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Pat Benatar – We Belong Lyrics 9 years ago
Although their relationship is challenging, the investment of emotion and time that they have made in each other presents them with no choice but to press on, for better or worse. As lightning flashes and thunder inevitably follows, they are forever linked - regardless of whether they accept that fact or reject it.

He knows just what to say to hurt her in an argument and she has a hard time communicating. She often sits in silence when they are arguing — while he talks at her - because she just doesn’t know how to respond to him. Even if she felt strong enough to fight back in like manner, she is not sure that the point would be. It would solve nothing. It seems that his insecurity about their relationship is a primary culprit in much of their fighting - "the doubts that complicate [his] mind."

The fights have become habitual — almost routine. Their interactions are often unhealthy and prescribed by previous fights to the point where the truth of the situation is obscured by the same tired phrases and rhetoric they always use with each other in every fight. They are exhausted and know the relationship is dysfunctional. They can no longer see a peaceful future ahead of them. Even so, there is no going back to the days before they were in a relationship. They have already intertwined their lives to such a degree that turning back is unthinkable.

The last verse offers no solutions. She says to him essentially, “Let’s just go to sleep and try not ache anymore.” She wants them to do the best they can to start fresh the next day, because she doesn’t want to leave him. She will continue on faith that a solution can be found one day based upon nothing more than the fact that they care about each other far more than either of them realize and because everything she knows and everything she sees is linked in some way to him. Since life separated from one another is not an option, they have to just take a break from fighting, rest and hope for better times.

Coldplay – Viva la Vida Lyrics 9 years ago
The song uses imagery from history and the Bible to describe the ceaseless rise and fall of empires and the emptiness of the pursuit of power — but only as a symbolic way of describing a man’s fall from grace and his drop in status.

The song references watershed moments in history when the world suddenly changed. The British Empire indicated the security of the royal lineage by shouting the phrase, “The King is Dead. Long Live the King.” However, the song title “Viva la Vida” challenges the importance of power and control. Rather than “Long Live the King” it is “Long Live Life.” Viva la Vida is a painting by Frida Kahlo showing simple cut watermelon with words “Viva la Vida” etched beneath it. In other words, the measure of life is in the simple things like enjoying freshly cut watermelon, not in waging destructive wars for power.

The art on the album cover is from a painting by Delacroix called “Liberty Leading the People.” It depicts a woman, symbolizing Liberty, standing on a pile of dead bodies and waving the French flag after the revolution. This event marked the final act in the Age of Enlightenment and also the collapse of the British Empire. The power structures changed forever and monarchs became figure heads.

The same artist painted other significant historic power changes. One painting, called "The Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople", depicts the event that ended the Roman Empire. The dynasty of Roman Emperors that had ruled for more than 1200 years finally ended after the Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople.

Another target of the Crusades was the City of Jerusalem. The so called Kingdom of Jerusalem was established during the first Crusade and lasted for two hundred years before it was seized and captured by Muslim forces. When Jerusalem was under attack it would ring the bells of the city.

“I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing, Roman Calvary quires are singing.”

During the Middle Ages, important officials had unrestricted access to come and go through the castle / city gates. This is where the phrase “Key to the City” originated. Someone having a key to the city had power and importance. But power is fleeting and there are always revolutionaries lying in wait to seize control. One minute you have dominance, the next you are insignificant and ruled by others. One minute you are pulling the strings, the next you dangling from them.

“I used to rule the World…One minute I had the key, next the walls were closed on me.”
[I am] “just a puppet on a lonely string”
“I sweep the streets I used to own”
“Revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate.”

Chance and random fortune play a large part in the acquisition or loss of power. It is not necessarily the best ruler who takes or maintains control, but the ruler most favored by the societal or political whims of the moment.

“I used to roll the dice”
“It was the wicked and wild wind that blew down the doors to let me in”

Now in hindsight, he can see that his time in power was never stable. He was always in danger of losing it. He can only look back on his former status with nostalgia. Once the sun never set on the British Empire, but today it is a “small, dreaming island.” As Winston Churchill said, “If I were to be born again, I would wish to be born in the United States. Your country is the future of the world . . . Great Britain has passed its zenith.” Looking back with longing for the past caused Lot’s wife, in the Bible, to be turned into a pillar of salt. There is nostalgia and regret in a fall from prominence.

“I discovered that my castles stand upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand.”
“People couldn’t believe what I’d become” (been reduced to)

Historically, military might was not the only means to wield power. Often power was secured through religious means, expanded into new territories by missionaries. The focus of the song, however, is that there is no honesty in attempts to wield power through religion or arms.

The songwriter asks an unnamed woman, his audience, to replace the military and religious tools he once used to wield power and to be his mirror — a symbol of self-reflection and vanity. In other words, he asks her to give him back the sense of being important and worthwhile, which he no longer feels now that he has lost his status. Without her, a life of conquest is nothing but a dishonest, meaningless waste. But she has presumably left him now that he lost his position or because he was manipulative and status driven.

“Now in the morning I sleep alone”
“Once you would go, there was never, never an honest word. That was when I ruled the world.”
“Be my mirror, my sword and shield — my missionary in a foreign field.”

He feels like everything about him is a lie and though he can’t say for sure, he feels like he is doomed - that he will be judged for his actions and be turned away from St. Peter’s gates. He is terrified of that possibility and wants a change.

“For some reason I can’t explain, I know St. Peter won’t call my name.”

Although the imagery is grand in scope, the song is just about a man who loses his position and status. Due to his actions he also loses his girl. That results in him realizing the quest for status was meaningless and that his heart should have been fulfilled by her respect for him. Now as he sleeps alone and sweeps the streets he used to own, all he wants is for his self-image and worth to be restored by his girl returning to him. He no longer wants power. He wants to live life simply and honestly with the woman he loves. “Long Live Life — Viva La Vida”

“Oh - who would ever want to be king?”

The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony Lyrics 9 years ago
"Cause it's a bittersweet symphony this life.
Trying to make ends meet, try to find SOME MONEY (not somebody) then you die."

It is the same idea as the previous verse - the emptiness a materialistic life. Finding "somebody" - a significant other - would be a part of the meaning he is seeking. Anyway, you can see what he is singing clearly on the video where he is walking down the street in London.

The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony Lyrics 9 years ago
This is a brilliant song. It is about the feeling of being trapped and powerless to change your behavior or your life due to circumstances beyond your control. It is about the sense of desperation you feel as your life passes before your eyes and you struggle unsuccessfully to control and shape it. It is about the perpetual conflict between the path you want to follow and the path you are compelled to follow.

Walking down a busy London street is a metaphor for how he feels about his life. He walks down the street and is almost hit by a passing car, runs into people, walks over a car hood that is in his path, etc. As a result everyone is annoyed — even angry with him. When a young woman confronts him physically he calmly and resolutely moves forward along his path without a trace of animosity or anger. People are critical and disdainful of the path he is walking — insisting he should be able to avoid these obstacles— to choose a better, safer and more conscientious path to walk. But he feels completely powerless to change his speed and direction. His path is mandated and not chosen by him.

He knows emphatically that he could be different — be a better person and live a different, more meaningful life. He knows if it were merely up to him he could change (“I can change, I can change, I can change”), but the circumstances of his life have cast him into a rigid mold that keeps him on a steady trajectory, limiting his choices. It isn’t his lack of ability, intelligence, imagination or flexibility that is holding him back (“I’m a million different people from one day to the next”) but the circumstances of the culture / world into which he was born.

He wants more meaning in his life. But the overriding importance of the pursuit of making a living is always threatening to squeeze out his uniqueness, nullify his aptitudes and mold his path to a formal structure of daily life that he had no part in designing. He wants to be a better person. Yet, he continually finds himself walking down the same familiar self-destructive paths, despite his effort to avoid them. There is never a time when he can break free of this mold because he is stuck in a pattern of behavior until he dies.

He can’t accept this. Because this is the only life he will ever have, he is pressed with frequent internal anguish. He is on the verge of breaking and is walking through life in a fog. He doesn’t generally pray, but he is getting desperate. He gets down on his knees to pray — if only to hear the sound his own voice recognizing the frustration he feels. Any sound of compassion - any recognition of his pain - is better than the silence. He prays sincerely, earnestly and desperately. While he is pleading and making his case, his prayer is like a melody that helps him to feel better. It is a song that clears his mind, grounds him and makes him feel like he can break free of his mold and change his life. But it is a false hope. When he finishes praying there is only silence. God does not answer him. The airwaves are clean without a trace of anything but static. For all his singing, no one is singing to him now. He has no idea what to do and finds himself just as discouraged and helpless as before. There must be more to life than this (“Vanity, vanity: all is vanity and striving after the wind” ).

This experience is a microcosm for the whole of his life — a Bittersweet Symphony. There are periods of clarity, beauty and temporary relief in his life. Yet, it is all encapsulated by an overall theme that is heart rending — like waking suddenly from a warm, peaceful dream to find that you are back in cold, dark room — unchanged and unmoved by your dreams.

He can’t accept the path his life has taken, but he has no choice. He will be in perpetual conflict with his situation. He is immobilized in his mold and has no choice but to continue down this path, accepting all its adverse consequences, until it the path finally comes to an end at the place “where all things meet” - Death.

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