"Broken Arm" as written by and Philip B Price....
i think i finally understand
the way a broken arm can hate the hand
the way a farmer hates his crop
the way a lawyer hates the honest cop
the smell of chamomile
beneath my sickle blade
will not comfort the cancer-stricken
or provide some common shade

i finally woke up at the drop
and told the driver that he had to stop
and then he got down on his knees
you know these actors always die in threes
the sound of dialog
translated by a hack
it gives me chills when she pays the bills and
still has time to surprise attack

come out come out come out and say it
why can't you come out and say it
come out come out come out and say it
why can't you come out and say it

the look of camouflage
on the ones who beg
the decider says i'm a fighter
but i can't feel my fucking legs


come out come out come out and say it
why can't you come out and say it
come out come out come out and say it
why can't you come out and say it
come out come out come out.

Lyrics submitted by prayingmantis84

Broken Arm song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis song = moving philosophical ear candy :)

    I don't know who these guys are, but I intend to find out! They have a totally unique sound although I can detect some Elliott Smith/Morrissey/Shins influences in the music. Not only a super catchy melody, but beautiful, thought-provoking lyrics to boot. Especially love the lines "the decider says I'm a fighter, but I can't feel my fucking legs."

    As far as the meaning, the whole first stanza seems to me to be expressing feelings of self-loathing, cynicism, futility, and nihilism. The message is very existentialist in my opinion. The idea that a farmer would hate his own livelihood seems bizarre and absurd, but also sadly makes sense in the world we are living in today.

    Actually, the whole first stanza reminds me very much of Albert Camus' "The Stranger," just from the degree of apathy that is so evident throughout. Feelings of alienation, isolation, and loneliness are imbued in us by our culture. We are taught to not like ourselves from the media, advertising, religion (Western not Eastern), movies, and everything else that we are bombarded with. It's considered a crime to feel good about yourself, and if you dare to show that you do, be prepared to be torn down by those who are jealous and insecure. Amazing how we can pull our socks up and cope with devastating terrorist attacks, hopeless wars, and environmental disasters, but we can't seem to cope with our own feelings of fear and unworthiness. Isn't there something wrong with that picture?
    trainspotteron July 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOK, so I feel like this song COULD be about a United States soldier having a sudden epiphany (I think I finally understand...) about the senselessness of war, and it's damaging effects.

    I think the 'sickle blade' is a metaphor for a military gun. Saying it 'will not comfort the cancer-stricken
    or provide some common shade' means even though the gun fights wars, it does absolutely nothing to effectively help people who are already dying (cancer-stricken) or are just trying to go about their daily lives (provide some common shade).

    'I finally woke up at the drop' means he's fully aware of just how rotten things have become. His eyes are "wide open." 'And told the driver that he had to stop' means he's refusing to fight any longer, and even pleads with his commanding officer (the driver) to do the same. 'You know these actors always die in threes' is a metaphor for the three branches of the US government. He calls them 'actors' because they pretend to be honest and good, when in reality they're flawed and corrupt, thus he predicts their inevitable downfall. 'The sound of dialog
    translated by a hack' means someone (most likely the US Intelligence Agency) is deliberately causing miscommunication, in hopes of continuing the war. 'It gives me chills when she pays the bills and
    still has time to surprise attack' means this guy is appalled that the nation keeps wasting money on hasty wars. He refers to the United States as "she."

    This guy wants everyone to admit that war IS useless (Come out, come out, come out and say it), and expresses frustration when no one will join him in protesting (Why can't you come out and say it?).

    In the last part, the soldier muses about how the military desperately tries to stop him from dropping out (the look of camouflage on the ones who beg), and about how the President (the decider) keeps on insisting that he serve overseas (says i'm a fighter). He's so terrified of war, that his legs shake to the point where he can't even feel them (but i can't feel my fucking legs).

    Well then, that's MY interpretation. But honestly, when I listen to this song, though, I don't really try to think of ANY of that, LOL. I just love the way the song sounds. What do YOU think?
    GimmeAJeepon September 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm a huge fan of Winterpills. They combine everything I love in music:beautiful melodies, great instrumentation and poetic lyrics. I think GimmeaJeep's assessment is very interesting. I definitely agree it's about the war and a soldier's regrets, however, given Winterpill's tendency to deal with things on a very personal level, I thought this was a disabled vet (whose either paralyzed or an amputee). I actully thought sickled blade was the mechanical arm to replace a missing arm. There are two versions of this song: one with missing legs and one where he can't feel his legs. i think this is the story of a vet who hates himself and can't shake the flashbacks of the incident that disabled him. The person who he is directing his hatred to is possibly his wife, whom he has become dependent on. There is the accusation underlying this of the hypocrisy that got him into this meaningless war and left him ignored and broken, hating himself and everyone else.

    So that's my take on it!
    Lisaamowitzon February 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with the comments above, but find the use of the phrase "the decider says i'm a fighter" very interesting within the context of others' interpretation - i think this is a clear jab at george w. bush who once famously proclaimed in an interview that "I'm the decider, and I decide what's best." (just do a google search for george bush decider and details of this interview will come up). This comment, I believe, was related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    wetsprocket23on January 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentChamomile is the national flower of Russia.
    And a sickle is one of the symbols of communism.

    I think the lyrics below refer to how communism failed in Russia and hurt the Russian people.
    Instead of representing the Russian people the communist government pursued it's own agenda, rather like a lawyer who hates an honest cop or a farmer who hates his crop etc.

    "the smell of chamomile
    beneath my sickle blade
    will not comfort the cancer-stricken
    or provide some common shade"

    Perhaps, cancer-stricken refers to the poor victims of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown?
    mikeWmgon July 19, 2011   Link

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