Someone was here before me and they took the possibility away
And without any control or freedom the elements were laid down in this way
And so my mind is slowly devoured by the ideas to which it subscribes
And in the end I'm left with nothing except the memory of
believing my own lies
And where are you now, my most unfortunate lie?

The light shows my face in the mirror and my hand as it reaches to touch
The evidence of pain and delusion and a mind which was never clear enough
I saw the sun rise in an ancient desert where this moment was first foretold
And the black water was thick as blood and my hands they were full of gold
And where are you now, the most lethal, all consuming lie I ever told?
Where are you now, my unfortunate, irreversible lie?

Lyrics submitted by jt

The Most Unfortunate Lie song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentLying to control others, and ending up believing them yourself, reaping great rewards. Eventually, it hurts everyone you fooled, including yourself. The desert is symbolic of any place barren in some way, a place for contemplation.

    The interesting thing about this song is that only the final lines of the first and second verse are sung; The rest sound like they were recited into a tape player. I love this song, though "most unfortunate"ly, I do not have the album. I have only the bare-bones, spoken-word-less instrumental version from the rerelease.
    Cynothoglyson April 07, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about human free will and how it is the most unfortunate lie we tell ourselves. The lie is that we make our own decisions, have our own agency, and have control of our fate. It is lethal because we believe we are invincible, our lives matter; our minds trick us into thinking we are even alive at all.

    "And so my mind is slowly devoured by the ideas to which it subscribes
    And in the end I'm left with nothing except the memory of
    believing my own lies."

    When he sees himself in the mirror, he realizes his existence came from a primordial ooze where the fate of mankind was first foretold. We began from nothing and will end as nothing. Black water and gold could be metaphors for this primordial ooze. Now he is face to face with the lie of his existence, realizing his "existence" has and always will be, in his own mind.
    ben1033400on February 11, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think you're right Cynothoglys... It's about lying to get somewhere higher in life, power, greed and money, recurring themes in Swans' oeuvre... I think Gira is a great poet and singer, and that the Swans wrote some of the most beautiful songs ever... There's a lot of symbolism in the songs from "White mouth..." ad this songs shows it.
    Marquezon July 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI see the "most unfortunate lie" as being a lie told to oneself. The lie is the "ideas" ones own mind "subscribes" to. But the mind is not "clear enough." The song describes an "ancient" time when the present was "foretold." If this is possible then there is no self determination, right? There is a since of realizing powerlessness. This song draws a picture in my mind of the singer looking in a literal mirror, and realizes he's killed himself. In that moment his minds eye draws a metaphor of a, river of black water, drawing his hands out and finding them cupping his own blood ("thick as blood...full of gold). And the song sets the mood for what he feels at that moment. Clarity, and eternal regret. It's too late, he is undone. His lie was, "lethal, all consuming." So, Knowing he can not live, his last wish is to want to believe the self-deluded thoughts that led him to suicide. But he can not. Ironic.
    thetraitoron May 30, 2011   Link

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