a hound's tooth coat pockets are bulging / with nebutal bought from some doctor / who also was bought to keep those pockets full / the face was lost but partly recovered / so half asleep and half in a frenzy / one side tries to smile enough for two / pictures remain split at the image / cupboards well-stocked with things to diminish / the pain that comes with clarity and mirrors in well-lit rooms / she checks in at dwindling daylight / a week up front asks not to be bothered / the registry will show her mother's name / locks the door sits on the bed just a minute before / she picks her purse up off the floor / pulling out what she needs / warming her wrists in promising water / somebody's love another one's daughter / readies herself apologizing to the motel maids / double-edged and super blue / vertically letting the life from you / casting a new darkness through the room / angels lay their odds on you / know not quite what they should do / only that they can't quite tear themselves from the view

Lyrics submitted by PLANES

Conrad song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis song is a loose jumbling together of a few figures and movies in popular culture.

    The title itself most likely refers to the character, Conrad, from the Robert Redford movie, "Ordinary People." Conrad is a young man who is involved in a boating accident that inadvertently kills his more outgoing and well-received brother. His mother resents him for it and emotionally isolates herself behind a cold mask of normality. He sees a psychiatrist over the course of the movie, and is able to gradually accept her for her distance. She eventualy rejects his emotional overtures to her, and is awaken towards the end of the movie to the sound a cab leaving with her inside. He initially blames himself to which his father scolds him. They eventually embrace and finally connect.

    The first part of the song is probably lifted from the life story of the mid-twentieth century movie icon, Montgomery Clift, who at one point in his career rivaled Marlon Brando and James Dean in regards to looks and talent. Montgomery Clift would suffer a devastating drunk driving accident after leaving Elizabeth Taylor's house in Hollywood. This would require a major reconstruction of his face, leaving him forever dependent on pain killers and barbituates until the day he died from a heart attack most likely caused by his alcohol and drug addictions. He was often known to wear a houndstooth coat and taken Numbutals.

    It is the latter part of the song that bends the gender from a male Montgomery Clift/Conrad character to a female who signs in under the identity of her mother, and eventually commits suicide. This is the part that I am lost for ideas. Perhaps it was intentional for legal reasons, or simply make the emotional connection by the audience to the character and song more universal?

    -Timberwolves (James)
    timberwolveson May 07, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment nembutol is a powerful barbiturate that slows the nervous system down. It's taken mainly as a sleep aid but doesn't always put the user to sleep. This is what is making her face half asleep... The frenzy is the reason she was prescribed the drug in the first place. This woman didn't kill herself because she was depressed or ugly (she may have been both,) she did because she was on too many prescription dugs
    alkaline leoon June 09, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno comments? come on this song has a real deep meansing(almost all of blakes songs do though). This is a very sad song , am i alone in thinking that ? i guess suicide is hard to talk about,the word makes me shiver... (im only 15 so if im wrong about the meaning sorry heh)
    Tearenon August 05, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt is about suicide...the girl takes anti-depressants because she thinks she's ugly and then she decides to kill herself. She checks into a hotel under her mother's name so no one will know she's there, and she checks in for a week so the won't find her in time to save her. She's gonna do it by slitting her wrists with a double edged razor and the angels look down to see if she really does it...thats what i get from it anyway.
    JetsToBrazil27on August 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think maybe she had an accident and her face was scarred? And she looks normal on one side but not on the other. Perhaps one side is paralised..she takes drugs to ease the pain but she never recovered fully from the accident. And sh can't handle going thru life being scarred anymore. But it is just a guess.
    Diliferon August 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'd say you're right Dilifer, the lines:

    / the face was lost but partly recovered / so half asleep and half in a frenzy / one side tries to smile enough for two / pictures remain split at the image /

    she's on antidepressants from the accident?
    noregretsrighton September 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is amazing. Blakes story telling abillity shines through with such sincerity......I feel just as helpless as the angels do!
    FreakUnderGlasson October 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was thinking that the part with "two faces" kind of showed how she had two sides to her. She would be super depressed, but smiled over it all, and looked fine, though she hurt inside.
    SavestheWeezon March 03, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with Dilifer about the scarred face. the lines "the pain that comes with clarity and mirrors in well-lit rooms / she checks in at dwindling daylight" Could mean the girl gets pain when people can see her face clearly, so she checks in when its a little darker so her scars aren't as visible??? Dunno, but it's a great song.
    impossibledreameron April 09, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthow enlightening!

    would Conrad be her mother's last name, then?
    typoon May 13, 2003   Link

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