ALL ABOUT THE LYRICS: The Wordnerdy Half of the Songwriting Coin

ALL ABOUT THE LYRICS: The Wordnerdy Half of the Songwriting Coin

By popular demand, I present All About the Lyrics, intended as a permanent home for discussion/deconstruction of the words in David Cook’s music. (This includes David’s own work and his work with collaborators.) All About the Lyrics provides a forum for observations, criticisms and feelings regarding the words, spanning work from Axium, “Analog Heart,” the “lost album,” DCTR, and all future releases. Discussion must be limited to work that has been published, recorded and/or performed. (Discussion of leaked material/snippets will not be allowed, by the expressed direction of TPTB.)

Potential subjects for discussion include:

* What the words ARE (in absence of definitive text from the author)
* Themes of particular songs, as well as common themes in the body of work
* Use of metaphor and simile
* Use of compositional techniques such as rhyme (end rhyme, internal rhyme), meter, alliteration and so on
* The influence or possible influence of lyrical collaborators
* The potential meaning(s) of songs
* Citations of interviews where David discusses his process/thoughts regarding the creation of lyrics

Please limit your citations of lyrics to portions being discussed, rather than always quoting the entire song, unless the entire song is relevant to your post. This will help make the length of posts more manageable.

Because there is obviously significant overlap with our sister thread, All About the Music, I direct you there for relevant information regarding David’s musical influences, as well as covers he’s selected to sing.

I launch this enterprise with enthusiasm, but also with sympathy for the guy whose work is the subject of scrutiny. In his own words from a recent interview: “The lyrics have to be perfect.” With such an attitude, he’s clearly invested. You don’t have to love everything he writes, but – respect for the writer will be required here.

And finally, a cautionary tale about deconstruction, particularly in terms of figuring out what a song is “about” or where it “came from.” It’s risky business to wade in these waters, and it’s good to remember that very often, opinions regarding “what it’s about” say more about the observer than the subject. If he author does not choose to make an overt explanation, then it’s “about” whatever you, as the listener, make it to be. I am entertained by the following passage by the novelist, critic and author C.S. Lewis. In discussing critical analysis of one of his essays, about which the critics were putting forth varied theories regarding Lewis’ process, influences and feelings, he said:

Reviewers, both friendly and hostile, will dash you off such histories with great confidence; will tell you what public events had directed the author’s mind to this or that, what other authors had influenced him, what his overall intention was, what sort of audience he principally addressed, why – and when – he did everything….

My impression is that in the whole of my experience not one of these guesses has on any one point been right; the method shows a record of 100% failure. You would expect that by mere chance they would hit as often as they miss. But it is my impression that they do no such thing…. As I have not kept a careful record, my mere impression may be mistaken. What I think I can say with certainty is that they are usually wrong.

Nevertheless. Analysis is fun, and is a compliment to the writer if done with this caveat in mind. So, once more into the breach, dear wordnerdy friends!!! Analyze away!!!

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Resources (general)

Transcribed lyrics for This Loud Morning album, confirmed against album liner notes.

Link to music/lyrics from DCTR here at DCO. Recently reappeared after absence. Still problematic.

http://www.davidcookofficial.com/us/music/david-cook

Unofficial lyrics compilation by the fans at the DC42 forum,, as well as their consensus regarding differences between their analysis and the lyrics once posted at DCO. Documents courtesy of ellemarie.

UNofficial UNconfirmed lyrics c/o CookiesBR

DCTR lyrics at Cherry Lane Music Group, David's publisher, of yet-unverified authenticity

Unofficial discography, extensive, chronological, by DCO regular QTTaquito

Unofficial discography, extensive, alpha order by writer/co-writer, by DCO regular QTTaquito

Analysis of imagery and recurring themes in the lyrics, as blogged by Sharon C with input from annie702

Unreleased songs from fall 2013 David Cook tour (as transcribed by DCO members)

Resources (individual songs)

"Permanent" analysis by the folks at the d-c.org forum, aka "The Dash"
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Comments (1471)

I also think the dark theme is recurrent. I hear darkness in the music and read darkness in the lyrics. The somber notes and subtle steady drum beat in the intro to IGLY immediately give me a forlorn feeling. Much the same with the steady drumbeat in HTB. Both of these seem like sort of a funeral dirge. I am reminded of how JFK's funeral military march had the subtle drum beat but yet because it was so subtle it became the most powerful sound remembered from that day. Ironic.
Also ironic is a funeral dirge is generally "The Last Song" you will hear before you are buried " Six Feet In" the ground.

I'm not saying the songs are so much about death itself but maybe about the death of a relationship/feelings from the past. Something that you know you should just bury but every now and again the feelings resurface. IGLY seems like the person sometimes has a flicker of remembrance of a love/feeling from the past that was once felt and will always be there. As noted below with the line "I'll never be watching you surrender as long as you're standing next to me" seems to me like this person is talking about himself/herself and cannot truly give completely in to love with another (surrender) as long as this person still has these flickering memories close by (standing next to me). Also sounds like they don't mind the memories every now and then, don't really want to forget those feelings they had and for some reason will always love that person from the past no matter what happens.

Yup. David said that none of his love songs would be moon-June-spoon.

discussed below that that is not a "happy love song." cos... imo, it's not. but you have to listen to the verses to know that. if all that sticks in your brain is the choruses, the dark will go right over your head.

I think the girl's gone. Or is going. or has been gone periodically. something.

and I dunno re 'stalker' but the obsessive/unhealthy love theme is one he has messed some with before, including LML and the 'died in your arms' cover. And Kiss & Tell. And even Avalanche. I don't know the source of all that but ... it's recurrent. In fact, of the new material, including LML, four of the six songs are in this category. Plus Wicked Game, if you look at it sideways. huh. hmm. fwiw.

Am glad to see it's not just me projecting then, opabinia. This is one of those songs Dave has always been interested in writing - it's a dark story cloaked underneath pretty music/singing. The same way Eyes On You is a bouncy, (seemingly-)happy tune, but it's actually creepy and stalker-ish. Dave has got his Every-Breath-You-Take vibe going, and I love it. Some of you will remember that David has in fact commented on Every Breath You Take in one interview.

I also remembered just now seeing a tweet from one of the fans who went to a show. She said that when the IGLY intro started playing, her friend said it sounded "like a death march". Kind of funny, but apropos, imo. Reminiscent of the "Time Marches On" intro. The opening drum sequence (the march) is one of the elements that also set up the mournful mood for me.

Immie - I agree with you that "I'm Gonna Love You" is not a "happy love song", though I don't view it as necessarily dark, just one about deep commitment despite the difficulties. I don't think it needs to be a relationship that is over. For me, a key lyric is this:

"I'll never be one to yell surrender
As long as you're standing next to me"

which seems to be present and future tense - I'll never give up as long as we're together, standing side-by-side, not "if only you'd come back" or some such indication they are no longer together. To me, that lyric describes a current, ongoing love, one the POV hopes will continue, not one that is over. In virtually any relationship, there are inevitable bad times ("crimes that love commits") that must be overcome. But those difficult times haven't diminished his love. It runs so deep, he can't resist embracing it, and wouldn't want to.
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On a side note for Where Do We Go lyrics:
I was just listening to MsCRC's stream from Grand Prairie, and for the line in WDWG, I'm hearing:

"We have to run for our lives
In sight of innocent eyes"

(It even makes sense. ;P)
--------------------------------------
And a hint for those times that the Edit button "disappears": I discovered you can bring the Edit button back if you use the direct-node base:
http://www.davidcookofficial.com/us/node/
and add the node # of your post. The node # can be found within the URL you see when you hover over "Report as Offensive" (which *never* works for me, btw. lol). It's a 6 digit number, e.g., my previous post at 17:35 is # 606427, so the direct link to that post would be:
http://www.davidcookofficial.com/us/node/606427
If it's your own post, the Edit button should appear when you open that page.

No, Imogen, you're not the only one who thinks about the song this way. It never seemed to me to be a simple declaration of love; it's love despite, love inviting heartache, love that can't be helped no matter how much pain is involved. Maybe this idea isn't obvious, because David's lyrics typically don't convey bitterness or resentment, and it's a beautiful song to listen to.

Re IGLY. Am I the only one who doesn't hear it as a happy love song? When I tell others how I see it as rather dark I get strange looks. Haven't found time to articulate why exactly. This song makes me feel things. It's not an exaggeration to say that it has made me cry. At first I responded as most did, hearing it as a pretty declaration of eternal love, but one day (a couple of days or so after it was unveiled in Jackson) it suddenly struck me. It reminded me of someone close to me, and I cried.

To me it's not your typical love song where this person is pledging eternal love and loyalty. Au contraire, in a sense it's almost a one-sided affair. (What? Yes, read on, I will explain.)

The verses do not paint a cheery picture. It starts with stillness, a "chill on a winter breeze", then there's the wreckage ("Standing in a cold debris") where the character seems to have been left by the loved one ("You left behind a memory").

There's some pain in the 2nd verse, with words leaving fingerprints, crimes that love commits and all that, before going into the chorus

I only want to be remembered
for being the one who'll always say
That I'm gonna love you
I'm gonna love you endlessly
I'll never be one to say surrender
As long as you're standing next to me
I'm gonna love you
I'm gonna love you endlessly

It's a plaintive cry - I only want to be remembered for loving you well. I'll stay with you no matter what the odds, no matter what it takes, I'll take your side as long as you're here.

Verse 3 speaks of an inability to escape the situation ("No escaping this embrace"); the relationship is "a love I can't erase" - (is there some regret there somehow? I can't explain this, it's a sense I get from the whole song & how it's sung). Yet the person does NOT want to leave ("Wouldn't want to anyway").

As we further into the song, the repeated chorus, there's this increasing anguish, almost bordering on anger (despair?). The "Ooooohs" further enhance the sense of regret, loss, mourning.

So to me, it's this person giving up everything, forgiving everything for the other, but it's not necessarily a beautiful relationship, you know? (To put it mildly.) A fellow fan told me early on, after we first heard it, that the lyrics are cheesy. I have a low tolerance for cheesy lyrics. I do not count these cheesy, because underneath the simple language, there's something deeper.

JMO. YMMV and all that. Pardon to those who think of this song as exactly the opposite. Maybe I'm all alone on this.

I was going to add another "alternate hearing" to the Kiss & Tell full-lyrics post, but ... no "Edit" button. When/if it shows up again, I'll add:

I'm hearing "... but now your lips are burning cold"

On WWWG,
What were we put here for
We keep on burning
A hole in the ground we're reaching out for more
Can't seem to fight in the war<-- I'm hearing "can't seem to find the warmth"

cye: Still chewing on the stuff. But FWIW, I'm getting a kind of existential angst vibe off WDWG.

Maybe that's why I like it so much. Existential angst, I'm good at that! Eye-wink

closeyoureyes:
Thanks Min!
Still chewing on the stuff. But FWIW, I'm getting a kind of existential angst vibe off WDWG.

Definitely, me too!
More than just "kind of"

Thanks Min!

Still chewing on the stuff. But FWIW, I'm getting a kind of existential angst vibe off WDWG.

Thanks minstrel for that scribd link. I was hoping someone would put those lyrics in a safe place Smiling

Thanks everyone for the analysis and transcriptions of new songs. You ears are better than mine..lol

Loving all the new songs.

scattered downthread. will put it up in scribd and link to the OP.

here
http://www.scribd.com/doc/171028334/Unreleased-Songs-From-Fall-2013-Davi...

Ooooh. shiney - wordnerdy new lyrics and wordnerdy discussions of said lyrics Smiling Will weigh in later when I've had time to digest. Are the new lyrics (as corrected) collected somewhere for easy perusal?

Thank you QTTaquito Smiling
Also many thanks for all of you who have put in the time to gather these new song lyrics. I'm loving his new songs so much. Up until now I've been focusing on the music (that groove on Eyes on You! That driving guitar on Kiss and Tell! The lovely melodies on I'm Gonna Love You! He's pushing into his high register on Where Do We Go! The beat on Carry You!). Now I'm reading lyrics and feeling fuzzy Smiling

Quick recurrent imagery impressions:
Circles!
Cracks in smile!
Light!

"Wherever you go", good question minstrel. Just noticed that change at the end.
I think if based by my previous post of what the song could be about, by taking "we" collectively as everybody because those situations could apply to what everybody goes through in life. So by changing the end with the "you", he'd seemed to have each individual decide where he/she wants to go. After all each of us has freedom to go wherever and whatever one wants.

I think in the case of a love relationship, the POV character in finality could be letting the other person go without him/her as compared with the rest of the song which seem of the POV character to be trying to work things out together with the love one, "we".

Or could also be as you may have implied, a resignation to follow to where the other person has decided to go or do, maybe as a "surrender" unlike in (IGLY - I'm Gonna Love You) with "I'll never be one to yell surrender which could also mean not letting one go.
So maybe these two songs could be inter related. Like if IGLY is placed before WDWG, the POV character do not want to let the love one leave, or may have left already but POVc regret it. So in the WDWG song a reconciliation is in the works and the two of them are trying to work things out but in the end, may not have worked.

Or it could also be taken the other way around with WDWG placed before IGLY. Where first they tried to work things out but did not work. Then POVc started to regret it and pined over loved one in IGLY. Then try for reconciliation in WDWG and then back to IGLY. So who knows how many times this thing could go again and again like in circle. So maybe this is what the first verse of WDWG is about, "We're counting circles/ Around and around until we're down on the floor, who knows. It certainly would be exhausting. I've seen some relationships like this.

Or I'm just over thinking and going crazy. So I better stop now, lol.

HI Smiling

Thank you everyone for trying to figure out the lyrics to these new songs Smiling Not an easy task, but I really appreciate the work. Sometimes a song can get a whole new meaning once the lyrics are correct.
Like Incipit, I hear "truth" instead of "tune" on Eyes On You.

A possible change to the lyrics for "Eyes On You". After watching/listening to CougarsLoveCook's video from Cain's Ballroom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUB8CKcUwGw, @ apx 2:00 and several times later:

I think this line:
"There ain't no way for you to change the tune."
should be:
"There ain't no way for you to change the truth."

I'll add a notation to the full lyrics post for "Eyes On You" from Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 07:15 downthread.

Downthread, I offered to discuss the lyrics after attending the Cain's show. I've written a recap, http://www.davidcookofficial.com/us/blog/sooner-we-thought and while it doesn't include analysis, it does give one listener's gut reaction to how the lyrics come across in performance. Thank you all for your input to this thread; it's a major reason for why I faithfully check out DCO every day.

QTTaquito, I remember that project - it was well done, and interesting - although not updated past DCTR, IIRC. That would be cool to see!

That approach was to identify common themes and connect them to individual songs - I was kinda sort of looking to connect the songs to each other - to demonstrate progression, if it's happening, or at least commonality, of themes and images repeating over five years. it's only a slightly different angle - but that's why I said White Board. *snerk*

jayelgee and Incipit9 - I think someone already started that project. In the OP links:
Analysis of imagery and recurring themes in the lyrics, as blogged by Sharon C with input from annie702 i.e.
http://www.davidcookofficial.com/us/blog/recurring-themesimagery-davids-...

I haven't checked it out myself, but it sounds like what you're talking about. Eye-wink

"... all of his recurrent images, phrases and emotional states that reverberate right through into these new songs."

Exactly, Jayelgee. The first thing that struck me when I heard these new songs, starting with "Carry You" - was the echoes of phrases, concepts, even bits of music treatments, and how they have progressed... and that starts from Axium. I posted then about tracking them all down - If you wanna put up a virtual White Board - I would love to see it, Cause I won't have much time to do it in an organized fashion til after the Holidays!

Reading all these new lyrics makes me want to print out so many songs from AH onward and spread them all out side to side to begin to connect all of his recurrent images, phrases and emotional states that reverberate right through into these new songs.

Those recurrent ideas, concepts, images, symbols I think he does consciously and purposefully, not just because he can't think of any other words (highly unlikely, our poet and wordnerd). How he uses them, how his ideas have evolved is endlessly interesting.

I need one of those forensic bulletin boards or just a huge wall to post all his songs and connect phrases with different colored strings.

oh, right, qtt. totally agree that do what u gotta do is a strong statement not passive. i am just not sure the use of the you at the end of the song is analogous.

it it was where do we go? [we go] wherever we go. ... that is a resigned statement to me or at least a sense that the answer to the question is not explainable. like saying yellow is yellow.

if it is... where do we go? [we go] wherever YOU go, then imo that is a statement that is a lo haeder to pin down. i do not know what he means by it and maybe the mystery is deliberate. or maybe he just messed up his own lyrics and it wil be `we` going forward, lol.

thow us a bone out here, mysterious songwriter dave.......

QTT,

Thanks for bringing the Kiss and Tell lyrics here.

I'd like to coach him on that a bit - okay, David, if the word "you" is important in the last line of WDWG, then punch it! Right now, he's kinda throwing it away - a casual listener WILL think he's just repeating the line "where do we go."
If he changes that delivery, the song will be even more powerful - like when he started to sing "sick" like he meant it in Barbosol.

min - I don't see "You do what you gotta do" as a "wherever/whatever" statement. I used that as my example because I believe it's the quote on Lindsey Rose's bracelet. It wasn't "resignation" at all. Rather it was a strong statement of her determination to get through her chemo treatments to conquer her illness.

yeah, QTT, possible, but ... I don't think so. sticking with the 'we' would've been a stronger expression of that thought (i.e. the resigned, you do what you gotta do, thing). it'd be, like, 'eh, wherever we go is where we go. whatever.' because it's been the general condition 'we' all the way through the song. I don't see the need to switch it here, if that's the meaning. Ergo, I think it's something else. Not sure what, but it's the ending statement so, yeah.

Re the puppet, that's an image he sort of also used in 'last song' (hanging on wires, or was it from wires)? to me a puppet is something that's being controlled, and, as you said, abeth, dependent. when i first heard the statement it just made me think that the closer you get to 'the brink,' the less possible it is to remain dependent, because the tendency is to cut yourself off, in the crisis period, and feel totally alone. now, no one likes to be a puppet, so cutting 'puppet ties' is likely a good thing in the long run. but for a while it is confusing in terms of having to make all your moves/decisions alone, at a crisis point.

the lost or found language, that interests me as well.

min - Or it could be his variant in using a universal "You" as well (as in, "You do what you gotta do.").

Olivia's "Eyes On You" lyric twitlonger:

@crescendolivia http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1ro7p7j

Have some "Eyes On You" lyrics now...major contributions by @QTTaquito ;P

EYES ON YOU

I know where you're goin'
Underneath it all
I know where you've been
So take a minute, take a little time
to find a better lie to cover up your sins

Written in the cracks around your smile
Another white lie
Now I'm zooming in
You keep running but you know you can't hide

I'm watching every little thing you do
And all the lies that I can see right through
There ain't no way for you to change the tune [truth]
Cuz now I got my eyes on, I got my eyes on you

Lookin' all around that familiar sound
Footsteps in the shadow
Try to figure out what's in your head
Or underneath your bed,
Lookin' thru your window.

If you think you're gettin' paranoid with all the white noise
You don't even know
You keep runnin' but you're never gonna hide

I'm watching every little thing you do
And all the lies that I can see right through
There ain't no way for you to change the tune [truth]
Cuz now I got my eyes on, I got my eyes on you

When you think it's crystal clear
You can't ignore the voice inside your ear
It keeps filling your mind with doubt
And there's no way that you can drown it out

I'm watching every little thing you do
And all the lies that I can see right through
There ain't no way for you to change the tune [truth]
Cuz now I got my eyes on, I got my eyes on you

I'm watching every little thing you do
And all the lies that I can see right through
There ain't no way for you to change the tune [truth]
Cuz now I got my eyes on, I got my eyes on you

K&T to me seems like a darker version of Right Here With You? Like.... times are hard but we're in it together and it's our secret, this thing we are in together. (this 'us against the world' is a theme I've heard before, yeah?)

Abeth, right there with YOU for most of what you wrote.

I'm interested in the end line of WDWG, actually ... the capper. "Wherever YOU go." the 'we' has been abandoned, and if it's a universal 'we' throughout (i.e. people in general, not just a couple or more specific people) then ... i'm interested that he twisted it in a different way. Because he could have just said 'wherever WE go' and that would've been, to me, a resigned statement of sorts, a musical, "well, whatever, we go where we go."

The 'you' here to me implies that there's someone he's ready to follow right through the dark place into the next thing. It means something. Just not sure what.

I thought it might be a good idea to post Olivia's full transcripts of both Kiss and Tell and Eyes On You. This is her Kiss and Tell twitlonger (with my alternate "hearing" for *possible* changes in [brackets] on those lines:

[Updated 9/27/2013]

@crescendolivia http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1ro8cb8

An attempt at "Kiss and Tell" lyrics...just a few bits I need help with.

KISS AND TELL

(distortion)
Yeah we're lost in the dark and we're praying for light
Reaching out for a heart with a beat never dies ...[Reaching out for a heart where the beat never dies]
Yeah we're crossing the line between heaven and hell
But I'll never kiss and tell
(end distortion)

I, I am (running away?) ...[I, I'm never really (away?)]
(per this vid @ 1:30: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlsY13OuBZk)
You take it all away until my will begins to break
You, you got me in your sights
You're doing something right cuz all I see is blue tonight

And we're lost in the dark and we're praying for light
Reaching out for a heart with a beat never dies ...[Reaching out for a heart where the beat never dies]
Yeah we're crossing the line between heaven and hell
Yeah we're facing a flood and it's rising fast
We keep holding our breath 'til we both collapse
Lying still in a place right where our bodies fell
[But]... I'll never kiss and tell

I, I feel my pulse ____ ...[I, I feel my pulse increase]
[Do]... Anything you please as long as I can hear you breathe
We, we're losing all control
I thought we had it all but now your lips are turning cold ...[burning cold]

Yeah we're lost in the dark and we're praying for light
Reaching out for a heart with a beat never dies ...[Reaching out for a heart where the beat never dies]
Yeah we're crossing the line between heaven and hell
Yeah we're facing a flood and it's rising fast
We keep holding our breath 'til we both collapse
Lying still in a place right where our bodies fell
[But]... I'll never kiss and tell

Yeah we're lost in the dark and we're praying for light
Reaching out for a heart with a beat never dies ...[Reaching out for a heart where the beat never dies]
Yeah we're crossing the line between heaven and hell
Yeah we're facing a flood and it's rising fast
We keep holding our breath 'til we both collapse
Lying still in a place right where our bodies fell
[But]... I'll never kiss and tell

I'll never kiss and tell

I'll never kiss and tell

ETA: I just realized it's 6am & I haven't slept yet. lol. I think I'd best get a couple hours sleep & post Olivia's "Eyes On You" lyrics later today. (ETA2: Ha, I just changed my mind. "Eyes On You" post follows.)

ETA3: Cap'n, why do you require a captcha when I'm editing my own post and clearly already logged in & proven I'm me?

follia - if you scroll back in the thread, you'll see that Olivia linked her full transcription of Kiss and Tell lyrics several days ago (Friday, September 20, 2013 - 02:35), and I added some possible changes right after her post (at 03:13).

Sorry Folia, for now I'm still stuck with WDWG, listening to it and trying hard to think of what it could be all about,lol.

Just love Where Do We Go very much. On first listen at the Belmont show I really enjoyed the music and was dancing to it a little bit and maybe would have been a lot more if I were much younger, lol. My first thought (without knowing the exact lyrics) was that it is just about love relationship that is in the brink of fading away and I think it could be taken as that too. But reading the posts here which I totally agree with everyone’s take and also being inspired by many of them has made me think of another take. And here it is for now and could maybe change again in the future as like I had done on many of David’s song.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
We're counting circles
Around and around until we're down on the floor

Could be about life, of living where we toil everyday, of doing the same thing over and over (like going in circles) until we are tired to go on (we’re down on the floor because our feet couldn’t stand anymore).

What were we put here for
We keep on burning
A hole in the ground we're reaching out for more
Can't seem to fight in the war

There should be a reason why we are here on earth like what is our purpose? We keep searching for that and maybe we’d found it but then we’re still not satisfied and keep looking for more until we couldn’t go on anymore. (I think life is like fighting our own war. It is human nature to be wanting for more and keep on working for it, maybe for wealth, fame, power and others, at least most people do.)
- - - - - - -

When the light leaves our heart
do we know where to start?

Discouragement could set in(when unable to reach the goal),
Would we be able to find the strength to go over and try again?
- - - - --
Whenever the sun goes down
- during darker, bad times

When all of the leaves turn brown?
- could mean autumn and which could represent lean and harder times

With every step that we're taking to the brink
We're cutting ties like a puppet on a string . So whether we're lost or found
Where do we go?

For me, a puppet is a dependent thing/person like someone whose every step is being guided by another. Like for example, during one’s growing stages from baby to adulthood, the parents or someone older has to guide this person. Or like someone under contract by a studio, corporation, label or other entities, his/her every professional steps/decisions have to be approved or be coming from them. (This could be just an example and not necessarily pertaining to David and the label).
- So this could mean becoming independent and cutting ties or stop giving accountability to the authority.
But even if one could stand on his own feet or not, there could still be a challenge and maybe still searches on for something or may not be sure which direction to go yet.
- - - - -- -
Before the sky falls from heaven to ground
We've got to run for our lives
Inside of innocent eyes
But when the night falls
We’re tearing it down
Until the smoke (can rise?)
We are the warning signs <<<<
or maybe >>>> Where are the warning signs?

Before something disastrous happens
We’ve got to get out of a present situation before it happens
With no knowledge yet, inexperience (innocent eyes)
When the darkness come,
We try to look all over (with our hands waving in front like tearing something/nothing through the darkness)
For the warning signs
Before disaster happens (smoke could be a sign that disaster has already begun).
(So, the POV character could be asking what would be the warning signs, other things to be aware of before things could go wrong. In many cases, there is nothing cause disaster can just happen without warning – just like looking for something in the dark especially if one has no experience yet)

-----------------------------

When the light leaves our heart
do we know where to start?

Discouragement could set in (when things crumbles upon us because were unable to read the signs and so could not get out of it before it happened)
Would we be able to find the strength and courage to get up and try over again?

- - - - - - - - - -- - - -
By the time the music starts to fade away
We'll be in the trenches making our escape
Chasing fireflies like bullets to the brain<<<<
or maybe >>>> Chased by fire that flies like bullets to the brain?

Could be that when (the music) fun, good times, happiness with someone, fame, or others starts to fade away, it will be wise to leave before it happens (accept that it could happen, let go) or else one could be caught with loneliness and misery when it finally happened. This could lead to maybe becoming crazy (fire like bullet to the brain) for holding on to something which had already gone. I remember a very old movie about a movie star who still hanged on to her faded fame, then became a recluse and kind of lost her mind. And of someone who’d gone mad because of a love breakup. They refused to let go.
----------------------------------
When the light leaves our heart
do we know where to start?

Discouragement and despair could set in (when these things/someone would be gone maybe forever)
Can we be able to find the strength to let go, find another way and try all over again?

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

This song makes me think of ADAM of which I think my take was something about hope. That it seemed to spell it out at the last parts that there is hope even when bad situations happen.
But with WDWG, David instead leaves it up to us to decide where to go, what to do when a bad situation happens. Have our own choices. For example for some, maybe they’ll have hoped that something good will happen in the future, that fate will change for the better. For people with belief, they’ll probably go to their God and pray for wisdom and strength to go on. Both people could start all over and work for it. But maybe for some, they will just give up and go nowhere, to just be content or stay miserable.

The song seems to enumerate different situations that could happen in a person’s life, some bad and some challenging. And it seems to ask and wants to know how one and/or others would deal when those situations come along. Or maybe it is a question of what would be the best way to deal with a certain situation.

I admire him even more now. How he uses words beautifully and cleverly to describe something and how there could be many interpretations for them. Love the song even more now especially reading the lyrics. The right lyrics could be different from what is there now and so the song could also mean differently or could stay the same for me.
Again, David could have written this about something else as has always been the case.

Does anyone have any sense of the Kiss and Tell lyrics? I haven't seen anyone take a stab at them. I don't know where to start. Love the song nevertheless.

OK, I yell surrender, lol. Yes, I see the rest. Well, not quite total surrender: I still like the concept if you stand it on its own.

ach, see, I think the girl is gone. read the verses. I think she's only beside him now as a memory. I think he's carrying the big torch and won't let it go, even though she did. Love crime was committed but he can't get over it.

I think it's a big ol romantic 'i will love u forever even though you have left me' thing. the choruses and the sweet melody make you think it's just a nice love song. but the rest of it.... yeah. It's cold and he's in the debris and he can't get rid of the memory or erase it/her and doesn't want to.

dumb girl. lol.

I love that idea : I'll never be the one to yell surrender.

That sends chills up my spine for the potency of that image. No matter what life throws their way, he will not give in, will not surrender to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as long as she is there next to him. (Actually, the song is genderless and could work for any couple.)

yeah, immie, good point.

it's been a really long time since 'makeover,' however. plus... the singer is still a character in that song. 'it's not me, it's not me.' kwim? so not pure 'story song' in terms of 3rd person. but it doesn't matter. idle thought. he should (and will) use the forms he likes to say what he wants to say.

A story song, minstrel? "Makeover" immediately went to mind as I read your post. It's a story for me. A very poignant one, it's my favorite from Analog Heart, never fails to hit me in the gut. I sometimes even connect the story in "Makeover" to the one in "Anodyne".

Aha, here's the perfect video to help with WDWG lyrics if there are any more questions. Close-up! Watch his lips. (Coz you know, lips are important! Er, I mean lyrics. ;p )

Where Do We Go - Cain's Ballroom (Thanks , @ThisIsCLC !) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ5rPphrjDM

Now. IGLY. (There's also a very lovely video of it at @ThisIsCLC 's channel.) Thanks for the corrections, QTTaquito, I think you're right! They sound better, hehe. Here we go.

Thanks also to Sky_in_wa & Abbyrocky2

I'M GONNA LOVE YOU
David Cook / Andy Skib / Andy Waldeck

Something still comes over me
Just a chill on a winter breeze
Standing in the cold debris
You left behind a memory

Every word that left your lips
Left behind your fingerprints
And every crime that love commits
Brings you right back here to this

I only want to be remembered
For being the one who'll always say
That I’m gonna love you
I’m gonna love you endlessly
I'll never be one to yell surrender
As long as you’re standing next to me
Coz I’m gonna love you
I’m gonna love you endlessly

No escaping this embrace
Everytime I see your face
Around a love I can’t erase
Wouldn’t want to anyway

I only want to be remembered
For being the one who'll always say
That I’m gonna love you
I’m gonna love you endlessly
I'll never be one to yell surrender
As long as you’re standing next to me
Coz I’m gonna love you
I’m gonna love you endlessly

Ooooh

WDWG has such power to it. Today it makes me think of the horror going on in Nairobi, in that mall taken over by terrorists. The world seems to be so much on the brink in so many ways. Where do we go from here? How does Humanity ever get to a place of sanity, pull back from the brink?

The world can be at war, and we can be at war within ourselves. When we are fighting in the trenches, we can either be committed to the cause or find ourselves running for our lives.

It is a truly complex piece of lyric writing. As minstrel points out - a series of images, emotional punches, images we have heard him use in other contexts ( tear-it-down; bullets). I wish I could write lyrics that are not so attached to sheer reality. Maybe if I didn't have a day job, I could be a poet again, lol.

And then he puts all those words into a really great piece of music. Just what I was hoping for as we waited and waited.

All I know is, were I D (which I quite obviously am not), I'd be pretty delighted to observe that something I'd created could provoke as much discussion as this (and a lot of other work as well). He's mentioned admiring Neil Young, and his lyrics often (not always) remind me of what Young typically does: gives you a series of images that evoke a feeling or sense of something, a general arc, but do not spell things out for you in a linear way. To me it's almost like observing a series of graphics, set to music, going 'click click click' across your brain and giving rise to thoughts and feelings. The music communicates something, but it's kind of an end run around the purely cognitive level of perception/analysis.

Not all the songs are like this, but it's a technique he tends to return to often.

One thing I've never heard him tackle is a story song, which tells the tale of a particular character (third person). i guess 'Mr. S' is the closest. KOTN is kind of that, but then gets flipped around so the POV character enters. (The latter approach is somewhat like Petty's Free Falling, actually.) The story songs can be interesting, but I guess the form doesn't appeal. If I were writing a songwriting exercise for him, I might challenge him to try that, just because I'd be interested to see what he'd do with it. (I personally find those hard to write. harder than first-person. which makes them fun. ha.)

I agree with the majority of the corrections y'all have made for WDWG. Smiling I still hear "smoke in our eyes" but I'll go watch more videos that have shown up in the past day or so. Also agree about performance quirks, he doesn't always sing the same exact words, though whatever he says instead is usually only a slight variation that doesn't really change the meaning.

My general interpretation is something about knowing how (choosing how?) to react to and deal with hardships that we have to face in life. There are a few bits that reminded me of Circadian in there. Almost like Circadian is an actual personal representation of one type of reaction to a hardship and now this song is a reflection on/examination of how we (people in general) react to hardships.

When the light leaves our heart
do we know where to start?

(When something goes awry, how do you go about picking up the pieces, or not?)

With every step that we're taking to the brink
We're cutting ties like a puppet on a string

(When the hardships get the best of you and you sink/feel low, temporarily or otherwise, you get detached from people and things. This is the bit that reminded me of Circadian..."cutting all ties.")

Before the sky falls from heaven to ground
We've got to run for our lives
Inside of innocent eyes
But when the night falls
We’re tearing it down
Until the smoke (can rise?)
We are the warning signs

("Before the sky falls," before something goes wrong, we try our hardest to not succumb to whatever that something is. But "when the night falls," when something does go wrong..."we're tearing it down," maybe saying how some reactions to hardships can be self-destructive, intentionally or not?)

By the time the music starts to fade away
We'll be in the trenches making our escape
Chasing fireflies like bullets to the brain

(The music fading away sounds like a bad thing to me, so I'll take it as another metaphor for a hardship. "We'll be in the trenched making our escape" because we "can't seem to fight in the war"...basically "deserting" or giving up the fight and giving in to all that other stuff I mentioned above. I'm not sure what to make of the "chasing fireflies like bullets to the brain" lyric, but could it be a reference to chasing ephemeral "bright spots" as temporary bandaids for the root hardship? The kind of ephemeral bright spots that might temporarily alleviate the pain but ultimately end up not helping?)

Eh, I dunno. Just my thoughts. All I know is that I love this song. I think it's my favorite out of the new bunch, though I love them all for different reasons.

"QTTaquito:

Sharlemagne_4226: Uhm, "...leaves turn brown" is ... what I wrote in my post. lol."
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Oops...I meant "...leaves turn brown" is *FOR ALL CHORUSES...

Sharlemagne_4226: Uhm, "... leaves turn brown" is ... what I wrote in my post. lol. That's what he sang for the first chorus.

In the 2nd & 3rd choruses, it sounds like he varied the wording slightly to "fall to the ground". He does have a history of writing slight variations instead of repeating exactly the same phrases throughout a song, e.g., "This silver leaves me longing for gold" and "This silver leaves me burning for gold". Although, as minstrel said, it could be quirks of live performances, because sometimes he'll sing different words than the "official" lyrics, and from show to show, for varying reasons.

We need either *many* live performances for "majority rules", a clear studio recording (though "Take Me As I Am" studio version has a "wrong" lyric in it), or official lyrics from the man himself. Smiling And even then ..... lol.

"♪♫Whenever the sun goes down
Where do we go?
When all of the leaves go brown♫♪???" <<----uhm....
============================================
minstrel , QTT, I'm hearing "When all of the leaves TURN brown".....crescendolivia seems to agreee with me....

min - I wasn't thinking "business relationship." I was thinking of the self-image aspects of it. His whole transformation from accidental contestant, to winner, to "Idol," to being bereft, paralyzed emotionally, and the long climb back, trying to know who he really is now.

Again, I think David's way with words and thought is so "stealthy", subtle, multi-layered and prismatic that we can read so much into what at first seems so glib. But it's not. Just as he intends.

yeah, qtt, 'fall to the ground,' I thought I did hear in one version. so there might be a permutation of that. prob also true that he will not sing all the words exactly the same way every time, so some of the lines will stay fluid.

jlg, interesting interp. i might think that way, but ... I think if he wanted to make the 'bye bye label' statement, 'last song' was likely it. This one feels a lot bigger than a business problem, to me. (And oddly, or maybe not, CYE said in her recap of the Woodlands Q&A that he took some pains to emphasize that he had a good relationship with RCA. Again. Apropos of what, I do not know, but I know he knows the large amount of discussion/speculation that the relationship has engendered all around the digiverse among his fans. He's not one to burn bridges, which in an incestuous industry is smart.)

Something about the song also reminds me of the quote he put on the AH album, the one about walking softly under the stars so God doesn't find us out. There's some underlying current of inexorable reversal there, and that notion of tenuousness (for instance, the transient nature of celebrity) has come up often in interviews & banter. The idea that you can be running around all innocent but eventually something's going to come apart.

And THEN, as with so many of David's songs, WDWG can also be interpreted as the story of his struggles with "cutting the ties like a puppet" with RCA, with his internal struggles over what HE was put here for - as a musician, as a man, as a human being.

Right up front is that echo of AH and "walking circles to a song," but this time he's counting the circles until it's a vortex, a hole burned into the ground. Visions of personal Apocalypse even as it speaks to Humanity's moving to the brink.

I am also fascinated, as always, by how he turns seemingly simple language into lyrical poems that are layered and mysterious.

Wish I could write lyrics like that. If this is what happens when David Cook "gets out of (his) own way," I hope he "stays gone," figuratively speaking.

United States

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