Born inside the gates of the family
Hardened by a Roman machinery
Cast among the building sites
The coiling wires, the shots collected

Called out in the wake of a lottery
Held inside the family gathering
Mirrored beams and doglike stretch
The wandering association

Murmurs in the dark confessional
And it rides along the road, ephemeral
As in animal life

Rusting in the shade of the batteries
Hanging from a rope in the gallery
Pacing down the balance beam of half-remembered holidays

No rush of light, no sign of belonging
No joy in building, love in the finishing
Chasing down an anodyne and half-reflected radiance

To hide below the ancient barricade
In chambers like the rooms a swallow made
For an animal life

Charging down the maw of the ocean
I wanna come close, I wanna come closer
I held your name inside my mouth through all the days of wandering

But called out from the mouth of oblivion
Cast away like dogs from the shelter
I shed the dulling armor plates
That once collected radiance

And surging at the blood's perimeter
The half-remembered wild interior
Of an animal life

Lyrics submitted by inverarity

Animal Life song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationThe lyrics are obviously poetic, and they probably are meant to be open to a variety of interpretations. A couple of themes seem to be consistent among several verses, however. One of them is described above by Rachelizabeth, a theme of transformation from the artificial to the natural that presents itself in the verse"I shed the dulling armor plates that once collected radiance, and surging at the blood's perimeter, the half-remembered wild interior". Family, holidays or family gatherings are mentioned in 3 places, "Born inside the gates of the family", "Held inside the family gathering", and "Pacing down the balance beam of half-remembered holidays". There are also multiple references to either shelter, the sense of being safe and covered, or nudity, and the shedding of barricades. Having shelter versus being exposed or nude is a very fundamental concern for any animal: "Murmurs in the dark confessional", "Rusting in the shade of the batteries", "hide below the ancient barricade", and "I wanna come close, I wanna come closer" are all images of shelter, closeness, and comfort, whereas on the other hand, "Cast away like dogs from the shelter, I shed the dulling armor plates", "Charging down the maw of the ocean", "rides along the road, ephemeral", and "surging at the blood's perimeter" evoke images of freedom and escape from confinement. Some of the "freedom" verses are sung in the same breath as the "shelter" verses, so there's obviously a sort of mixing of the two themes in the song... and isn't that what any animal wants? To be both sheltered and free?

    Ultimately, the song defies analysis, because the passion that he sings it with and the beauty that it evokes aren't something that can be logically analyzed or figured out.
    kevinroyon February 07, 2014   Link

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