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Thread: Divers - the lyrics, what's getting your interest or moving you?

  1. #1
    Senior Member baroquepopfan's Avatar
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    Divers - the lyrics, what's getting your interest or moving you?

    Here's my first...

    A Pin-Light Bent
    My life comes and goes
    My life comes and goes
    Short flight, free rows:
    I lie down and doze

    My life came and went
    My life came and went
    Short flight; free descent
    Poor flight attendant
    (continues....)

    It's extremely striking, particularly with the portentous harp arrangement. On a lyrics website someone mentioned the poem Falling, by James L. Dickey. It's about a stewardess who leans against a cabin door, accidentally opening it and falling to her death. And guess what... the word diver is used 4 times! The unnamed stewardess may be one of the Divers of the album's title. Too much of a coincidence?



    I think Mr Dickey may be getting some new readers!
    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171431

  2. #2
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    That poem is amazing. WOW.

    What is getting me right now is ALL of Anecdotes, but especially this bit:

    In the folds and the branches
    Somewhere, out there
    I was only just born into open air
    Now hush, little babe
    You don’t want to be
    Down in the trenches
    Remembering with me

    Where you will not mark my leaving
    And you will not hear my parting song
    Nor is there cause for grieving
    Nor is there cause for carrying on

    –and daughter, when you are able
    Come down and join! The kettle’s on
    And your family’s round the table
    Will you come down, before the sun is gone?
    I am still unpacking the meaning of this song, but I really am just so so moved by this part of the song that it makes me cry every time. The music is also so beautiful. It's a very dense song, and I think the most Ys-like on the record, which is a good thing.

  3. #3
    pummelled gall-nuts afloat in urine
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    ^I've been trying to figure it out. I think there's something crucial about how time gets totally jacked in the second half of that song - she longs for 'temporal infidelity' as 'lights stream by', and then she's suddenly metamorphosing from a newborn to a parent and then again to someone's young daughter. I'm not sure what that means for the album entirely yet, but it absolutely makes for the most viscerally emotive little sequence. It's the way she packs together all those little details and phrases we associate with our longest held memories and longest loved people, it's richly, overwhelmingly nostalgic. I get this almost photographic image of my first childhood home.

    This has been killing me:

    If I have the space of half a day,
    I'm ashamed of half the things I say.
    I'm ashamed to have turned out this way,
    and I desire to make amends.

    But it don't make no difference, now,
    and no-one's listening, anyhow,
    and lists of sins and solemn vows
    don't make you any friends.

    There's an old trick played,
    when the light and the wine conspire
    to make me think I'm fine.
    I'm not, but I have got half a mind
    to maybe get there, yet.
    because SAME.
    Last edited by Andrew; 10-25-2015 at 11:11 PM.

  4. #4
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew View Post
    ^I've been trying to figure it out. I think there's something crucial about how time gets totally jacked in the second half of that song - she longs for 'temporal infidelity' as 'lights stream by', and then she's suddenly metamorphosing from a newborn to a parent and then again to someone's young daughter. I'm not sure what that means for the album entirely yet, but it absolutely makes for the most viscerally emotive little sequence. It's the way she packs together all those little details and phrases we associate with our longest held memories and longest loved people, it's richly, overwhelmingly nostalgic. I get this almost photographic image of my first childhood home.
    Ah, yes. That makes a lot of sense. And I am SO with you on the nostalgia. For some reason, that whole thing makes me feel like a little girl at my grandmother's house. Ugh its so wistful and powerful. Damn you J-New for making me feel things. When those strings come in? I JUST UGH. I CAN'T.

    because SAME.
    Dude that whole song is basically me these days. I've been dealing with a nasty bout of depression (post grad fallout, I presume) and this one just really speaks to me.

  5. #5
    trapped in the worst timeline just owls's Avatar
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    Too many lyrics on this album hit close to the bone. The Things I Say is like the depression theme song, but not depressing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    I am still unpacking the meaning of this song, but I really am just so so moved by this part of the song that it makes me cry every time. The music is also so beautiful. It's a very dense song, and I think the most Ys-like on the record, which is a good thing.
    That part is so moving and brilliant. And maybe I'm dense, but all I can think of is that part being about death. I see death everywhere on this album.

    This part of 101st is getting me at the moment:
    Make it stop, my love!
    We were wrong to try.
    Never saw what we could unravel,
    in traveling light,
    or how the trip debrides—
    like a stack of slides!
    All we saw was that Time is taller than Space is wide

  6. #6
    pummelled gall-nuts afloat in urine
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    "Waltz" is the song that had me poring over the lyrics right away! It's so clever.

    'I have got half a mind/to maybe get there yet' is the lyric that... ugh, Too Much, Joanna. It's almost accusatory.

  7. #7
    streak his blood across my beak PoorMatty's Avatar
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    In "Anecdotes," Rufous Nightjar and Poorwill (There are also Star-spotted and Sickle-winged Nightjars) are both in the nightjar family of nocturnal birds. They're sort of the evolutionary link between owls and hummingbirds, and have extremely complex, detailed, cryptic plumage patterns. When they sit in leaf litter on the ground or on a branch, it's very difficult to pick them out (hence, I assume, "It ain't about how rare you hard, but how hard you are to see"). Not sure how that plays into what the song is ultimately all about, but I'm sure it's a key somewhere.

    ETA: Come to think of it, re: "till we hear the telltale boom," some nightjar species making a sort of booming noise with their wings when they dive for prey.
    Last edited by PoorMatty; 10-26-2015 at 01:31 AM.

  8. #8
    trapped in the worst timeline just owls's Avatar
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    ^ And Nightjar is mentioned again in "Time, As A Symptom", which loops back to "Anecdotes".

  9. #9
    pummelled gall-nuts afloat in urine
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorMatty View Post
    "It ain't about how rare you hard, but how hard you are to see"
    Speaking of cryptic, I love this little fragmentary conversation -- it's so odd ('when are you from?') and enigmatic, like it holds the key to the entire album. And all the birdwatching allusions in that song are really entertaining.

    I've been getting into all the sci-fi wibbly-wobbly time-travelly stuff in general, it seems to permeate every song. Even one as straightforward and grounded as "The Things I Say" carries those elements: 'did he die, or does that man endure somewhere far away?' is a heartbreaking image of regret and doubt but could also literally refer to the branching out of alternate timelines and parallel universes.

  10. #10
    generally largely right Dan's Avatar
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    Goose Eggs is hitting me hard.

    And it hurt so bad when I got the news
    That you'd got that call and could not refuse
    This exact thing has happened to me quite recently with my best and dearest friend, who left the country because he couldn't find work here. There was nothing I could do (and not for lack of trying) to help him in that sense. I was there when he got the call, but I wasn't sure what it was about and then he told me, and luckily I managed to refrain from ugly crying until I got home. I'm a bit better now, but I was a mess for quite a while, as except for fucking, we used to do pretty much everything together. So obviously, I had a rather strong reaction to this song.

  11. #11
    Senior Member take_offs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew View Post
    Speaking of cryptic, I love this little fragmentary conversation -- it's so odd ('when are you from?') and enigmatic, like it holds the key to the entire album. And all the birdwatching allusions in that song are really entertaining.

    I've been getting into all the sci-fi wibbly-wobbly time-travelly stuff in general, it seems to permeate every song. Even one as straightforward and grounded as "The Things I Say" carries those elements: 'did he die, or does that man endure somewhere far away?' is a heartbreaking image of regret and doubt but could also literally refer to the branching out of alternate timelines and parallel universes.
    I love the sci-fi stuff too! Waltz is my favorite song on the album. This bit from the allmusic review is very interesting:

    "Waltz of the 101st Lightborne," in which time-traveling soldiers end up fighting their own ghosts, highlights Divers' sci-fi undercurrent, which is all the more intriguing paired with its largely acoustic sounds.
    I love that interpretation of the song. The Lightborne attempt to colonize a parallel dimension? Wow. It adds some dramatic irony to the album's theme, like Time cannot be conquered.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ime Achoo Dooa's Avatar
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    Beneath the pale sky,
    beside the red barn,
    below the white clouds,
    is all we are allowed.
    Yeah, I know lots of flags are red, white, and blue, but I can't help but read this (and a lot of the song) as some sort of skepticism about or exhaustion with "freedom".

  13. #13
    Senior Member Ime Achoo Dooa's Avatar
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    The reason I love The Things I Say is because of the ending:

    Our lives come easy and our lives come hard.
    And we carry them like a pack of cards:
    some we don't use, but we don't discard,
    but keep for a rainy day.
    Reading it as a song about depression, one of the worst things about having it (and one of the things that can keep the cycle of negative thinking going, I guess) is this feeling like, I'M NOT LIVING MY LIFE, I'M WASTING IT BEING SAD AND ISOLATED, I WILL NEVER GET ANY OF THIS TIME BACK...but these lines refute that and it's almost like she's saying, "Forgive yourself. Those 'wasted' days are still your life, and they're not in vain."

  14. #14
    pummelled gall-nuts afloat in urine
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ime Achoo Dooa View Post
    Yeah, I know lots of flags are red, white, and blue, but I can't help but read this (and a lot of the song) as some sort of skepticism about or exhaustion with "freedom".
    Oh, good catch! And you totally unlocked the ending to "The Things I Say" for me.

  15. #15
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ime Achoo Dooa View Post
    The reason I love The Things I Say is because of the ending:

    Reading it as a song about depression, one of the worst things about having it (and one of the things that can keep the cycle of negative thinking going, I guess) is this feeling like, I'M NOT LIVING MY LIFE, I'M WASTING IT BEING SAD AND ISOLATED, I WILL NEVER GET ANY OF THIS TIME BACK...but these lines refute that and it's almost like she's saying, "Forgive yourself. Those 'wasted' days are still your life, and they're not in vain."
    YES totally. It's such a great song.

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