Before you advertise
All the fame is implied
With no fortune unseen
Sell the rights
To your blight
Time-machine

While I'm dulled by excess
And a cynic at best
My art imitates crime
Paid for by
The allies
So invest

Now I'm finding truth is a ruin
Nauseous end that nobody is pursuing
Staring into glassy eyes
Mesmerized
There's a vintage thirst returning
But I'm sheltered by my channel-surfing
Every famine virtual
Retro vertigo

A tribute to false memories
With conviction
Cheap imitation
Is it fashion or disease?
Post-ironic
Remains a mouth to feed

Sell the rights
To your blight
And you'll eat

See the vintage robot wearied
Then awakened by revision theories
Every famine virtual
Retro vertigo


Lyrics submitted by NoiseCore

Retrovertigo Lyrics as written by Trevor R Dunn

Lyrics © Hipgnosis Songs Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Retrovertigo song meanings
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31 Comments

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  • +4
    General Comment

    This song really sends me in alot of directions, i see some word issues being raised as well as issues with fads and media.

    Before you advertise All the fame is implied
    With no fortune unseen (The success of trends such as music and fasion are pre-empted by the mass media) Sell the rights To your blight Time-machine (By giving into these trends you put your social status on the line, because if you decide to stop, you will be regarded as an outcast and forced into the blight)

    While I'm dulled by excess And a cynic at best (despite having much avaliable it all appears transparent to the writer and really does nothing for him) My art imitates crime Paid for by The allies (this could be a hit at the large ammount of planned plagarism that goes on in fashion and entertainment) So invest Now I'm finding truth is a ruin Nauseous end that nobody is pursuing (By following trends, noone is being "truthfull" to themselves or others, rather they are just creating false images of themselves leaving their true self in "ruin") Staring into glassy eyes Mesmerized There's a vintage thirst returning But I'm sheltered by my channel-surfing (everythings repeating itself, trend wise and the writer has grown bored?) Every famine virtual (North America hasn't actually SEEN famine but rather just watched it on TV) Retrovertigo A tribute to false memories With conviction Cheap imitation Is it fashion or disease? Post-ironic Remains a mouth to feed Sell the rights To your blight And you'll eat (I think thi smight hint at not only trends of the media, fashion etc but consumption itself, basically if you dont follow the social trend of getting a job then you won't be able to eat) See the vintage robot wearied Then awakened by revision theories (Trends are usually just revamped versions of old trends?) Every famine virtual Retrovertigo

    coreysuckson October 13, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    It's obviously about trends that come around...and how lame the narrator thinks the idea of retro is on an ever spinning wheel..it will always come back again...no thought to it, just churning out former glory's.

    That and maybe a spin on how every dimwit is a sucker for marketing ploys.

    paulbrowneart.co.uk

    one who waitson November 12, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    A lot of it sounds like advertising, people just go along with whatever is shoved intheir face. When he looks for truth (the vintage thirst) no one cares, they are "glassy eyed" Whatever crummy job he got is his "art" which is basically screwing other people over too, maybe he is in advertising.

    Whats kind of scary is how much I like this song without fully understanding what it is about, but i guess that is up to me.

    mikehollidayon July 25, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Thumbs up to CoreySucks, awesome.

    Yeah, I always got that this song was about recycled junk. There's a growing problem of recycled entertainment in pop culture, and like anything else the more copies of something you make the lower the remaining quality, until you hit nothingness

    goldsacon October 31, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I think that "retrovertigo" refers to the dizziness one feels when looking back at the immense stretch of time before the present, the eternal void of all the "once weres". the strange disconcertion at staring at something that isn't real.

    "see the vintage robot wearied, then awakened by revision theories, every famine [is] virtual"

    The vintage robot is of course Everyman, it is you and it is I.

    History is a lie, a mythology created to avoid having to actually experience the sensation of genuinely looking at "the past". It is only too human of a response to look at anything in "the past" and read into it our thoughts, fears, hopes or dreams of today and for tomorrow.

    It is extremely stressfull and exhausting to challenge what one has held to be true for as long as one can remember, but it can eventually lead to an awakening.

    Every famine virtual. . . Sell the rights to your blight, and you'll eat. . .

    See the "Irish potato famine".

    Personally, I think this song is about a lot more than media.

    untermenschfurimmeron April 03, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    It puts me in mind of seeing the starving on TV, and feeling distanced from them, safely ensconced in privilege ("I'm sheltered by my channel-surfing" "Staring into glassy eyes, mesmerised" "Every famine virtual").

    "Is it fashion or disease? / Post-ironic, remains a mouth to feed...", people sneer at ads for charities to feed the Third World starving, but the hungry are still there. "Now I'm finding truth is a ruin / Nauseous end that nobody is pursuing" -- those who clothe themselves in irony are in denial about what they know, and have given up on the ugly 'truth'.

    The concept of 'retrovertigo' could tie into that ironic detachment -- the enormity of the terrible truth towering in front of you makes you 'dizzy', and you retreat by emotionally detaching yourself.

    Meanwhile, to gain any benefit, these starving people must be 'advertised', and in a way, 'sell the rights to their blight'.

    I don't think every line in the song could be tied to a single cohesive theme, but it's interesting to try. Bloody great tune, my favourite Mr Bungle song.

    samadrielon November 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    What I decided to do was basically re-write the song in a more common and/or layman way that I think tells my interpretation of each line.

    In very quick summary my interpretation is that the artist completely admits to selling out to achieve success and is stuck continuing the charade achieve more success just like everyone else.

    Before you advertise (Before you call me out or state things about me) All the fame is implied (I wanted all the success you accuse me of selling out to achieve) With no fortune unseen (I’ve wanted everything I have achieved and more) Sell the rights (You should try and capitalize…) To your blight (on these ideas with your own cynicism…) Time-machine (that you think you’ve had for so long) While I'm dulled by excess (I am never satisfied) And a cynic at best (and have a fairly negative view of the world) My art imitates crime (I capitalize on my cynicisms) Paid for by (by the pay check I receive from) The allies (the record company, or other art company which owns me and shares my successes with me) So invest (Now I found my worth) Now I'm finding truth is a ruin (and know the “system”) Nauseous end that nobody is pursuing (and that no “successful” act out there isn’t guilty of the same selfishness) Staring into glassy eyes (Looking at myself…) Mesmerized (in disbelief, stunned and lust of dreams of more success) There's a vintage thirst returning (I have some feelings of inspiration that I’ve known previously) But I'm sheltered by my channel-surfing (but I’m kept less ambitious by my addiction) Every famine virtual (My addictions are nothing real) Retrovertigo (and keep me mentally trapped in the past in order to achieve euphoria) A tribute to false memories (So I write about things that didn’t happen) With conviction (With great acting to try and sell you) Cheap imitation (on my embellished and false stories) Is it fashion or disease? (Is this OK and acceptable by everyone or are we all sick?) Post-ironic (I have become the epitome of my art, which was my goal obviously) Remains a mouth to feed (and because I do still need to eat and it does pay) Sell the rights (You should go capitalize…) To your blight (on these ideas with your own cynicism…) And you'll eat (and you too can have this success) See the vintage robot wearied (Now I am a tired repetitious art producing machine) Then awakened by revision theories (that continues to revamp old ideas) Every famine virtual (I hunger for what isn’t real) Retrovertigo (I am never moving forward)

    VirtualDJon August 14, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    What does this song mean? O_O

    mowion June 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    ya i dunno but this song has an awesome sound...

    sanjuro04on October 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I always thought it's about everything gets industrialize today.

    ShadowOfThePaston March 27, 2005   Link

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