Working through death's pain
Last night I swear I felt your touch, gentle and warm
The hair stood on my arms - how, how, how?
Show me the way, show me the way
Show me the way to shake a memory
Show me the way, show me the way
Show me the way to shake a memory

I flipped my forelock, I twitched my withers, I reared and bucked
I could not put my rider aground
All these fine memories are fucking me down
I dreamed it was a dream that you were gone
I woke up feeling so ripped by reality
Love is the king of the beasts
And when it gets hungry it must kill to eat
Love is the king of the beasts
A lion walking down city streets

I fell back asleep some time later on
And I dreamed the perfect song
It held all the answers, like hands laid on
I woke halfway and scribbled it down
And in the morning, what I wrote, I read
It was hard to read at first but here's what it said:
"Eid ma clack shaw zupoven del ba
Mertepy ven seinur cofally ragdah"
"Eid ma clack shaw zupoven del ba
Mertepy ven seinur cofally ragdah"

Show me the way, show me the way
Show me the way to shake a memory
Show me the way, show me the way
Show me the way to shake a memory

"Eid ma clack shaw zupoven del ba
Mertepy ven seinur cofally ragdah"
Show me the way, show me the way
Show me the way to shake a memory
Show me the way, show me the way
Show me the way to shake a memory

Lyrics submitted by askforgiveness, edited by johnsstar, smallwonderrobot, shinylib

Eid Ma Clack Shaw song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentFirst, I love this song. Second, this song is something of a joke...Bill's dark humor coming through. The character in the song dreams a way to resolve his grief but wakes to find it was utter nonsense. That's because there is no solution to grief. It's the rider you cannot put aground. You're stuck with it and you're dreaming if you think you can escape it. Ha ha! Good one Bill.
    Candlemason November 30, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI don't think it's any language, it's made up. He's saying he 'dreamed the perfect song' but of course that's impossible so when he looks at what he wrote down in the night it's nonsense, gibberish.
    thepowercuton May 12, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAh! böwakawa poussé, poussé. That is my answer to anyone asking what the song he wrote means.
    Zyblorgon June 08, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI actually think it's because you can't read in your sleep. Dreaming takes place in a different lobe of the brain. Any words read in your dream would be jibberish.... Didn't anyone see that episode of the old Batman series? lol
    heyitsdoyleon February 28, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song meaning should be obvious to anyone with any experience with lucid dreaming or hypnagogic thoughts.

    There are two different parts/dreams that he has in this song

    1st part
    he dreams of his lover that she was with her
    "dreamed it was a dream you were gone"

    then he realizes that it was a dream and not real
    he feels "ripped by reality"
    then he goes on to draw comparisons between love and the king of the beasts.

    says that it must kill to eat if it gets hungry(should be self explanatory)

    2nd dream-
    he goes back to sleep.
    he has a second dream shortly after.

    the second dream is "the perfect" song. there are several parts to this statement

    1)when you lucid dream or even are just entering the rudimentary dream stages, oftentimes you will hear wonderful beautiful music that is so moving and meaningful however, when you awake it is hard to consolidate what you just subconsciously created. As a musician, this happens to me all the time. On a side note there are several notable musicians who use dream music as their inspiration for creating music.
    2)he wakes half way and scribbled down the song lyrics which he had created in his dream. Words that enter and leave your mind when you are dreaming/in hypnagogia sound meaningful and sensical at the time, these often are snippets of speech that you hear over your day and sometimes in other peoples voice or even your own. this happens more or less to everyone who has experienced lucid dreaming or remained concious in the hypnagogic state

    however when you think about the thoughts you had(if you remember them) they are absolute jibberish many times. Sometimes they aren't. Sometimes they are so complicated that if you trace them back far enough there is a meaning, but this is hard to do.(ive written several poems in my sleep before)

    my cousin described the dream speak for him as words like "denim chicken" things nonsensical and abstract. It varies from person to person.

    ANYWAYS, bill callahan is inspired to write a song, but when he scribbles down the lyrics later and re reads what he had written he discovers that it is all nonsense.

    From this several other interpretations can be drawn.
    hes making a statement about art and music as a whole

    the song, like the actual song, the one i'm reviewing is the song he created in his dreams. (like created a song in his dream about creating a song in his dream) this is the one im leaning towards, because I've had epiphanies like this in dreams before. (Example: i had a dream that I was the only person in the whole world and everyone else was a figment of my imagination(solipsism) and then I awoke and realized i was dreaming and it was actually true in the context of my dream that everything around me WAS a figment of my imagination)

    stuff like that happens when you WILD/MILD/Lucid dream occasionally.

    that in my opinion was my initial understanding of the song. I would like to think that is what he meant, because if it was, he is a genius.
    thackerstakceron November 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEid ma clack shaw
    Zupoven del ba
    Mertepy ven seinur
    Cofally ragdah

    What language is it? What is the meaning of that?
    Fish Mawon May 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBill Callahan's IQ is 140

    Are you smarter than Bill Callahan?
    bohemiandonuton June 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationAmazing song - perfect delivery. Chilling.

    I have two theories on the "answers":
    1) He was half asleep when he scribbled the solution. The dream did actually have the answers,
    but he lost them by writing them in that state.
    2) He is begging to be shown the way by his lover's ghost. The ghost visits him in a dream and
    gives him the answers. However, the language is that of the dead, and while he understood it
    in a state of sleep, he cannot translate the answers into anything meaningful while awake.
    engineer_vaon June 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is the perfect song.
    It plods along beautifully, gently lifting and falling until when you get to just after two minutes and thirty seconds when we're catapulted into the most brilliant and uplifting chorus (not actually sure if the 'Eid Ma Clack Shaw' bit would be classes as the chorus because I feel the structure of the song is a little more unusual in it's structure than it appears).
    As for the lyrics, I’m stumped as to what they mean but they are articulated perfectly and I couldn't even begin to count the times I’ve cranked the volume up at just the right time and sang along not having a clue what I’m singing. Though I’m a big Cocteau Twins fan so I’ve been singing along to made up words for years. . . ...

    I don't think this song would have appeared out of place on Lou Reed's 'Transformer' album, does anybody agree?
    JOHNSANZ2010on November 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmetaphors aside, this is what i got:

    "I flipped my forelock, I twitched my withers, I reared and bucked
    I could not put my rider aground"

    "I fell back asleep some time later on... I woke halfway..."

    it's a horse (horses "sleep" several broken periods of time a day) that dreams about its lover (a rider?), and that writes the perfect song. of course, when it wakes up and checks what it wrote it's gibberish, like gary larson's "cow tools". it has mental life but is deprived of sensemaking.

    amazing song.
    juancarrilloon January 27, 2010   Link

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