Living by the printed page
The landmarks of the age
I find... a coat that's poorly lined
Handed down from time to time
Waiting for the sun to shine

Standing here amidst this crowd
And wondering aloud
I find... a joke that's poorly timed
Thinking back to simpler days
Of waiting for a light to change

No one can take this away from me
The martyrs and madmen I learned of in school
Will remember my name
Some things are never the way they seem
Bury our centuries' wasted regrets
And remember this reign

Walking from the weary gloom
The din of empty rooms
I find... a poem that's poorly rhymed
And waiting for the walls to fall
I'm stunned by the failure of it all


It's only water falling down
It's only water in my tears
It's only water drowning me
It's only water for all these years

And waiting for the walls to fall
I'm stunned by the failure of it all



Lyrics submitted by rikdad

Remember My Name Lyrics as written by K. Gilbert Bill Bottrell

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing

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Remember My Name song meanings
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    General CommentThe lyrics come from Kevin Gilbert's website, and since he's the songwriter, they should be accurate.

    The song is dedicated to Vaclav Havel, which is essential knowledge for understanding the lyrics. He lived through the worst of Czech communism, oppressed as a vocal opponent of it, but lived to become the first president of a free post-communist Czechoslovakia (and then Czech Republic).

    The first two stanzas have similar structure. As a dissident playwright, he was living by the printed page and (certainly when communism actually fell) standing among a crowd. Dissonant elements of life under a (mis)managed economy and totalitarianism: shabby coats, some poor joke of how things should be. Underneath, a spirit of hope for better times: the sun will shine; a light will change [from red to green]. After the chorus, the third stanza also has a similar structure and symbology.

    When Havel rises to the leadership of the new democracy, his name will be remembered by all. "Martyrs" includes everyone oppressed by communism, but particularly calls to mind Alexander Dubcek, who tried to lead Czechoslovakia to freedom in 1968, but was then jailed and essentially internally exiled following a Soviet invasion. Dubcek lived to return to Prague and appear during 1989's revolution, but with Havel in the leading role. And "madmen" definitely refers to the tyrants and apparatchiks who held the country under their domination.

    And when it's all over, the walls fall (literally in Berlin and on other borders) and it's time to bury the past in memory only. And Havel, who saw communism crush two generations of Czechs while it claimed to be building a better future, is stunned by the failure of it all.

    Outstanding lyrics and an outstanding song.
    rikdadon November 30, 2006   Link

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