I'm a musician who used to spend way too much time on this site. Please ignore every comment I ever made prior to 2014. :P


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Nickel Creek – You Don't Know What's Going On Lyrics 8 months ago
I think this is quite obviously about falling in love after having been through a previous relationship that ended badly, and trying to assure the romantic partner that the same mistakes that ended that relationship will not be made in this one. There's a lot of uncertainty about the situation and neither can say if it will turn out all right. Ultimately the narrator needs his partner to believe in him before making any kind of move.

R.E.M. – Half A World Away Lyrics 2 years ago
@[youguru:27777] Six years late but nonetheless, glad you liked my interpretation! Good thoughts on your part too. At the time I didn’t know he was gay so I’ll have to amend that in my post. And I still don’t think the hand part is about masturbation- the other reply to this post by SweetCheeks2 is a great take on it that I never considered.

Punch Brothers – The Blind Leaving the Blind: 1st Movement Lyrics 2 years ago
@[EnduringChill:27176] final correction to the correction: it's top of Nob Hill. An area in San Francisco with a notable church where Chris Thile (the songwriter) used to attend services. Can't believe it took me so long to track down the real lyrics

Jeff Buckley – Mojo Pin Lyrics 2 years ago
First off, I was shocked just now reading these lyrics: "the memories fire, the rhythm falls slow." The entire time I've been listening to this song, I thought it was, "the memory fights the rhythm's false alarm." Honestly I have no idea what that means but it sounded cool.

Anyway... while I know from what has been said about the song that my interpretation is incorrect, I still like thinking of it this way. I imagine it's about a person who was abused as a child and now can only form unhealthy/abusive relationships because of it. They numb the pain of past and current abuse with drugs. "This body will never be safe from harm..." people will continue to use and abuse them throughout their life, as they have already done. "Don't want to weep for you..." they know it's an unhealthy relationship so they don't want to feel sad about their partner leaving, even though they can't help it. "The welts of your scorn, my love, give me more... sends whips of opinion down my back, give me more..." Their partner ridicules and belittles them and expresses harsh judgment, but they accept it because it's the only kind of love they've ever experienced (or think they deserve).

Everything else is pretty much in line with what others have said... "mojo pin," "white horses" are drug references, the second verse I think is a reminisce on past sexual experiences, the first verse is about the person missing their partner who only recently left... This is such a dark sounding song and I love it.

Peter Gabriel – Red Rain Lyrics 2 years ago
@[stoolhardy:25912] this comment has stuck with me for years after reading it, every time i listen to the song, because I think it's hilarious. It's true, there was definitely no easy way to phrase it...

Peter Gabriel – Not One Of Us Lyrics 2 years ago
This has nothing to do with the song meaning, but the first time I heard the song I thought of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where people are reborn as emotionless creatures who all think and act alike.

Peter Gabriel – Down the Dolce Vita Lyrics 2 years ago
Peter Gabriel has said in the past that one of his favorite filmmakers is Federico Fellini, who made a film called La Dolce Vita, so I assume that's where "dolce vita" comes from. There are no similarities between the plot of that movie and the apparent plot of this song, though.

I always assumed it was either about men going off to fight in a war overseas, or trying to kill some kind of sea monster.

I also always wondered if the guitar line in the break right before the last verse is intended to sound like the melody "Auld Lang Syne." I suspect it is, given the chiming clock heard prior to that.

Chris Thile – I Know You Know Lyrics 2 years ago
This is actually a Punch Brothers song- it was released as a bonus track on their first album, and as a result it took me a while to even discover its existence.

All I came to say is- am I right in assuming that the "giant out at second" and "damn yankee, can't toss it to first" are baseball references?

Other than that, I have no idea what these lyrics mean.

Nickel Creek – You Don't Know What's Going On Lyrics 2 years ago
@[kitab:25566] I was just about to point out the similarities in the lyric. Also for some reason I assumed it was an older song just from listening to it. Cool to learn I was right...

Punch Brothers – The Blind Leaving the Blind: 1st Movement Lyrics 2 years ago
@[EnduringChill:25422] correcting my attempt to "correct" the lyrics: it is in fact Tapenade Hill and I mis-heard it. And apparently the cathedral might not be a metaphor.

Punch Brothers – The Blind Leaving the Blind: 3rd Movement Lyrics 2 years ago
@[EnduringChill:24674] just realized that "all to live" is in fact the words of the last line... I couldn't understand so I made up what I thought it might be, but I think "all to live' is correct. Either way it means the same thing

Punch Brothers – The Blind Leaving the Blind: 3rd Movement Lyrics 2 years ago
@[EnduringChill:24673] just realized that "all to live" is in fact the words of the last line... I couldn't understand so I made up what I thought it might be, but I think "all to live' is correct. Either way it means the same thing

Punch Brothers – The Blind Leaving the Blind: 4th Movement Lyrics 2 years ago
Finishing up my interpretation of the full piece, "The Blind Leaving the Blind."

"I'm coming back, my friends, from the deep and bitter end, where I was so concerned we would be the ones who burned."

The narrator is returning from his period of debauchery and soul-searching, fully on the road to recovery now. All the time, he was concerned he would hurt his friends or alienate them, but now he's intent on repairing the relationships.

"The more scared, the safer, the more grateful for the grape juice and the wafer."

These are the effects of this period- he's more scared, of losing the ones he loved and possibly fearing God more. He's safer, no longer in a position where he feels he's "ultimately resigned to dying" as the third movement said. And he's ready to accept communion and return to a spiritual life.

"I sound done, and I feel done, but I'm not done, unless you'd give up on a lost son."

Everything about him appears resigned and defeated, but he isn't because he has spiritual support, and he doubts God would abandon him now.

"And I need to hear Him say, 'You and your friends can come in. Your thoughts and that girl can come in. Your parents and brothers are here. I let them in. Who told you I wouldn't let you all in? You are my children.'"

This is the climax of the whole piece, the resolution at last. He's found the missing piece from the spiritual puzzle and affirmed his faith, envisioning an all-loving and accepting God, instead of a judgmental one.

"Heaven shines through those stars, the city lights and the nearest bar, where I'll be with my friends, hiding from the bitter end."

Just as he's made peace with God, he has now made peace with his friends and fully returned to enjoy their company wholeheartedly.
"The armor and the weapons were a strange way to show them my affection."

I think this means that he pushed his friends away when he was soul-searching and suffering from the past relationship, but it was really just out of a desire not to hurt them or be hurt by the possibility of them leaving him.

"I sound done, and I feel done, but I'm not done, unless you'd give up on a lost son."

Again, this is talking about faith and his vision of an accepting God.

This, to me, is a moving, powerful work. The lyrics alone are impressive enough in the way they tell their story, and that's not even scratching the surface of a musical analysis.

Punch Brothers – The Blind Leaving the Blind: 3rd Movement Lyrics 2 years ago
Continuing my interpretation from Movements 1 & 2. This is my favorite movement, but also one of the more difficult ones to decipher.

"O Woman, I'm your servant. I don't know anything, but I'm ready to learn."

The theme of debauchery is exhibited in full force in this movement, although instead of straightforwardly talking about proofreading messages and waking up with unwanted numbers and names, the language used here is more poetic, almost like invoking a religious spirit. Here, it's as if the narrator is speaking to the very essence of all that is female, addressing women as a whole. He wants to start dating actively again and admits that he doesn't know much about what women want and how to satisfy them, but he wants to learn so he can do his best with them.

"O Woman, I am starving for your approval. Be kind to me."

He's waiting for a positive response from her, putting himself at her mercy. Humbling himself before this powerful entity.

"The big city calls and your daughters are smiling through the windows of apartment buildings. I bet I look about as small as I feel."

For some reason these lines always remind me of The Great Gatsby and the way it describes New York City. I don't know why. Anyway, this is the narrator noticing all the women in the city and wanting to get to know them, to start a new relationship, but still feeling humble and lesser compared to them.

"Thank you, Jesus, can I have another? And another? Oh thank you, Lord."

As with the first movement, this line conflates religion and debauchery, as if Jesus himself is the bartender and the narrator is getting drunk by praying. It amuses me to hear this every time.

"But If it pleases thee to have them banging down the doors, couldst thou let 'em know what they're in for ain't good for you or me or them? Amen."

I'm not sure who "they" are in this context, but I have a feeling the narrator's right in warning others to stay away from him in this state.

"O Woman, I'm your servant, asking for the right to look you in the eye. O Woman, I'm dying for you to notice how far I've come."

Again, the narrator appeals to a feminine spirit, believing himself to be lesser to women as a whole. (Just like he referred to his lover's house as a cathedral in Movement 1, suggesting this worshipful behavior is common.) He feels that he's made progress in moving on from the relationship and moving ahead in life in general, but he still hinders himself by needing approval from this spirit (who could represent the specific women he's interested in, beside women as a whole).

"I'm moving downtown and your daughters are walking by me. I believe they're still deciding if they like having me around. If they like having me around, I need to know why."

The women of the city are represented again as daughters of the female spirit, the essence of womanhood. He isn't sure how these women that he's interested in dating feel about him. He feels the need to know if they like him, and why they do like him, as he's still considering himself as "lesser" to them and unworthy- or perhaps he simply wants to know why they like him because he wants to accentuate those attractive qualities in order to win them over.

"Goodwill's coming by to collect a box I filled with things I hate about myself, things I liked before I got here."

Metaphorically- he's trying to get rid of the negative aspects of his personality, trying to improve himself in order to make himself more attractive to others. He used to not mind these qualities until someone (possibly his ex lover, or maybe just society in general) pointed them out as flaws.

"Then I'll pick 'er up, and we'll do anything she wants, or anything they want, or anything you want. O Woman, I don't care."

Now that he's made himself more attractive in personality, he's ready to go out on dates and accept the possibility of a new relationship, while still bowing his head to the woman and going along with whatever she says. It's not really an improvement in my opinion, but I do like that the subject of changing oneself was discussed in the song. So many people do it.

"Lord, I'd be in your debt if you help my forget that heaven is mine for trying. 'Cause lord I don't know why you give me so much life, when I'm ultimately resigned to dying."

The movement takes a sharp turn for the disturbing in the last lines, implying that despite all this apparent newfound confidence, the narrator is still unhappy and dissatisfied with his life. To make peace with himself and his relationships with women, he has to make peace with his relationship with the Lord first.

Punch Brothers – The Blind Leaving the Blind: 2nd Movement Lyrics 2 years ago
Continuing my interpretation from Movement 1.

"Well, I'm back in the moment where I belong. It turns out four years was four years too long. It's over, and I'm over it."

The relationship is well and truly over now, and the narrator is back to where he started, back to the state of being single and expecting something from life. "Four years" might refer to the amount of time he spent in the relationship. Now he sees he held onto it for too long. Now it's over, it has ended, and he claims to be over it- fully recovered emotionally, but the next lyrics might prove him wrong.

"Well, she sang me the song that I wrote for her. Then she said, 'I like the tune, but not the words, it's over. And I'm over it.'"

He remembers a time that in retrospect could have been a warning sign, leading to the end of their relationship. His lover didn't like what he said about her in the song. She was the one to end it, saying that it's over, and she's truly the one who's over it. It took him longer to get to that point.

"You collected the moments I threw away. Said to yourself, "He's gonna want 'em back the day it's over, and he's over it."

When he was with her, he took their time for granted, carelessly disposing of each memory instead of treating it as precious. Now that it's over, he wants those memories back because they are precious now, seen in a new light.

"Friends, let's drink till our hearts break open, and our hands feel empty, though they're full all the time. It's so nice in here, I'm so glad you're here. Can we just stay here all the time?"

Contemplation of memories leads to the need to numb the pain, so he goes drinking with his friends. "'Til our hearts break open" could mean until they're at the point where they're spilling their deepest emotions to each other with no filter, and "our hands feel empty" means that they deeply feel the loss of whoever they miss, though they have their glasses in hand so their hands aren't actually empty. It feels good to be out with friends in a public place, instead of being alone, so he wants to stay with them all the time. (Another "who hasn't felt like that" moment.)

"Walk me home, we'll watch the sun come up. Don't leave me, 'cause I've been left enough. It's over, I'll get over it."

Pretty much self-explanatory. He doesn't want to be alone again so he asks his friends to come with him, and doesn't want them to leave him the way his lover did. "I'll get over it-" quite a change from "I'm over it..." As mentioned before, there's no filter after drinking, so now he reveals that he's not over the relationship.

"Friends, let's drink to my indiscretions. I woke up with a number and a name that I don't want, that I won't use again. Would you proofread any messages I send 'till it's over and I'm over it?"

Again, pretty self-explanatory. Now he's seeking out one-night-stands to try to get over his lover, though he's not really interested in any of them. He knows his judgement is impaired at this point so he asks his friends to stop him before he sends any impulsive messages to women, looking for sex, or possibly to his ex asking to get back together. The details aren't really important- it's relatable enough in general.

Punch Brothers – The Blind Leaving the Blind: 1st Movement Lyrics 2 years ago
Several months later, I'm back to take a stab at it.

"Tell me what you want me to think. You can lead me to water, you can make me drink."
Obvious play on the saying, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink," meaning that you can give someone orders or try to steer them in a certain path, but it's up to them to actually act on the orders or go down that path- you can't force someone to do anything. However, in these opening lines it's clear that the song's narrator is resigned and will do anything his soon-to-be-former-lover asks, because he's tired of resisting and wants to avoid an argument. He doesn't know what's expected of him anymore, so he asks her to tell him what to think and how to react.

"I trust you if you say it's good. You wouldn't hurt me, and I don't think you could."

Extending the metaphor of the horse to water- trusting that the water is not poisoned or harmful in any way, because he trusts her not to hurt him and in fact doubts her capability for it (probably due to their romantic past). It further shows how the relationship is out of his hands and he's just trying to salvage whatever's left by trusting her and doing what she says. Trust is probably the last positive aspect of the relationship.

"Tell me what I don't need to keep. I overpacked, and the sidewalk is steep to your cathedral at the top of the hill. 'Makes me tired, and dear, it always will."

He's leaving her now because she wants him to go. On one level, this could be literal- he has a lot of physical baggage, a lot of stuff packed up in order to move out, and it's tiring to carry it down the steep hill (presumably to where the moving truck or car is waiting). Or it could mean the baggage of their relationship, all the memories and emotions from their time spent together. Her house is likened to a cathedral, and elevated on a hill, because he used to love her and worship her so highly as if she's a goddess- it's unclear if the pedestal was broken or not over the course of the relationship.

"Tell me why I haven't been healed. I haven't changed, and nothing's been revealed."

He expected more out of this relationship than he got- he hasn't undergone any significant changes, hasn't experienced any amazing revelations, hasn't been "made whole" in some way. It was not fulfilling to be with her.

"And what's in the blood of the way and the light that takes my sin Sunday morning, and makes me drunk at night?"

I'm honestly not sure what this line has to do with the narrative at this point, except that it introduces the themes of religion and debauchery in the upcoming movements.It could have to do with a loss of faith- the wine representing the blood of Christ has now only become a way to numb the pain and drown out the world.

"Tell me that I'm more than a dream, a golden hell prize you failed to redeem. Don't tell me that you've always known that I'd wake up first, and you'd wake up alone."

Now he's asking his former lover to connect with him again, even though it's already over. "More than a dream-" something substantial, something more than just a goal for the future, some sign of commitment. Unfortunately she couldn't commit to him. I find it interesting that the narrator is described as a prize, as it seems men often talk about women in such a way, but here the man thinks of himself like that. Either way, the lover didn't win him, being clearly less invested in the relationship than he was. "Waking up" could be metaphorical in the next couplet, as in waking up to reality, opening one's eyes in a realization. In this case, it would be realizing that the relationship has gone sour. I can't help but feel that the pronouns should be switched in this last couplet, as it seems to be the lover who wanted out and thus realized first that the relationship was not going to last, leaving the narrator to wake up by himself. Either way, he accuses her of having known from the start that it wasn't going to last, and never having seen it as permanent to begin with.

"Sweet young man, goes walking down the street wiping blood off his hands. And it doesn't look good, but he does what he can to erase the signs of a nightmare he faced at the scene of the crime."

Here's where the narrative gets confusing for me, because I know the second half isn't meant to be literally happening but I can't figure out what it's supposed to represent. The narrator is referred to in third person now. I believe that "wiping blood off his hands" means he feels responsible for the end of the relationship, and the "nightmare" and "crime" was the relationship's end itself. It's a very dramatic, almost literary description.

"She snuck up behind him as he knelt by her victim. Whispered, 'I knew you'd come, but there's nothing to be done, and if I was you, I'd run.'"

The victim could be a personification of the relationship- now he's accusing her for having ended it.

"'Cause no one cares about what you felt when they see any sighs of guilt. You kissed its face, you held its hand. You always were a sweet young man.'"

That first line is an astute observation- when someone looks or acts guilty, no one cares about what really happened. They'll blame this person for the crime no matter what. The narrator believes his lover was the one to end the relationship, but she wants to be perceived as the victim and almost seems to relish in the idea of him being blamed for it. I don't really know what the last few lines mean, as it's here where the pronouns trip me up the most- what does "it" refer to?

"He's still a mess, so he hires a car to take him to the fountain at Balboa Park, where he used to play when he was young. He's gonna wash off in front of God and everyone."

There's still incriminating evidence- blood from the crime scene- all over the narrator, so he goes somewhere to wash it off. That's the literal reading of these lines. Metaphorically, I admit defeat, as I wasn't really able to decipher the metaphor when it was introduced. All I know is that the narrator retreats to a favorite childhood spot, reflecting on a happier time when life wasn't as complicated, before the heartbreak occurred- who hasn't wanted to go back in time like that, during a hard time? Naming a specific park seems to make the story more personal, proving that this is a true account.

Punch Brothers – Between 1st and A Lyrics 3 years ago
This is perhaps one of this band's most obviously autobiographical songs. "Between first and A" refers to the area of NYC in the East Village where Chris Thile used to live. It's about how he met his wife in NYC, and now they are moving away together. I feel the lyrics are pretty straightforward without the biographical information, but it certainly helps to know for sure! (I can't remember where I got the information, some video or interview somewhere)

Punch Brothers – Julep Lyrics 3 years ago
I'm mostly commenting here to see if anyone knows if there's a name for the wordplay used in these lyrics: "and you looking down from Heaven...'s a julep on the porch." Where the single word is used to connect two different sentences. I really love it.

Besides that, this is such a beautiful, romantic song. Although I can't figure out the perspective used in it- is it from the POV of the man who loves the woman, or (given the "he brought the whiskey, asked for my blessing" line) of the woman's father?

Punch Brothers – This Is The Song (Good Luck) Lyrics 3 years ago
This is a lovely song, and any insight on its meaning would be appreciated, as I find the lyrics to be somewhat obscure. The chorus- "good luck, these are tough times, but we'll get by"- seems disconnected from the verses, which to me appear to tell a story of a couple arguing and then making up. Particularly unsure about the lines "I called the dogs off all the things I'm missing" and "I put a shore in front of our apartment," although I suppose the "shore" ties in with the line in verse 1 about setting sail. And what does "this is the song" mean- is it literally pointing out that this story is being told through a song, therefore "this is the song," or is there a deeper meaning?

Punch Brothers – The Blind Leaving the Blind: 1st Movement Lyrics 3 years ago
I'm surprised no one here's tried to analyze this song yet. All four movements link into a somewhat cohesive narrative, so there's a lot to dig into. That being said, I find the lyrics to be vague (especially in this song), perhaps in order not to sound so personal and therefore render the song meaning more universal to listeners.

I don't know if I can take a stab at it yet. I know the overall story is about the break-up of a relationship and the aftermath, but I'm still puzzling out most of the lines (again, particularly in this song- the second half specifically greatly confuses me with its use of pronouns, I find it hard to understand who's doing what and what's happening in general and whether it should even be taken seriously).

Punch Brothers – Familiarity Lyrics 3 years ago
This is a lovely, long, haunting song that I am entirely obsessed with at the moment.

Discussing the song in an interview, Chris Thile described a scenario where one's hanging out with someone in a bar, and they haven't connected face-to-face with each other in a while. A song comes on that they both know, and even if they might not like it, they're familiar with it, and that brings them closer together.

Going off of that, here's what the song seems to me to be about...

"It's on again. You hate it, but you know it then. You know it, and so do your friends, and you can sing together when it's on. Pretend you love it because you love them."

A song's playing over the radio that this song's character doesn't like. But they know the song, and their friends do, so they can bond over that regardless of whether they like the song or not. As for the last line, who hasn't felt like that before- having to act like you like something more than you do, because your friends (or anyone you deeply love/care about, really) are so passionate about it?

"As you explode out of your phones (amen) to make some music of your own (amen). Or you could hate it softly to yourself, alone, a man among amens."

The character hasn't interacted with people face-to-face in a long time, sticking to contacting them from beyond a cell phone's screen. So they "explode of of [their] phones" to connect with their physical presence. "Make some music of your own" could be the character taking that chance to speak up, to interact with these people, to boldly present their true self. Or, they could keep to themselves, idly pretending to like the song and retreating back into the comfort of their cellular device. "A man among amens." A powerful, alliterative line, although admittedly one of the more obscure in the song.

"A ringing bell, or programmed drums, or both, I couldn't tell. But I rejoiced. A smoke machine, or swinging thurible, it was hard to see. But I lifted up my voice."

This is about the experience in the bar or club where the character is hanging with their friends. The programmed drums over the speakers, and the smoke machine on the dance floor, are compared to the ringing of a church bell and the smoke from a thurible. Both are communal spaces where people unite with a common mindset or goal, and grow closer together. So the secular area is transformed into a holy one, and though the song's character isn't sure which one they inhabit, they're raising their voice in praise all the same.That leads quite easily into the next line (love the harmonies on that line btw, very Beach Boys-esque):

"We've come together over we know not what."

Just like in a church, these friends have united, although their goal is much more unclear.

"A call to prayer, or the last for alcohol? We didn't care. We knelt and bowed our heads. Or did we dance, like we might never get another chance to disconnect?"

The first couplet is another comparison between the sacred and secular experiences. The second is describing disconnecting from the outside world, from social media and all those friends on the other ends of cell phones who want attention. This moment, this evening, is about personal connection and simply enjoying the physical presence of friends.

"We've come together over we know not what to say 'I love you.'"

"I love you" is perhaps one of the strongest phrases that can be used to connect to another person. So the purpose of this outing becomes clear. Once these people can connect with each other, they can express their feelings for each other (of course, not necessarily romantic). Maybe in disconnecting from each other physically, they've also managed to disconnect from their emotions, and now they are free to express them again.

The next few lines building up to the fade-out and leading into the second half of the song are like a call to the heavens, or a cry to another person to please help me make this personal connection, help me feel again, I need it, I mean it when I say I love you. It's a very straightforward, somewhat vulnerable confession.

"We lie in bed, the wireless dancing through my head, until I fear the space between my breaths."

"The wireless" here I'm assuming refers again to the cell phone. Even in bed with their lover, the character can't disconnect from social media and the outside world, until they're so afraid to go without it that they can't even take hearing the sound of their own breathing, because that would be too real. They'd have to face reality and they can't stand to do that.

"I see an end where I don't love you like I can, 'cause I've forgotten how it feels (amen) to love someone or thing for real (amen)."

The inevitable future is presented where this person's fear of personal, face-to-face interaction drives a wedge between them and their lover, sabotaging the relationship. Because connection through a cell phone should never be considered a substitute for personal interaction.

"So darling, when you wake, remind me what we've done that can't be shared or saved or even sung."

In order to draw the character back to reality, to the present, to real life with their lover, they ask the lover to recall the memories they've made together, memories that can't be trivially immortalized on social media, that can't be shared with the masses or saved to a hard drive or even confessed in a song, because the confines of a song can't capture every nuance, every exact thought and feeling.

"It's on again. You nod your head and take my hand. And though I'm not sure where we'll go (amen) to worship more than what we know (amen), as long as you're here, I won't be alone. A man among amens."

A return to that setting, where a radio's song connects two people. The lover accepts the request and affirms their love and the genuine connection between them. The closing lines essentially turn the piece into a love song, rejoicing in the deep bond that only two can share.

I've noticed it can be difficult to decipher lyrics from this band, because (the way I see it) the musicality overwhelms the strength of the lyrics, and sometimes it doesn't seem to scan or flow as well as it should because the lyrics almost seem to function only as decorative touches on the melody. But when read on their own, the lyrics become clearer to me, and their true strength is revealed. Comments from the original songwriters certainly don't hurt, either.

David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust Lyrics 4 years ago
@[StrandedMail:9978] I have become aware of that in the four years since I posted the original comment... Haha. Thanks for the clarification anyway

Talking Heads – Making Flippy Floppy Lyrics 7 years ago
I like the comment below, but I think the song is about both sex and politics. "Nothing can come between us, nothing gets you down" is about the relationship that's going well between the narrator and his lover. However, it's immediately contradicted by the lines "Nothing strikes your fancy, nothing turns you on-" nothing he does can satisfy her. "You don't have t wait for more instructions-" if she knows what she likes, show him what to do for her instead of waiting on what he wants. "No one makes a monkey out of me." I think this is an expression, but I'm not sure if I've ever heard it used anywhere else. I think it's saying, don't embarrass me. "We lie on our backs, feet in the air," could be them lying down in preparation for sex. Then "rest and relaxation, rocket to my brain-" they're relaxed and ready to go. Then comes the physical details. "Snap into position, bounce 'til you ache..." etc.

I admit I don't know what the following lyrics mean, at least until they get to "We are born without eyesight..." The two lovers are thinking about the innocence of their childhood, which was entirely unlike their adult actions now. This goes on until "We're in no hurry..." They're figuring out their sexual identities together, "sing[ing] in the darkness."

The next verse is quite clearly about politics, and I don't have much to say about it. Except that the line "business and pleasure" seems to hint as to what the song is about. The song returns to the lovers towards the end, "making flippy floppy," while the narrator is "trying to do [his] best" to please the lover and they "kill the beast," the animal drive for lust that they both have.

Talking Heads – Take Me To The River Lyrics 7 years ago
I thought this song was about the singer being sixteen years old and thinking he's in love with a girl, when he doesn't really know what love is at his youg age. However, more people have said that the girl is sixteen and it's about an underage love affair. I always thought the imagery of the river and water was cleansing, trying to forget every personal problem by lying back in the river and having your soul and body washed down. I didn't connect it to baptism until recently...

Talking Heads – Take Me To The River Lyrics 7 years ago
Don't forget the line "I'm not a drowning man, I'm not a burning building" in Born Under Punches.

Talking Heads – This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) Lyrics 7 years ago
I was joking about wanting to be a lamp... I just wish sometimes that I could dance with David Byrne. But I'm not sure being a lamp in itself would be very fun.

I love that line too, about "sing into my mouth." It makes me think of two people kissing, and sighing with pleasure into the other's mouth.

Midnight Cinema – Hurricane Lyrics 7 years ago
Midnight Cinema is the band that my second favorite band, Thriving Ivory, used to be. They changed their name and got rid of one of their members. I'll analyze this song later- pretty transparent, I have to say.

David Bowie – Sweet Thing (Reprise) Lyrics 7 years ago
Odd that I can't see the lyrics for the reprise, only for the part 1... hm. There are much fewer lyrics than I thought...

The song opens with a tired repetition of the chorus from part 1, without any hope or feeling in it at all. The characters from Sweet Thing and Candidate are disillusioned, seeing the world for what it is without the deception of new love to guide them. "Snow storm" could be a drug reference, as was suggested, but I don't know anything about that... I think the male narrator from the previous two songs is speaking here to his gilrfriend/prostitute, who betrayed him during Candidate (my interpretations of those songs can be found on the pages for those songs), and he asks bitingly if it is "nice" in her "snow storm"- either referring to cold behavior/treatment, or maybe she's taken up drugs and he is scornful. The line "Do you think that your face looks the same?" could be that she is nonchalant about what she's done, or she tried to lie to him about it, but he can see right through her by looking at her face. He doesn't question or pursue her about this, showing resignation instead by saying "Then let it be..." Ultimately he decides he has all he's ever wanted, just by living on the street that has ensnared them both with its "claws." There's no real ending to this trio, unless the story continues into the next songs (which I think it does, it just tells a new story).

So in all, I think the trio of Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing Reprise is about a man/boy who falls in love with a prostitute, gets involved with politics, has the prostitute/girlfriend cheat on him, and then is resigned to betrayal and deception afterwards.

David Bowie – Candidate Lyrics 7 years ago
One last thing I didn't have time to add before, regarding the end of the song- after the girl has betrayed the guy, he feels resigned. If the person he could trust in betrayed him (by selling sex to the candidates), how can he trust in anything? This is where the unsureness of the lines beginning with "I guess..." come in, and his feeling that suicide is an option- "We'll buy some drugs and watch a band..." etc. The last line of this song is probably my favorite line on the album. This sets up for the weariness of Sweet Thing (Reprise).

David Bowie – Candidate Lyrics 7 years ago
The candidate is a political figure trying to get elected for some high-ranking office, and he's setting everything up- "I'll make you a deal like any other candidate- we'll pretend you're walking home because your future's at stake..." The amazing set must be used to create scenes that look real and will help the candidate get into office, and the bar at the end with scandals written on the walls will help blacken the names of his opponents. What exactly the candidate is running for, and why these acted scenes and pretending to walk someone home will help him with the election, is ambiguous. I think the "you and your friend" are the narrator from Sweet Thing and his girlfriend/prostitute from that song.

"Having so much fun with the poisonous people, spreading rumors and lies and stories they made up" is self-explanatory. Politicians are corrupt. The next lines describe the reactions to the lies/stories/rumors by the common people, and then I can't decipher what the next lines with "papier mache" are all about... But then it returns to the chant from Sweet Thing, and I think the girlfriend/prostitute has started selling sex to the candidates and elected officials because the boyfriend stopped paying attention to her because he was all caught up in the election and helping the candidate get into office. Feeling neglected, she shouts "I want you! I need you! Anyone out there? Any time?" A response comes from one of the poisonous people- "Hey, dirty, I want you..." and the deed is done.

The last verse is odd... I think the male character found out about his girlfriend and reminds her of all the times she's been with him... on a floor, in the back of a car, in a cellar... He can't move on from her because he has put all he has "in another bed." He put his pain into her during Sweet Thing and cannot let go from emotional attachment. I don't know what the "different kind" they're looking for is (a new form of satisfaction? Replacing sexual comfort with political comfort?) The next line sounds like rape- "seedy young knights who press you to the ground while shaking in fright"- and then it returns to the romantic (like in Sweet Thing).

David Bowie – Candidate Lyrics 7 years ago
What I would give to go back in time and see that show!

David Bowie – Sweet Thing Lyrics 7 years ago
Sounds kind of like meeting with a prostitute and then falling in love with her...

"It's safe in the city to love in a doorway" would describe their intial meeting. They're making love in the doorway of some old building, feeling safe because no one is around. The line "And isn't it me putting pain in a stranger" is very evocative- finding comfort and release through the act of sex with a stranger. I also love "Like a portrait in flesh that trails on a leash," as if through sharing his emotions, "putting pain" into her, he has turned her into a living work of art (as art is born from the artist's emotions). "Trails on a leash" could mean that she is expected to be obediant to him.

My favorite delivery in this song is "Will you see that I'm scared and I'm lonely?" Amazing. The character is giving his reason for sleeping with the girl- he just doesn't want to be alone. "So I break up the room and yawn and run to the center of things" sounds vague, but makes me think of someone desperately trying to get rid of boredom and rushing out to find action somewhere- maybe another reason for visiting the prostitute, but it seems to relate to a different aspect of the character's life... The chorus is most likely what the women are telling the men to entice them. "Boys, it's a sweet thing... if you want it, get it here..." and I think "hope is a cheap thing" means that it's not hard for the women to make their customers feel hopeful, or it could be that no one is hopeful anyway so why not throw your life away with meaningless sexual encounters?

After that, the narrator seems to be talking to a lover, maybe having fallen in love with the prostitute after seeing her more than once. I thought the line "I'm glad that you're older than me, makes me feel important and free" was ironic, but I realize that a younger person can feel important because the older person is in charge of taking care of him. He must have said this to the woman he's meeting with, because she reacts- "Does that make you smile? Isn't that me?" The most romantic line in the song follows- "I'm in your way and I'll steal every moment." He is really in deep with her, wanting to spend every moment in time with her. "If this trade is a curse, then I'll bless you..." refers to the woman's work as a prostitute, and how the narrator loves her anyway. The last line in the song is his mind wandering, as Candidate begins and he abadons his love momentarily for the promises that the candidate makes.

This whole trio on Diamond Dogs is incredible. My favorite part of the album.

David Bowie – The Stars (Are Out Tonight) Lyrics 7 years ago
Likening the stars on Earth to stars in the sky... about fascination with celebrities, as has already been pointed out.

"They burn you with their radiant smiles
Trap you with their beautiful eyes
They’re broke and shamed or drunk or scared
But I hope they live forever"

Common people get ensnared by celebrities because they seem more beautiful/more talented than regular people... in reality, their personal lives are just as messy as ours (sometimes even more so) and they can be "broke and shamed or drunk or scared," but people still worship them and "hope they live forever."

"We live closer to the Earth, never to the heavens"- stars on Earth are so far removed from average people that they might as well be stars in the sky.

"Stars are never sleeping, dead ones and the living"- the media is always reporting what big-name celebrities are doing. Even celebrities that have passed away are still never forgotten.

U2 – Alex Descends Into Hell for a Bottle of Milk/Korova 1 Lyrics 7 years ago
This song is so unlike anything U2 has ever done. I wish the rest of the Clockwork Orange stage soundtrack that Bono and Edge wrote would surface someday...

David Bowie – (You Will) Set The World On Fire Lyrics 7 years ago
Seems to be about the birth of a star, a future celebrity being discovered. Anyone have any idea who "the black girl on guitar" could be? The chorus is the promise that the musician's manager/person in charge makes. "You will set the world on fire. I can work the scene- I can see the magazines!" The magazines would probably be plastered with the musician's face. Basically saying "I can make you famous, and you will be the next big thing."

Florence + the Machine – Over the Love Lyrics 7 years ago
Four different people have submitted lyrics for this... haha.

This is a great song! Great Gatsby references, anyone? It seems to be told from Daisy's point of view (although painting her in a far more sympathetic light than I ever would) and mentions the "green light..." So much love for Over The Love.

Florence + the Machine – Never Let Me Go Lyrics 7 years ago
Does anyone know the definitive lyrics for the third line of the chorus? I first heard it as "the crushes I had," then "the crashes o'erhead," then "the crashes of Heaven," but it could also be "the crushes of Heaven" or even, as stated in these lyrics, "the questions I had..."

Beautiful song either way, about drowning and letting go of one's self.

Talking Heads – Houses In Motion Lyrics 7 years ago
The character in this song seems to be searching for a meaning in life, but is unable to break free of his work. By constantly working, he is digging his own grave- work is devouring his life, until he is dead and can no longer enjoy what he once could have had. He keeps trying to do something meaningful besides metaphorical digging, but there's "no time to begin" or it's just not the time, or people tell him to "get out of the way" so that they can do something instead. "So nothing was done." The female character is another person who is doing nothing worthwhile in her life, but instead of continuing to "dig" futilely, she simply gives up her hope. I wish I could comprehend all of the imagery about motion. There's always some layer in Talking Heads songs that makes sense, and then another layer that I can't understand no matter how hard I try. This song is amazing.

The Trashcan Sinatras – Easy Read Lyrics 7 years ago
Best line in this song? "Over the moon and under the influence." I love the play on words.

I don't know what this song is about. A man who's lonely because everyone tells him that "nobody wants you here at all"? Who calls his friend at night to talk, but won't let him in the house during the day? What does "easy read" mean- someone whose thoughts are easy to discern from their facial expressions and motions? Or simply a book that's on an easy reading level? And who is going disco dancing in the morning?

I'm not sure if I would like to know the answers to these questions. Some songs are stronger when one forms one's own opinion.

Simple Minds – Up on the Catwalk Lyrics 7 years ago
How has no one commented on this song yet? Does no one like Simple Minds around here? This is probably my favorite of their songs (admittedly, I have only heard two albums, though). My favorite lines are "One thousand names that spring up in my mind" and "Under the crystal light, surrender everything to me." The vocal phrasing is beautiful and reminds me a lot of Bono from U2, at least his singing style from around the same time.

I think this song is about getting/being famous. Anyone care to expand?

Talking Heads – Life During Wartime Lyrics 7 years ago
Oh, that explains it. Thank you!

Talking Heads – Cities Lyrics 7 years ago
Why a "dry-ice factory"? Anyone have any ideas on what that could mean?

Daryl Hall – Babs and Babs Lyrics 7 years ago
Thank God there are other people commenting on this song... I was afraid I had to analyze these weird lyrics by myself...

The right brain/left brain explanation makes a lot of sense. It seemed to be about two different people, or two sides of the same person, arguing with each other, and their relationship is built entirely on their need to argue. One can't survive without the other's point of view.

Daryl Hall – The Farther Away I Am Lyrics 7 years ago
This song is gorgeous.

Daryl Hall – Without Tears Lyrics 7 years ago
Interesting references to "earth magic." Some kind of spiritualism seems to be prevalent here... Maybe it's about finding comfort from personal pain in some kind of magic or spiritual belief... Beautiful song too.

Daryl Hall – Why Was It So Easy Lyrics 7 years ago
About an affair with an actress or a model, I think... They spend the night in her hotel room, and later in life her behavior towards the narrator implies that she doesn't think of him fondly anymore. "The sad words that I hear you say must mean you don't hold me inside you." Assuming she rarely thinks of him at all. But... "I only hope that you think of me in a hotel room."

I love these lyrics.

Pink Floyd – The Merry Xmas Song Lyrics 7 years ago
What is this from? It sounds really funny.

Pink Floyd – Wearing the Inside Out Lyrics 7 years ago

"Won't hear a sound
>He's curled into the corner
From my mouth
>But still the screen is flickering
I've spent too long
>With an endless stream of garbage to
On the inside out
>...curse the place
My skin is cold
>In a sea of random images
To the human touch
>The self-destructing animal
This bleeding heart's
>Waiting for the waves to break
Not beating much"

Why hello, Pink, wasn't expecting to ever see you again... These words remind of some of the images from The Wall. A deeply depressed man turning to television for solace. Think of the scene from the Wall movie, set to Nobody Home, where the main character is sitting in a huge wasteland with just a TV, and his eyes are glued to it instead of looking around at his (quite interesting) surroundings. "He's curled into the corner, but still the screen is flickering" makes me think of that scene, which scares me.

Of course I don't actually think this song has anything to do with The Wall. I think it's about depression and pain. Interesting that the narrator's problem is "wearing the inside out," when I would think one wants to hide one's true feelings inside when one is depressed.

It also interests me that the band has returned to the topic of isolation on this album. Shows that Roger wasn't the only one interested in it... These might be more personal feelings though.

Pink Floyd – Wearing the Inside Out Lyrics 7 years ago
Keep Talking on the same album also reminds me of an introvert's struggle. I've always thoughts of depression when I listened to this song though...

Pink Floyd – Coming Back to Life Lyrics 7 years ago
To me, this song sounds unbelievably like another song I've heard before... but I can't make out what it is... Does anyone else get a sense of deja vu listening to this?

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