I became accustomed to a kind of social servitude
and no one, I mean no one, could accept what I had become
Selfish, bitter, weak
Enough to make you sick
And lately, I've been feeling there are bits of life I'm stealing
Get me home

At times it seems I will not help
but it's just that I must save myself
from fear that blankets me like mist
on an optimist who insists
it's the simple things that crush
and I'm crying far too much
so much so that I'm thinking my control on life is shrinking

There's a light on in my head and I'm thinking what I said
All the freedom in my brain, I'm alright now
I'm just thinking what to say
Sorry doesn't seem to wash
when there's truths around that I have quashed
and no one, I mean no one, can depress me more than I can
So does that make me weak or should that make me sick?
But lately I've been feeling that I'm gonna give up breathing

There's a light on in my head and I'm thinking what I said
All the fever in my brain, I'm alright now
I can even take the pain
There's a light on in my head and I'm thinking what I said
All the fever in my brain, I'm alright now
I can even take the pain

Lyrics submitted by let it fall

American Trilogy Lyrics as written by Emma Shearer Pollock Alun Trevor Woodward

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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American Trilogy song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentthese lyrics perfectly illustrate feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and depression. i think the lyrics are pretty straightforward, so there's not really a need to decipher. but yeah, so simple and straightforward, yet so powerful. heartbreaking and amazing.
    deerMAUSon February 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti LOVE this song! sends chills... all over! i havent rly tohught bout what theyre trying to say (shrug, why complicate beauty?) i cant beleive im the 1st to post a comment on this lush song! biily! no1 has any taste in beele music! :p
    elregeoon September 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is way too sad.
    each time i listen to it i feel weaker
    its abt being absolutely powerless to ur life. nothings within ur control, not even u urself. and u start to feel disappointed in urself bcos of the vy instinctive protective measures that u r unable to perform for urself.
    the freedom in ur brain is the most dangerous weapon.
    this is abt depression. i had been there. and theres no song out there that illustrates it so well as this one does.
    whatsinanameon December 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is definitely about a person going through a deep depression, but I also think it is optimistic in that it hints that he is climbing out of his depression.

    "All the fever in my brain, I'm alright now, I can even take the pain."

    Meaning that despite everything, he isn't going to give up because he's learning to take the pain. Even though life is hard and at times dreary it's not worth giving up.
    SavageGeniuson June 12, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt seems to sum up someone close to me before they committed suicide. The light on in the head is the incessant thoughts, turning over recent events. Selfish, bitter, weak was how they saw themselves after their first and second attempts - adding to their woes.

    There is more I could add but I guess you can get the picture...
    mascamon November 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song - reminds me of tougher times though. I like the last line 'I'm alright now I can even take the pain'.
    jhollowayon November 24, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIt's interesting to see people with mixed views over whether this song is upbeat or downbeat.

    It's clear it's about depression. I'd also add that's it's about Alun Woodward's depression rather than someone else's. I think that when the Delgados write about other people they write in the second person.

    Personally I think the positiveness in the music and lyrics is genuine. I'd say the same about Alun's other songs on the album. They're optimistic in a fragile way. They're not the same as some of the wry, slightly bitter, songs on Hate.

    The last lines in the choruses make it clear. I'm alright now, I can even take the pain. The worst has passed. Life is still difficult, but I can get through it.
    tiredstarson October 26, 2013   Link

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