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!!!

------

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 (1477)

"QTTaquito:

Sharlemagne_4226: Uhm, "...leaves turn brown" is ... what I wrote in my post. lol."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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.

min - I had DMd Olivia that exact thought on the war lyric: "Can't seem to fight in the war" ... then I waffled. lol.

I hear a few minor differences, a word here & there, from what you wrote:

When the light leaves our heart
will we know where to start

(I hope that's right, bc that's what's printed on David's new lyric T-shirt. Yay! We need more of those.)

I hear:
When all of the leaves turn brown

We're cutting ties like (like-a? ;P ) puppets from a string (I hear a plural)

But when the night calls

Until the smoke can arise
We are the warning sign
(I don't hear a plural)

2nd chorus "when all the leaves" ... "fall to ground"?

This --> "What were we put here for" "Can't seem to fight in the war." "When the light leaves our (collective?) heart will we know where to start" <--("meaningful" enough to D to put on his first lyric T?) also made me think it might be commentary about social apathy? Or is that a totally stupid thought?

[I wrote this several hours ago. Didn't realize I never posted it. Too many distractions at home ... & then David's show happened. lol.]

Agreed. IMO it's pretty clear, just as clear as WB, meaning more direct than Cook sometimes is. I do think it's also thematically related to U and I in some respects. I don't think there's really another viable interp of the material. Juxtaposition vs WB has been mentioned before downthread (by me, she says modestly). But to me, WB is more about "what happens while we're here" and THIS is about what the heck happens after 'here' is over, since we are all walking toward that brink. All big questions; two different moods. I'm glad to see the hard questions laid out, and not couched in a romantic cover story, either, though those have their uses....

Sort of a rocked out version of Ecclesiastes 1:3-11. fwiw.

Hmmm. "Where Do We Go?" is kind of like the opposite of "We Believe." I don't read this as a relationship song. I read it as a Universal "We," and, to my mind, the struggle of the ordinary person against forces (political and otherwise) that are greater than ourselves.

You may read it differently. It is abstract enough to be interpreted in many ways. I am sure we will uncover many of them.

yeah, I agree, QTT, based on this vid from Woodlands:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBqZ46qrI0Y

Good sound quality and (better) a tight view of the mouth, which helps in deciphering some of this. I think the line about the leaves in the chorus is right. Not 100% sure, but I think so.

I like the organ sound in the bridge to this song, by the way. Makes it sorta solemn and hymnlike.

WHERE DO WE GO" (David Cook/Andy Skib/Andy Waldeck)

Oooh

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

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

Whenever the sun goes down
Where do we go?
When all of the leaves are brown?????
Where do we go?
With every step that we're taking to the brink
We're cutting ties like a puppet from a string
So whether we're lost or found
Where do we go?

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

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

Whenever the sun goes down
Where do we go?
When all of the leaves go brown???
Where do we go?
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?

Oh oh whoa
Oh oh whoa

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

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

Whenever the sun goes down
Where do we go?
When all of the leaves turn brown????
Where do we go?
With every step that we're taking to the brink
We're cutting ties like a puppet from a string
So whether we're lost or found
Where do we go?

Wherever you go
Oooh

Immie - I haven't listened carefully through the entire song yet, but for this small part of Where Do We Go:

"But when the night calls
We're tearing it down
Until the smoke in our eyes <<< eye
We are the warning signs
"

This is what I hear:
"But when the night calls
We're tearing it down
Until the smoke can arise
We are the warning sign
"

QTTaquito - I took that first pass to the PB Mothership, and a poster there also said they were hearing "say" not stay - what you have there works for me too.

JMO.

Immie, I've been listening to/watching I'm Gonna Love You (trying to inure myself to crying every time I hear it), and after mumblety listenings/viewings, I think I'm hearing:

"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."

(Still cry, though.)

i need clearer audio, or some clearer audio/video combo.

actually the morning stars concept could work, just as well as warning signs. depends on your take on where he is going with the meaning of the thought. i don't totally get the syntax of the 'until the smoke' line either. I think something's not quite right in that whole sequence as we've got it so far. But all will be revealed in time. I reckon.

Still think ms olivia, who's done such good work on it, should just print it out, wave it at DC at one of the shows she goes to, and say: we love this; fix what's missing and wrong here so we don't have to wait till "the record" to find out the words....

I have a great many thoughts about the new music, but will wait until after the Cain's show. It may be easier to express what I feel about it in a recap written in the afterglow of a live experience. I appreciate having the lyrics posted, which will add to the pleasure of hearing these songs and David's interpretation of their varied richness.

Thank-you all for the lyrics thus far. A lot to absorb here. David is not disappointing me one bit. As I said on dwop a while back, I just couldn't wait to hear what has been on his mind.

And not to be glib, because there is so much to the songs as a whole, I must say, I am liking how he is expressing love, loyalty, betrayal, loss, faithfulness. and so on.

"Eyes On You" reminds me of Dylan's "Idiot Wind" in the anger at other .

I will have to print out all the lyrics and really read them closely.

And the music he has written for them is also some of his best.

Whaaa oops I must've been cross-eyed when I edited my post last night, damn. That last line on WDWG should be

Tearing it down

I've also been hearing "We are the morning stars" but that doesn't make sense, does it? "warning signs" sounds more accurate?

thanks immie. making sense to me.

occupies some of the same thematic territory as U and I, imo.

good questions. universal questions. glad to see dc working on those in his art.

Re: Where Do We Go

I'm hearing the same as minstrel, in a coupld of lines, plus -

Whenever the sun goes down
Where do we go?
When our knees are on the ground
Where do we go?
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 we;re found
Where do we go?

Before the sky falls from heaven to ground
We've got to run for our lives
Inspite (In sight?) of innocent eyes (?)
But when the night calls
We;re Tearing us down

---

Did I already say it, I'm loving Dave's lyrics on these new songs!

Coming back to make corrections based on the wonderful IGLY video from Dosey Doe by Eliza630 (4land30 in YouTube). Seems I can't edit my post below anymore. I'm unsure about the "Around a love I can't erase" line. Are you hearing the same?

Transcribed by me, with 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
Being the one who always stayed
I’m gonna love you
I’m gonna love you endlessly
I'll never be watching you 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
Being the one who always stayed
I’m gonna love you
I’m gonna love you endlessly
I'll never be watching you surrender
As long as you’re standing next to me
Coz I’m gonna love you
I’m gonna love you endlessly

Ooooh

Olivia, thanks so much for doing these lyrics. That was a lot of work. Just a couple possible changes for Kiss & Tell lyrics:

"Reaching out for a heart with a beat never dies"
might be
"Reaching out for a heart where the beat never dies"

"I, I am (running away?)"
Might be
"I, I am riding a wave"

"I, I feel my pulse ____"
Might be
"I, I feel my pulse increase"

Dropping these off as well...

Eyes on You: HERE

Kiss and Tell: HERE

All of these songs are thematically diverse despite sharing a lot of common cowriters*, I love it. I'm really excited about this bunch. "Where Do We Go" is the one I'm mildly (to put it mildly Eye-wink) obsessed with, but I love all of them.

*According to @wave_length on Twitter...WDWG, IGLY, and K&T are Cook/Skib/Waldeck, EOY is Cook/Waldeck/Reardon, and CY is Cook/Blair Daly.

I've worked out the lyrics to Carry You to the best of my ears' knowledge:

Carry You

This lightning's gonna strike
Right thru this heart of mine again, again
Cause this rain ain't gonna stop
And i'm feeling every drop
As they keep on dancing on your head

But you gotta hold on
You gotta be strong
Right here with me if it all goes wrong
To keep you from harm
Away in my arms
Steer you away from the storm

When the sun won't come around
And your world keeps washing out
I won't let this love fall down
I'll carry you
I'll carry you

So let's run toward waiting lights
Cause i know there's better skies ahead, ahead
Sand in an hourglass
This flood is gonna pass
And we'll still be standing hand in hand

But you gotta hold on
You gotta be strong
Right here with me if it all goes wrong
To keep you from harm
Away in my arms
Steer you away from the storm

When the sun won't come around
And your world keeps washing out
I won't let this love fall down
I'll carry you
I'll carry you

I don't think it's dark. I think it's ... questioning. I like it a lot. The blank end of the 3rd line in the chorus to me sounds like 'ground' somehow but I can't make that work. in this new vid it sounds more like 'when all of the years turn around.' dunno. maybe they're not all the same each time, either.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEy8dWTU4V8

i'm not totally sure about that puppet line though it makes sense -- but 'beat' isn't a good rhyme for 'string,' not even an assonance, so ... i'm not sure that's actually what it is. Maybe 'street'. But in the vid above it sounds like what you wrote. maybe string is right and beat is wrong. maybe ...hey, maybe it's 'with every step we're taking to the brink, we're cutting ties like a puppet on a string.' that makes good sense and it's good assonance. (and it's a recurrent cook theme, that danged brink/edge thing.)

I think most of the rest of what you have there is right, Liv, or pretty close. I think it's possibly 'innocent eyes' not 'innocent lies.'

Print it out for him at one of those shows you're going to and ask him to correct it? he would. It'd save us all a lot of trouble. (three words: 'half faith blessing.' lol.)

I have a hard time reading it as anything but an existential song, sort of a darker counterpoint to 'we believe', in a mood less confident about whether there's actually a reason we're all here.

the last line is interesting.

wherever he's going, he's not going alone.

imo.

ETA ... imo the fact that this is the song that's on the shirt, that's telling, also.

I'm guessing Where Do We Go is the "dark" song Andy mentioned some time ago. Some serious themes there.

Hmm. That's some interesting work right there. Hmm.

‏@crescendolivia

Okay, took a stab at "Where Do We Go." It was such a chore to listen to it over and over again. Not. ;P (cont) http://tl.gd/n_1ro3luh

>>Abbyrocky2 ‏@Abbyrocky2 2m
I don’t want to work today. I’d rather listen to new David Cook songs and transcribe the lyrics. Eye-wink

YES! Somebody has to. *snerk* We were spoiled with the album insert for TLM - back to the ear phones!

I luv it.

Thanks, Imogen! This is gonna be fun - even though I can't hear last night's songs too clearly - there will be other performances that might be clearer audio.

Thanks for the pass at the lyrics!!

Hullo, wake up lyrics peeps! We've got work to do! *toothy grin*

Thanks to Sky_in_wa & Abbyrocky for their inputs on this! Really lovely song.

I'M GONNA LOVE YOU

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

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

I only want to be remembered
Being the one who always stayed
I’m gonna love you
I’m gonna love you endlessly
I'll never be watching you 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 debate
Everytime I see your face
Around the love I can’t erase(?)
Wouldn’t want to anyway

I only want to be remembered
Being the one who always stayed
I’m gonna love you
I’m gonna love you endlessly
I'll never be watching you surrender
As long as you’re standing next to me
Coz I’m gonna love you
I’m gonna love you endlessly

Ooooh

closeyoureyes, QTTaquito and maybemaybenot: Thanks Smiling
It has been difficult these last few years but TLM has been a true BFF to me. I am thankful for the timing of this album. You also must know that despite all the sadness, I've had such a blessed life filled with amazing memories. I really did have "the time of my life" every day for so many years. I have to celebrate that and remember those times and be thankful that I had them. Smiling

Time Marches On

Jeannie wow. Thanks for posting about TMO. I have loved it since I first heard it. But I always just picked up on the general mood of the song. The message of the refrain was the message of the song for me.

Just some of the lines you added nuance to are:
"Where the lines on my face never looked so clear, I swear" Just glancing at yourself in a mirror as you perform your daily hygienic rituals, as you go through a bad spell such as this, can really be quite alarming.
You are right that in times of woe we will often stare at our weary face in the mirror.
Similar to how he is slashing water on his face and looking into (singing into) the mirror at the start of his Come Back to Me video.

"You were six feet in on a one way street" ... she already had one foot in the grave (six feet in) with her addiction resulting in an untimely death (one way street)
.
.
Have fans ever discussed how he uses "with my heart on your sleeve" in Time Marches On and "I wear your heart upon my sleeve" in Declaration? I don't have any bright ideas about any other connection between the two songs at this time. Just that it is a concept he likes and thinks about, and so it has now become one of the recurring themes in his songs.

The Last Song I'll Write for You
There was a time when you could tell the world
you knew I would fight for you,
you knew I would fight for you.
Now I know that I can let you go
'cause I wrote the last song I'll write for you
the last song I'll write for you.

I think I have a different interpretation of 'fight for you' than many others do. I don't think of it as fighting to get her affection. I don't think of it as physical fighting, as with fists. I think of it as fighting to defend/support her. As in verbally or with a show of solidarity.
I have friends who have been married a long time. The wife is very vocal and opinionated. She can really get carried away verbally sometimes and might rub other people the wrong way. The husband is no wall flower but he is much more laid back. She has said that one of the things that makes their marriage work is that they both know they have always got each others' back. She says she knows she gets carried away sometimes but she knows she always has at least one ally in the world. She says sometimes he'll tell her later, in private, that she really was in the wrong. And she might agree when he explains it to her later on. But she can always count on him to support her publicly.
For me, this is the interpretation I have had since the first listen. She could always count on him to support and defend her. "Against the world," if you will. But now he is letting her go and she won't have him any more.
This is in keeping with the 'I'm by your side' theme we hear so often in Cook's lyrics.
When I fill in the blanks in the song, I also think that she might have taken him for granted, and she might not have him 'to kick around' any more. But I am not sure that is necessarily indicated in the lyrics. Something about the "you knew you could tell the world" phrase makes me feel she recognized and appreciated the support and maybe was taking it for granted.

Jeannie, I'm so sorry for the terrible losses you've experienced. It's amazing that you've been able to maintain your upbeat personality through so much grief. *many hugs*

David has such a wonderful way of writing so that almost anyone can relate a given situation in life to his songs and find some comfort. Someone had said on DWoP that she didn't like TMO because the music in the chorus was "too happy". I think the chorus music fits the message of those lyrics perfectly. I'd always felt it represents "time marching on" to that marching band drum beat Jeannie mentioned. I think it is not "happy" at all, that rhythm. It's unrelenting. 1-2-3-4. Time moving on at it's own unchanging pace, and it will continue to move forward, with or without you, no matter what you do. It's about the sad, harsh reality that you must learn to face and deal with loss or problems, then move on, because you can't change the past. Linger too long dwelling on "what was", and you can only fall behind, lose your way in your own life, your own future.

JeannieL, I understand your interpretation completely. It fits very neatly with my understanding of TMO, which is about dealing with that kind of loss and the inexorable march of time amidst your grief. Hope listening to the song gives you some comfort.

I will always love the way he writes because it can be interpreted in so many ways and touch upon so many phases/events of your life. On DWOP, TMO was brought up recently. I didn't know if I should post my thoughts there so I decided to post it here in the lyric thread.

TMO was painful to me upon first listening because I related it to not a girl/boy relationship but my own BFF girl relationship. Here is a different take that involves my own girl/girl friendship.

To me I couldn't believe that "I would see myself down here, in the same damn place but a different year"" after losing my MIL and FIL the year before I was once again "down here" on my knees genuflecting in funeral prayer and also "down here" meaning in a really low place in my heart going through the hospice/death of my best girlfriend/sister in law. "Where the lines on my face never looked so clear, I swear" Just glancing at yourself in a mirror as you perform your daily hygienic rituals, as you go through a bad spell such as this, can really be quite alarming.

"You were six feet in on a one way street" My friend was a deep seated alcoholic, she already had one foot in the grave (six feet in) with her addiction resulting in an untimely death (one way street) "When you gave into love with my heart on your sleeve" We became so close and loved each other dearly . "In a world full of pearls in an endless sea, you were all that I needed, all I needed." My friend was a precious gem and I was so lucky to have had her love. Although I had many terrific girlfriends, I really shared a special bond with her.

"Time marches on, right or wrong. Never waits for no one, no. Can't turn it off, won't make it through. Cause time marches on without you." I was at first so optimistic ( I'm forever seeing the glass half full) that we would get through this, get proper medical attention, but , alas, it was too late. Years of alcohol abuse had already ravished her body. Time was wrong for us and it marched right on by without waiting for her. Sadly I couldn't press the pause button of life because Time had it's own agenda and didn't wait for no one, no.

"If you knew then what you know right now, would you've packed your bags and left this town" If my friend would have known years before that her body would have been poisoned from the alcohol abuse, would she have stopped drinking, collected all her "drinking baggage" and left this town "of constant drinking"? I guess I will never know. "Cause I'm still here with my heart on the ground, this was the last thing I needed, all I needed." Reflecting on to me , I was as low as I could be with my "heart on the ground" and it was the last thing I needed after a few years of sad events. This was"all I needed"...... as I was wont to keep reminding myself in an ironic/self pitying tone.

For a few years I couldn't even write about my friend. It was too painful and maybe I was in a denial of sorts. Time doesn't have a way of healing a loss but it does have a way of healing how you deal with a loss.

The phrase "time marches on" and my interpretation of his song, ironically are quite similar to the way a drum beats during a parade of marching bands. It is always there and steady, be it low or loud, and it will always continue to beat. As the bands are in queue anxiously awaiting their chance to present arms upon the grandstand, the drum beat is low and subtle helping you mark time in place only to be readying itself for a loud and prominent intro to your signature song.

Right Here, With You
David Cook, Ryan Star, Gregg Wattenberg, Johnny Rzeznik

Everyone was watching you
As everything just slipped away
All they ever wanted was the light you gave them
You've always been the sweetest song
And even when the world went wrong
You never let the sun go down and fall to pieces

For me, this song will always be for my mom. She was a very strong woman who brought light to many, many lives. After living with cancer for much of her life, she passed away the year TLM was released.

CHORUS

If the sun stops burning, and the world stops turning
I'll be right here with you
And if the sky keeps falling, and the night keeps calling
I'll be right here with you
I'm on your side

For me personally, the POV flips for the chorus. It doesn't have to flip. It just does for me because when I listen to the song I think of her still being right here with me.


I can see the way you hide
All the things you keep inside
But all you ever wanted was the light to save you
We could run away somehow
Take the night and tear it down
Never let the stars burn out and fall to pieces
Nothing's gonna to stop us now 'cause we were born to live forever

Now the 'you' is again my mother. "Take the night and tear it down" can mean something like "paint the town red." I usually do not think of that as a boy/girl thing. I think of it as a, "lets go out and have some fun and make some memories" thing.

BRIDGE:

The tides will always change
The waves will always break
I will be here waiting all through time
Forever by your side
Our love will never die

For me, again, the POV does not need to flip but I flip it to that of my loved one who has passed.

Right Here, With You is one of my favorite Cook songs. I also love the do-do-do-do music for the song. Yet I still love the acoustic version as well because it has a more sentimental feel.

. . .

Right Here, With You is just one of the many songs on TLM that I never think of as a romantic relationship song. I also don't think of romantic relationship for Circadian, We Believe, Hard to Believe, Time Marches On (at least not necessarily), or Goodbye to the Girl.

I just caught up on this thread. I had not read it since before TLM. I love reading all the different perspectives. I think there is so much to his lyrics that we are only scratching the surface, still.

Things keep happening, and I didn't get back here to thank you for that foray into lyric construction analysis for LML, Minstrel. (Of course, I loved the stuff about rhyming!) And now a month has gone by! and there's another song, this one a 'song in search of a lyric set', and I'm bringing what we know about KYT to the Lyrics Thread before it scrolls away in all the LML Lyric Video Contest excitement!.

I don't know the other co-writers, so I wouldn't recognize their contributions so easily - but two things that were noted - the recurring phrase in both songs, LML and "Kiss You Tonight", by Jeannie on DWoP->

"I only want to hear you say my name" LML

"I catch myself wishing that you'd whisper my name" KYT

And also - Minstrel noted about the lyric - "(..the assonance of 'star scar mark heart', that is a Cook-ish technique for sure.)"

And Two shots at the Lyric, from Olivia and QTTaquito:

"Kiss You Tonight" - David Cook/Jay Knowles/Trent Summar

Good audio, KYT starts @4:30 on This Video

~~~

Friday, May 31, 2013 - 01:49

Olivia:

Here's my attempt at lyrics for KYT:

I catch myself wishing
That you'd whisper my name
And every star, every scar, and every mark upon my heart
(???) fades away

And I've (hurt myself?) missing
Everything I threw away
Every dream, every scene, every song that I (would?) sing
(I lost it?) yesterday

(Wavelength suggested "every song that I will sing, I lost in yesterday" and I also thought it could be "are lost in yesterday," alternatively)

I've been trying to do without you
But I can't give up this fight
'Cause everything will be alright
If I could kiss you tonight

We can make it to tomorrow
If we can find the morning light
Everything will be alright
If I could kiss you tonight
If I could kiss you tonight

Do you find yourself wishing
That I still think about you
Every thought, every step, every tear and every breath
I swear you do
And that's all I do

I've been trying to do without you
But I can't give up this fight
Cuz everything will be alright
If I could kiss you tonight

We can make it to tomorrow
If we can find the morning light
Everything will be alright
If I could kiss you tonight
Oh, if I could kiss you tonight

(Instrumental interlude)

Oh, oh
I've been trying to do without you
But I can't give up this fight
Cuz everything will be alright
If I could kiss you tonight

Oh, oh-oh
We can make it to tomorrow
If we can find the morning light
Everything will be alright
If I could kiss you tonight

Cuz everything will be alright
If I could kiss you tonight
If I could kiss you tonight

~~~

And from QTTaquito:

Friday, May 31, 2013 - 07:37
QTTaquito:

Olivia, Kudos for doing this. I think I hear just a few minor things differently (in [brackets]):

I catch myself wishing
That you'd whisper my name [You were whisperin' my name]
And every star, every scar, and every mark upon my heart
(???) fades away [???]

And I've (hurt myself?) missing [And I feel myself missing]
Everything I threw away
Every dream, every scene, every song that I (would?) sing [would]
(I lost it?) yesterday [I've heard "I lost it, Are lost in, Got lost in"]<---no help

There are also a few assorted "ifs" and "ands" that you hear but I don't, and some I hear but you don't. lol. Hard to determine if there should be a lyric "pattern" or not because of David's writing style, which likes to vary wording patterns verse-to-verse, chorus-to-chorus, and also his live performance penchant to do the same. Smiling

~~~

Anyone else with really good earbuds, or Spider Senses? Heh. I don't have either one.

I don't have time for deconstruction in the RFH packing but.... i just want to say that the craftsmanship of verse 1 in particular is very nice:

I remember when you lit my flame
A bit of passion with a pinch of pain
You left me praying for a single drop of rain.

Now take this apart a minute. Flame/pain/rain sets up a rhyme scheme that will repeat in other verses, though it's a near-rhyme in this case, not exact ('ame' vs 'ain'). But 'lit' and 'bit' are a nice internal rhyme, and 'with' makes a near-rhyme with them, and they all make an assonance (vowel rhyme) with the 'i' in 'pinch' as well, so you have lit/bit/with/pinch all making hay with the short 'i' vowel sound.

These are the kinds of lyrical choices that make a song convincing even if they are subtle. maybe i'll consider the rest later. Gotta resume trying to get 10 gallons of clothing into a 5 gallon bucket. next stop, DC!

http://bit.ly/JulieHRace4Hope

I'll bite. He's got it bad for a girl...and that is good. That's my sense of the song in a nutshell.

Yet almost nothing is straightforward with David. He likes to create music with multiple interpretations, Cracklin Rose comes to mind. Neil Diamond's song about a cheap bottle of wine. And yes, for years I had no idea the song wasn't about a girl.

I love the gasoline. I love the passion and pinch of pain. Whoa!

What, no one wants to talk about the Laying Me Low lyrics? I am SHOCKED! Come on now. Here are the lyrics I transcribed (the 1st part is by FoolsApril64):

LAYING ME LOW
David Cook / Chris Reardon / Andy Waldeck

I remember when you lit my flame
a bit of passion with a pinch of pain
You left me praying for a single drop of rain, oh-oh

But now the fire's burnin' outta control
because I'm never gonna let you go
So bring the gasoline and we can start this show, oh-oh

You got under my skin
and I can't begin to think of all the trouble you keep getting me in
so I'll just hold on and try to be strong

I fall apart when I'm with you
I cry when I kiss you
I know, you're really no good

You've got my heart in your hand
Oh, I'll never understand, and it shows
You get me high, but you're laying me low

Oh, whoa-oh-oh oh
Oh, whoa-oh-oh oh
Oh, whoa-oh-oh oh, oh-oh

I remember every broken line
I'm just the victim of the perfect crime
You keep runnin' while I keep on doin' time, oh
So give me something just to keep me sane
I only want to hear you say my name
And now I know I'm never gonna win this game
But I play anyway

You got under my skin
and I can't begin to think of all the trouble you keep getting me in
so I'll just hold on and try to be strong

But I fall apart when I'm with you
I cry when I kiss you
I know, you're really no good

You've got my heart in your hand
Oh I'll never understand and it shows
You get me high but you're laying me low

Oh, whoa-oh-oh oh
Oh, whoa-oh-oh oh
Oh, whoa-oh-oh oh, oh-oh

I fall apart when I'm with you
I cry when I kiss you
I know, you're really no good
You've got my heart in your hand
Oh I'll never understand and it shows
You get me high but you're laying me low

Oh, whoa-oh-oh oh
Oh, whoa-oh-oh oh
Oh, whoa-oh-oh oh, oh-oh

Oh, whoa-oh-oh oh
Oh, whoa-oh-oh oh
Oh, whoa-oh-oh oh, oh-oh

You get me high but you're laying me low

While looking for more past REM posts here in this thread to paste to the REM thread, I came across this one and just can't help to put on my 5 cents.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 22:03
NEMO:
Just a quick post from a lurker - love this thread, love your ideas, thanks for sharing them everyone! I certainly agree that if David reads anything on DCO, I hope it's this thread occasionally - how unbelievably exciting and flattering to any artist to have his work so carefully considered, with such sincerity and well-informed affection.

Just wanted to comment on Minstrel's quote of this line in her post about David and the theme of struggle with words that occurs in his writing:
"I would like to introduce Mr. Sensitive/ the one who never let the words get the best of him."
Unfortunately, the lyrics (such as they were) for DCTR here on DCO appear to be gone. But I always heard this line as:
"I would like to introduce Mr. Sensitive/ the one who never let the worst get the best of him."
#curseOfMissingLyrics lol Don't want to derail your discussions - just kinda laughed at the idea that we're still unsure of so many DCTR lyrics, let alone what they mean.
Carry on!

These past days I was streaming DCTR and TLM and made me listen and see more clearly the lyrics of some songs like:

- Mr. Sensitive - David told the story about how he came to writing about it, I think it was something like he saw a boy being bullied. Then listening to the song repeatedly made me think that what if Mr. Sensitive could be actually David during idol. That the being bullied part was the time when mean spirited people posted awful words about him on the internet especially the fans of you know who. I think he mentioned peeking the internet sometimes. He is human and I'm sure he felt hurt about those mean words. They could feel very brutal if directed to you. I read how an internet bullying by teenagers really had destroyed another teenager's life.

Barbasol - All these time I considered it as a song about being wasted, having a hangover after being drunk the night before. Then from my streaming and listening to the chorus constantly,

Oh where Ive been/ Sold and spun again
All before me like a dream/ Falling in between
I feel sick, I feel nervous
I know just what I did to deserve this
Though I know its not a dream

The lines "All before me like a dream ...... Though I know its not a dream" made me have a light bulb moment and thought about idol especially the winning night. Because if it were me, I would surely feel like being sold and spun again and again during result nights and feeling sick, nervous and like having a hang over the morning after.

Sorry if this interpretation was discussed before. I probably missed reading them.
Thought I'll share and post these light bulb moments. These two songs were my least favorites and now that I have my own understanding of them, I very much appreciate and love them.

I hate to think that this site might suddenly goes "poof". It would really be awful losing all these wonderful and thoughtful discussions we all are having here. I hope this site will still continue on.

abethfordc: I am also glad he follows a steady diet of comedy. Keeping in mind that DC says he is somewhat of a food snob, being goofy can be such a delectable dessert on the menu of food for the soul.

minstrel: I interpretted the song very much like you and also find it to be very dark. To me it is full of anguish and fear. This is going to sound a wee bit "out there" but it makes me think of experiencing a panic attack, this would be a perfect yet poetic way of describing it, silently calling out for help and trying to ride it out before it pulls you under.

minstrel, thank you for that. I needed that to be assured of my answer.
I too am glad that David did not prefer the unhealthy ways.

ETA: I enjoy reading your interpretations. I would really love to read about your take of the Color of Bruise.
(also about my other post downthread) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBFSDAw_NXQ For me, I think it's about someone who is doing naughty things just to hide what he/she is actually feeling and the POV character is asking that person to show the true feeling because it is showing in his/her eyes and everyone is noticing it anyway. What I can't get is why the colors red and white is being used. What do symbolize in this song. Just love the imagery in this song and I really admire him for doing this including how he did with the music that seemed to be speaking/showing what the song is about.
Thank you.

but it IS doubt, abeth. i don't think you were wrong, at all. I just elaborated on the same basic idea.

and yeah. I remember a lot of D-mentions for a long time regarding comedy... watching it, listening to it. I remember being glad D was doing that because laughter is such good medicine, and so is the physical working out that he started doing. These are some healthy ways of dealing with a lot of bad stuff. (There are so many unhealthy ways. I'm glad D didn't prefer those.)

minstrel, I love your take about Circadian and it make so much sense to me the way you wrote about it. I too now in a way seem to have this episode that 'I'm starting to believe that what I think is never true' (about the 'doubt' thing in my previous post). That it could be wrong but then again, maybe it could be right also if taken into a different perspective like being lazy to think deeply and just wanted something short and simple to describe it. I guess, with David Cook's songwriting/lyrics, a lot of the lines could never be simplified into just one or two simple words especially those deep ones.

If I haven't known through Axium and AH that he is capable of writing these types of lyrics.... serious, deep, complicated and so beautifully done, I never would have believed that he could have written them.
He is such a goofy person sometimes. For me, I guess if I haven't known him also through following him all these years especially with his banters like during NOH, I probably would have expected someone who is always serious, very rarely laughs and having a brooding face (I know many people like this by the way,lol). I am so glad that David is such a well rounded, grounded, talented person and goofy sometimes.

To me, abeth (and it's a murky line, so I can only say "to me") -- to me that line represents questioning of all the assumptions that previously were held, and maybe even the core beliefs that were previously held. The nature of the beliefs is not spelled out so anything further would be complete speculation. But the whole song is (again, "to me") so much about being profoundly shaken because "it's all coming undone and falling apart somehow." And about looking for some help with that situation, because if the help doesn't come, you're going down.

ETA: because that line comes after "who's to say we'll make it through" and before the part about the rhymes beside your bed, it also makes me think it's a response to anyone who's told him "you'll find comfort in your work" or even something as innocuous as "this too shall pass." In other words: Not everybody actually "makes it through," and the hopeful ideas people hold on to, and believe, might not be strong enough to help -- might not be true. When you are in that really bad place in your head, this is the kind of thinking that's in there.

Dark stuff. It makes me sad to listen to it.

Streaming TLM in ITune and just heard Circadian - who's to say we'll make it through
and this I'm starting to believe that what we think is never true
I'm so excited right now because I think I just got the simple words to describe that line, which in other words could be having doubts, uncertainty ..... Or is it? I'm such a nincompoop ....very slow, LOL.
I think I understood it before but I couldn't quite simplify it. But again, David could have something else in mind, lol.

Hummingbird"

I know you posted this a couple of weeks ago, but I thought it was interesting:
My take on the line "the fall of who we are is getting closer" is that David is referring to himself. In one of his interviews (I cannot even begin to remember which one) he mentioned that it was almost like he was two different people or had two different personalities. The stage David is totally different from the private life David. In Circadian it feels like one side of his personality is talking to the other at times.

I think you might be onto something in both the lyrics, and the interview. It made me think of David's twitter AVI, with the 2 Davids. Maybe that represents the two sides, and the picture did change sometime while he was writing TLM. I even think he might have edited the picture himself like that.

United States

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