And I wanted that heat so bad
I could taste the fire on your breath
And I wanted in your storm so bad
I could taste the lightning on your breath

I watched you hold the son in your arms while he bled to death
He grew so pale next to you
The world is so pale next to you
Your hair is coxcomb red your eyes are viper black
Your hair is coxcomb red your eyes are viper black

You said every road is a good road
Between the next road and your last road
Every love is your best love and every love is your last love
And every kiss is a goodbye
And every kiss is a goodbye

I watched you hold the son in your arms while he bled to death
He grew so pale next to you
The world is so pale next to you
Your hair is coxcomb red your eyes are viper black
Your hair is coxcomb red your eyes are viper black
Your hair is coxcomb red your eyes are viper black


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery, edited by rewgq3q4g343gdfasdf

Coxcomb Red Lyrics as written by Jason Molina

Lyrics © SC PUBLISHING DBA SECRETLY CANADIAN PUB.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Coxcomb Red song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

10 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    My Interpretation

    To me, this song is about longing for a person and wanting that "true" and reciprocated love, that never comes. The first four lines speak to an immense almost physically painful wanting, that seems to have come to fruition via a kiss, as the narrator could "taste the lightning" on his love objects breath. The next two lines serve to "Madonna-fy" the love object, or put this person on the same pedestal one would place the virgin Mary. In western cultures The Son often refers to Christ, which would be consistent with the Madonna imagery. The fact that the love object is brighter to the narrator than the light of the son of god (He grew so pale next to you) is the narrator placing his love object before his own god, or primary religious figure. I agree with the idea that this love object, while beautiful with their vibrant red hair, is also somewhat dangerous and mysterious with their viper black eyes. The narrator submits himself to this dangerous beauty, accepting the danger if it must come. These stark colour contracts also serve to elevate the narrators lover over his pale god and the pale world. The narrators lover goes on to speak in vague ambiguities, saying things like "every road is a good road, between the next road and your last road" but then "Every love is your best love and every love is your last love". This is an indication that this love object is incredibly fickle, or not permanently attached to any one person or situation. They blow in on the wind and out just as quickly on the breeze. Then they say "Every kiss is a goodbye". It is safe to assume that the kiss the narrator and love object had at the beginning of the song was a kiss that will bear no fruit.

    reddecemberon June 02, 2017   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    all of you previous commentors seem to have latched on to this one or two lines of lyric: "every love is your best love... every kiss is a goodbye" as powerful of a line as it is I would hardly us it to define the meaning behind the song. Rather, the chorus itself tells us all we need to know. this song (IMHO) is about a woman. A beautiful (coxcomb red) yet poisonous (viper black) woman. This woman has slighted our narrator obviously as evinced by the tone of the song. Yet the tone and supporting lyrics seem to support the notion that he has both learned something significant from this failed and traumatic relationship yet moved on nonetheless. And although the narrator seems to have moved on he cannot seem to let go. it seems as if this was a recent love (tense based: "your hair is...your eyes are" as opposed to "your hair was...your eyes were"). The impression of this phantomesque succubus haunts him.

    I cannot place my finger on it but this song delights and haunts me. The tone and lyrics are incredible. I am truly sad that such a singing/songwriting powerhouse has left us.

    nigershitson January 22, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    "every love is your best love and every love is your last love and every kiss is a goodbye" to me, this is somebody who does not understand love. somebody immature and not ready for true love. that lover who always says you are their everything, dismissing everyone who came before. someone who moves on and says the same exact thing to their next lover. i've never felt like this before. nobody has made me cum like you. etc. this album touches me so. maybe i am wrong.

    JasonBourneon September 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song vexes me. The melody keeps this a staple in my playlist while the lyrics keep me... Perplexed. Sometimes on repeat for hours on end. No one has addressed "the son" lines... There seems to be much more to this than any comments I've read. Is he pining over the devil? Just a thought.

    thehamron April 20, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation

    To me this song is about miscarriage.

    Things won't ever be the same since the loss of their child, so they part ways- but they will always love each other.

    These are images burned into his mind that he can't forget, the first then last moments he spent with the woman he thought would become his family and grow old together with.

    But life took them down a different road.

    And every road is a good road.

    Bajinganlangiton April 23, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    When I first heard this song, I thought he was saying "the sun" and not "the son" which changes a lot, I think.

    I had a more clear idea of the song, until I read that it is "the son", than I do now. These interpretations are great, but what does the son represent if it's not literal; like the miscarriage idea? Is the son Jesus?

    billybagon March 14, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I have the Lioness LP boxset with the lyrics right here with me and it definitely says SUN not "son". (and imo, he sings it very clearly, i don't understand the confusion)

    TSh4pon December 12, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I understand this song to be an ode to a specific woman's beauty and radiance.

    For the first verse, the lyrics "I wanted that heat so bad" and "I wanted in your storm so bad" speak to his desire, but also the knowledge that the woman means certain trouble, hence "the lightning" and "the fire". An alternate interpretation is that the lightning and the fire may instead refer to the songwriter's expectations of what an intimate experience with this woman would be like.

    The lyrics around holding the sun and watching him bleed to death I interpret as a metaphor representing how stunning the songwriter feels the woman is. Should she hold the sun in her arms it would be outshone by her and simply bleed to death, her radiance makes even the sun seem "pale next to you". In addition the world also pales in comparison.

    An alternate, and somewhat more reality-based interpretation here, could be that the songwriter is picturing this woman at dawn or sunset and feeling that she is more radiant than the sun or earth in his sight -- as the sun grows pale at dusk perhaps.

    The chorus, to me, is a more literal description of the woman's appearance her hair red and dark eyes.

    The second verse, as it states, is something the songwriter recalls this radiant woman saying.

    [Edit: Further thoughts.]
    substaticaon August 12, 2023   Link
  • -1
    General Comment

    this is such a great song sigh

    weezerific:cutleryon March 17, 2002   Link
  • -1
    General Comment

    as usual, the literal meaning seems to escape me, but I love message in "every love is your best love... every kiss is a goodbye": live in the moment, live everyday as if it were your last, love with all your heart.

    mr godoton April 04, 2006   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
nominative was the case they gave me
Wow, Owls!
1
Album art
Wide Open Eyes
Try.fail.try
1
Album art
My Melancholy Baby
Chas & Dave
1
Album art
what's love got to do with it (remix)
Warren G
1
Album art
Love in a Vacuum
'Til Tuesday
Well, in my opinion this song is about being a young & maybe a little naive &/or introverted girl and finding yourself loving a man who is at first very charming, carefree & outgoing, and seems at first to be without limits, as in "There was a time you opened up every doorway you didn't mind if everything wasn't your way" then that man starts to gradually become more introverted & shows their more possessive/obsessive side to you as the relationship progresses, even while they keep up the appearance of being carefree & outgoing to everyone else, "Don't pull away that goes against what you told me I look in your eyes I realize what you've sold me is love in a vacuum" so you confront them about the way they're acting and of course they deny it, "I think you've changed but you insist that that's not true" quite possibly they are an addict of some sort, my guess would be cocaine, &/or showing very obsessive behavior towards you (early on in the video for this song we see the man hanging a picture up, it is a very large portrait of Aimee & it is prominently displayed in his/their apartment for the duration of the song), thus their "love in a vacuum", "You look so strange, so distant that you're hardly you Now I can see how you have been acting different You say it's me but I know that it isn't it's love in a vacuum" but still you are in love with them and don't want to leave them and you know that they are truly in love with you and they don't want you to leave them either, maybe they are convinced you can save them from themself, maybe they are so broken that the possibility of an overdose &/or suicide attempt is very real and you want to get through to them that their behavior not only dangerous but it is also just pissing you off and if they don't wise up they run the risk of loosing you, as in the lines "You will be lonely if you leave me alone", so you want to save them but can't get through to them due to the addiction &/or emotional problems they have, "Love in a vacuum and that's not enough love in a vacuum You will be lonely you'll be the only one who feels this way You will be lonely if you leave me alone You will be lonely you'll be the only one who feels this way it's just not enough" you want them to understand that the love they are giving you is not enough when it is filtered through the vacuum of their drug addiction &/or emotional impairment, "You will be lonely you'll be the only one who feels this way it's just not enough and just wait you will be lonely Love in a vacuum Love in a vacuum and that's not enough Love in a vacuum". 'Love In A Vacuum' for me is a hauntingly truthful acute argument on the loneliness of obsession and almost inevitable loss of love that follows people who are broken in some way or another; the obsessives, the coke heads, the drunks, addicts or the just-plain-old emotionally broken; a razor sharp, lyrically driven, deceptively poppy, yet ultimately-depressing-in-the-best-way song. Quintessential Aimee Mann.