warm bodies I sense

are not machines that can only make money

past perfect tense

words for a feeling and all I've discovered

I'll be along son

with medicine supposed to designed to

make you high

I'll be along son

with words for a feeling and all I've discovered

old bad eyes

old bad eyes

old bad eyes

on loneliness comes

go see the foreman go see the profiteer

on loneliness drives

we're takin' our time movin' shit for

this holy slime

old, bad eyes

old, bad eyes

old, bad eyes, almighty fear

the shepherd won't leave me alone

he's in my face and I

the shepherd of my days

and I want you here by my heart

and my head, I can't start till I'm dead

Lyrics submitted by H-bomb, edited by EllyListens

"Pillar of Davidson" as written by Chad David Taylor Chad Alan Gracey

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Pillar Of Davidson song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentI'm gonna go out on a different limb here and suggest the song is more religious than it is about factory work.

    I think the song starts off with ed speaking about tele-evangelists and how they exploit a need for the lonely and insecure to have religion.

    Here goes my rough logic:

    "warm bodies" are the living, off whom the evangelist seeks to make money.

    "past, perfect, tense/ words for a feeling and all I've discovered" describes the bible - a 'perfect' series of words to give you a feeling etc, from a long time in the past.

    It then speaks as the evangelist - 'I'll be along with medicine to help make you high (happy), I'll be along with "words for a feeling and all I've discovered" (the bible)' i.e. i'll make you happy through the bible.

    Next its back to ed, who clearly hates the evangelist and referes to him as 'old bad eyes', the 'foreman' and the 'profiteer'.

    "on lonliness comes/ go see the foreman go see the profiteer" - a person gets very lonely and turns to the evangelist.

    "On lonliness drives/ taking our time, moving shit for this holy slime" - lonliness then drives a person to do what the evagelist (holy slime) wants.

    "old bad eyes, all mighty fear" refers to how the preacher (old bad eyes) uses the fear of the the almighty (god)

    The next verse about the shepherd refers to jesus (the good shepherd). The person from the previous verse finds that jesus is now in his life and won't leave him alone ("he's in my face" etc).

    "and I want you here by my heart and my head" - means he wants to meet jesus.

    "I can't start til i'm dead" - means that he can only do that after he's died.

    The final verse/background lyrics refers to the persons judgement day.

    The 'stallion' with the 'horns' is the devil

    The 'pillar of davidson' is again jesus who according to the bible was a direct descedent of David, making him literally david's son (or grandson many times removed).

    And the verse basically means the bloke is facing his judgement day where the devil is winning and jesus (the pillar of davidson) finds it too hard to go down (to hell) and tread upon all the cheap soles to save him.

    Just my thoughts, but i reckon there is far too much deep and typically ed religious stuff in there for that to be about work at a factory ed has never worked at.
    tomtoroon July 28, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General CommentAlso the lyrics submitted are obviously from the Awake-The best of Live album because in the Awake albums the song's 4mins. The one on Throwing Copper is six minutes long. I hate when songs are cut short! I bought a CCR greatest hits album and half of Susie Q is cut off. Anyway my favorite part of the song is the background vocals,
    "here I am locking horns with the stallion
    failing to hold my head up, I'll go back again
    pillar of davidson feeling to hard to go down
    cheaper than all souls he will walk upon
    deeper and deeper in love so I hold my head up
    cheaper than all souls he will walk upon
    pillar of davidson feeling to hard to go down."
    Great song
    dednotbigsoupriceon November 05, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDuring a show (1999) they said: “So like I told you, we come from a small town where just about everybody there is doing something for the men, you know what I mean? Busting there ass 9 to 5, trying to rais a family. We wrote this song as a work song for all the people we grew up with. All the people that are busting there ass for the men - that maybe they can sing this song and maybe feel a little bit less lonely”
    tugiton January 24, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Comment(oops...posted this as a reply, but meant to do so as an original post)

    I love this song and believe that it does have religious overtones, and much of it was probably left somewhat elliptical on purpose. Not to act like a 7th grader, but has anyone thought of the possibility that "Locking horns with the stallion" and "Pillar of Davidson feeling [too] hard to go down" might refer to the subject's struggle with sexual urges getting in the way of spirituality, as the subject falls "deeper in love" with the divine, he tries to be honorable "hold my head up" but then feels "cheaper than all the souls he will walk upon" when he cannot successfully conquer his libido...? Maybe I misread it... but I'm loving the discourse! I'm glad I stumbled upon this site.
    ajPratheron June 13, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationEd spins a cryptic ballad of contempt for religion,the establishment, perhaps even the state of human consciousness. I find this has been a theme of the whole album. His meaning is abstract but his intensity is centered.
    sp4i6on March 11, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentConsider this stanza:

    "The shepherd won't leave me alone,
    He's in my face and I...
    The shepherd of my days,
    And I want you here by my heart and my head --
    I can't start till I'm dead."

    It would be quite out of place for there to be a shephard in a song that's only about a motorcycle factory, especially if it's about the drudgery of factory work. A shephard is a common metaphor for Jesus, which then makes sense when the speaker wants him by his heart and his head. He can't start 'till he's dead? That's the basic Christian notion of "dying to oneself" and being reborn in Christ. He can't start letting Jesus into his heart and mind until his own will has died and so can be replaced by that of Jesus (refer to Romans). And, as tomtoro notes, the song's title is a strong image of Jesus as well.
    Ventifacton September 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not sure what it is about this song. It's one of my favorite songs on Throwing copper. Maybe it's just Ed's voice or the lyrics but I love it.
    Divine_madnesson May 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is so complicated but it is so great... i think its about government and how it doesnt take care of people... or at least some kind of authority...
    faydoedeelayon June 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNow that you say that...I think you're right! or atleast something similiar to that.
    Divine_madnesson June 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti've heard many different literal explanations for this song (i.e.: the factories of york, caterpillar and/or harley davidson; even waco, with my main man dave koresh), but they all have basically the same metaphorical meaning. i sort of relate this song to dave matthews band's "ants marching," because it portrays the same monotonous, regimented life to which ed alludes. the lyrics are actually fairly depressing in that sense. the only reprieve ed suggests is "medicine supposed to...make you high." very frighteningly, ed lastly says "i can't start till i'm dead." conceivably, there is really nothing he could do once dead...exempting, of course, unprovable religious beliefs. regardless, my opinion on the matter is that everything will be started for this subject, once given his freedom from the third-person tyranny he is living
    dollsteaktestmeaton August 15, 2002   Link

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