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"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
| Page 1 - 2 - 3 | HOME | THE MAIN STAGE | THE GREEN ROOM | THE PIT | BOX OFFICE | LOBBY | OFFICIAL |
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Comments (1471)

"He enunciated "from curtain up to closing scene" so clear as a bell that you'd almost think he knew we were listening for it."

Heh. Maybe he did, QTTaquito. It sounded damn fine to me. You've done an admirable job with this - and I am taking them for dissemination. I hope all the lyrics sites on the web stop by and get their intel from a good source...I've enjoyed reading the opinions and it all makes sense in your final cut, sort of a lyrical logic travels throughout. IMO.

Well, no edit button again, but I'm hoping this is the last lyric update for "From Here to Zero". David performed it tonight, and sang it so beautifully, and enunciated so well, that I'm pretty certain these will be the correct lyrics. There are just a couple changes: First, "a love we saved for a second look" (not "we've set"). And second, I believe he sang, "Will it all fall down as we count the cost..." (I'm pretty certain he sings "Will", not "when"; "fall" is definitely singular). He enunciated "from curtain up to closing scene" so clear as a bell that you'd almost think he knew we were listening for it. Eye-wink

FROM HERE TO ZERO

VERSE 1:
Here we are at the starting line
Of a race that goes till the end of time
You and I
Take a long deep breath and I'll take one too
as the seconds fade and the minutes move
I'm by your side

Life's a countdown that never ends
And the world we know keeps on cavin' in
We can hold on, I will hold on

CHORUS:
Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

VERSE 2:
A love we saved for a second look
like a flower pressed in your favorite book
by the windowsill
We got lost in a passing glance
as the winter frost melted in our hands
and time stood still

Life's a countdown that never stops
Will it all fall down as we count the cost
We can hold on, I will hold on

CHORUS:
Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

Bridge:
And every point in between
from curtain up to closing scene
(the spotlight we've been living in)
Look in your heart and please believe
I'll never go, I'll never leave
From here until the end.

CHORUS:
Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

HI!!!

QTT: thank you for all that you did with the lyrics. Smiling I´m with Incipit, it is FINE and perhaps one day we get them from the source himself?! I´m sure yours / ours match pretty well.
I will go back to enjoying the song and with appreciation that some fans actaully sat down and figured out the lyrics!!! I´m sure we will all talk again Smiling

QTTaquito, I'm ready to sign off on what you have - with the usual caveat that lyrics from the #source# will supercede anything, of course. I wasn't married to that lyric that I heard - it could go either way, and neither will impeded me from happily singing along. KWIM?

Thanks again for taking this on - are you ready for Round 2 - and TLS? *wink*

One more lyrics update from me, then I promise I'll stop post ho'ing. Smiling

Rather than re-posting the full lyrics again, I made one change to the previous full lyrics post, which I'll just link to here: https://www.davidcookofficial.com/us/node/586257.

The discussion about differences in what we hear were in three places (bolded):

VERSE 2:
We got lost in a passing glance
as
the winter frost melted in our hands
and time stood still

[Leaving that as is because that is what I still hear and see as I listen/watch repeatedly.]

Life's a countdown that never stops
When it all falls down, as we count the cost
We can hold on, I will hold on.

["and we count" changed to "as we count". I had included "as" in my twitlonger and several of you have said you hear it as well.]

Bridge:
And every point in between
from curtain up to closing scene

[After multiple additional re-watchings, I continue to hear, and see, David saying/forming the word "up", so I am going to leave that with the wording norman had suggested.]

I'm really sorry if some of the words might still not agree with what someone else hears, but I can't "make" myself change them to something I don't hear after repeatedly re-listening and re-watching, if that makes sense. This transcription is only one version. I would really welcome everyone and anyone to please post "your" version, too, so everyone can listen to "all" versions and ... hear what *they'll* hear. Eye-wink I think that's how it usually works around here - we offer our "best guesses" - unless/until we get "official" lyrics (and, then, only if they're *really* official, from the writer/s). lol.

Thanks so much for your time and suggestions, everyone, especially normanthecat, Incipit, nina and Hummingbird.

Wish I had time right now to re-listen for the various things Hummingbird, nina and Incipit have suggested, but unfortunately, I don't at the moment. I had posted a twitlonger with the lyrics yesterday afternoon a few hours after my update "here", and had made a change because, as I was listening then to FHTZ, I thought I heard "as". I wrote the twitlonger with the alternative: "and/as", but I didn't have a chance to come back here and post or edit that in.

I, too, was watching the video last night specifically for David's mouth/lip formations, and I see him ending the phrase I have as "curtain up" with a "p" formation of his lips. Guess I'll be watching that video later a few dozen more times, if I can. Such a hardship to watch David videos. Eye-wink

Incipit, Without re-listening yet for an "s" sound, I'd like to explain that "glance" in the singular makes sense to me. I visualize that phrase in the context of two people "sharing a glance", a single glance, getting lost in that one glance and not being able to look away from each others' eyes, not two people taking multiple glances at each other. But, I'll watch and listen for it again, as soon as I can, to see if I hear the suggestions y'all have made. Thanks for lending me your ears. lol.

ETA: I did just re-listen to just that one spot (not the video yet). I still hear "a", not "our", and I believe the "s" sound you are hearing is the word "as":

"We got lost in a passing glance as the winter frost melted in our hands...", not
"We got lost in our passing glances the winter frost melted in our hands..."

HI!!!

I see we are still "working" with the lyrics of FHTZ. Smiling

HUMMINGBIRD: I have listened a bit now and I hear what you hear: "Does it all fall down as we count the cost"
I did not mean to diss your example and hey I give you credit for a 30 minute test Smiling

INCIPIT: I had your line in the works as well and I hear the S after glance as well. I hear what you hear: "We got lost in our passing glances".
We hear what we hear. Even after an endless loop Sticking out tongue

It is tough with lyrics and I will say that as some one who does not have English as # 1 language, I probably hear it all?! Laughing out loud LOL
But I do know that I hear a very beautiful song and the lyric with the flower = SIGH.

Many kudos to this collaborative effort - I''m hearing what you have as the last version pretty much all the way through - the only quibble I have is the S I clearly hear on the end of 'glance'.

This - We got lost in a passing glance - sounds to me like
This - We got lost in our passing glances.

I definitely hear the 'S', and the 'r' sound for our - and this works better as a slant rhyme with 'hands'.

Also - we = 'our glances', rather than 'a' glance. IMO.

But, that's just what I hear after an endless loop. *wink*

Thanks for taking this on!

QTT and Nina - In the bridge I agree that sometimes it sounds like "from the good and not the closing scene", and others it sounds like from curtain up and not the closing scene. The problem is I always hear the word not. I think good and not the closing scene sounds more like it even though curtain up to closing scene fits better in context.

Also, you may have missed my suggestion for that line in the second verse, or simply dismissed it. but I would love for you to give it a listen with this line in mind.

I have been watching and listening to that one line for at least 30 minutes. I think it says
"does it all fall down as we count the cost". I definitely hear an s on the end of the 1st word and it looks like David is saying a word starting with d, then I hear no s sound on the end of fall, and finally I do hear an s sound on the end of that word beginning with a making it sound like as rather than and.

I have listened and listened and watched his mouth as he is singing, and this is what it looks like and sounds like to me. I don't hear when at all. But that is as usual OMO. I would just like others to hear it and see what they think. Especially you QTT as you took on this enormous, mind boggling task. Thank you for doing this.

HI!!!!

QTT: funny thing is that when I listened to it again after my post earlier, I heard your version, my own and the one from the video . I do remember you had another version first. Well he certainly knows how to keep his fandom busy and I will say to you - again - it is very appreciated, don´t think otherwise. Smiling
I was so thrilled when I saw that you had written them for us!!! Thanks!!!

That could be, nina. When I listen for "the good and not", that's what I hear. In fact, that's what I wrote when I first transcribed. But when I listen for "from curtain up", I hear that, too. lol. I went with norman's suggestion because it all seems to tie together, fit the same metaphor: "curtain up", "closing scene", "spotlight". I've tweeted Zac Maloy to ask if he might read a twitlonger with the lyrics, and tell me the corrections where needed. I haven't gotten a tweet back from him ... yet. I won't bother him with the lyrics unless he tweets me that he doesn't mind. I hope he does reply "OK', because it would be just great to have all the correct lyrics.

PS: the only difference I found was in the bridge:

QTT wrote: "from curtian up to closing scene"

Video: "the good and not the closing scene"

I actaully heard : "be good enough to close it seems" Shocked

But listening to it again and again, I think the lyric in the video may be right. Yes / no???

HI!!!

Some body, not a name I know, made a video with lyrics for FHTZ. Don´t know if they match yours QTT?? (thank you for doing this for the rest of us)
There is an extra dimentsion to a song, when you have the lyrics, JMO Smiling

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptl2mCNOrrE&feature=related

[I don't know why this re-posted. I had an edit button, so I edited my previous post & hit the save button, and here it is, posted again. And the post I edited, wasn't edited. I hope this doesn't post a third time. Sorry for cluttering up the thread, cim. If you prefer, maybe Lisa can delete my previous post?]

I don't seem to have an edit button today, so I'll just re-post the whole song. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone, both here and on twitter. I've been trying to mix and match various words and phases people have suggested, but couldn't find a way to combine them that made any sense.

I haven't had a chance to re-listen today, but norman's suggestion for the bridge *does* make sense, so I'm going to plug those lines in. Do you have any best guess now for the one remaining questionmark, that elusive second line (***) in the Verse 2 pre-chorus? Anyone? Anyone?

ETA: Thanks for trying so hard, Hummingbird. But, Yay! I think I might have it. I had the song playing in the background, not paying attention. That's usually when I catch what I've been trying too hard to hear. I *think* this is it:

"When it all falls down and we count the cost"

--------Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 07:56--------

Thought I'd throw these in here before I finally go to sleep (almost 7 am). Lyrics for the new song David played tonight at the Underground Lounge. There are words and blanks (in [ ] ) I'm not sure of yet, but maybe new ears will hear better and figure them out.

FROM HERE TO ZERO

VERSE 1:
Here we are at the starting line
Of a race that goes till the end of time
You and I
Take a long deep breath and I'll take one too
as the seconds fade and the minutes move
I'm by your side

Life's a countdown that never ends
And the world we know keeps on cavin' in
We can hold on, I will hold on

CHORUS:
Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

VERSE 2:
A love we've set for a second look
like a flower pressed in your favorite book
by the windowsill
We got lost in a passing glance
as the winter frost melted in our hands
and time stood still

Life's a countdown that never stops
When it all falls down, as we count the cost
We can hold on, I will hold on

CHORUS:
Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

Bridge:
And every point in between
from curtain up to closing scene
(the spotlight we've been living in)
Look in your heart and please believe
I'll never go, I'll never leave
From here until the end.

CHORUS:
Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

I have been watching and listening to that one line for at least 30 minutes. I think it says
"does it all fall down as we count the cost".

I don't seem to have an edit button today, so I'll just re-post the whole song. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone, both here and on twitter. I've been trying to mix and match various words and phases people have suggested, but couldn't find a way to combine them that made any sense.

I haven't had a chance to re-listen today, but norman's suggestion for the bridge *does* make sense, so I'm going to plug those lines in. Do you have any best guess now for the one remaining questionmark, that elusive second line (***) in the Verse 2 pre-chorus? Anyone? Anyone?

--------Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 07:56--------

Thought I'd throw these in here before I finally go to sleep (almost 7 am). Lyrics for the new song David played tonight at the Underground Lounge. There are words and blanks (in [ ] ) I'm not sure of yet, but maybe new ears will hear better and figure them out.

FROM HERE TO ZERO

VERSE 1:
Here we are at the starting line
Of a race that goes till the end of time
You and I
Take a long deep breath and I'll take one too
as the seconds fade and the minutes move
I'm by your side

Life's a countdown that never ends
And the world we know keeps on cavin' in
We can hold on, I will hold on

CHORUS:
Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

VERSE 2:
A love we've set for a second look
like a flower pressed in your favorite book
by the windowsill
We got lost in a passing glance
as the winter frost melted in our hands
and time stood still

Life's a countdown that never stops
***[and/as we all bog/fall down and/as we count the cost] {no idea, really}
We can hold on, I will hold on

CHORUS:
Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

Bridge:
And every point in between
from curtain up to closing scene
(the spotlight we've been living in)
Look in your heart and please believe
I'll never go, I'll never leave
From here until the end.

CHORUS:
Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

Yes, I definitely like Norman's take on those elusive lyrics. Shall we say: That's a wrap?

Oh I like NTCs lyrics. Let me go listen again.

ETA: By jove, I think we have a winner! Thanks for putting me out of my misery *grin*

To the lyric analsyts:
Subject: From Here to Zero (thoughts on bridge)

This is my collaborative “guess” at these lines (based on QTTaquito’s notes, TG’s thoughts & my own 1st and 2nd impressions which standing alone did not make sense)

And every point in between
The good and not the closing scenes
[Andy sings]: The spotlight we’ve been living in

My notes: (1st line) I originally heard “close xxxx seems”
(2nd part) I thought I heard “not like we’ve been living”

So that is my offering - back to the concert videos from last nite!

Re: Here to Zero. I hear what TG hears in the lyrics in the bridge. Something like "And every point in between/ from curtain up to closing scene/ (the spotlight we've been living in)." Maybe? But I'm a 'bathroom on the right' person, too, so, take it for what it's worth.

It is a MOST wonderful song. And, as has been said, this time in service of love, David layers the meanings. Many echoes of some of his signature concepts, but changed : this time, holding on is beautiful, full of love and completeness; not holding on in desperation, fearful of slipping away or plunging into the void.

And, another thing that echoes RHWY, but is different - this time it is "BY your side," not "ON your side," which is a significant difference. To be by someone's side is to be together, paired. To be on one's side, is to be someone's defender against an onslaught or against being accused and so forth.

I also just love " like a flower pressed in you favorite book by the windowsill." So reminds me of early Paul Simon : " It's a still life watercolor on a now late afternoon, as the sun shines through the curtain lace and shadows wash the room." (etc from "Dangling Conversation.")

And, as min points out, the subtleties in the concept of "from here to zero," so different than the "clock out at zero" of "Anodyne," where they will die alone. "From here to zero," just as min said, to the very end, and not letting their love go from here to nothing. Quite a transformation.

David's use of taking a breath, breathing, is throughout so many songs. But here, it's the deep breath of getting ready to go forward into something big. It's not the breath needed to avoid suffocation, but the deep breath that sends us ahead, ready.

An aside : I had to laugh at myself today. I downloaded the mp3 and then looped it for a couple of hours. Later I thought to see if it scrobbled to lastfm. And it did - over and over and over. Anyone looking at that play list would think I lost my mind. Which I guess I did with total love.

Well, it's really lovely. I just love it. The harmonies are beautiful. The words are kind of like 'RHWY' but I dunno. maybe because of the arrangement, it is a lot less epic -- and a lot more real-world. Like... realistic. I really hope they record it acoustic, like that. It is just really quite perfect.

I could not get the blurry words either. But one thing I noticed is, there is a cool language thing, at least to me, in that the primary meaning seems to be: I will never let you go until we die. In other words, the end of our mortality, when we are zeroed out by death. which would be punctuated: I will never let you go, from here to zero.

But the secondary meaning to me seems to be... I will never let you go from here to zero. Meaning: I will never let you go from being my beloved to being zip, to being my ex-beloved. Which would be punctuated: I will never let you go from here... to zero.

they are both expressions of fidelity, but ... yeah, I think it is kind of cool, how the language works.

Really lovely stuff, oh Dave. More of that. I like that. A lot.

QTTaquito, thanks for the lyrics - awesome! Beautiful song! My take on the part of the bridge that you're not sure of is "the closing scene" (instead of "because it seems") and Andy's part sounds like: "The spotlight we've been livin' in" But I could totally be wrong - CCR's Bad Moon Rising always sounded at the end like "There's a bathroom on the right" to me! LOL!

Thank you for this....wow....

Thought I'd throw these in here before I finally go to sleep (almost 7 am). Lyrics for the new song David played tonight at the Underground Lounge. There are words and blanks (in [ ] ) I'm not sure of yet, but maybe new ears will hear better and figure them out.

FROM HERE TO ZERO

VERSE 1:
Here we are at the starting line
Of a race that goes till the end of time
You and I
Take a long deep breath and I'll take one too
as the seconds fade and the minutes move
I'm by your side

Life's a countdown that never ends
And the world we know keeps on cavin' in
We can hold on, I will hold on

CHORUS:
Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

VERSE 2:
A love we've set for a second look
like a flower pressed in you favorite book
by the windowsill
We got lost in a passing glance
as the winter frost melted in our hands
and time stood still

Life's a countdown that never stops
[and/as we all bog/fall down and/as we count the cost] {no idea, really}
We can hold on, I will hold on

CHORUS:
Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

Bridge:
And every point in between
The good and not, because it seems
[Andy sings: The starlight we've been (__?__)]
Look in your heart and please believe
I'll never go, I'll never leave
From here until the end.

CHORUS:
Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

Till the clocks run out, till the sun breaks down
I'll be all the love you need
Till the stars turn cold, I'll never let you go
From here to zero.

On my way home from work the other night, I had TLM playing in the car (big surprise, right?). When TMO came on (this song has been a big favorite from the first time I heard it), I actually got a different take on the lyrics. Up until that time, for me, it's been - 'without you' - talking about someone else that's no longer around. THIS time it was - 'without you' - talking about yourself. It was an 'AHA' moment. Time marches on - without me. So, ready or not, time's not gonna wait till I'm ready... Love these David Cook lyrics.

LOL. i can see it now. The first annual DCO wine-and-facetime reunion. Plus ... slot machines.

Gah. it'd be awesome. But no, alas, re vegas. Real life, kwim? I had Cleveland by the gift of another fan, which was precious and unexpected to me. And my adopted hometown Chicago, by the grace of Gd, the goodness of D and his management, the presence of his friends/fam, the absence of CL. Some sort of perfect storm producing that show last week, from which I may not recover for a while, ha. (Now contemplating appropriate combo of exercise, diet and orthotics to make sure I can stand for for 6+ hours for another few seasons.... or, I hope, more than that.)

So I am not complaining. If I were writing lyrics right now, they'd be grateful ones. It'd been two years since I laid eyes on the guy and three since I'd talked with him and I am very, very happy. Hoping it does not take that long again, but what will be, will be.

The music, though. It's good, huh?

It's good. And that's the covers, too, plus the original tunes. This last batch of covers I just find really fascinating as a group, from Moving Out to Dogman. Eclectic, thy name is Cook.

Yes we do need wine and face time!!!!!! Are you perhaps going to Las Vegas?

One of the many wonderful things about this fandom for me is that I feel free to raise these issues, make these observations, respond to posts in this way. And miraculously, because it is always a welcome miracle for me, someone here, "gets it" and responds.

Your replies, everyone's replies, are special gifts.

Thank you all.

Oh, yeah, follia, the songs you cite, those are "uplifting" -- just to me they are more reflective of a dyad, whereas WB is a big collective "we" for obvious reasons. ADAM is some kind of combination of dyad relationship and collective "we," to me -- that's quite an interesting song. I miss it, but I understand why he doesn't necessarily want to sing it right now.

And to clarify what i meant re personal journey, this is hard to verbalize -- because obviously it is all linked to the dude's journey, one way or another. It's just that Here I Go Again is blatantly a song ABOUT the notion of journey/evolution, whereas most of D's own work goes at the concept in a more subtle/sideways kind of manner, when it is relevant. I would def make some linkage between WB and the Spacehog song, though, in terms of being more universal/collective in nature.

And yeah, re TPTB -- maybe this is just what D does, instead of writing "Love Song" a la Sara Bareilles, lol. Just sings "hand that feeds" and "Dogman." (But that's a leap, since there is no way of knowing, and that's as far as I'm willing to go, ha.)

And well, yeah, FIM -- that's about love, and that's about sex. love and sex. it's all good. (If you're lucky.)

Gah. we need wine to discuss this, and face time. lol.

Minstrel quoth: I wanted to make a comment about the covers he's been doing recently, in light of last night's unveiling of Dogman. I'd encourage people to google the lyrics of that song, as well as Hand that Feeds, and then consider those choices in addition to Man in the Box and Hunger Strike. To some degree all of these songs are dealing with the topic of oppression.

Interesting points here. I agree that David seems to be making some social commentary with these choices. I keep hearing another theme in those songs as well, having to do with the relationship we all have with TPTB, and whether one sells out, rebels or moves out. Aside from SS the songs are written from the perspective of the "victims" (the 99% if you'll excuse the reference). SS seems to speak to the other side of the master/slave relationship.

Minstrel: "We Believe is unusual for him, in terms of being an uplifting social kind of song"

I actually think there are quite a few songs post DCTR songs that are, "post apocalyptic" if you will. TINTLT is obvious. U&I had a similar theme. And We Believe falls into that category for me. Determination to build or re-build, rise from the ashes or against all odds.

Minstrel: " I'll be fascinated to see if he writes any other human-condition-type stuff going forward."

I think we'll see more of this from David, whether he extrapolates from his own existential struggles or life circumstances, or whether he's writing from his observations of others struggling with adversity and oppression. In my mind David's lyrical themes reflect Erikson's stages of adult development pretty well. I think as his professional and personal life define themselves, he'll be expanding his horizon even more in this direction.

And yes CYE and Minstrel: I do think it's the whole thought/feeling connection that drives his musical and lyrical choices. I like the idea that he deliberately chooses ambiguity. I also like the idea that he finally admitted that FIM is about more than just the emotional symbiosis engendered when one falls in love. Are we really to believe that he didn't see that other side of the song until it was pointed out to him? Hmmmmm?

Sure, CYE, I think you are being clear. I think that whole "wordnerd" meme did D a disservice in some regard, in that it predisposed ppl to think he has one approach artistically -- i.e., lyrics-driven -- when in actuality that does not seem to be his approach. Everyone has a different process and I am emphatically not saying the lyrics are unimportant to him (I am wanting to remember some interview where he said they needed to be "perfect," in fact). I am only saying that yeah, evoking some emotional response with the totality of the package seems to be his primary goal, and that sometimes what he is vibrating to initially is musical rather than verbal. Which is cool.

I wanted to make a comment about the covers he's been doing recently, in light of last night's unveiling of Dogman. I'd encourage people to google the lyrics of that song, as well as Hand that Feeds, and then consider those choices in addition to Man in the Box and Hunger Strike. To some degree all of these songs are dealing with the topic of oppression. And this interests me because it is not a big theme in D's own work, though you could definitely argue that some of the Axium work, like On the Floor, is relevant -- but in the Axium context it seems more of a matter of being put down by a specific person rather than a general societal situation. It fascinates me that these choices provide an opportunity to express feelings regarding oppression without having to be very personally direct about it, or even crystal clear.

These covers show that he has some interest in the theme, along with covers that are more sexual in nature (DIYA, HFT, Slow Ride-- which he has soundchecked multiple times but not done in a show--even his semi-underground performances of Tenacious D's F Her Gently, ha). Both DIYA and Stockholm Sydrome are takes on obsessive love, also, which provides (for me) some linkage to the "unhealthy love" stuff from AH.

Finally, a couple of the recent covers are existential or personal-journey related in a way that most of his own work generally also is not (In the Meantime, Here I Go Again). We Believe is unusual for him, in terms of being an uplifting social kind of song, and I'll be fascinated to see if he writes any other human-condition-type stuff going forward.

There are a lot of reasons for picking covers -- for sure Rock &Roll is not a super-deep song, but it offers an opportunity for D and the band to really wail in their chosen genre, which I love. Usually though you would not pick a cover that was not resonating some way for you, or it's not fun. And the "resonate" can be related to the music, the words, or both. Sometimes I am sure these choices are not lyrics-driven, or at least that is way down on the list of reasons to sing/select them.

But it is cool to me, to look at the totality of the choices, and think about what appealed in the words that might've made them stick to the wall.

I feel this should be here:

"My favorite things about all this is when a fan will come up to me and tell me that my song helped them through their parents' divorce or something, and even though that song had nothing to do with that [situation], it's awesome that they got that out of the song," he says, sounding slightly amazed.
"I mean, I could have written that song about a ... a cherry turnover!" He laughs for an instant, then continues on: "And I think that's the amazing thing about music -- it isn't an opinionated medium, it is open to interpretation. Embracing that really helps me a lot.
"I think musically I couldn't do this if I wasn't getting something out of it emotionally," he says. "Writing for me is very therapeutic, but I also try to write ambiguously enough so I get what I need out of it but somebody else could listen to that song and get something out of it for themselves. That's always the goal that I have in mind.
"I don't purposely go into a writing session thinking, 'OK, what can I talk about that everybody will understand?' I don't necessarily think on that plane. Part of it is that I just think, 'Look, everybody goes through certain experiences, love and loss and things like that,' and especially with this new record, that's where I pulled a lot of inspiration from, and getting that audience feedback has been validating, not necessarily for myself, but for the record."

From: http://www.buffalonews.com/entertainment/gusto/music/concert-previews/ar...

Which reminds me of something else that's been on my mind since I asked him the bonus song question - it was really interesting to me that he took quite long to decide where the bonus songs would fit. Also, that his answers were premised on where the songs would fit in terms of a general vibe, rather than a specific storytelling moment. For me, this all reinforces a feeling I've had for a while about his songwriting process - whereas we parse and analyze on a line-by-line level, for him the song is about representing a specific feeling rather than reflecting specific experiences (his or someone else's).

Not sure I'm expressing myself very well - does this make sense to anybody else?

ntc, I remember that interview, and was thinking about it when I made the comments below. IRRC, he also said somewhere that Straight Ahead was about the breakup of Axium, so that would be the "one" that isn't about the ex. Not to say those ideas didn't carry over onto the next, unreleased album.

Re: Analog Heart. There was a Q&A after a radio station performance a couple of weeks ago. I remember watching it because it was the same Q&A in which he blamed his guitar tech for forcing him to reinvent Fade Into Me. At about 8 minutes into this video, he's talking about Analog Heart and says "I think, like, all but one of those songs are about one person in particular, so. She's not in this room, thank God..." So, there you go. Songs about a girl. Who knew?

Just a thought re: the "about one person" comment. He said that the record before Idol was all about one girl, and it's not a nice record.

There IS that record that he finished but didn't release. We've heard a couple of tracks, IIRC (WOHWWS and OTAF -- please correct me if I'm wrong). Neither of which is a cheery, "all is well with our relationship" song.

So perhaps he's referring to the Great Unnamed Album, and not to AH? In which case, AH could well be about something (or someone(s)) entirely different.

Thought you guys might be interested in this information - I asked Dave how much of the lyrics for This Loud Morning he wrote. He said between 80-90%, with the most collaborative songs being the co-writes with Hodges. He also confirmed that he had decided early on to use Hard To Breathe, and (by implication, that the lyrics of many of the other songs were written to echo the imagery of HTB). More detail in my Cinci recap - http://www.davidcookofficial.com/za/blog/my-fepic-gdcatace-v20-epi-6-%E2...

lol, the day min has a reference and incipit doesn't is the day hell is gonna get Siberian.

He did say that, though, someplace sometime, that "all but one are about the same girl" thing. I know I didn't dream it.

The somewhat recent assertions that any of it is "about a girl" actually seems kind of newish. It seems to me that someplace else way back he said something to make people think at least some of AH was about the breakup of Axium.

Since the words on the album represent D in a pretty cryptic lyrical phase, it's anybody's guess, actually. Maybe the songs are "about" more than one thing. When you get into that cryptic place it's even possible to write phrases and sentences that are more meant to evoke an emotion or visual images without telling any sort of literal story.

Eager to see what the cowrite on the new James Durbin record is like. With such things it's hard to know what material originated with which writer, you know -- whether the song was pitched to durbin at a substantial stage of completeness or if Durbin's own involvement was of a higher level. (As we've seen with Hard to Believe, the performer's writing contribution doesn't have to always be so big in order to still have it labeled as a collaboration.)

When I look at the Arrows to Athens "Stars" -- I absolutely could not tell what of those words came out of Cook's brain and what came out of Hodges'. And that would be true for the music as well. (Whereas, with "No Reply?" There are some turns of phrase in there that I would probably bet at least some amount of $ on being DioGuardi's work and not Cook's -- because they don't sound like him, to me.)

"... it's interesting how many facets of a single relationship are explored in this album."

Opa, you may appreciate this - Min has mentioned that David said this before - here it is again -

From SheKnows Entertainment today - in answer to

What’s a love song you’ve written for a girl?

" DC: I write a lot of songs about girls. The entire record before Idol was all about one girl, but it’s not a very nice record. She must have really done a number. Also, "Fade Into Me" isn’t about one girl in particular but it’s the idea of that perfect girl, finding your soul mate, someone you can disappear into.

The first time I heard of this, it was all the songs 'but one' on AH are about the same girl - sorry, don't have a cite - maybe Min does. - but your observation about the many facets of a relationship is very apt. (And David is still maintaining the 'intention' behind FIM, no matter how the lyrics are interpreted.)

To be a bit retro for a moment; on reading this interview: About one person (the first paragraph),I began thinking about Analog Heart, and played it in the car today while running errands. Maybe the this idea has been discussed before I came on board here, but it's interesting how many facets of a single relationship are explored in this album. There's the spiky (Porcelain), the gently sympathetic (Makeover), the philosophical (Silver), as well as the frank allusions to raw wounds and anger. In addition to David's often restated intent to hold to progression in his work, that intensive purging of pain now long over may be another reason he declines to revisit AH.

It's evident that DCTR and TLM draw from this knack David has of inserting remembered emotions and experiences, both devastating and uplifting, into his current lyrics. He's said that he is constantly having ideas for new music. Is it greedy of me to eagerly look forward to what he does next? No, don't think so.

good questions for him, CYE. Good on ya.

The story line is circular, you know? It's about being stuck in a cycle. It's not a very good cycle, in fact. It's a sad cycle, and I think the way the record ends with "mayday" is an obvious plea to be rescued. Within the cycle, there's not a way out.

Those two bonus songs are both, sort of, a way out. LMFFY is about not needing to be strong any more, because the POV character has discovered that surrender to the one "who knows the truth" is the only positive response possible. I could see that it could maybe have been shoehorned into the cycle but then would've had to be followed by something darker, or the story of the record would've been different.

TINTLT is blatantly a song about hope that exists outside the cycle of sorrow, IMO. That even goodbye is just a lullabye, and everything will be all right, and the sun will keep rising -- and not as a painful reminder in the bitter mode of "Time Marches On," either. In TINTLT the day brings hope. Maybe it could've substituted for "We Believe," but WB is obviously meant to be a song about a lot of people working together, and TINTLT is a much more personal take on dealing with hard things, IMO.

I think he's right, about neither of them working well inside the story he was telling with the record. But I'm pretty glad the story of the record is not the complete story.

Bringing this over from my Austin recap, because I think it merits discussion:
"I decided to use my opportunity to ask him a question I have been wondering about for a while. So I asked him, if the bonus tracks had fit into the main album, where would he have put them? I told him that if he didn’t have the answer right away, he could have a whole week to think about it, since I would see him again at Cleveland (I thought it was only fair to warn him LOL). He thought about it quite hard. Then he said that LMFFY would be in the second half of the album, because it was about trying to get someone back. (That kinda flummoxed me, because that was not how I would have summarized it). According to him, TINTL would be in about the middle of the first half of the album. I then asked him the real question that had been on my mind, since QTTaquito and I had been in heated disagreement about this for a while(1) - did he see them as part of an integrated whole with the rest of the album, or as an alternative storyline? Although he didn’t answer directly, he clearly opted for the second possibility, because he added ‘That’s if they HAD to be on the album. Because they really don’t fit into the storyline.’

Full recap here: http://www.davidcookofficial.com/us/blog/my-fepic-gdcatace-v20-epi-4-%E2...

So .... discuss!

A THTF performance getting lots of buzz on twitter: Janesixtytwo recorded this one at Reno this week and imogen has made an MP3 because of the great audio:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5pyC7dPW1U

yeah. it was pretty amazing. comments on the content over in the PB thread.

My goodness, had to go searching for this thread? With a new album and covers happening? Who am I to complain when I haven't been in here either forever. Anyway, I'm bringing over the lyrics for the Nine Inch Nails cover, "The Hand That Feeds" that he sang last night; in the process blowing many of us away. Far, far away. The combo of music and lyrics and D had the force of a giant windstorm.

"How deep do you believe.. " "Do you wanna change it".. "I keep holding on and on.." "There's a price to be paid..." "Will you bite the hand that feeds..."

I don't want to delve into anyone's psychology here, especially someone I don't know personally. I'll just say that my first sense is that his choice of this song marks some transitional stuff he's going/gone through... And that when he sang it last night he felt every bit of feeling there is in that the song to feel. Wow.

"The Hand That Feeds" -- lyrics. (not sure what the copyright rules are, but this is Nine Inch Nails' song)

You're keeping in step in the line
Got your chin held high and you feel just fine
'Cause you do what you're told
But inside your heart it is black and it's hollow and it's cold

Just how deep do you believe?
Will you bite the hand that feeds?
Will you chew until it bleeds?
Can you get up off your knees?
Are you brave enough to see?
Do you wanna change it?

What if this whole crusade's a charade
And behind it all there's a price to be paid
For the blood which we dine
Justified in the name of the Holy and the Divine

Just how deep do you believe?
Will you bite the hand that feeds?
Will you chew until it bleeds?
Can you get up off your knees?
Are you brave enough to see?
Do you wanna change it?

So naïve
I keep holding on to what I wanna believe
I can see
But I keep holding on and on and on and on

Will you bite the hand that feeds you?
Will you stay down on your knees? (x8)

HI!!!

CYE: yes it was great to come to this thread and find new posts.

Imogen_ph: I just read your post about REM and I will not comment much on it, but say WOW. It was very interesting reading and I think that you "agree" with a lot of us and found your own meanings to this song / the lyrics. I like the way you split up the lyrics and most of it made sense to me. I liked the way you started with reference to Circadian and ended with one. It makes it all come full circle and we can all start all over again. GENIUS!!!

I think it is great how many posts this amazing song have gotten in this thread. I´m still blown away by this song and the lyrics. This song was the first I have ever described in these forums and in English. It just touched me so much and I was inspired by the posts about it. I just HAD to comment as well. Quite an interesting (and a bit scary) process!!!
The beginning "Give me one more quiet night" (OMG) absolutely hooks me in, mesmerizes me and makes me want MORE. Some times I have to listen to it again right after first listen, because it is so good!!! There have been so many fantastic opinions about this song and I feel like I discover something new "all" the time.
YAY soon (ups) we will hear REM live again!!!! Some of you up close, me via Tubes.

NEMO: I would like to thank you again for explaining the "touch and go" phrase in Permanent. When I listen to it now and get to that specific moment, it just makes so much sense to me and it simply added something to the song for me by knowing that!!!

New posts in my favorite thread? *Happy dance*

I've been putting off trying to interpret REM for some time now for the simple reason that I just love it too much, but I finally wrote it down. I didn't read other people's interpretations (yet) on purpose so as to avoid influence as much as possible. Here's what I came up with:

Is this story worth forgetting? : Notes and Thoughts on Rapid Eye Movement

I am obsessed with REM, all of it! I am obsessed with the lyrics of every single song on TLM. Such beautiful words, such a story, such a magnificent voice...such poetry...so many pictures go thru my head listening to this fantastic album. And Hard to Believe? I'm right here, I'm right hear, STAYYYYYYYYY with me...." OMG! We Believe, FIM, 4 LW, TMAIA, LMFFY.....all 14!

REM almost makes me fall asleep, so relaxing for me...
HTB makes me wish he was right here with me THUD

Great takes by tiger-eyed and Kitunen of REM. Boy, I have to admit I am still obsessed on the second verse of REM. My mind had been preoccupied thinking about it and of how so well it could represent life especially the first few lines. Even if it were not what David had intended it to be as an analogy of life, it makes sense to me that it could be. First off, I would like to apologize for the long post.

An introduction – Before, and all this time I could only picture the word "floating" with relation to air (cloud) but recently it came to me that I absolutely forgot that it could also be done on water. I haven't gone swimming for more than a year now and so I hadn't thought about it. Through experience, floating could be done by laying on my back even with out any aid of a floating device and even without moving any legs and arms. Calm and smaller waves would just carry me for a while to any direction but of course I had to watch that it did not carry me very far. Floating could also be done in a standing position with the head above water by just kicking the legs and waving the arms gently down against the water just enough to float. I call this floating because I was not exerting myself so hard to avoid from sinking and just let the waves carry me where ever. On the other hand, if I wanted to go against the waves and to go to a different direction or go faster, I had to exert harder which in that case I would call swimming. It was easier to float in salt water like the sea or ocean where the buoyancy was stronger and the waves if calmer I think was also a big help because it kept the body in motion. But of course after a long period of time, it became tiring and then I started to sink.

Remembering these made me see more clearly many possible takes for the 2nd verse of REM. I would like to mention 2 of them.

1.) That floating on water is like going through life. We, as a human race have to have a goal/direction in life to go to (swim towards to) or else we could be going nowhere if we just let life’s forces (waves in the water) carry us with no direction and possibly to the open sea. It might also carry us to solid destiny (shore or boat) but it could take so long and probably most of the time a person would just get tired and give up (sink) and of which there would be many worst thing that could happen - depression, rock bottom, poverty, or death among others. On the other hand, I could picture the intensity of the harshness in life or some outside forces that some people might face like illness, the level of or no education among others (how well one knows how to float, how large the waves are, a storm or a shark) could also determine how fast he/she would sink. Likewise, these forces could also hinder some swimmers from reaching their destinations but then they would still have better chances to reach them because they would be moving faster and know where they are going.

Maybe the encounter of some of these forces by the swimmers are what validate this line "but the oxygen is proving" (swimming through big waves would always push people underwater and so they have to fight back up for air and stay alive). Due to being busy navigating through these difficulties in life, often times this could cause the memories to be pushed at the back of a person's mind. Those memories that a person would not have wanted to part away with. So for that moment in time the person would rather dream about those special memories. In David's case, he maybe missing Adam so much that he was still clinging to that memory. Only in dreams that the memories of Adam would still be alive and that's why he wanted so bad that morning to go back to that dream.

2.) Another analogy could be this. In this one if considering a darker meaning for the word floor in “we kept floating towards the floor. I would take it that “water” would mean life/existence and “floating” would probably just ‘existing’ in life. We, every body are existing (floating) through life towards our common destiny which is of course death (floor). And the pattern in life is always either a person is not living anymore (sink - to the floor) as in being dead or a person is still living (swim) . If I think about David’s case, the former would apply to Adam and the latter, to David. But being alive means he had to maneuver through the difficulties and tests in life (large waves in the water making ‘the oxygen is proving’). (Please read the conclusion for this on the last part of the first analogy because they are the same).

I would like to apologize also if these would sound repetitive of some one’s take. I think most of the time reading someone’s take do not sink into my mind immediately and I have to go back to them and study more carefully but unfortunately often times I forgot to. Also I think some of my post now might be redundant of my previous ones.

Once again I would like to give Mr Cook my high praise for REM. I am super impress, fascinated, enthralled, filled with awe and wonderment and all the words that could express and describe the highest admirations of what I’m feeling for this song. How he could write those lyrics especially the 2nd verse is proven to be that of a great observer and thinker and for me is such a genius. For me those are so deep and heavy of which people like me thought in the beginning as kind of gibberish and was making no sense. Luckily for me, I have just recently come to realize of it’s greatness.
I couldn’t believe it that it took so long for me to get it and this coming from someone who spent 15 years of her life growing up in a house whose backyard was the shore of a bay. Almost everyday especially vacation times, I went out to the sea and swim or float and never in my wildest dream did I equate and compare them to life. That’s why I’m so amazed and captivated with this like no others. I don’t think that I have even come across this analogy any where and on things I had read. I wonder if others had and I’m interested to know.
David’s lyrics interest me so much to always make me think harder. If it were of others, I would probably stay away and just wouldn’t care because most of the times especially lately I hate to think hard.
Right now, I’m getting a headache due to thinking so much while writing this post. Oh wait, I just realized that David’s music had stopped for a while. Have to turn it on as his music is my medicine and inspiration, lol. No worry, cause that’s about it!

On the topic of "floating towards the floor"...I kind of view that line as an almost oxymoronic contradictory statement meant to illustrate the subsequent line ("stuck in this pattern evermore, of sink or swim"). When I think of floating, I usually assume an upward movement, so "floating towards the floor" would seem strange to me...because the floor would indicate a downward movement. I kind of see it as a reference to the perpetuity of that "sink or swim" cycle...kind of a deliberately contrarian statement to emphasize the repetitive and seemingly incomprehensible (for the person experiencing it) nature of the fluctuations between good (floating, up) and bad (floor, down) days. I'm not sure if this is a clear explanation of my interpretation (it's late, lol), but I do love seeing all of the different interpretations that people have of these songs. Smiling

United States

?