|Dar Williams – The Blessings Lyrics||7 years ago|
We can't ask for our lives to be perfect, and we can't expect to be relieved from the hard times. All we can do is to appreciate and experience life as we're living it, which ironically often happens when we're feeling the most raw.
"Do human beings ever realy realize life, as they're living it?"
"The saints and poets, maybe."
|Dar Williams – The Ocean Lyrics||7 years ago|
|I've always found this song to be about being drawn to losing your own sense of innocence, only to discover that there's no epiphany, no greater good in the doing so. In this case, the other voice (which I've always heard as male, but whatever) and at the end he's confronting her, telling her that he's been to hell and back, and part of what he loves about her is that she hasn't, and he's warning her against trying to prove that she can brave "the ocean" while he knows it has nothing to offer.|
|Dar Williams – Mortal City Lyrics||7 years ago|
Well, the Mortal City is New York, where Dar lived for a time and earned her anti-urban sentiments (just listen to Spring Street) but it absolutley accurate in both the melancholy and the hope. I've lived in New York for the last eight years, and while it can be a huge, intimidating place, especially when you're new here, it's also one huge small town in a lot of ways.
There's the universal timidity about meeting new people, though everyone in town is generally friendly and anxious to meet new people as well, and the city-wide yearning for romance which plays out the same, only more intensely. With so many people in their own days and words, it can seem as if no one cares to the uninitiated, but as I said, I've been here eight years now. I've lived through 9-11, the blackout, and the transit strike. I'll tell you, as little as an Ice Storm can bring the city to its knees, except that whenever anything threatens to do so, everybody bonds together as one to keep going. During the '03 blackout I beamed from my rooftop to see the lights on at the hospitals. We are not lost in the mortal city; sometimes it just takes something that affects us all for us to remember that we're all in this together. More remarkable is that we do remember. Every time.
|The New Pornographers – Chump Change Lyrics||7 years ago|
|I think it's about high school, and the bitter jealousy and resentment of watching the girls you revere fucking the rat-tailed bastards that you hate, and how everybody makes a point not to care. As much as "the same sand a desert uses" means anything, it probably refers to the desert's barrenness, and thus, burying your head in nihilism - a common response in youth to rapid loss of innocence.|
|The New Pornographers – Ballad of a Comeback Kid Lyrics||7 years ago|
|It's definitely about a politician, but I can't pin down which one. I know enough about Clinton for this not to really seem to fit him. To me. However, Canadians can and will absolutely write songs about American Presidents. Just listen to "He Lied About Death," by The Stars - posibly the angriest song ever written about Dubya.|
|The New Pornographers – Letter from an Occupant Lyrics||7 years ago|
Alternatively, if he's leaving her for someone else. (Traded me away long gone) then he's making it sound like the new girl is the love of his life (love of a god, you say) instead of just the next meaningless blase flirtation (a letter from an occupant.)
Just another thought. Newman said it was vague.
|The New Pornographers – Letter from an Occupant Lyrics||7 years ago|
In any case, as obscure and the obtuse as the lyrics may seem, they still make some sense, more so when you consider Newman's own admission of how vague they are. They just kind of seem right, in the stream of consciousness way.
To "shoot the moon" is to go for broke. the guy's telling her that she can hope for whatever she wants in the relationship, as long as she's not asking him to go along with it. He's never had anything invested in it. ANd then he tries to appease he in the break up with the "love of a god," but it's really as pedestrian to him as a "letter from an occupant."
And then, of course, the whole tone is one of her kicking herself for believing there was more in the relationship than he was willing to give.
|Belle & Sebastian – For the Price of a Cup of Tea Lyrics||7 years ago|
|Reinventing yourself in a new town, and avoiding - or sometimes seeking - the landmines that involves.|
|Belle & Sebastian – Sukie in the Graveyard Lyrics||7 years ago|
Yup. Living fast, but making the choice that you're okay with that, and that (for sukie at least) it's worth giving up the future for the present, if you embrace the present enough and never regret your decision.
As a side not, for about the first hundred times I listened to this - it's my favorite from The Life Pursuit - I heard the line as "grace of a needle," which seemed appropriate, as she sleekly and silently gets under your skin. I think I like my misinterpretation better, strangely.
|Belle & Sebastian – Dress Up in You Lyrics||7 years ago|
retoocs absolutely got it right. This is about a girl fascinating on her old friend, who success makes her jealous, and just makes her love her friend that much more. She's wishing she could live her friend's life, and yet wishing that the friend could have insight into hers as well.
Get over the "singer in the band" bit. It isn't about Isobell.
|Coldplay – Clocks Lyrics||7 years ago|
|It's the feeling of facing death and coming out alive, and for having done so, finally understanding what life is. It's like in Fight Club, "Tomorrow will be the greatest day of Raymond K. Hessel's life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you or I have ever had." The "You are" chorus is as simple as it can be. He is. He exists. Now, what will he do with it?|
|The Jesus and Mary Chain – Sometimes Always Lyrics||7 years ago|
|This song is the perfect, gorgeous, (semi)positive flip-side to The Postal Service's "Nothing Better." Love it.|
|Death Cab for Cutie – Brothers on a Hotel Bed Lyrics||7 years ago|
Good on ya, Walla.
I've got to disagree with the idea that "Turned your way and saw / something we was not looking for," is a negative lyric. To me it describes the beginning of every romance on earth, getting blindsided by something you didn't realize was devastatingly attractive to you. And the following line "Both a beginning and an end," shwos the idea of knowing immediately that this is THE relationship, THE girl, and that this was the beginning of something that could only end with death. I think it's got to be one of the most romantic descriptions I've heard outside of "Brand New Colony," and the motorbike verse only heightens this, giving us the picture perfect image of youthful abandon against the idea of losing love the hardest way - to old age and fatigue.
|Death Cab for Cutie – What Sarah Said Lyrics||7 years ago|
First off, and now I realize I was probably mis-hearing the song, but I had been hearing the line as "and I rationed my breaths as I said to myself, 'Did I already take in too much today?'" Both version are powerful, but I kinda liked the naked honesty of what I heard, the universal feeling in that situation of, "I just can't handle this." Of wanting to run away from the thought of it, but counterpointed by "Love is watching someone die," and knowing that you have to be there. I know that this is a forum for the actual lyrics, but this is the only song I can think of in the past five years or so that has made me cry, and it's largely due to that (non)line.
Also, think about the final refrain again, "Who's gonna watch you die?" Here he is, in the final moments with his one love, knowing that he'll be alone when his moment comes. Ridiculously powerful, so who cares if it's emo.
|Stars – Your Ex-Lover Is Dead Lyrics||7 years ago|
There comes a time in your early twenties when you're sort of stuck between holding onto the youthful abandon of your teenage years and bracing yourself for the accountability of the real world.The people you meet in this time tend to be people that you cling to for dear life, and when a relationship forged in that time falls apart, it hurts more than any other before it, but you move on. In this song, she is able to be accountable, while he is not, and even though I get the feeling that HeE broke ties with HER years ago, she is the one who tells him off now, while he remains stunted. And while she is able to make her own choices now, she still longs for the old youthful abandon.
God what a true-to-life tune.
|The Postal Service – Natural Anthem Lyrics||7 years ago|
one of the densest, most beautiful, most complex instrumentals I've ever heard, tagged by the perfect little punchline. A loving apology to all the women he's outing in his intensely personal lyrics, while at the same time reminding them, "you might not like my interpretation, but you know I've got my facts straight..."
|Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism Lyrics||7 years ago|
This might be long.
First off, the woman I have desperately loved (and who loves me as well) lives thousands of miles away. We were best friends in high school and neither of us risked mentioning the romantic attraction for fear of screwing that up. I went off the school on the east coast, she in state, and not until recently (this year) did we admit the full extent of what we mean to eachother, but the distance is still there, irreconcilable. I've got to work where my industry is, and she's got to finish her Ph.D. So we date where we are in the uncertain hope that maybe we'll both eb in New York one day. But we don't know, and neither of us wishes for the other to suffer for loneliness for a future that we can't gurantee.
Tiny Vessels has a purpose for flowing so smoothly into a song so diametrically opposed to it. Though Gibbard is talking about a Love Lost, the message is clear. She is elsewhere, irreconcilable for distance, and so he is trying to make a go at it with all the women around him, who all seem vapid - if beautiful - in comparison to the love that he knows is out there but that he can't have. For the record, the most powerful line in Tiny Vessals - "And when you ask, 'Is something wrong?' I think you're damn right there is, but we can't talk about it now."
The song is both metaphoric and literal (albeit in a poetic way.) The great screenwriting professor Robert McKee (if you've seen "Adaptation" you know who I'm talking about) explains good writing in a way that certainly applies to Gibbard. If you take a story, and try to make what is specific universal, the story becomes sterotypical. However, if you take what is universal about the story and make it specific, the story becomes Archetypical. That is, truly universal. This song is desperately simple in essence - longing. Gibbard, with his perfect poetry, makes it painfully specific from there, and makes it real.
Gibbard himself has said that it isn't about an ocean, but that "Transatlanticism" is a term he coined for the practice of maintaining a long-distance relationship.
Where This Gets Us.
The true companion piece to this song, I feel, is not Tiny Vessels, not Passenger Seat, not even A Lack of Color. The real end of the story is in The District Sleeps Alone Tonight. Gibbard travels from Washington State to Washington D.C. to see his love, only to find that the physical distance has allowed her the opportunity for the change that she needs, hence the emotional distance. Give Up indeed.
In closing, let us whisper a prayer for those with faraway loves.
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