down, and going through withdrawals, the lack of drugs is ripping him apart, and the uptown reference could be referring to a particular spot in which drugs are purchased, saying, I need some more heroin because I'm hurting from withdrawals, so I need to go uptown, the place I always go to get heroin. The next set of lyrics uses “gun” to represent a needle. "Mother superior's jump the gun" is talking about a woman preparing a shot of heroin.

"happiness is a warm gun" A needle+Heroin(which is usually heated prior to use) = happiness. The next line could be about a heroin addict singing to the needle "when I hold you in my arms" can be interpreted as when I've got the needle in my arm, "and I feel my finger on your trigger" and I feel my finger on the plunger (the part of the needle you need to push to inject the heroin) "I know nobody can do me no harm because happiness is a warm gun" the drug user knows that he's about to get high and therefore won't care about anybody or anything else. “Bang, Bang shoot, shoot” are slang terms for shooting heroin.

And of course this is just my opinion, so, obviously it’s 100% accurate and everyone else is totally wrong….

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