Once I wanted to be the greatest
No wind or waterfall could stall me
And then came the rush of the flood
Stars at night turned deep to dust

Melt me down
Into big black armour
Leave no trace of grace
Just in your honor
Lower me down
Culprit south
Make 'em wash a space in town
For the lead
And the dregs of my bed
I've been sleeping
Lower me down
Pin me in
Secure the grounds
For the later parade

Once I wanted to be the greatest
Two fists of solid rock
With brains that could explain any feeling

Lower me down
Pin me in
Secure the grounds
For the lead
And the dregs of my bed
I've been sleeping
For the later parade

Once I wanted to be the greatest
No wind or waterfall could stall me
And then came the rush of the flood
The stars at night turned deep to dust


Lyrics submitted by caffeino

"The Greatest" as written by Chan Marshall

Lyrics © WORDS & MUSIC A DIV OF BIG DEAL MUSIC LLC, BMG Rights Management

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The Greatest song meanings
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  • +8
    General CommentI think this song is about giving up on your dreams/hopes/goals because you've lost confidence in yourself due to obstacles in life.

    The funeral/burial images symbolize giving up on life; it's a resignation to "death" of hope. Death is painted as an inevitable end, but also peaceful (sleeping) and protective (armor) because it's the opposite of life with its hopes & disappointments. She's tired & giving up, when once she felt strong & capable.


    -------
    Once I wanted to be the greatest - she had great hopes & dreams for herself
    No wind or waterfall could stall me - she felt confidence in herself, able to take on any obstacle to her goals
    And then came the rush of the flood - reality hits
    Stars of night turned deep to dust - her dreams dissolved in the face of reality

    Melt me down
    Into big black armor - this is possibly referring to a coffin; it's an armor against life & its disappointments. If you're dead, you cannot feel. This is about a death of hope though; if you cannot hope, then you cannot be disappointed. It's a kind of protection from bad feelings, to go numb.

    Leave no trace of grace
    suggesting your honor - resignation that she will not be the greatest, that she will not leave any significant mark

    Lower me down
    To culprit south
    Make 'em wash a space in town
    For the lead
    And the dregs of my bed
    I've been sleepin' - the idea of sleeping is peaceful; death is painted as a relief from the disappointments of failing to meet her dreams
    Lower me down
    Pin me in
    Secure the grounds
    For the later parade - funeral & burial imagery for the theme of giving up on life

    Once I wanted to be the greatest
    Two fists of solid rock - she used to feel strong, determined & capable
    With brains that could explain
    Any feeling - she used to feel smart & able to articulate herself


    The rest of the song repeats the funeral/burial imagery.
    voodoodollyon October 03, 2011   Link

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