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.

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 forum, aka "The Dash"

Comments (1482)

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.


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.

The new cover of A Long December has set me thinking about something I've loved for a long time, but couldn't quite put into words. Compare
it's all a lot of oysters with no pearls" (A Long December)
with In a world full of pearls in an endless sea / you were all that I wanted, all I needed (Time Marches On)

So a) I'm wondering if David has this resonance in mind when he wrote TMO. He's very musically literate, so I wouldn't be at all surprised.

b) What I loooooove about the TMO version. Keeping discussion to the relationship angle (although we know it's just a metaphor), TMO says "there are a lot of *pearls* (potential soulmates) out there, it's just so damn hard to find them. But it doesn't matter that you might not be the only *one* - you are what I want and need, you are perfect for me." .

IDK, I just love it because it is highly romantic and yet not at all naive at the same time.

The "Color of a Bruise" have always fascinated me for a very long time now. I happened to bring it up at the DwoP thread and am bringing it here also hoping that there are some interest in writing what anyone's take of the song and what it is all about.

CYE, thanks too and I agree, David's solo written music is more complex and I love it. With this song, I noticed that the choruses do not have exactly the same notes. The first one is in his lower register and calmer than the last, but same lyrics. Also if the intro is considered the first verse, it has different melody and notes than the other verse. Very interesting and different. It seems to me the music is showing emotions for the lyrics.
Also maybe he purposely made this song short? As if really talking to someone and wanting to send this message through to one's head or something by making it short and precise, maybe?
And how about the lyrics? I think I'll just continue this at the Lyric's thread because I really would like to know what anyone's take about the meaning of the colors like the white and red being mentioned.

closeyoureyes, love your take of the double-Dave pic twitter.

Hummingbird, I could relate to what you are saying. I myself, if there are things bugging me before I sleep, I could stay awake in bed for awhile thinking about things and mostly having a conversation with myself as another person. I hope this is normal and happens to maybe everybody (or mostly), lol.

"Mayday, somebody save me"....yes that's what I'd always feel when things would get too much with the over thinking that it made me feel so helpless and be begging for sleep to come already. David put those feelings into well constructed, chosen words. Great job!

David Cook is a genius by capturing this moment of mixed emotions into one of the most beautiful songs ever (for me at least).

I think, Circadian could be a theme song also for celebrities, may they be winners in a reality show or not, movie/TV stars, different entertainers or even politicians who'd feel these overwhelming emotions and also when the "party is almost over".. JMO.

Hmmm, nice take Hummingbird! That interpretation certainly fits with the double-Dave pic that is Dave's twitter background.

I've been thinking about Circadian's lyrics for a long time now and I finally had a breakthrough. 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. Like "Who's to say the rhymes beside your bed will keep you warm when everything is getting colder" could be David the person talking to David the artist. The same could apply to "Who's to say your never wrong, who's to say that I'm not already gone" but it is the artist Dave talking to the person Dave. I can see that in lyrics all through the song.

Of course, we all see things and hear things anmd feel things differently. That is the beauty of David's lyrics. He leaves room for inturpretation in many ways. This is just the first thing I have thought of that makes any sense of the you and me and I and we to me myself and I..

Well, and then there is also the "Royal" we. JK!

CYE, I think that "the feeling of being overwhelmed" is really the perfect description of the emotion that I get when I listen to Circadian. I was really just totally in awe of Circadian and REM when I first listened to TLM. I listened over and over again and each time my mind would focus on a different line or word ,and it still sends my brain off on many different trains of thought .

GEL, I think he deliberately writes it as an unsolveable puzzle - in the sense that you're never going to nail down exactly what every word means for him. From what I can see, he writes in layers. On the surface this is about a relationship that is on the verge of destruction, but it can represent many, many things. It's quite possible that it relates to the loss of his *old life* as well, as Minstrel pointed out. One thing David has made it clear was that he experienced several profoundly life-altering events in the 2 years preceding the writing of TLM, and that once he stopped touring it all started crashing down on him. So to me, Circadian is about the feeling of being overwhelmed, of feeling the familiar crashing down around you, about knowing that disaster is imminent, and being powerless to prevent it. And I've learned not to take my analyses further than that. David has said in interviews that he uses metaphors to represent particular feelings, and that he tries to universalize it so everybody can connect with it in their own way.

You may be right Opa, but he did choose to talk about GTTG. I don't think that Circadian would work acoustically anyway. You never know , maybe someday he will speak about it.

There was no "story of" for Circadian at the Night of Hope concert. Maybe there are themes in the song that David chooses not to discuss. This seems wise to me; the lyrics can be taken so many ways, depending on the listener's perception, and not dependent on D's mindset when the song was being created.

That line drives me nuts! In interviews of late David uses "we " a lot. He says something like " we are working on new material" a lot . I am thinking , who is we? David and the band? David and other song writers? I originally thought the we in the line "the fall of who we are" was meant to be we as in a romantic couple , the end of a relationship . That doesn't really jive with the " drying ink idea" when I think about it. I suppose the "drying ink " could signify some kind of contract whether written or implied or even self imposed. We need to ask David about this at some point cause I can't stop trying to figure it out. It's like this unsolvable puzzle!

Listened to Circadian a couple days ago. Got stuck on the line "the fall of who we are is getting closer." Listened several times. thought about it a lot, off and on, for a couple days.

The whole song, with its murky point of view (who is the "you?" who is the "we?") -- really, it was incredibly audacious of Dave to lead the record that way. He must've really felt driven to explore this stuff because it was surely not an easy-in piece of material for the casual listener and not very 'radio friendly' in the current climate. Sophomore record syndrome be damned, dude was gonna do what he had to do.

That line, I think I get stuck on because of the dual meaning of the term "fall" -- just as with "long way down between the summer and the fall" in "Daily Anthem." There is the "season" idea and there is the "inescapable decline" idea, both wrapped into the word. And the lines before it about the history and the winner's distant memory and not being able to escape the drying ink -- yeah, that makes me think hard, also, about the inevitability of change. (I know D made a reference once in an interview to winners getting to write history. But this song is so palpably not a social-issues song, kwim?)

The "fall of who we are" -- obviously you can stick that into an Adam context and make it work, if "who we are" as living relatives is going to end. But then there's "who we are" as public figures or personae (or rather just D as a public figure, this reality TV guy). Given his repeated interview mentions of fear of failure and carpe diem because it could all go bust, maybe sometimes he thought the fall of that persona -- the "who we are" of the current era -- was inevitable too. Or at least getting closer with the inevitable drying ink. But otoh, it's 'we' not 'me' -- ach. "The fall of who I am" would've scanned OK in the line, but it's not what he wrote.

So frankly, I don't know what's going on here. Only that it's bad.

I keep listening and staring at the lyrics and wondering.... what that is about. Whole song. "mayday somebody save me, i'm over my head, it's all coming undone and falling apart" - -that is reasonably clear, though what is the "it" is not so clear. And when D explained at concert 4 hope that GTTG is related to losses in other areas of life (in this case, I guess losing your prior life -- and I do not know if that means Mo/Tulsa life or worry about the Hollywood life) and not just brother/bereavement stuff, it opens up a lot of new interpretive doorways into all the material. IMO.

The fall of who we are is getting closer.


W0W, QTTaquito - that closed captioned version may as well be a whole different song! My aunt, who is deaf - can also lip read very well - and she gets SO mad at the closed captions on her TV.

That's an especially bad example, there.

Nice to see the lyrics at the top of the thread - and kinda sorta gratifying to see that the Version 1 lyrics I posted on May 10th, now at the bottom of the thread - were the same, except for the noted two corrections that were edited in.

That's because David enunciated so clearly - so what's Closed Captioning's excuse?

Thx QTT. It must be tough for people who have to rely on closed-captioning because I can tell that so often, as a hearing person, the captioners keying in the text get it wrong.

Thanks for bringing the correct version here too. Appreciated.

I transcribed the lyrics for The Last Song as they are shown in the closed captioning script. These lyrics are NOT correct. The closed captioning text was rife with errors. I am posting them only to show how flawed closed-captioning can be, sadly for those who must rely on it. My first thought was, "Great. We can verify the lyrics from closed-captioning. They must surely have gotten the correct lyrics to use from David himself." Sadly, apparently not so. The CC lyrics actually invert the meaning of the song. The previously disputed word, "wires", was shown correctly, but much of the rest of the song is quite wrong.

THE LAST SONG I'LL WRITE FOR YOU (transcript of closed-captioning)

VERSE 1: (Only line 4 in Verse 1 is fully correct.)
I can tell there's nothing left to say
Because we're both losing our loving gaze.
And we're hanging from wires
and I can't keep putting out the flames.

CHORUS: (Only the first 2 lines of the chorus are correct)
There was a time when you could tell the world that you
knew I would fight for you, knew I would fight for you
Now you know I can't let you go
Because that's not alright for you
That song I'll write for you

VERSE 2: (Only line 1 in Verse 2 is fully correct.)
I've been waiting just to feel this way
And I made it every day
that you ever had
Because I, I'm still calling out your name.

There have a time when you could tell the world that you
[From this point, the rest of the chorus and the bridge appear to be correct.]

In summary:
Actual lyrics: "I can let you go. I'm through calling out your name."
This version: "I can't let you go. I'm still calling out your name."


Thanks for posting the lyrics QTTaquito. I had guessed wires at first , but then began to doubt myself when someone suggested words. That interpretation made sense as well so glad that is cleared up. I like to sing along and don't want to be singing the wrong thing.LOL!

I had written many, many twitlonger updates with the lyrics for TLSIWFY from the time we got the snippets, but I held off posting the lyrics here because we sometimes lose the edit button, and a lyrics post takes up so much space. I didn't want to keep re-posting until I had the final version. David's enunciation in his Idol performance was wonderful. You could hear clearly that he sang "wires" even before he personally confirmed it (very cool of him). The one really sad aspect of his American Idol performance is how terribly flawed the closed captioning lyrics transcribing was. It's sad because the hearing-impaired must rely on CC, and the lyrics shown completely turned around the meaning of the song. I'm going to do a separate post with those. I just realized I never did bring the final lyrics here. Oops. I scanned the thread and it doesn't appear anyone else has posted them, so I'll do it now. Better late than never.


I can tell that somethin's not the same,
'cause we're both losin' at the lovin' game.
We're hanging from wires, your tongue is afire,
and I can't keep putting out the flames.

There was a time when you could tell the world that you
knew I would fight for you, knew I would fight for you
But 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've been waiting just to feel this way
When my night's not made by every day
That you ever had, the good and the bad
'cause I, I'm through calling out your name.

There was a time when you could tell the world that you
knew I would fight for you, knew I would fight for you
But 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


We just drifted apart
Two beats in two different hearts
Before I say goodnight
I want you to know

[Guitar solo]

There was a time when you could tell the world that you
knew I would fight for you, knew I would fight for you
But 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

Now I know that I can let you go 'cause I wrote
the last song I'll write for you,
this is the last song I'll write for you.

I know this is the lyrics thread, but I just wanted to add that TLS has more in common with The Truth than just the message of these lyrics seeming to counter those of The Truth. I felt so "comfortable" with this song from the moment I heard it, and after "living" with it for a while, I realized why. The "feel" I get is that TLS is quintessential David Cook, very reminiscent of The Truth musically as well. He didn't copy from TT, but TLS is similar in style to TT. Listen to the style of drumming in both songs, not only use of the snare, but the overall mood the drums set, no intricate flurries, but kind of a steady, rhythmic (kind of heart-pounding) build. (It's also, to me, similar to the way David himself played drums for Phil Marshall's Free.) Then listen to the style of the guitar solo in TLS (at 2:33) and compare it to the style of the guitar solo in The Truth (at 2:50), and also David's own Makeover solo (at 2:36). (The Truth and Makeover are my two very top favorites on Analog Heart. No wonder I love The Last Song so much.) They don't employ a lot of "fancy" finger work, but instead are "slide-y", moody, plaintive. (The guitar solo David also played himself with his retired Les Paul for Time Marches On (at 1:59) is in similar style.) The guitar solos are different from each other, but all four are of the same style, all four express that same heart-rending, melancholy sadness.


I agree with you and I don't think it's ***talking at all! After seeing the interview where David said TLSIWFY was about an ex from "long,long ago" or whatever, I also started thinking about "The Truth" and how the TLS verse was a bit of a sequel to "The Truth"'s chorus. I think the "lyrical echoes" from "The Truth", expressed in that TLS song verse, could be very deliberate on David's part.

I'm sure there are other types of situations (like leaving RCA) that can be applied to the lyrics, based on the listener - but since David said TLS was about an ex/on-again, off-again relationship - in two different interviews, I believe - I'll take him at his word.

from Twitter re: TLSIWFY
Daniel James ‏ @danielisrad
For the record, I had nothing to do with the lyrics of the song. David knocked that out of the park.


I agree with your interpretation of this part:

I've been waiting just to feel this way
When my night's not made by every day
That you ever had/the good and the bad
Cause I/ I'm through calling out your name

I also see lyrical echoes with The Truth

If you wanna know the truth
you make or break my day
If you wanna know the truth
I wouldn't have it any other way

So my ass-talking is that if, as D said it's about a long, long a go ex then it could be Analog Heart girl and boy she must have really done a number on him!


I just read on twitter, that we got our answer re. words or wires. WIRES it is - great the he answered!!!
Plus that BOOM after the answer just seemed like a way to say "here it is" and if I analyze it even more, it could also be his way to say "I do "see" the talks". What´s up next?! Smiling
Love the song - both FHTZ & TLSIWFY. They stick to your head like WONDERFUL glue.

Flaming words of fire was the image I saw. Tired of putting out the flames. Words can be so hot that they burn. I guess I made my ears hear words instead of wires. When I listen to the song again, it is indeed wires. I guess either word would have worked, though.

I pretty much knew it was wires. Seeing it on Idol made up my mind.

I couldn't get anywhere with the whole "a fire" or "afire" lyric though. Anybody have a guess?
I'mkind of leaning more toward "afire".

So exciting! I'm happy for David that his song is doing so well. #1 on Amazon Rock and #2 on I-Tunes Rock is not shabby at all.

I always thought it was "wires." I had the idea of the image of a landline phone - hanging on wires/ your tongue's afire over the phone. But I like the puppet wires metaphor, too, though puppets usually dangle on strings.

Interesting that that's proof that he is watching his timeline. Her offer caught his eye & he jumped on it. I hope for more of the same interactions going forward.

Except I just lost my teeth on a bet. It is kind of cool, though. Didn't expect a answer from our Rock Gawd so quickly nor directly! It's so cool that you can click on his twitter and follow the whole conversation. I'm still learning all of the twittering stuff!

I kinda a love that with no label there is more interaction with fans. This is a good IMHO.

Wires? You kidding me? Well, just try to take my teeth. Heh. And I write, too. It would be words if I had any say about it. Wires. Phewy. (Just kidding!)

give squirrelly back her teeth? (ya need the teeth, girl....)


wires was my initial guess and ... yeah. just because, as a writer? I want that internal rhyme to be happening, and the metaphor is more creative/artistic, too.

Hey, Lucky Duck - I just saw that - very good to know. Heh. Now I'm glad I changed it the last time the Edit button made an appearance!

Thank Henny3428, if you are on Twitter, for getting the answer from *thesource* ?

Looks like it wires! (in response to a fan)

Janine ‏ @Henny3428
@thedavidcook Tell you what-you confirm "We're hanging from (words) or (wires) ? And I'll buy another and gift 3 more!

@Henny3428 wires. BOOM!!! Thanks for supporting and spreading the word!

I'd bet my teeth (and I have nice teeth) that it is "words." He's talking about words in several lines of the song.

Thanks Tigereyed. I get it now, his nights are disturbed by the days she's had, There's a comma after had.....

That YOU ever had, the good and the bad,

He's done letting her dump/maybe even blame him.

That's much better. Gee THANKS.

Popping in (for the first time in a LOOOONG time) with my $0.02:

1. "Wires". Sounds like "words" but my first exposure was TV, and it looked like "wires". Agree about "puppets" metaphor.

2. "Tongue is afire" = metaphor for "your words burn me, they're so caustic." Which is entirely consistent with the rest of the first verse and the subsequent one, which brings me to...

3. @follia: that verse, to me, is talking about the phenomenon where one's significant other brings all baggage (from today and all days previous) into current conversation. So if girlfriend had a bad day (and brings baggage from bad days past) along and dumps it on our narrator, he's having a bad night. (This is exhausting to live through, when one is the one being dumped on nightly.) Now, he feels ready to let girlfriend go, and is no longer affected by her endless baggage. Finally.

Would so done help me interpret this verse. I think I understand it, but it os murky for me. I think it's because it's written and sung as if "days"bends a sentence and I think it does ly really. I think the sentence ends with "bad". But please set me straight.

I've been waiting just to feel this way
When my night's not made by every day
That you ever had/the good and the bad
Cause I/ I'm through calling out your name

shrugs. said it was asstalking. don't really need to know what it's 'about' and D might not ever tell, despite what he said in the interview about exes, since stuff can be 'about' more than one thing. (GTTG will, I guess, be cited going forward as the classic case of this phenom, as per being not just about goodbye to the non-girl named Adam cook but also even goodbye to the prior life a la Life on the Moon. Which D said at Night of Hope, and I'd thought of the Adam interp long ago, but not so much the other idea.) He doesn't lie but he doesn't tell all he knows, and he's not obligated to, for sure.

Sometimes I think it's mostly a matter of -- here is the musical sound, here is the general emotion/feeling/concept I'm interested in exploring (in this case, calling it quits after a long battle to make something work) and -- now let us construct lyrics that explore/convey the feeling, without necessarily telling a very direct tale. It is kind of a Neil Young way of creating music, IMO, in terms of constructing at least some songs out of aggregations of metaphorical statements that can be rather challenging to deconstruct. But that's OK. Gives 'em something to talk about.....


VERY interesting posts and takes on TLSIWFY, which by the way is an awesome song. I LOVED it from the first listen Smiling I have had it on repeat quite a bit, I will say first I heard "words" too, but now I´m more convinced on WIRES. Back to listening Smiling

Including "there was a time i would fight to try to be a celeb superstar but now not so much."

No, I don't buy this reading.

"Fight for you" means something active. Not, "I will diplomatically stand and smile at events to please you" but "I will shelter you from harm and/or declare my involvement and fidelity openly in the face of potentially disruptive parties."

I can read that as a romantic statement: it has obvious precendents. I can read that as a creative one: a writer may well choose uncomfortable/dark topics as subjects because they are important personally and then move on when they've been expressed to his or her satisfaction.

I can't really read it as one from the artist/celebrity to the industry, though. The power differentials in those kinds of relationships just don't work with these metaphors, IMO.

those online places pick up stuff from each other and they get stuff wrong all the time. i agree that D-confirmation would be best. Sure looked/sounded like 'wires' on AI, to me.

I've searched the lyrics of "The Last Song I'll Write For You" online, and most of the websites say it's "words" and not "wires". I kind of think he's saying "wires" and not words. However, I've listened to the song many times, and sometimes I think he's saying "wires" and others I think he's saying "words". Both make sense, but I want David himself to confirm the lyrics. Laughing out loud (Since I want to make sure I'm singing the right words when I sing-along to the song.)

While I can accept "hanging through wires" and its imagery, I think the line is "hanging through hurts." It's consistent with the imagery of hurting and lashing out with "tongue is afire."

but we're not walking on the wires... we're hanging from them. That is mostly a puppet image. "We are manipulating each other?" That would work. The writer in me always wanted it to be that just because of the neatness of the near-rhyme. (wires/fire)

Dave said here that it is "about" old relationship/s.

IMO it is likely "about" more than one thing, as with a lot of his output. Including the sense of being tired of the drama, tired of even saying goodbye. There could be label-kissoff sentiment in that, as well as girl kissoff. There could even be Adam-sentiment and post-AI in that: the sense of just wanting to be finished with this very difficult era, whatever the context. (Including "there was a time i would fight to try to be a celeb superstar but now not so much." Total asstalk speculation and possibly completely unfounded, however.)

Really good strong performance on AI. As I've said a couple other places -- musically there is some shared DNA with the TLM material. I'd still say it's all kinda genetically related and not a "whole new thang," kwim? (Somewhat fresher, for sure more emphasis on the vocal line -- lord knows fans have validated D when he does that, he has to be paying attention.)

I hope they figure out how to get it in front of some ears at radio.

Multiple reports kind of confirm it is "wires"...My closed captioning said that also. "Wires" was my choice....but you can't depend on CC...I have seen them get it wrong before unless they have script/lyrics ahead of time.

My image is of cautiously walking on tightrope (high wire) & hanging on so you don't fall.

Well,David didn't answer that question, but he did answer one where he said he wrote most of the lyrics for TLS.

And in the live performance tonight, it sounded like "wires"...waiting for video to check. That felt faster live...didn't really get a chance to listen for anything else.

Also - from another thread tonight:

Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 21:27

Loved the performance tonight! Thought I'd comment - I had my closed captioning on, cause I always do, makes it easier to catch what I don't hear. Closed captioning says the word was 'wires' not 'words'. lol

The edit button came back again - so it's amended - Thanks, OmahaCookie and Janlin.

multiple ppl asked the question, so maybe we will get an answer. i can make it work metaphorically either way, the wires interp possibly being "we are puppets for each other."

it'd be interesting to see whether it is 'afire' or "a fire" -- if you really want to get across the prior notion, "on fire" is a lot less ambiguous phrasing though obvs not as poetic. "your tongue is afire" means (duh) "your tongue is burning and I cant' put it out." Which sort of conveys concern for the person he is addressing. Whereas if spelled 'your tongue is a fire', the sense of it is 'you are burning ME' with that fire i can't put out. IMO.

Very subtle, but you see the different emphasis. Since they are totally homonyms there is no knowing what the primary meaning is until and unless the writer/s deliver us an authorized written-out version.

#wevebeenherebefore #wellbehereagain


Great! That would be very cool - if David gives us the lyric. He's gotta know that we are already deep into the song.

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