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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    My InterpretationI'll give it a go analyzing this song. As always, shearwaters songs are full with symbols of nature, personal change and succint but very powerful lines that leave a lot of room for interpretation.

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

    "Roman machinery" could be the way how to shape children to behave and fit into society in general. The same happens to him, he is growing up, having a hard time to fit in "the shots collected". And they are "cast among the building sites" as if they are placed in the middle of the world, not really knowing what to do to.

    And then the "Murmurs in the dark confessional" are the long awaited calls of the "animal life" to be finally freed by this "roman machinery". But they are only murmurs. It is like an awakening you have expected, but you can't quite grasp it. So it just "rides along the road, ephemeral".
    martin1074on July 31, 2019   Link

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