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 (1481)

NIna........Minstrel.......Thank you for your kind words. It just happened to be one of those mornings when the world was all quiet/rainy and feelings came to the surface...when I read Cye's inspiring post.
TLM is far from being a downer for me .......we all can or will at some time... relate to the loss in our lives... aspect of this album, but David's music does inspire and yes that is what makes it special....and actually is very comforting. And yeah, I do not believe this is going to be the only kind of music David Cook will put out there and I think this album is just great, would not want to change a thing! But David is just Randy said he's our rocker....and more songs like LMFFY may be next Smiling, or whatever, he wants to put out there, we will gladly listen. Right now, is the present and I am throughly enjoying this album. This, like many have said is the record, David needed to make....not only about his loss, but also like Opabina said, he had to process all the unexpected changes and challenges in his life that happened in a short amount of time. Like many have said before on DCO, this album has so many layers, possible meanings.... no matter if it is.... lyrics, voice, music, ect. that there is something in each song, line, word for someone. This is the what David wanted, I believe, to make us think about the lyrics/music and make up our own minds....example being GBTTG. We will probably still be breaking down these lyrics for years to come....and all of its many layers....hopefully future generations will be doing so Smiling Just hope more people will come to love these songs/ album...and it may take a little longer to reach a steady climb....but it will has staying power...written all over it. David just needs to start singing these songs....and as they say... Scott always quotes: No one Sells David Cook like David Cook. Getting so excited about the tour and hoping more ears will hear what we all, already know about David and his music Smiling After all we don't want to keep it all to ourselves Smiling need to comment more on the lyrics did excellent, loved your post about TMAIA Smiling I have never commented on the lyrics, but I too enjoy what others have to say, not only on here, but all the threads. I have never seen David live... hope to some day when funds allow, but I truly hope you get to see him bring a lot of joy to DCO...with your excitement and it is contagious Smiling

Minstrel, I agree about We Believe not being mere whistling in the dark, and that thematically it's very close to TINTLT and LMFFY. It's clear that in We Believe the narrator is very aware of the reality of loss and the dark side of life. To me, it's a conscious decision, a brave leap of faith if you will, to cling on to the hope in the face of that knowledge. But within the story arc of the album, it fits for me at the beginning. Because even if you make that decision, your core belief system will be shaken to its very foundations when and if the loss actually materializes. The rest of TLM (main storyline) reflects that process for me. The alternative storyline symbolizes a return to We Believe, but now much deeper and poignant. Because even after the loss has become reality, after the narrator has experienced the despair and the hopelessness and the senselessness of it all, at the point when you would expect cynicism and bitterness, the narrator chooses to embrace the hope again. A much, much harder proposition IMO when the prospect of loss is no longer abstract, but an inescapable reality.

yeah, opa ... that Dylan song. Makeover made me think of that for a while also. And yes re the fame/celebrity/career aspects in the record; I completely agree that it's in there, the issue of trying to stay real in a world suffused with artificiality, adulation and such radical change from the prior norm.

LuvCook, I neglected to offer condolences, so will do that now. This record is really resonant for people who have "been there", as evidenced by comments from many DCO people. That might make it a little less immediately palatable for those not in that head-space, but since everyone has to go there at some point, I think TLM is going to have a lot longer legs than might currently be evident. I don't think that's necessarily D's subject-for-a-lifetime (I pray it is not) but it's surely his subject-for-now, and a brave and healthy and helpful thing for him to process. Helpful for the listeners as it also aids in their "processing" -- which is one of the fantastic things music is capable of accomplishing.

And CYE, excellent thoughts. Thanks so much for sharing them all.

With limited internet access until a year and a half ago, I came to Analog Heart much later than most of you. I had read discussion of the lyrics on it, of course, so had that advantage in hearing the words of the songs. So, Makeover: At first listen, I couldn't help thinking of a very different song that used similar wording in the chorus, which is the refusal of the POV character to commit to what could be a quite demanding relationship.

I'm not the one you want, babe.
I'm not the one you need.
You say you're lookin' for someone
Who's never weak but always strong
To protect you and defend you
Whether you are right or wrong.

(Dylan's It Ain't Me You're Lookin' For)

Makeover is a much darker concept. I think of it as being about a girl who is also desperately seeking someone to protect, defend, nurture her. She is suffering, possibly from unwise decisions, addiction or emotional illness, and certainly rejection by her world, and the POV character is keenly sympathetic. At the same time, he's discovered that having a relationship can only harm them both (red lights as a warning, the references to pain and injury), and is attempting to convince her of that reality.


There have been many insightful discussions here of TLM. I'm still absorbing it with heartfelt delight, so can't as yet have anything to add. Except that in addition to the influence of his loss, I think the entire work is placed squarely in the context of unexpected, overwhelming life changes. He said in a recent interview that he had spent the first 25 years of his life preparing for what he expected at that time would be his future. Suddenly, that future was shown to be radically different from what he had imagined. His life indeed became very "loud". Heady stuff, hearing wild audience response, being aknowledged by the famous and the respected in his field. But unnerving, with constant demands on time and energy, the diminishment of privacy. And then the distractions of touring came to a halt, and it was time to "process". Hiding his head under the blanket when everything just seemed too much is a telling metaphor for a very natural, very human reaction. I cannot adequately express the admiration I have for this sensitive, intelligent young man in using his creative gifts, rather than hedonistically self-destructive indulgences or crippling self-pity, to balance himself. He's taken his experiences, the bitter and the sweet, and given us TLM.

ETA: Edited for clarity.

Just a comment re We Believe, which probably I have made elsewhere. I actually feel that this song relates a more mature ... or, later in the process ... stage of thinking regarding hope and loss. I don't read it as any kind of whistling in the dark or vain clinging to a pretty world in the face of impending doom. What I see in those words is an assertion that humans are not randomly on the earth, that there's some purpose, and even 'after everything that we've been through, we believe.' To me that is a post-loss assessment, especially in the face of the musical darkness of the bridge of the song. To me that is a vote for hope, courage, battling your way 'back home' even when your entire world has collapsed.

The placement so early in the song list is of interest, of course, as you could argue that later and darker songs wipe it all out. But the sentiments expressed are completely consistent with the world view expressed in TINTLT and LMFFY. He's "sort of" made a linear story out of it all, because that was an artistically interesting thing to do. But to me the whole record is more a collection of snapshots of various moods during the grieving process (since, as you said, CYE, it's not linear).

Some days you can hold onto hope and some days you want to be dead. That's just how it is, as a human.

He is frakkin' brave, in his writing. This is why it really burns me when anyone tries to hang the 'cliche' tag around his neck, because it proves they have not really taken time to listen.


LuvCook: from (just now) seeing how many close to you, you have lost in the last couple of years (SORRY), I absolutely understand, even deeper now, why TLM touches you so much and in a special way. I´m touched by TLM as well. Some of it has to do with what David explained about this album, his loss and from what I have concluded from this album!
You are one of those intelligent posters too. We all contribute at DCO, we just do it differently. I think I get where you are comming from: ´cause I look in this thread (I don´t think I ever posted here mainly because it is hard for me to explain the is not that I won´t, but I just feel I don´t have the right words) and read these great posts that amaze, wow and touch me. BUT I like to read what others GET from these amazing lyrics.

CYE: I just read your post about TLM and it made me think and I had to comment. First I want to say: WOW that was an amazing and very touching "recap" of TLM. I agreed with it all, could connect to it. What I love about music and lyrics is that we all get something out of it. No one has the right answer (David had his meaning when he wrote the songs) and we all hear and respond to it differently. Sometimes I´m amazed at how one word can point us in so many different directions.
I liked it all, but to me you just hit TMO: spot on!! That is how I hear and feel it too.

As to "Take Me As I Am" giving you some "problems" I will try and explain what it means to me and what I have taken with me from that secret: I love it and have from the moment I heard it on RFH-concert......although TMO was the one that got me first.
I will not go into every single word of this song.
"Take me as I am, right here where I stand. Open up your arms and let me in": just reminds me of what I think David learned all his life from Adam (his mentor who to is me is very visible in Davids life and what he does.....I can only guess.), his parents, Andrew, friends etc. He carried that "attitude" with him on Idol and I think that´s part of what worked so well for him. He is who he is and yes there is: stage Dave, interview Dave, humble Dave, giving Dave, private Dave etc. It is kind of like "take it or leave it"- attitude. But he is not self centered to me at all. I mean it in a postitive light. Didn´t he say he grew up with this "there is always a ying and a yang to everything?". I think Matt Serletic said in the DVD "David has a lot of influences in his life" and I think thats one of the points I´m trying to make here.
"My happy ever after....When I´m lost and broken".......reminds me of Andy´s comment on the DVD something about David "this whole crazy thing" (can´t remember it 100%), but to me it rang so true. I think Andy ment it all: tour, Adams passing, Davids grief, the "millions" of songs etc. It has been a crazy period, but I think something GREAT (and touching) came out of that.
"We can take tonight and make it last forever": overanalyzing perhaps but this could be David singing to Adam. I feel like he is wishing for that last minute with his brother. That moment I think we all know and wish for when some one close to us are dying/or have died (I lost my mother in law in March and I have moments where I just want her back just for a minute).
"Give me one more try before we say goodbye": that line just hits me so hard. To me it is just like David wants to take all the bad things (can´t be many, but he is not perfect right?) he did (towards Adam) back. Regrets of being mad at him, not being there enough (all though Adam said he had to do his stuff and live his life) etc. I think David just wanted to show Adam he would do and be ok and for Adam to see the real David!
BUT this line: "I know I´m not alone" gives me the hope in this song. He had lost Adam at this time, but he was not alone. Not the only one hurting......although he did put his mourn on hold.......and there were still lots of people in his life and new mentors to find?!

OH WOW this was meant to be a short comment, but left me in a deep write about TMAIA. Probably good that I don´t post here often, because it is tough and I think I rambled a bit?!

Cye...I am sitting here this quiet morning, reading your interpretation of TLM, it touched me and I am literally in have brought out so many points that are right on. I am thinking of David and what he must of been going through during this time in his young life. And yes, maybe a little selfish on my part, thinking of the losses I have had myself in the past few years (sister,brother,best friend, dear neighbor) go about your day to day life...thinking yes I am healing as time goes on (while not forgetting)....but it is times like these that it hits you. I believe that is why TLM is such a powerful no other...on so many levels. TLM hit me like that on my first listen and continues to leave me breathless. It should be required listening in every pyschology appreciation class....for that matter voice lessons...what have you. I agree with you Circadian ....all the songs inbetween...right through to the ending of REM....belong in the grieving stages. The bonus songs like you say are David's alternative....yes, there is a hope and a new day....and life has to go on. Wow, there are so much depth and layers to this album....and like you said you did not even get into (nor would you wish to/nor would I myself) all the personal history or possible faith/religous aspects that could be interpreted. This album just amazes me more each day. This is why I really like coming to many intelligent people contributing here...expressing what I have trouble doing so myself....but the feelings that this album brings out..... is all there.

QTT & Minstrel, I share your misgivings. That's why I'm going to keep my analysis as non-specific as possible.

One of the things that has catapulted my love for TLM into the range of 'almost unbearable', is the double-layered storyline of TLM. As David said in the Broken Records interview, he will often use a romantic relationship as a metaphor for something else. I've given my take on the romantic relationship storyline earlier. For me, the deeper layer is the process of dealing with grievous loss. I think Jim C was spot-on when he said that TLM is about the inevitability of loss. But TLM shows the process one goes through when faced with this prospect. So here goes.

In RHWY the narrator is still in the hopeful phase - aware that loss is possible, even probable, but (almost naively) believing that it can be staved off (even if only in an existential way), that whatever happens, the essence of what the narrator is afraid of losing will survive catastrophe. As said by many, the Permanent of this album.

In We Believe, a few cracks are beginning to show in that hope. Here's where the theme of the existential crisis begins to show more clearly. Whatever your religious beliefs, we all want to believe (subconsciously or consciously) that life makes sense, that bad things won't happen to good people, that if we keep on trying and giving our best, there will be a good outcome. We Believe spells that out very clearly. IMO the narrator is becoming more aware in We Believe that it doesn't always work out that way, but he is nevertheless (almost defiantly) clinging on to that belief.

In FIM, the narrator has managed to shut out his doubts and has immersed himself in the hope. To me, the lyrics and music of this song almost evoke a floating feeling - as if the character is floating in a bubble, cut off from the slings and arrows of doubts and fear and harsh reality. If you want to, you can classify RWHY through FIM as the 'denial' stage of grief, with FIM representing the high point of denial.

In Hard To Believe, the bubble has been breached. Doubts are starting to creep in again. Personally I see HTB as a conversation the narrator is having with himself. One side of him sees the signs that loss is imminent, the other side is desperately trying to convince himself to cling on to hope.

Take Me As I Am is a desperate plea. I have to admit, this is the song where I have the hardest time directly relating the lyrics to the existential crisis story arc. But it is clear that the narrator is desperately pleading for loss to be averted. So I guess this represents the bargaining stage of grief.

Time Marches On is the turning point song as far as the theme of loss is concerned. The narrator has realized that loss is inevitable. On the one hand, there is the grief and the yearning for the better time, the time when he believed loss could be averted; on the other hand there is bitterness and anger at the impending loss. And yet the narrator is so dearly aware of the harsh reality - that Time Marches On, that no matter how he feels about it, he cannot stop the process or 'freezeframe' his life, that the loss will occur regardless of how prepared he is for it.

The Last Goodbye is next. It's in the context of the theme of dealing with loss where the placement of TLG really makes sense to me. The narrator has come to acceptance that loss it inevitable (or at least, he thinks he has). He doesn't want to go through the cycle of despair and renewed hope again (remember, in the song he refers to a few previous goodbyes that weren't the final goodbyes). He is ready (or thinks he is) to face the loss head-on, and to retain good memories of what went before.

However in Paper Heart, the narrator realizes that he isn't ready for the loss, that it hurts so, so much more than he was prepared for. All he wishes for is numbness instead of this unbearable pain. Another reason why I love, love, love the thematic development of TLM. We are all aware of the stages of grief. But what many people who haven't been through grievous loss don't realize, is that it's not a linear process. You cycle back from feelings of hope to despair, from acceptance to denial, over and over again.

To me, 4LW represents the bargaining and denial stages of grief intertwined into one. The narrator has allowed himself to hope again, yet he is fearful of admitting that hope. As long as we don't name it, we can't jinx it, right?

In GTTG all the bargaining, all the denial, all the hope has come to naught. The loss has occurred, permanently and irrevocably. And the narrator is faced with deep existential crisis. Because you know, that belief in the world making sense, that hopefulness of We Believe? Has been shown to be a fallacy. Disaster occurs without rhyme or reason. We cannot control what happens in life. The narrator is left adrift, with nothing to hold on to, no reason to hang on to existence, only the grief that permeates every aspect of his life.

As to the bonus tracks, QTT and I have had a long and lively discussion as to whether they should be incorporated into the main storyline, or whether they form an alternate storyline. Although I can see her viewpoint (and would like her to expand on it here), I see it as an alternate storyline. The main storyline ends with despair. The alternate storyline is one of overcoming despair, in which TINTLT comes after, or takes the place of GTTG, and LMFFY acts as an adjunct to TINTL.

In TINTLT, the narrator has overcome the existential crisis provoked by the loss. Although 'the ocean has taken it all away', he is ready to face life head-on again, and he is willing to hope again, to make himself vulnerable again. LMFFY reinforces that - even though we may crash and burn our hearts out, it is still worth it, for without that risk, we would never experience the times when we are 'flying'.

The reason I see it as an alternate storyline is twofold: (1) My personal existential POV and (2) What David himself said in an interview - that TLM displays open wounds, that life is not always sunshine and puppies. To me, ending one storyline with despair acknowledges that things don't always work out, that not everybody bounces back from loss, that sometimes loss is just ... inescapable loss. If TINTLT had followed immediately upon that, to me it would have been equivalent to saying to someone who is in the grip of grief "Don't worry, you'll feel better someday". Which may be true, but really denies the intensity and the necessity of that grief.

And in my opinion, ending with the grief in the main storyline also fits with the overall theme of TLM. The bracketing songs (Circadian and REM) are clearly about someone who is still in the midst of the grieving process, who in fact is overwhelmed by it to the extent that he just wants to escape his reality by losing himself in sleep. That fits in very neatly with the ending point of unbearable despair reflected in GTTG. (BTW, the wish to return to the dream world in REM is made so much more poignant by me if you realize that even in the dream world, the story ends in disaster. But the narrator still wants to return there, because it at least also includes reliving the hopeful parts, the parts that he has lost irrevocably in real life).

But of course, Cook being Cook, he couldn't leave it there. He did have to present us with the alternate storyline, the reminder that the despair of the main storyline is just one slice of reality, that human beings are incredibly resilient, that it is possible to claw your way back to hope, and that the sunshine can be worth the night you have to endure to get there. (Which BTW? Makes me incredibly curious about the lyrical content of Sunshine. Here's hoping that we get to hear it at some point in future).

So there you have it. I don't want to delve into it any deeper. There are many, many phrases in the lyrics that can be directly related to David's personal history, but I refuse to go there. I also don't want to explore the faith aspects of the existential crisis - you can read various parts of the lyrics as relating to religious beliefs or not, depending on your point of view.

Re Makeover "unseen"/"obscene" and "on the scene". Hmm. I definitely hear three "syllable sounds" at the end of each line, clearly hear "the" as the middle "syllable" for both, do not hear a "b" sound on the second line. Guess our ears are all different.

Regarding lack of discussion of This Loud Morning, I recall posting only once since the album was released, just a general explanation about how I incorporate the bonus songs in playing the album. The only lyrics I had ever "analyzed" were Paper Heart last year, and I made a comment after my very first listen on the stream, pre-release, about how the ending of GTTG had somewhat stunned me.

Since then, we have seen interviews and the "Making of" DVD in which David acknowledged the very personal, underlying emotion that colors virtually all of TLM, that it reflects primarily his grief, revealed that it was his therapy in his journey to recover from his loss. Regardless of the surface message of any song, we know he said his loss permeated his thoughts throughout his writing process. For myself now, there is a difference between trying to analyze the meaning of Paper Heart last August, when we first heard it a year ago with no background information, and analyzing it now, knowing for a fact what event, what emotion, David would later confirm shaped this album.

I think that it is impossible for me to not have the personal nature of these songs in my mind in discussing the lyrics of TLM. I've come to understand my reluctance, even resistance, to post about the songs' meanings here (sorry closeyoureyes). I realize now I haven't posted any thoughts because I have no desire, myself, in a public forum, to scrutinize or critique what are essentially his words, thoughts, emotions about his grieving process. I think I will confine myself to having this beautiful musical work wash over me, and feel what these songs say to me privately.

I don't expect anyone else to have this very narrow mindset. I'm just weird that way. It's simply my personal feeling about it, about how I've reacted to listening to TLM in toto, what it does to me, what it means to me, what I think it meant to David when he wrote it, how it might affect him now that it has been released.

Thanks to you guys I am beginning to get this song a lot better and forming ideas of my own. I am usually fairly good at figuring out what a song means to me at least, but with this one I had some kind of mental block.

CYE - Thanks for sharing where your screen name came from. I often wonder how some here picked their screen names and I never would have guessed it.

Once I decide what this all means to me, I'll share, but it may take a couple of days.

Whew, Hbird, more work than it's worth to try to find AH discussions here. This thread's had a lot of pages. And I cannot swear that that particular song was discussed anyhow. Either way, for sure it is not a dead horse, so discuss away. And thanks for bringing lyrics. (I do hear "unseen" and "obscene," btw. I think he wouldn't repeat 'on the scene' so close together in any case...)

That said? I have no idea what this song is about. It's about establishing a mood and the chorus (what are you looking for etc) is genius, and the chorus tends to be what I remember. (I hear him singing that a lot when I think about insatiable fandom, in fact. LOL. But that is a PB discussion.)

A number of the songs on this record are more about mood than strict narrative, to my way of thinking. This one in particular always makes me think of "Plush" by the Stone Temple Pilots, which is similarly unclear and addictively hooky. Supposedly that song might be about a murder and search for a body. And maybe Makeover is about death, or leaving town, or a breakup, or ... Lord knows what. And why is it called... Makeover?

Don't know.

CYE, will be interested to hear your thoughts. I always hear a lot of existential questioning in TLM, but ... I bring a belief system to bear on that, kwim? I've had some trouble figuring out a respectful way to discuss it here because there's not a way I can keep some of these ideas out of the discussion and also be honest. Probably an inevitable issue when dealing with death, despair, eternity, hope, love.

*Waves to QTT*
Agreed with you that I don't try to assign a precise meaning to every word of every line - it's about the general feeling or idea it evokes for me.

But to me, It's 'red lights unseen', because that fits with 'And her fears, they bled before she's convinced that they're real", as well as 'Close your eyes, just pretend the bullet isn't there'*. The character is one of those people that (perhaps wilfilly?) go through life without real insight or reflection - she is unaware of the warning signs (that is why she is 'colour-blind'), she ignores her fears until she is actually wounded by the reality she is trying to deny.

*One of my favoritest lines ever, and the true source of my username.

BTW, I have a long post in my head on the 'existential crisis' storyline on TLM - will try and post tomorrow after I've had a little sleep.

If you listen to what David is actually singing, those oft-quoted lyrics might not be completely correct for the first two lines. I hear:

"Completely color-blind, these red lights are going on the scene.
Fall (far?) behind, with words unsaid, you know they're always on the scene."

I've made a personal choice to not dissect David's songs to the extent that I expect every single word to fit a specific meaning. I think sometimes a writer has to choose words for the rhythm of the music, for the overall way they sound together lyrically. So I tend to go with my overall sense of what the lyrics all together say a song is about. With Makeover, to me it seems to be about a suicide or suicide attempt.

"Completely color-blind, these red lights are going on the scene." I think of the red lights as representing an ambulance, they're always there for this situation, no matter who you are. That ending wailing note of his beautiful, plaintive guitar solo in the bridge also puts me in mind of a siren's wail. "Fall/far behind, with words unsaid, you know they're always on the scene." No need to be told, no need to say anything. It's happened before, the ambulance has been there in the past. Perhaps POV "falls behind" or stays "far behind" because he can't take this situation any more, doesn't want to hear it again.

David has used bleed/bled to represent feelings/emotions: Truth is a Gun: "I'm waiting to bleed so I know that I am alive.", especially emotional pain of being hurt: Feed Your Ego: "Why you don't bleed like I do."; Clean Break: "Bleeding, forming scars in vain"; Stitches: "Stitch me up, And bleed me out". So I believe "My ears they bled before, I need to let them heal", means, "I've been hurt so much in the past by what I've heard, I can't take more right now." (Perhaps calls about previous attempts, past sirens?)

With "Her fears, they bled before she's convinced that they're real." seems to me to be saying that what she feared might happen, actually was happening before she even realized it. (I don't know if that makes any sense to anyone else. It somewhat does to me. That she was not mentally stable, had founded and unfounded fears, not able to discern reality.)

"Broken Legs" and "In her mind, she's blinded by all she sees." Paralyzed by her fears; unable to cope.."Close your eyes, just pretend the bullet isn't there. No surprise, no need to pretend that no one really cares." If it's intended literally, the meaning of the first sentence is obvious. The latter sentence seems to be saying the fact is, no one does care (though the POV character does seem to, or at least did at one time). "Are you prepared for what you'll find?" Find where...on the other side? He won't be there, he won't be joining her? Baffles me.

David had said he enjoyed the fact that people drew different meanings from his songs, and that one of the songs on Analog Heart was actually based on a story he read in a newspaper article. I've often wondered if that song was Makeover.

One interesting note: David played all instrumental parts except drums on Makeover. I love his guitar work on this song, love that solo and his cool emphasis on bass.

Thanks for posting the lyrics! Alright, here we go. “I’m ready… For whatever that’s worth…” TM DC. I’m going to try to take this one line (or phrase) at a time, stick my neck out, and give my thoughts on them. Since it’s late, I’m only going to look at the first verse tonight.

”Completely colorblind, these red lights are going unseen”

The two phrases together are easy enough for me to understand. The colorblindness makes the red lights fade into a shade indistinguishable from all others, and therefore unnoticeable. My question is, what do the red lights represent? I immediately think of red as meaning “stop,” but I feel like that doesn’t go with the rest of the song… It seems like the girls is trying to get out of the situation that she’s in, so the only way I can see “stop” working is if she’s asking the whole world to stop, or the situation to stop. Curiously, I’m getting the mental image of the emergency flashers on a car going off. Maybe that’s what it means: Watch out, give me some space, back off.

”Fall behind with words unsaid you know they're always obscene
'cause my ears, they bled before; I need to let them heal”

The first part here makes me think of 4LW. Is it possible that the obscene words are words of love and affirmation? If that’s the case, I don’t think they’re obscene for the same reason that they are in 4LW. In that song, it’s because the POVC is worried that they’ll ruin the good thing they already have going. In Makeover, I think it’s because those words are blatant lies. I’m not sure about the “falling behind” bit. Falling behind where they want the relationship to be? Falling behind in emotional growth? I think the second part is a bit more straight-forward. Whatever the obscene words are, the speaker has heard them before, been abused before, and still needs time to recover.

”She fell out; her broken legs won't let her walk away
From this town that couldn't give a single s*** either way”

She fell out… I think of the infamous “fall from grace” here, but I’m not sure that’s what it actually means. Maybe she fell out of love? That makes some more sense to me. Whatever it was, it tore her spirit to shreds. It sounds like she lost her confidence to leave a bad situation, even though those involved could care less about her and what she does.

And her fears, they bled before she's convinced that they're real

She’s afraid of something… Maybe more abuse, maybe an inability to stand on her own two feet, or leaving behind all that she knows. She’s not sure if they’re worth worrying about, but she’s going to let them color her actions regardless. It makes me think of agoraphobia, where people are so afraid of what might happen that they won’t leave their homes. The fears hinder her from making any real stand in her life.

That’s all I’ve got for tonight. Aside from the late hour, I don’t want to continue until I’ve heard some other thoughts on this portion. If I’m way off base, it won’t do me much good to move forward!

I was admittedly a late comer to this thread. I started lurking about the time there was a debate going about Declaration - the great debate over I'm taken or I'll take you. I have definitely felt like David used both of those. We know he forgets lyrics and changes them up sometimes.

minstrel - If you don't mind kicking a dead horse, I could use some help. If you would rather not, then I guess Mayawolf and I could go on a search through all 1117 posts to see if we can find the discussion on our own. Eye-wink

Back to Makeover, I would love it if some of y'all could post your thoughts on this song. I know I love it very much, but I am really confused about the lyrics. Beginning with the red lights lyric in the beginning to bleeding ears and then broken legs keeping a girl stuck in a town where she may not be wanted. I could keep going but I think I'll just post the lyrics and see if anyone will please weigh in.

Makeover (courtesy of

Completely colorblind, these red lights are going unseen
Fall behind with words unsaid you know they're always obscene
'cause my ears, they bled before; I need to let them heal
She fell out; her broken legs won't let her walk away
From this town that couldn't give a single s*** either way
And her fears, they bled before; she's convinced that they're real

What are you looking for?
Are you looking for something more?
It's not me
It's not me

Lost her way from everything she swore she knew, a friend
Run away from start to finish though it never ends
In her mind she is blinded by all she sees
Close your eyes; just pretend the bullet isn't there
No surprise; no need to pretend that no one really cares
But in her eyes you will find the very best in me

What are you looking for?
Are you looking for something more?
It's not me
It's not me

When did it all unwind?
Are you prepared for what you'll find?
It's not me
It's not me

Now I love metaphorical lyrics,but this has been like an unsolvable riddle for me. HELP!!!

As someone who missed the AH discussions, which I'm sure happened at some point, I'd absolutely love to look at those lyrics again and see what people have to say. I love the songs, dearly, but I have no clue what half of them are about. Makeover seems like a great place to start. I'm going to take some time to really marinate on the lyrics, and hopefully read what some others have to say, and then maybe I'll have some ideas to share. Thanks for the suggestion, Hummingbird!

I think a lot of AH songs were discussed back in the day. But we can certainly do it again Smiling

I cannot believe how incredibly quiet it is in here right now. I thought I would take this opportunity, during the lull in conversation, and ask about Makeover. Did y'all ever discuss the meaning of the lyrics in here on this song? If so, can someone enlighten me on what the consensus was as to the meaning behind the song? These lyrics are really puzzling me.

My sister's cookification is very cute to observe. It's like watching myself 3 years ago - the unstoppable need to talk about him, insisting on playing his music whether bystanders want to hear it or not, quoting of lyrics at loved ones in an attempt to make them see the awesome ..... Next step, finding out about the pre-Idols music--> the person behind the music--> irretrievably over the edge like the rest of us. Smiling.

CYE ... first of all YAY to the Cookification of your sis! Smart girl just like you Smiling

Yes, what you described with the book is yet another example of how we don't let go for a time which is so natural and you brought up a very good point ... this was a very intelligent, rational person, but emotions are neither ... they're just what they are and oftentimes don't make 'immediate' sense until you think about what's inspiring those emotions. It's actually quite 'rational' to hold on to what you love, so we reach for that goal even when it's impossible or I should say, it's impossible to hold on to them in the physical sense. It takes time to work through it. We've all had some experience with this sort of thing which is one of the many reasons why this album is so relateable to people and he's put it together in such a creative way that it makes the effort all the grander, I think.

Yes, Lavinia, I think that's a fairly common reaction. My sis (whose been completely cookified by TLM) has been telling me about this book she was reading called (IIRC) The Year of Magical Thinking. The writer's husband died unexpectedly and in this book she describes how she reacted to it. Even though she is a highly educated, rational person, she spent a year trying to figure out how his death could have been prevented, and refused to pack away his clothes etc. And the reason for this was that she believed, knowing that it was impossible, but believing it anyway, that if she could pinpoint the crucial moment, she could go back in time and bring her husband back.

This is part of what I love about TLM. It's an honest look at loss and the reactions it evokes. It doesn't try to sugarcoat it in the cliches that people try to hang on to as comfort, and it doesn't portray grieving as a linear process with a defined and 'healed' end.

CYE - if the character does, indeed, want to stay in his unhealed state, that's actually pretty common as I've seen more than one person who has suffered tragedy do just that. There seems to be a correlation when in grief that that grief is an extension of the person that's been taken, so to let go of the grief would be letting of the one you love which, of course, you will never let that person go - not ever. But while grieving, there are so many totally emotional thoughts and reactions that it's hard to see through it and make sense of any of it.

As an example, one of our friends lost their son in an accident. His mother did not want to move past the grief out of fear that she'd lose him completely somehow and she became very concerned that people would forget him because he wasn't on the physical plain anymore. But death actually does the opposite and I know that first-hand as I lost my twin sister and I can tell you that in death she became even bigger than life than she was when she was with us. In death, we attain an exalted place with the living and that's incredibly powerful. For some, it takes longer to let go of the grief due to fear than others. Just my perspective on all of this.

I'm sure this is all old news to you guys, but this just struck me (yes, I'm slow):
But the oxygen is proving
More than words could ever say
To put these memories away
So this is it
These rapid eyes will keep on moving
These rapid eyes will keep on moving

So oxygen represents surfacing in the real world (counterpoint to sinking into the water on Circadian). And it's real life that buries the memories underneath all it's (niggling and big) demands, far more than any words of comfort can ever do. You know, the old adage about time healing wounds. But the POV character doesn't want that 'healing' (which IMO isn't really healing, just displacement). He wants to cling on to the memories, and the only way to do that is to escape back into dreamworld. It almost seems like he's making a conscious decision to remain in that unhealed state - "this is it: these rapid eyes will keep on moving". It's more than a desire to return to the dreamworld - there's an air of finality to the decision.

The rhythm of "Rapid Eye Movement":
The beat of REM really creeps the marrow...really....I wonder why it keeps me from getting my ears an LSS of it.

Maybe i's because of the tenor-baritone/lyrics combination on it, especially to these words (the chorus, I mean):
I, I can't seem to find
A way back inside
Every last thought of love we made
That still keeps me awake
Still keeps me from everything we had
That I'm trying to get back

There's something cryptic on those word combinations, esp. to the "trying to get back" phrase. I think i's about Dave wanting to backtrack on something that he had lost (Adam Cook....hmmm?), and to something that he said while he composes this song with "he got the idea of waking up and doing things loudly (the recordings, events, and some experiences that he may be finding a bit 'neat and awkward' to him)".

cimorene: At first I was reluctant (and felt bad) to come in and dissect his words (almost seeming like his heart at times). I felt I was being somewhat invasive but the complexity and challenge of the words were too hard to step away from. At times like these, it is quite a good thing to be just a nameless face in the crowd when posting your thoughts and commenting on his words.

Interesting comments you have written and I'll be off to ponder those Eye-wink

JeannieL, that was a very interesting take on the song. I find it fascinating that we can all come up with so many interpretations of the words D writes, yk?

Personally, and especially now that we know D used the AC guitar for the final time before it was retired in the recording of the song, I see it as almost directly written as the final step of acceptance of his brother's death. "Six feet in on a one-way street" connotes burial to me -- the one-way is an indication of going somewhere and being unable to come back out. The imagery of "pearls in an endless sea" also recalls the symbols of pearls as tears -- and in this case, a sea of them. It's a song of accepting that one must move on in spite of the pain; a song of harsh realities; and in some ways, a song of goodbye (which makes it all the more interesting that TLG is the next song on the album -- because while the subject matter of TLG is almost one-dimensionally about a romantic relationship, there's a sort of underlying message that works in the context of the songs' arrangement and order on the album.)

On a completely different topic, lately I've been fangirling over the imagery, alliteration, and internal rhymes in GTTG. D doesn't write this way often -- the bridge in WOHWWS is the only other song that I can recall is written using similar poetic technique, in the bridge -- but holy crap does he do it well. Specifically:

GTTG -- the imagery is evident, as are the internal rhymes. The alliteration is in: paint another picture (p); black and blue (b); take another moment, one or two (t); when did all the gold around us (d; it works because although the d comes at the end of two of the words, these words are followed by other words that start with vowels); all the love (l); goodbye to the girl (g); breath til the lines blur (b); take another picture (c/k); vessel lost at sea (s).

It's one thing that he writes with such vivid imagery -- picture metaphors aside, the song really is as vivid as a painting; but to couple it with the structural poetic tricks he does is just mind-blowing, to me.

(The bridge in Honest is similarly done:
The ceiling paints a picture
And everything’s a welcome work of art
Amidst the chaos in the mirror
The lies in lipstick red

Alliteration in paints a picture (p); welcome work (w); amidst the chaos in the mirror (m); lies in lipstick (l) -- basically, in every line. And interestingly enough, the imagery also refers to a painting as well. I'd suggest that the metaphor is conducive to writing so vividly, except that I don't think people consciously write that way. Still, I think this bridge and the entirety of GTTG are possibly the best lyrics he's ever written. Ever.

I‘m very intrigued with the two phrases “you were six feet in” and “on a one way street” used in combination with each other. At first you would think of death in relation to the phrase “you were six feet in”. Thinking of it now coupled with “one way street” gives it two different takes for me.

The two phrases combined could mean that it was a person coming into a relationship with a preconceived yet staunch notion on not returning the love or feelings.“You were six feet in” might mean deeply committed with a feeling or it could mean that the feelings were deeply buried within someone. “On a one way street” might mean the opposite of love being a two way street. One very special person (pearl) did not share the same passion of the feeling that the other person (that pinned their heart on the pearl’s sleeve) felt. During the relationship (the person that put their heart on a sleeve) thought back then that it was all they needed at that time but might have come to realize differently now. Time will not wait for feelings or people to change and sadly marches on. As for the ending of the song, at that time it was the worst thing to happen but is what really needed to be done.

Another take on this could be him writing about what he felt to himself. He was deeply buried (six feet in) in a commitment with his dreams towards a career (one way street), found and gave into love but it was just not the right time. At the end of the song, questioning himself if he would have done it differently. Finally coming to a conclusion that at that time when he left to pursue his dreams ( “pack his bags and leave this town”) it was the last thing he needed at that moment (hurt and pain of ending it) but yet needing it to be done to get where he is today (“all I needed”).

A rueful story perhaps, reaffirming that time waits for no man (or his feelings)….

Black and blue is the metaphor of darkness and loneliness. Many songs have been devoted to the color blue to evoke sadness (Bluer than Blue, Song Sung Blue, etc). In using a palette of colors in a canvas, blue would be absorbed by the black pigment, creating an all encompassing black.

"Take another picture off the wall" - also reminds me of the act of leaving one's house when changing residences and go through the process of removing, then packing our precious belongings. So in that sense, the phrase also signal the inevitability of change and the need to move on.

ETA: Imogen, your RHWY reading is beautiful.

I know the common thought of "paint another picture black and blue" is that of bruises and hurt, but with the theme of sleep and the recent wildfires in AZ I can't help but think of night (black) and day (blue). Paint another picture night and day. Then the song goes on to contrast when gold turned to rust, love to dust, and take a look at where we use to be. He paints a day and night world.

Also together with, "take another picture off the wall" it makes me think of a picture I removed off our wall this past June. It was one of my favorite spots in the White Mountains. That spot is now ashes. The wildfires destroyed it. I was sent another picture of that same spot this past week. It is nothing more than a forest of black tree trunks against a bright blue sky. It has gone from a living forest to a dead, silent, black forest. For now the reminder of what was lost hurts a little too much, yes like a bruise, so the picture came down. When enough time passes I'm sure that picture will find a new spot. Bruises, night/day, life/death, black/blue.

I agree with minstrel's analysis of the first line of GTTG. Black and blue = bruises

Ah, ildcy, it's poetry so it means whatever you think it means... there is no way of knowing what it meant to the writers.

To me it invokes a bruise, which is a metaphor for hurt that D's used before, even in the title of an Axium song (Colors of a Bruise). the 'picture' shows up in both verses -- like something he was creating, but now it is 'black and blue' like a bruise, or falling into the ocean blue. It also makes me think of TLG, the broken piece of art put on display. It sounds like he's acknowledging that the attempt at this relationship was done with the desire to create something beautiful and lasting, like a piece of art, but it ended up badly and can't stay on the wall. (And if it's "another picture" that implies that it's not the first time the POV character has tried to make love work, with bad consequences -- or maybe, more cynically, that the world is full of sad, black/blue pictures and this is merely "another." But i'd lean toward the first interp. Either way there's resonance with the sentiment in 4Letter, where he says "looking back" shows that saying how you feel "causes such misery." Like there is prior experience with this.)

that's what it means to me. beyond that, it's anybody's guess.

imogen, appreciated your blog -- discussion of that song below also zeroed in on the possible A/D interpretation. like a lot of these songs, you do not have too look to hard to find some existential ideas bubbling below the framing boy/girl story. what D was saying is anybody's guess, again, but ... it's not exactly buried, the theme of eternity and fidelity. (and if you believe in a forever then that line is not denial but affirmation. i do, so it's affirming to me. what D himself believes about it all is for D alone to know. he just raises the questions and lets you ponder. TINTLT is dealing with these issues as well, IMO. Is cool.)

ladyP, re it not being angry -- you're right. it's not. maybe he just was not in that place, or at least this particular set of songs was not expressing how it is when you're in that place -- we don't know what else is in the pile.

Sorry for jumping in, but I was just listening to GTTG in my car, melting, not only from David's voice, but the heat. Anyway, what does the first line mean? Paint another picture black and blue? I have not been on this thread for a while.... ???

imogen, this is wonderful! i left you a comment on your blog. glad to hear from you, you've been missed here.

Finally sat down and wrote some thoughts on RHWY. I had meant to post this on my personal blog (outside DCO) but thought the better of it, I think fans will be better able to appreciate it.

Thoughts on RHWY:

Some pondering...

When Dave says the songs are the "right" songs" rather than the "best songs" out of the 86 choices, then he clearly has a master narrative or theme in mind, at least for him, and hoping listeners can access them through their particular experiences.
A thought on juxtapositions - clearly in these songs we have the spectrum of hope and despair (RHWY, WB, TINTLT > TMO, GTTG, PH) and presence and absence (RHWY, TLG, GTTG, FIM, FLW). I was trying to think why there is no "anger" in the songs chosen (PH's damn me is just mild anger for me), but then I thought, there is actually no songs that celebrated 'love' either. FIM, for me is not really about love per se, but escape into someone else's world. 4LW is the treatise on love, yet it gives us a dark take on the subject.

I don't really have a point - LOL! just pondering TLM....

JeannieL: Not only is it a great song for a recent ending relationship but how about one that you ended many years ago?

i like that. there's nothing in TLG that says it's a recent split, and with him figuring that by now there's someone else in her life, it makes sense that there's a bit of distance. i've always seen this song as one grasping for closure. any relationship can linger with you after it's over, and to really be the last goodbye, there would have to be previous ones, be they mental or emotional or physical.

I have to put a brighter spin in here since my last post Smiling ...

Thinking of TLG....

Not only is it a great song for a recent ending relationship but how about one that you ended many years ago?

Almost every line is so perfectly fitting to how I felt then. You have no idea how bad I felt that I was the one that broke it off. It still bothers me today. I almost think I could deal with it better if it were the other way around.

I'm listening to the part where he sounds like he is actually talking on the radio and says "If you hear this on the radio". In my case it would have to be "If you see this on the TV" because my real first boyfriend went on to become an actor/producer. I don't really watch TV but about a year ago I happen to have had it on extremely late one night. I was sprawled out on the couch and who do I see on my giant was my old boyfriend on a commercial. Talk about falling off a chair (in my case the couch). Seriously, I rolled right off that couch scrambling (and tripping over my feet) to get closer to the TV.

I guess now when I hear that part that I noted above...I have some closure...
After seeing the was The Last Goodbye for me LOL

I Love this.... minstrel: If you hit a wall that you can't climb, a bunch of us are still going to be here to give you a boost. If you stumble at the finish line, heck, we'll go back to the start and just race with you again. And we'll all sing along. 'Cos... we believe. You know?

^^^AMEN....Thanks David for sharing your heart and soul and emotions with us. We will always be there for you.

Minstrel: I'll have to share a ride with you on the heart thoughts/reflections. I see many topics on the forum about all the different body parts of the guy ( which is cute/amusing), but to me the most appealing and attractive parts of him lie within his heart and mind. Physical attributes sometimes are like a gaily wrapped present, it will certainly attract the eye but it doesn't always unfold to display the gifts we treasure most. Therefore, I guess it is without any doubt, that he truly exemplifies a fine example of "the whole package".

"If you hit a wall that you can't climb, a bunch of us are still going to be here to give you a boost. If you stumble at the finish line, heck, we'll go back to the start and just race with you again. And we'll all sing along. 'Cos... we believe. You know?" -- Minstrel

That was beautiful and made me tear up. ... Count me in.

kitunen, let me add my thanks for your writings about the record. Such good work. brava. thank you for sharing it with all. And thanks to all who post in this thread. I hope D reads it. I think he probably does read it sometimes. (I would not be able to resist substantive discussion about my work, if I were him. Then again, I'm ... not him.)

Re the heart/sleeve business -- that's one of his primary metaphors for who he is, obviously, as a human being. Pretty accurate from what I have seen, at least of the public persona.

The discussion made me think of the analysis of 'paper heart' here a while back, because that is sort of the 'anti heart on my sleeve' song. Where the singer is so tired of feeling everything and wants to punch a hole in it. What use is it, kwim? (A lot of use, actually. But sometimes not fun.)

It does get tiring, sometimes, to feel deeply. This record is tiring to listen to, sometimes, because it makes me go places that are painful and consider things that are sad. I remember that he said he wanted DCTR to be an exhausting experience for the listener, or something to that effect. That one (other than Permanent) was not exactly that, overall, for me. But this one? Yeah, most definitely it is. Exhausting, cathartic. I hope when he sings these songs going forward, many times, he will also find it to be cathartic.

Because even when the light runs from the day, and it looks like the darkness might be too much? We Believe. Still. Even after everything we've been through. On the first listen to the full-album stream, that is the song that made me gasp. That is the song that made me cry. That is the choice of hope over despair. It's a choice, and it's not wimpy, either. He says it five times, there, at the end. Which, really, is a pretty ballsy songwriting move. It's overkill, you know? The 3x repeat is much more standard in a situation like that.

But with heart-on-sleeve Cook, what you get is... this crazy tenacious affirmation, despite all the underlying grief and anger and confusion and pain. To me this song is a progressed and more direct version of Daily Anthem, where the repeated 'oh oh ohs' also dealt (to me) with the choice of hope vs. despair, and with the power of community. (Let's all sing along, at the top of our lungs, even when it is ... a long way down between the summer and the fall.)

And I would say (were he reading this, heh) -- yo, Cook. If you hit a wall that you can't climb, a bunch of us are still going to be here to give you a boost. If you stumble at the finish line, heck, we'll go back to the start and just race with you again. And we'll all sing along. 'Cos... we believe. You know?


Jeannie - Those were not erratic ramblings. Beautifully sincere and open, like David's heart on his sleeve. So sorry about your sister. But your relating GTTG to that gives me yet another perspective with which to listen to it. It always grabs me and tosses me around like a vessel lost at sea...

I love all the labors of love of interpretation you all have done. You have saved me a lot of work!

My approach right now seems to be more visceral and more of getting the gestalt of the word pictures and emotions. As I listen, depending upon where David takes me on any given day, I am hearing different stories, different feelings, a multitude of perspectives. Sometimes they are love songs. Sometimes they are meditations on the Universe, The Infinite, the spiritual, the deepest recesses of our souls and hearts. Sometimes they contain multiple voices singing to each other. Sometimes they are solos. Sometimes they are Impressionistic paintings; sometimes they are Abstracts.

This album is so full of wonder. I am so grateful that David was willing to spill his guts for us all.

Kitunen, thank you for your thoughts. I had forgotten about Still. I totally agree with what you said. I love the emotional honesty in his lyrics and how he conducts himself publicly. He is a rare find, IMO. I enjoyed reading your blog, and I apologize for not commenting sooner, but I read it after my post. I was happy to see that I was not the only one who thought TMO was primarily about Adam's passing. I am going back to lurking, but I look forward to reading more of your posts!

Capefan and luvcook...thanks y'all! I'm glad you liked my interpretations, it felt good to just sit there and write at length about something that I care about. Smiling

tg, if you're looking for more songs to add to that list, he also uses the phrase in "Still", the bonus track from Axium's Blindsided. That tells me that the concept of wearing one's heart on their sleeve is something that he has perceived and included as part of his self-image (rightfully so) for quite some time. One of his priorities (and prides) seems to be staying emotionally honest, in his music and I'm not surprised that the phrase has become a bit of a motif throughout his repertoire. I like interconnecting threads between different works, and the thread is strengthened by the fact that he seems to really uphold and value that characteristic of "wearing one's heart on their sleeve" within himself.

Hi. I rarely post and have never done so on this thread, but I do enjoy reading others' viewpoints and was wondering if anyone has thought about and would care to comment on David's frequent use of the phrase "heart on my sleeve" or a variation of it? I apologize if this has been discussed before and I missed it. I have noticed this for sometime and have tried to link the songs that contain the phrase together and now it has shown up on TLM (TMO). The phrase is also in Declaration, Optimistic to a Fault, and Therapy for Me.

Though I hesitate to speculate, I feel that this is who he is and he expresses this in a song for his fans (Declaration) and a song for his brother (TMO). David has said in interviews that his brother is in many songs on TLM and not just one, but I feel that TMO is mostly about the loss of his brother or dealing with it and I felt that the fact that he played his AC Les Paul on that track for the last time is significant.

Therapy for Me is one of my all time favorites and it is so beautiful, emotional, and perhaps personal (?). Optimistic to a Fault recounts a relationship and dealing with loss again. Any thoughts? Thank you for allowing me to share.

Kitunen....Young lady, IMO you so get this album!

So many of your thoughts are the same as my thinking and feelings that go thru my mind each time I take a listen to these wonderful songs on this album. However, you are so intelligent and articulate about this album and also knowledgeable about music theory and express far beyond what I am ever capable of expressing verbally....even though I know exactly what I am feeling about David's songs and what emotions they bring out in me. I believe I will print out your review ( with your permission of course lol....and refer to it each time I want to really dig deeper into this album). So glad this review was brought over here to The Lyrics really belongs. I love reading on this thread, also in The Voice thread, it was magicalbeck's amazing review on Amazon that moved me to first post, along with so many others here on DCO. Lets keep this review visible so it never gets buried....but I am sure once others get a chance at reading Kitunen's review it will be a must read.....just like magicalbeck's brillant review. Just want to say thanks.
Hope David gets a chance to read your review.

Kitunen, thanks for pointing us to your blog.Your intelligence and sincerity shine through and make it a great read! It impresses me even more because you're still so young. Hope to read some more from you in the future...

chavirni_ochi: First of all huge hugs to you and am so sorry for your loss. I'm sad that you had to feel that despair of saying goodbye to your sister. I wish I was made differently inside so that I didn't care so much for other's pain but it always touches me deeply to hear of these things.

It sometimes seems like he has a special key to what's in our hearts when he writes those beautiful lyrics. I know at times I have locked the door to certain rooms in my heart, not wanting to view what is stored away in there, but sometimes it is good to have a friend come take a look and help you sort through your stuff....

I think we might hear "Sunlight" performed live. No need to worry about good production during live shows. Smiling

JeanneL: I get the same feeling from GBTTG -- Black and blue - bruises; dust - death. That's why I consider it the "Permanent" on this cd. There was no place for me to hide from the pain/grief when saying goodbye when my sister passed... And I interpret the final 'goodbye to the world' as HER saying goodbye.

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