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)

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:

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:

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)


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 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

tigereyed; Thank you for such a thought provoking post. Especially about Makeover as I am totally obsessed with trying to decipher the meaning of this song. So far, a lot of what you said I agree with but there are parts in it that for me may mean something a little different than they meant for you. I think that is what intrigues me the most with David's lyrics. I am still working on it and I will share my thoughts in a few days. Then I'm tackling NEMO's homework assignment from last weekend. As usual for me, my homework is late. Eye-wink

Love to read your posts, tigereyed. Go ahead and make them as long as you need; they're always a joy. Oh, that RL; it trapped me in lurker status this weekend, which can be frustrating.

It's so facinating to consider all the different interpretations of these songs. I think if David ever ventures to read what we have to say, he might be surprised and intrigued by a good deal of it. Or saying to himself.....Huh? WTF? But still pleased that some of us take the time for such armchair analysis.

Lovely post, tiger-eyed. I definitely get the slow sinking to the bottom of the ocean feeling too. I've been hesitating to say this, but I keep thinking 'tsunami' whenever I consider the water-related imagery of TLM.


Tiger-eyed: I just read you very interesting and "food for a thought" post. I´m very amazed of the lyrics and metaphors in REM. I think there is so much to REM so that was my main facts from your post. What you wrote about REM was very good and I could follow and understand a lot of what you wrote. Especially the "oxygen"- part and where you talked about "our hero...". Great Sunday reading.

Kitunen: thanks for bringing the lyrics for "Stars" over here. I only heard it once, but it was obvious to me it had a lot of Cook in it. From what we know Cook and Hodges have written together for TLM, this fits right in. They are a fantastic writting team and I liked what I heard on the first listen to Stars. I hope they keep on writting together!
Like Minstrel said: "It will be very interesting to see how the coolaborative relationship evolves".

Tiger-eyed, fascinating and deeply thoughtful, and thought-provoking, post. Thanks for taking the time and sharing it with us. Kind of proves the point that with DC there's so much "there" there.

Wow. Good stuff; I've been mired in RL for a couple of weeks now, so am far behind the discussion. And as a frame for my subsequent comments, I must admit that deep metaphor isn't my strong suit. I'm a fairly linear thinker and I tend not to grapple directly with Dave at his most obscure, because my mind revolts. The best I can get with those lyrics is a gestalt sense of what I think is going on.

So I have very limited input about Makeover's specific lyrics, except that I've always thought that the POV character is someone who was in love with the female character, but from a distance. And the lyrics involve switching between speaking to her and speaking about her, often within the same verse. She's a tragic figure, feeling overwhelmed and abandoned and desperate and unable to escape her situation and grasping for something that will save her. But the POV character is not what she reaches for, despite the fact that he's right there and would go to heroic lengths for her (in her eyes you will find the very best in me), because she doesn't see him. He is wounded by this, but ultimately decides that the only way to cope is to accept that he can't save her and bow out (my ears, they bled before/I need to let them heal and are you prepared for what you'll find?/It's not me).

As for the second verse of REM, when I thought about floating to the floor,, in the context of Dave and this album (in which water figures so prominently), the FIRST image that came to mind was something -- shipwrecky in my head -- slowly sinking into the deep ocean, far from the light and the oxygen above the water. The SECOND image was that of the space capsules of the 1960's, with their parachutes open, floating from the atmosphere to the open sea, toward the oxygen-containing air. Then, considering the rest of the lines, I got myself all confuzzled. But then I did what I do with Dickens: I messed with the punctuation to make it make sense. I think the helper/transition words are pretty important. I'm going to transcribe here with grammatical additions to help illustrate how my brain sees these lines. I also feel, strongly, that a verb is missing. One usually proves something noun-ish (transitive verb: to prove a point) or adjective-ish (intransitive verb: he was proven worthy). One does not prove TO something. However, something may prove ABLE TO DO something. And this, I think, is the implied word (omitted for purposes of getting the meter right): "able."

We keep floating towards the floor, stuck in this pattern, evermore, of sink or swim;

but the oxygen is proving, more than words could ever say, [able] to put these memories away.

So this is it. These rapid eyes will keep on moving.

And here's my interpretation. The first line refers to "WE". Not "I". And this, IMO, is very important. As is the word "keep." It implies a situation in which our protagonist and his lost (doomed) love are stuck in an interminable state of falling. There is no floor, but they keep sinking. Like an Escher painting. The next part of the line reinforces that notion; in the absence of an outside force, the falling/not-falling perpetuates itself. This is a state consistent with dreaming, in which the normal rules of the world need not apply.

Then comes the Oxygen. Which is a potent, determining outside force. Its intrusiveness is implied by the use of the word "but." In the light of the world above the water (or below the atmosphere, pick your metaphor -- both apply, actually, though the "sink or swim" line leads me to believe that D was thinking of water despite his use of the word "floating"), awareness and reality reign. And in reality, the lost love is no longer there. The needs of oxygenated life -- the need to form new memories and deal with everything that is real -- push the treasured memories further and further into the background, make them fade.

So, our hero decides, he will descend again. Into sleep, where the memories are fresh, though caustic, because at least his love is still with him there. I do think that "these rapid eyes will keep on moving" is a reference to "return to dreaming sleep," the sleep stage from which the song gets its name. (Interestingly, and Dave may know this factoid, brain activity in Rapid Eye Movement sleep is the most like the brain's waking state. Which is why, when you wake from a dream, you are very alert.)

That's all I got for now. Time for some dinner and to consider Nemo's playlist. Being quite familiar with the Axium catalog, I concur that Dave has been considering the permanence of relationships for a long time. Adam's brain cancer dx when Dave was 16 will, I'm sure, have been partly responsible for that. That Dave is a cerebral "heart on his sleeve" kinda guy also implies that, if he wants to prevent himself from getting slapped around too hard too often, he needs to be mindful of the effects that other people have on him, now and after the music stops, KWIM? (It's not a well-formed idea, that. Just off the cuff. Sorry if I confused anyone. And to my English-is-a-second-language friends, let me know if I use any completely non-understandable American idioms or words too fancy to decipher; I'm prone to both and will translate where necessary.)

ETA: Holy crap. Didn't realize that this would be so very, very long. Sorry!!

thx, kitunen. good job and interesting observations. i think it's "right" vs "rhyme," though "rhyme" wd make sense and there's precedent as you mention. Simply because "right" makes the neat internal rhyme with the later "fight" -- and also because I hear no trace of an "m" sound in the word.

I can't tell if the g-word is guides, guards, or even "gods." it'd be interesting to know, huh? Eventually surely we will.

the music for sure sounds like David, and since he almost always writes music first, it'd be interesting to know how much of those words are Hodges and how much are Cook. They do seem pretty sympatico. Right now it's hard to tell who did what. Both this and 'we believe' are way more in the inspirational mode than anything I've ever known Cook to write before. I can see why it wasn't quite the right thing for TLM. Too triumphant, as you said, kitunen.

I like Hodges, though. I saw from his blog that a long-shelved album called "more than this," from Trading Yesterday, his former group, is now going to be available. It just came up on iTunes last week; a first listen on spotify makes me think the music (not necc the lyrics) is harmonious with Cook's anthemic style. (there's a sad tale about that band, album, and Epic records on that blog at sobering stuff)

there's also a side project, all instrumentals, called Avox, which he hopes will be a calling card for film scoring.

It'll be really interesting to see how the collaborative relationship evolves.

The Arrows to Athens song "Stars" was premiered on AC on KC Radio today, and since it's a Cook/Hodges co-write, I thought I'd transcribe it and bring it over here. Smiling As usual, there are a few spots where I'm unsure of the lyrics, especially because I'm not as familiar with Hodges' pronunciations.

Here is tomorrow
Just past the sunrise
My fingers reaching out
‘Cause we are believers
The guides (guards?) of the skyline
The curse can’t tie us down

We’ve waited so long
We waited long enough

This is our right (rhyme?), this is our song
This is our moment in history
Ten million roads turn into one
This is our fight, where we belong
No one can take away destiny
So let the night cover us all
Stars will never fall

I try to remember
Frozen in silence
Our blood red beating cold
But oh let the darkness
Always remind us
To never let this go

Keep holding on
We’ve waited long enough

This is our right (rhyme?), this is our song
This is our moment in history
Ten million roads turn into one
This is our fight, where we belong
No one can take away destiny
So let the night cover us all
Stars will never fall
Stars will never fall

So brave the dark
‘Cause the day is ours
And there’s nothing left to stop us
Cause we are believers
The guides (guards?) of the skyline

This is our right (rhyme?), this is our song
This is our moment in history
Ten million roads turn into one
This is our fight, where we belong
No one can take away destiny
So let the night cover us all
Stars will never fall
Stars will never fall

I see several connections to Circadian in this song, in a way. It's kind of an inverse relationship. "Fingers reaching out" as opposed to "cutting all ties," "we are believers" as opposed to "starting to believe that what we think is never true," "this is our moment in history" as opposed to "who's to say this history isn't only just some winner's distant memory," "the curse can't tie us down" as opposed to "the light pulls me under and I keep on caving in," "the day is ours" as opposed to "once the sun rises it's out of my hands"...and just the general sense of being in control ("no one can take away destiny") versus being overwhelmed. "Brave the dark"/"let the night cover us all, stars will never fall" would indicate an aversion to night/a reassurance that things won't fall apart in the "darkness" instead of an aversion to waking up and dealing with the day like in Circadian. If the lyric is "rhyme" instead of "right," there's another word choice connection. It would be interesting to see the timeline for writing these two songs...which one came first, if there really is any deliberate connection between these two songs in particular.

"Ten million roads turn into one" reminds me of being pulled in all directions, mentally or life experience-wise, and then finally realizing, amidst the chaos, what you have to do to get back on the right track.

This song makes me happy because it's another example of a song with a "sunny" outlook that was written during the TLM process. Even among heavy songs like Circadian, REM, GTTG, and TMO, there were evidently bright spots.

I think it's really cool that Cook/Hodges seem to have a distinct style as writing partners. I definitely hope they'll continue to work together in the future.


NEMO: I just saw you reply and re-read your explanations to "touch and go". Reading them again just moved me so much. What stuck out was your reference to having to say "the last goodbye". All of a certain it made me re-think "The last goodbye". I think I have to analyze it for my self in a minute. The threads sure can keep you busy. Thanks for the compliment about my english. This makes me "dare" to come back and post around these forums!!!

My pleasure, Nina. Your English is excellent and you write about David Cook very eloquently - I can't imagine how hard it would be to think about and discuss Cook lyrics in a second language - look how most of us struggle to do it in our native tongue!


NEMO: it was so much fun to "do" your playlist and it was really a great one! The songs really complement each other very well. There was definately a pattern and a lot of themes to look for.
THANK YOU very much for taking the time to explain "touch and go" to me. It made it very easy for me to understand because of the examples you gave. Next time I listen to "Permanent" this line will no longer stick out to me. I have been wondering about it, but never thought of asking about it. Until I did this little "week-end fun" and I thought someone around here might have the magic words. You sure did!!

Hi! Very much enjoyed your reactions to my playlist Nina and Minstrel - guess I better work on writing up my own! For now, I'll just say that I agree this is very, very fertile ground for lots of ideas, emotions, and interpretations IMO. I hope more folks will dive into it and share what happens when they do.
Nina: about the phrase "touch and go" in the song Permanent. This is an English idiom that means uncertainty. If something is "touch and go" then it may or may not happen -- like when a plane touches down during landing but then goes up again for a bit, then down again. In the context of Permanent, one could imagine an illness or turn for the worse which is "all touch and go" - the person may or may not recover this time. Doctors may be saying they just don't know what will happen. In my view, Adam's apparent swing back and forth from recovery to near death over and over for 10 years made an indelible mark on David (and no doubt other family members). That's a very long time to be in limbo - to be waiting to say goodbye, avoiding saying goodbye, glad not to have to say goodbye, knowing you will have to say goodbye. The last goodbye.
Just another FYI note for anyone who might not know: It seems that David was about 16 when Adam was diagnosed, and 26 when he died (Adam was 37).


PS: happy to see I was not the only one who could not wait.

Flower Lady: VERY interesting thoughts about Andrew being a theme on TLM too.

Minstrel: great post and very thoughtfull. WOW. You made it more clear and simple than mine, but NEMO did leave it up to us on how to do it. I like yours.
Yes we need your take on this too NEMO.


Let me warn you this might be a bit (too) long!!! With 7 songs to write about, that´s it!

NEMO: I did not know song no. 1 and 2 on your playlist and had to give them a listen. First I will say: they were very good and I might have to check out more axium stuff. OMG.
Something happened while I listened to no. 1 and I had to write down words and ideas that came to my mind while listening.
And I found out I could not stop, so I actually just spent some time on the whole playlist. I was gonna wait for the week-end but those two got me started. GREAT playlist!!!!

I did not take me that long to find some themes that were repeated like: loss, coping, hope, promises, mentor-figure, love, goodbyes and I have to comment on each song, because there are certain lines I need to point out. PLEASE BARE WITH ME!!!

1: "NOT AROUND": "love, friend to the end, through thick and thin, thank you, time for our lives to begin is from the start. "I will never forget you, eventhough you are not around". This (" ") really moved me and it says it all. If it was written today it could have been about Adam. David (and co) will of course never forget him.
"No more tears (reminds me of a "promise" made in Permanent), but the memories will live on (he uses the word memories). I will see you even after your gone". David knows he will always have ? around, in the memories and in his heart. Because ? meant the world to him. "Tears stream down to the ground" is just a David-lyric to me. There is a theme of even though it is tough and ? will not be around, all the things they did together will live on (inside) Beautiful song!!!

2: "BALANCE": It just touched me from the beginning and this line "? should lean on me, I leaned on you for so long". It´s like DC has energy to take care of ? now, so it could work the other way around too. DC has a "strong" moment. "My words they sing you this song". His way of handling things: through a song. "Walk away it´s your time, your memory (again) will never die". This is a real tearbreaker.
"You´re my sense of balance for the rest of my life". WOW. He is ready for the goodbyes, because ? will still be with DC. "I love you, fare thee well, the memory will never die". Goosebump moment. He is convinced now that ? will always be there....somehow. LOVE IT.

3: "LIFE ON THE MOON": first I thought WHY??? But then "I´m gonna need you more than ever" came up and at that time in his life, he really needed ? to "guide" him, be there and treat him like "just" David. All these changes are overwhelming and I NEED YOU.
"Flown of the ground my head´s up in the air" = poetry.
"Just to know that you are here by my side". If I can´t have the others for real at least let me have you. Are you there for me?, because it is a big comfort.

4: "PERMANENT": He can´t keep the promise about not crying. I think Adam wanted David to live his life and not be sad about him. But it was too hard for David to not cry. "It will surely change", life without Adam in it. "Everything is temporary". Nothing lasts forever and we do not know when we are leaving?!
"Some way for me to take his place"......almost in tears when he sings OMG. David wants Adam to live, to take his pain, perhaps because of Adams kids, wife???
Does anyone have a take on this "IT`S ALL TOUCH AND GO"???
"Rest your head, I´m permanent". It´s like he is saying things will be alright. What I love about this song is that in some places it could be David "talking" and others it could be Adam.
"Is this the moment where I look you in the eye" = GOODBYE. So sad and beautiful.

5: "RHWY": one of my favourites and it was from the Best Buy concert. "the light you gave them" = ? gave them so much. "You never let the sun go down and fall to pieces". Strong. "I can never walk away with you here", he can´t let go.
"I will be right here with you" could it be Adam saying: I will be there for you / with you somehow?
He is hiding stuff (inside), but he is looking for hope, to be saved "Light to save you".
He becomes very wishfull here I think "We were born to live forever". "I´m on your side" = I´m with you. "Be here waiting over time" = wait for them to see each other again? "Our love will never die" Old theme again: I will not forget you!!!

6: "TMO": I love that song and this line stood out from the RFH concert "In the same damn place with a different year".
"In a world full of pearls and an endless sea" POETRY. You were all that I needed (theme, David needs Adam).
"We´ll make it through as time marches on without you" = live goes on eventhough it is tough. We will make it. "With my heart on the ground" one of those special lines. Great.
"TMO without you, TMO I know, TMO without you" = he accepts or realizes that TMO.

7:"TINTLT": to me hope shrines through in this song. "TINTLT I will see the sun rise" = life goes on despite tough times and there will be sunrise again.
He has been dreaming - he will not give up although it is tough.
"Oh but we are not afraid". That line is just one favourite from this fantastic song. = He realizes ? will die, but DC is ready, they know better now - "a little wiser". Because of everything they have been through.
"This is not a goodbye, this is just a LULLABY (OMG), everything will be alright". If he looks at it (life, the death) as a Lullaby he can take it / accept it. It is a way of making a distance to it and still somehow understand that it is the fact. He is dead, but DC had so many hopes / dreams for his life and he will not give up! Tomorrow is a new is my HOPE!

Sorry for this long post, but I will say it was fantastic to listen to some songs and then find themes. Your playlist just made so much sense to me after having heard all 7. THANKS!!!

Lurk here often because this thread is full of thought provoking interpretations. Isn't that the beauty of David's writing?!
The one aspect that I haven't seen mentioned is Andrew. I hear Adam in TLM, but I also hear Andrew. David says this record reflects the events/emotions that he put on hold until after the Declaration Tour. During that time he 'lived' Andrew's dream (winning AI) and Andrew stood by and encouraged him. I hear that support in TLM.
David touches my heart with his lyrics - descriptions of reality vs. dream vs. reality within dreams. He seems to recognize the good and bad in transition, time, life, love, and loss. The lyrics, music and incredible voice are magic. As many times as I've listened to TLM I still feel emotionally exhausted when REM finishes. (The bonus tracks re-energize)

wow, Nemo, hadn't listened to the Axium song for a really, really long time. That is a sweet transitional song. A sweet teen song about friendships morphing at that stage of life, I think. (and the "life goes on" idea that is picked up and elaborated in TMO.)

All the songs you listed are about transition, to some degree. I think they are all attempts to cope with inevitable changes in relationships, and to figure out what is permanent, especially when someone important is leaving or there has been some major upheaval (as in LOTM). (As you said, NEMO, I'm told "Balance" was written by D on the occasion of the death of his grandfather; that's apocryphal info and I do not know if it is true, though it would make sense with the lyrics.)

I hear a lot of ideas bubbling around in the songs -- for sure a theme something like the one in Jordin Sparks' "Tattoo," that people leave their mark on you when they are no longer in your life, either because you are separated from them or they have died. That they live in you, via your memory of them and the impact they made on your life -- your sense of their opinions/guidance continuing to influence your choices and inspire you. This is a pretty comforting and commonly held idea, and possibly what he was thinking about with "Not Around" and "Balance."

"TMO" is some grappling with the hard truth that you cannot really hold someone if they are on the way out, and that time is not stoppable. I find it bitter in a way that most of his stuff is not -- but also very honest. I've known that mood, the "is love worth this kind of pain" mood. Because the unfixable hurt is "the last thing you needed." And meanwhile Time Marches On, but the relationship, or you, will not make it through.

There is stuff in RHWY, Permanent and TINTLT, though, that makes me wonder if he is pondering something past the memory thing, regarding the ongoing presence of people who are gone. (Actually, this is present in Balance as well if the one addressed is dying or dead -- "move on to your tomorrow as we all say goodnight," and "at peace, I trust in you every step of the way, to stay with me till the end of the day.") Since he hasn't shared his existential ideas lately outside the music, other than to tag himself as "spiritual," it's not possible to go much farther with that. (Or at least, I would not do it here -- other than to say that the shifting viewpoints of Permanent continue to intrigue me, as does the bridge of RHWY, and TINTLT's insistence that "goodbye" itself is not final, and those Balance lyrics.)

Since you picked the playlist, NEMO, i'm sure you have thoughts about it. So share them when ready, ok? Thanks for bringing it.

Nemo....thanks for that playlist...I will have to give it a try

Nina....I agree...TINTLT is a great sing-along song. I just cannot help myself from singing along with it at the top of my lungs. Would be a great end of set song IMO


NEMO: very interesting play list you gave us all for the week-end. The first two I don´t remember, so they will be kind of new. The others will be re-listens that I am happy to hear.

I have really fallen behind here. I have finally figured out what Makeover means to me, thanks to some help getting me started from some of you, and now I'm in the weeds with REM. LOL at myself because I doubt I will ever get to be on the same page at the same time with the rest of you. It is going to take me some time to absorb what has been discussed. I think I am going to take up NEMO's weekend project suggestion first. It sounds fun and I love all of those songs.

Hail, lyric lovers! I’ve enjoyed your discussion of some of the recurrent themes in David’s writing very much (lasting memories and loss, being alone but not alone, hiding, trouble expressing thoughts and feelings in words, the everlasting quality of love, POV switch, etc). Here’s a weekend activity, if you’re interested. Listen to the following songs, in order (they are listed chronologically here, and all of them are easy to find on YouTube). Even if you’re familiar with the songs, consider listening in this order just to see what stands out when you listen with “theme” ears. The point isn’t some secret coded message, lol. You’ll hear what you hear, but this sequence/development is interesting to me. He’s been working on some of these ideas/themes for a long time.

1. Not Around (David Cook, Axium, Demo 2, 2002) (age 18 or so, high school graduation)
2. Balance (David Cook, Axium, The Story Thus Far, 2004 ) (age 21 or so, reportedly written for his grandfather)
3. Life on the Moon (David Cook, DCTR)(2008)
4. Permanent (David Cook, DCTR) (2008)
5. Right Here With You (David Cook, TLM) (2011)
6. Time Marches On (David Cook, TLM) (2011)
7. This Is Not The Last Time (David Cook, TLM) (2011)

Can't wait to hear what y'all think. Of course, this weekend will be interesting and poignant, and even painful for many -- no David Cook retrospective required. If that's true for you, please accept my condolences in advance. Love is permanent, and you are not alone.


Why is it there has to bonustracks??? The ones on TLM should have been heard by everyone who bought this amazing album! I´m glad I have them and they are GREAT. I was just driving home for work (late meeting) and TINTLT was on and I could not help but sing along! That song really get stucked in your head afterwords.
"This is not the laaaaast time I will see the sun rise" is just so beautiful and full of hope to me
Here he actually seems to be happy to get yet a day in this world. Eventhough it hurts, is tough and full of loud mornings! Also if he has to live on without Adam or who he have been singing / writing about on this fantastic album. Despite all of that: life is (can be) GREAT!

Abethfordc: I´ll take "pretty well" reg. my english. It made me think of Simon telling David bla bla bla "almost" after he finished "Happy together" on Idol. David said "I´ll take almost".
I did get your compliment thanks!!!!
I like what you said about Hodges and Cook: "twin brains". Love it! I remember reading Hodges comments on his new music and co-writes. He said they wrote 10 (?) songs, 4 made the record (TLM) and one ended up on Hodges new album. Hodges seemed pretty stoked (to use one of Cooks words). This must be a very good writing "team" (the bonus is their friendship) and I think there will be more co-writes later on.

Minstrel: Thanks for the compliments. Sometimes I get a bit frustrated because I want to say this, but end up in a nother direction. Or can´t find the right word. But I think by posting I can only get better. I admit my dictionary is not that far away.
By reading your posts (I´m a newbie in here so I have not read it all) it makes sense to me, why you started this thread. You are VERY good at this.
Your explanations to: "does this story have an ending" and "is this story worth forgetting" AND "who´s to say this history isn´t only just some winner´s distant memory" BLEW me away and I´m very impressed!!! You seemed to write in a "language" that I understood.

CYE: your take on "these rapid eyes will keep on moving": all I can say is WOW!!!!

"Sunlight" would be great to hear, but think of all the other 70 + songs we did not get. I guess we can´t have it all?!

Thanks minstrel, I'm really trying to do these because of David. He is such a great artist and I love his works. They are so beautiful and interesting that I can't stay away. And at the same time, I'm learning a lot. I'm surprise because English and Literature were my least favorite subjects. David is really an inspiration. I wished there was a 'David like' persona during my school days.

cye, yes, re the 'floating' - maybe it is part of the water imagery, the sink or swim limbo he is describing? but it's always 'toward the floor'. A down direction.
I just had a thought that 'floor' could also be 'shore' (solid ground) like floating toward the shore. Also about the ocean/water imagery could also represent life or the hardships in life. One could just give up and sink or one could swim, face it and moving on.

My recent summation for TLM is that Circadian and REM are the POV (let's say David's thoughts) where Circadian was his thoughts (I like minstrel latest take of Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 09:57) the night before he fell asleep and REM, when he woke up.
The other tracks were his dreams and most were probably about Adam which he is disguising is about a romantic relationship.
In REM seems to me that the verses are his thoughts about his life whether to do something or stay stagnant. The rest are being described in my previous post. While the chorus is about the dream the previous night and he is conflicted also because he wants to get it back, the memories of Adam, .... he is still grieving, ... before facing the real world.

Again these are all just my views and may or may not be what David had intended.
I think the possibilities of what anybody's take of TLM and the different tracks are indeed endless.

Prisms, oxygen and gently floating. I love reading this thread. CYE's summation of TLM's appeal puts my own thoughts very succinctly. It becomes more clear, at least to me, with such discussion, just how bold D and RCA have been in going with D's vision. In a current music scene that gorges on "fast food", TLM to me represents "Babette's Feast". Delicious complexity, surprising flavors, made with skill and love.

As you say, Minstrel. A prism, through which light passes and gets split into a whole bunch of component colors.

That may be the reason why I'm so hopelessly in love with this album. Whenever externatlities start to weigh down on me, all I need to do is listen to it, and all the white noise of the world is stunned into silence by its complex beauty.

Me too...feel sorry for those peeps out there without the bonus tracks. Circadian and REM complete the cycle of record.....but TINTLT and LMFFY are all about picking yourself up,moving on & starting over. Kind of like the epilogue in a book

dunno, cye. next time we have a beer i will pick his brain about it.

bahahahhhahahahahahahaha... sigh.

incipit, i think that's a valid spin... those lyrics are vague enough to admit a whole bunch of differing interps. I think they're like a prism, through which light passes and gets split into a whole bunch of component colors.

I am very grateful for both the bonus tracks. I feel bummed for those who only have the 'standard' edition because the lack of those two songs leaves a big hole, IMO . TLM is completely cohesive without them, of course. It's just that so much of it -- not all, but a good deal of it -- is dark, or at least pained. And the bonus tracks are not without pain, you know? But they take it in a different direction. Knowing D and what he chooses to do with his life, I think that is critical information. Because his default is to get through the pain and make meaning from it, and vote for hope, even when there does not seem to be a lot of reason to do that. He never pretends it's not there, despite the old "pain don't hurt" phrase. It does hurt. But succumbing to despair, no matter how tempting it is -- that is not who he is, or wants to be.

Thus ... tomorrow's holding on to another day. Cause "I've been dreamin' far too long to give up." (We Believe serves this function too, of course -- it just feels less personal regarding those concepts. More of a public, group expression.)

And yeah, Incipit -- re Sunlight. I want to hear that too. maybe someday we will.

Re Hodges? The songs with Hodges are among my favorites, really. I do think they are very sympatico somehow. In fact I recall that Cook said someplace that without Hodges this record wouldn't exist. (I am not sure if that is a comment merely about the centrality of REM or refers to something more far-reaching.)

Ohohohoh!!!! Sorry to post-ho, but something just struck me about REM.
So this is it
These rapid eyes will keep on moving

I always thought this referred to him returning to the dream-state again and again. But now I think it's the exact opposite. Kind of the reverse of the giving up on the world reflected in GTTG. The narrator is finding it impossible to keep real-life from intruding, from robbing him of the memories, from escaping back into the pre-loss world. He realizes that he is stuck in the real world, that he won't be saying goodbye to the world, that he will keep on living in it. And that is why he is wondering if this story is worth forgetting.

So there you have it. Progression. But progression that is resisted and resented by the narrator, IMO.

I love 'Is this story worth forgetting'. Very Davidian flipping of POV from the more expected 'Is this story worth remembering'.

But to me, the story is the real-life loss that is the impetus for fleeing to the dream.As both Minstrel and I have remarked, one of the reasons the narrator wants to escape the loud mornings is that they threaten to overwhelm the memories that the narrator wants to cling on to. But OTOH, there is that tiny little fact that life does go on. So perhaps the narrator is asking whether it wouldn't be better to forget the story, to 'move on'. But I could be wayyyy off base on that. As Minstrel says, enigmatic lyrics.

I think the twist between "does this story have an ending" and "is this story worth forgetting" is interesting.

Just an interjection, Minstrel - I'm still marinating, but I Flove reading all these interpretations..and that phrase was a puzzle - still I think, in context, to define "story" as the dreams - and they were truncated by the Loud Morning waking the POV character, so he's trying to get back...because - the dreams didn't turn out any better than real life - but if he can get back and try again, then the night's 'story' may be worth forgetting, in hope of a better dream story, with a better ending - stuck in a cycle evermore, where the story has no ending.

That's why I can see the twist occurring in TINTLT - because the dream in that song is a waking dream that came with the sunrise, of going forward with life instead of being stuck in a cycle, and references a lifelong dream.

"I've been dreaming far too long to give up and leave this behind."

I really have to consider that bonus song in tandem with what's going on in REM - because it's the pause in the nightly dream cycle, and because -

" this is not the only way, this is not a goodbye, this is just a lullaby" - "This is not the last time" - "even though it may feel like goodbye." - "...everything will be alright".

The ocean may have come and "took it all away" - but "open waters, let them take away everything" is the final thought on the ambivalent ocean metaphor.

Disclaimer: Unless, of course, it isn't. Heh.

ETA: Wishes I could hear "Sunlight"

interesting, abeth. to you and nina, i gotta say, i appreciate all who post here for whom English is not the first language. These are some difficult concepts to express even in your native tongue. Though I have the rudiments of several other languages there is no way I could use them to discuss abstract ideas. Props to you for your engagement and skills.

minstrel: who's to say this history isn't only just some winner's distant memory? As if he is questioning the significance (or insignificance) of what has happened with him, in the grand scheme of things.

That is one of my favorite lyrics on TLM. My thoughts about the meaning of that line is that he is realizing that all that has happened to him & his career are a bit "hard to believe". He is still trying to absorb it all. As for the "drying ink" reference.....think he is referring to the fact that fame & success can be fleeting. When it is new and fresh-- it is like wet ink -- but can quickly dry up and become old like drying ink.

I agree that some of the most thought-provoking lyrics on TLM are found in REM and Circadian.

Nina, thanks for the kind words. I agree with you that there are so many thoughts and writing all of them and clearly is not that easy for us. But no worry, I think I get what you mean. Being English is not your first language, you're doing pretty well.
I also have that problem. Even my last post, I could see now that I could have written it in a better way. But if I did not post it then, probably it would take days or forever before I would be able to post it, lol. So I'm thankful to others for being understanding with us.

I thought I would like to clarify something. I just hope I did not confuse the readers about the word "dream" in my previous post. That it is about the POV's dream in life, what he had been working most of his life to achieve. And it is not about the dream he was having just before REM.

closeyoureyes: I can't put a precise meaning to the 'floating to the floor' imagery, but it's a strangely gentle word choice, isn't it?

Yes it is a gentle word choice. OK, I have other thoughts and also would like to expand my last post.
'floating to the floor'- maybe floating from the clouds (like in DC's case, a feeling during the win and tours) and back to earth
' stuck in this pattern evermore' - and the realization that things have to be done the same way all over again.
'of sink or swim' - The choice to not do anything (sink) and just stay as is (with no improvement) or to keep on doing something (swim) to move forward to continue to achieve his goal.
'oxygen is proving' - dream/goal (oxygen) which he had been working most of his life has been experienced (proving - to validate by presentation or evidence; experience) - seems like in David's case, his win and especially his successful tours is an evidence that validates the hard work or what he had been doing most of his life which is writing music and small shows among others.
'more than words could ever say' - in David's case, he'd always said that what had been happening was beyond his imagination.
'to put this memory away' - to just forget those memory (what was happening those past years)
'this is it' - he has resolved
'this rapid eyes will keep on moving' - (REM - movement of the eyes while a person is dreaming.) he'll continue on to do something to keep his dream/goal (which is to David's I guess, is that his music could be heard by many) going. So he has to keep on writing music even with all the demands and headaches from maybe the label and other hassles and problems.

Making David as the POV is by my observations this past years but others are my opinions and may or may not what David was thinking or wanted.

Minstrel, I just read your post while I previewed and I my thoughts exactly or mostly. Especially this - 'To be or not to be, that is the question'.

I think the lyrics in REM is mostly David Cook's or even all of it. I don't know David Hodges
works but if he has a hand in it also, I would say the two Davids have twin brains.

Just want to say lots of good stuff here! Will have to come back tonight and catch up. While I can not express in words my understanding of some of the lyrics on to read everyones input Smiling

cye, yes, re the 'floating' - maybe it is part of the water imagery, the sink or swim limbo he is describing? but it's always 'toward the floor'. A down direction.

Nemo, exactly -- the morning has malicious intent, to 'do him in' by forcing engagement with real life. So when that intent is achieved, it is 'getting it right.' (But I still like the subliminal idea that engaging with real life is, in fact, what has to be done in the end -- that this is 'right.' Even if it is brutal.)

I think the twist between "does this story have an ending" and "is this story worth forgetting" is interesting. The first phrase is likely a reference to the whole "cycle" problem, but maybe there is an existential question there as well? Cannot know. The second phrase, though -- I think that is somewhat mysterious. Whose story? The writer's, or the beloved's? I think it can't be the latter but it could be the former -- only, cannot tell whether it's a plea to not be forgotten, or the opposite opinion that maybe wiping the listeners' collective memory of the entire tale would be better.

Maybe there's some resonance with the second verse of Circadian -- who's to say this history isn't only just some winner's distant memory? As if he is questioning the significance (or insignificance) of what has happened with him, in the grand scheme of things. The ink is drying, you can't escape it, and time marches on. So, does it even matter? (In which case, it's sort of his version of this Macbeth soliloquy. )

I've spent more time thinking about Circadian/REM than any other cuts on the album, I guess. Mainly because a lot of the prior writing has not been wrestling as much with issues of meaning and mortality, for obvious reasons. They're issues that engage me, which is probably why I find the work so compelling.


I see the REM talk continued after I went to bed and again there were some great new meanings of the lyrics. The "oxygen" and "floating" thing gave some interesting comments and suggestions. He is a poet and I´m amazed at how he puts certain words together. How he darres to and "gets away with it". To be inside THAT head when a lyric hits the surface?!

CYE: thanks for bringing that quote from that "old" interview. Someone actually GOT him spot on back then in 2006. I don´t think I ever read that interview. Was it from when he won that "price" in Tulsa??? So true and WOW great compliments and this was back in the "good old dayes".

AbethforDC: I think it is amazing what this special man gets us to look up like "oxygen is proving". Wonder how he would feel if he came to this thread and read all the comments we have on his lyrics. He would probably feel humbled and happy that we are taking the time to analyze his music?!
By the way I totally liked what you wrote about "sink or swim".

NEMO: your post about the loud mornings and the quiet nights was very clear. It made me think YES you are right. David is an adult and knows that he can´t avoid the loud mornings, but he just needs one more quiet night were everything is great. He has his memories, perhaps Adam is there in the best of his quiet nights and all he has to "worry" about is the sleep.
In the DVD "Making of TLM": David talks about putting life on hold. At a moment where you can just let things in or you can keep them out (not the exact explanation, but this talk of loud mornings just made me think of that). The quiet nights is his haven. I remember David talking about how being on stage was a haven after Adams dead
Hope you all understand what I mean??? It made sence when the thought stroke me and then when I had to write about it, it became a bit harder!


My take on REM: Ironically, every morning is a battle he fights - because sleep is relief -- it spares him from the stress and memories of daily life. He hopes for one more quiet night because sooner or later, he may lose the fight - THIS loud morning may win (may get it right and do him in with the stress and the pain he'd rather avoid). It's an idea he also used in Lie - I'm okay with the silence, it's the truth that I don't want to hear; the truth is gonna change everything; if we put too much light on this, we'll see through all the cracks . . . "

Great analysis. Perfect.

My take on REM: Ironically, every morning is a battle he fights - because sleep is relief -- it spares him from the stress and memories of daily life. He hopes for one more quiet night because sooner or later, he may lose the fight - THIS loud morning may win (may get it right and do him in with the stress and the pain he'd rather avoid). It's an idea he also used in Lie - I'm okay with the silence, it's the truth that I don't want to hear; the truth is gonna change everything; if we put too much light on this, we'll see through all the cracks . . .

I can't put a precise meaning to the 'floating to the floor' imagery, but it's a strangely gentle word choice, isn't it? We're not falling or sinking or drowning - we're floating. I don't know - the visual I get is that scene from AI (The Movie) with the android boy's patient (and almost never-ending) wait so deep down in the water of the drowned city. It just gets to me, KWIM?

Very interesting discussion about REM. I love this song so much even if I had no clue what the 2nd verse was all about. It is cryptic to me too and more so. I've been wanting to asked here in this thread what it could mean and I'm glad Nina brought it up first. Minstrel, I like your take on the 2nd verse.
Aw, thanks Nina. Would be interested to hear many viewpoints. The writing of the second verse is pretty cryptic and I think could accommodate multiple interpretations. Like... what is the 'floating towards the floor' about? Are we just stuck in the pattern of sink/swim, some futile grief processing pattern? Or is it a reference to a bigger idea, a life-processing pattern... in other words, is all of daily life just a process of slow sinking toward an inevitable end? (it's a long way down between the summer and the fall, you know... or, we're all 6 feet in on a one-way street.)

Reading Minstrel's post sort of made me think more deeply and have a thought about the verses.
So I'll still try to give my viewpoint.
As the first verse is about POV's trying to go back to sleep so as not to face all the things he had to do that day, maybe he did not feel right and tired of the things that have been going on in his life. (I think this is human nature and everybody feels this way one time or another). Before it put sense into him and he would just give in and go. He's asking if the life he is experiencing right now would ever end. Because he need to get away from this life that is so demanding. He'll try to do what's demanded of him some other day cause he is starting to get sleepy.

I think the second verse is a continuation thought of what the first verse is about. Maybe "floor" could mean earth. We are walking here on earth doing more of the same things, struggling through life. A person gets a downturn in life (sink) or work and do something (swim) so as not to let it happen. I think oxygen (important element to live) could mean many things like fame or goal/dream or whatever is important in any person's life and a reason for living and he had experienced them now. More than he could imagine. The POV is being conflicted whether to just leave this life what he is experiencing presently (memories) or go on with it. I think POV chose to keep on with his dream and that is to work harder to continue on having it.

I think in Circadian, POV is in doubt about the whole situation and REM may be a resolve to continue.

The great thing I like about TINTLT is the chorus lines This is not the last time / I will see the sun rise / Cause I've been dreamin' for too long / To give up and leave this behind.

Those are just my interpretations and do not imply that David is the POV. I wished I was articulate in writing like most of you here. It took me hours to write this post and I see that there are many new posts I have yet to read.

How does David come out with those words put together? They are brilliant and is a genius in my vocabulary. I googled the phrase "oxygen is proving" and it does not have those phrase anywhere yet. I read, try each words separately, lol.

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