I'm sending you a letter
Because I don't think there's much time
Time to clear the cobwebs
Time to bear the crime

It's only a number
It's only a death
Another soldier died in action
The telegram regrets

I'm lying on a stretcher
They're lying to my face
There's no-one left to help me
I'm just a waste of space

It's a matter of moments
I'll be dead before you've read
There's blood on the table
And my back is full of lead

Lyrics submitted by Ministry, edited by sidkul2k

Synesthesia Lyrics as written by Steven John Wilson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing

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Synesthesia song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentI think I've got it, and I can't believe I'm the first to make the connection between the name of the song and the lyrics. Synesthesia is basically people giving meanings or having emotional attatchments to numbers. Here, Steve refers to the statistics of deaths during a war, how soldiers are listed as a number, and they become a meaningless statistic with no resonance. So the message in the song is that the death of a soldier is not just a number, that the number means something - hence the title "Synesthesia". It reminds me of the saying "One person dies, it's a tragedy. Ten people die, it's a statistic." The song is a brilliantly unique play on meanings, like a lot of Steven's older songs.
    SquishypuffDaveon December 09, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentVery good. Original melody. From the more ambient or simply electronic phase of the band. Pretty straight forward, and self explainory. It can talk about several stories. Though the main vibe seems to be the one of a soldier sending a letter to someone he probably cares about, telling him/her/them of the tragic situation he is now in. He got hurt (lying on a stretcher), and probably wounded pretty bad (they're lying to my face). This could be either the time (on which he supposebly writes the letter) of the actuall war going on on the battle field, or either on the base or something, or from when he is in the clinic or something in that order, cuz he's got a table to write on. If course that this could be dealing with a different perspective, one less physicall, maybe mental. And if it's mental then it's probably about losing in "a war" with love in a relation that didn't work out because of something that happened, possibly by the narrator himself (time to bear the crime), and if not love then out of desperation of live. It's a very bitter text no doubt. The condition in it is so fragile and cynical (I'll be dead before you've read). Not being in control of the actions/consequences that surrounds that man. The line "Time to clear the cobwebs" is so good. Like, waking up out of a deep sleep or even a coma (if you want to go to the more extreme explanation). It puts a picture in my mind of a child like soul that its innocence is being crashed. The chorus is also very cynich and sounds tragically exeptive of the situation. It's either out of the deep despair, or because the narrator deserves it (from a different view of things).
    Wakeboard_Snufkinon July 23, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGreat, great song. Synesthesia is often experienced as one is dying, if I'm not mistaken.
    I was delirious with a fever once, then overdosed on medication, and was listening to this while I started slipping from peaceful numbness to panicked agony. I can feel it every time I listen.
    I think it's a straightforward song, no need to look too deeply into it.
    The extended version of this I like better than the original.
    mammadaddioon March 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat lyrics... reminds me of roger waters' army rants on his later pink floyd work
    plexuson August 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat a great song, It could be about a soldier who was is mortaly wounded and is sending a letter back some. However, Steve's lyrics can mean many different things, who knows, i don't really see how someone could write a letter right before they die, so mabey this is what the person is saying to themselves in there head before they die.
    [Service to busy]on May 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about how leaders send people to war to die, pretend to regret it, and then send more off to die.
    glorifiedg79on June 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is quite possibly my favorite PT song. Ive read that synesthesia is what mrvenneti said, connecting two senses together. Ive also heard that its a phenomenon that you experience right before you die. Everything you see turns into different, vibrant colors...that theory would fit the lyrics of the song given the subject is obviously dying...perhaps as he's writing the letter, all the letters in the note are starting display these different colors...
    sonoflifeon May 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought it was about a guy tripping on acid And the whole army/soldier thing being just a metaphor. I thought that because before the song the man says:"What you're listening to are musicians performing psychedelic music under the influence of a mind altering chemical called..." I also thought that maybe LSD produces something similar to synesthesia (I'm just guessing I've never taken acid). Another reason why I thought that was because at the end of the song Steven says - "Feeling good. Feeling free." Which sounds like how someone might feel under the influence of psychedelics.
    It's just an opinion, I'm not sure that it's true.
    roylevanonyon July 16, 2019   Link
  • -1
    General CommentReally beautiful music with amazing lyrics to boot!
    Dark_Toweron June 09, 2006   Link

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