Thursday, April 5, 2007

Interpol - Leif Erikson

"She says it helps with the lights out
Her rabid glow is like braille to the night
She swears I'm a slave to the details
But if your life is such a big joke why should I care?

The clock is set for nine but you know you're gonna make it eight
So that you two can take some time teach each other to reciprocate

She feels that my sentimental side should be held with kids’ gloves
But she doesn't know that I left my urge in the icebox
She swears I'm just prey for the female
Well then hook me up and throw me baby cakes cause I like to get hooked

The clock is set for nine but you know you're gonna make it eight
All the people that you've loved they're all bound to leave some keepsakes
I've been swinging all the time think it's time I learned your way
I picture you and me together in the jungle it will be ok

I'll bring you when my lifeboat sails through the night
That is supposing that you don't sleep tonight

It's like learning a new language
Helps me catch up on my mime
If you don't bring up those lonely parts
This could be a good time
It's like learning a new language
Helps me catch up on my mime
You come here to me
We'll collect those lonely parts and set them down

You come here to me...

She says brief things her love's a pony
My love's subliminal
She says brief things her love's a pony
My love's subliminal"

I once heard someone say that only true poets could makes words their slaves to this song.

I love music, you probably noticed, but I love lyrics. Any musician who is worth a damn should have lyrics in their songs that is poetry in its own right. Some lyricist like to make smart-ass witty remarks in their songs like Pink Floyd, and Meat Loaf, they use the occasional swear to bring the song’s meaning down to earth and make it all the more understandable on a human level. It’s cleaver and witty, funny at times, very good lyrics. Some musicians are poets in their ability to be blunt but make a strong statement, John Lennon was particularly good at that, Metalica at their best is another example. Others like to use vague metaphors or personal reference to make the true meaning somewhat hidden, I can think of a lot of examples were this is excellent, but to the point Interpol’s - Leif Erikson is an excellent example of very deep lyrics that convey a great deal of meaning.

Leif Erikson.  This song has
nothing to do with him.
To this day I do not know why the song is called ‘Leif Erikson’, however the general meaning of the majority of the song can be easily understood if one takes the time to think about the lyrics. First I have to say the lead singer of Interpol (Paul Banks) must have been through some rough break ups.

The first verse says to me a great deal about intimacy, "she is like braille to the night," they talk through touch, very nice, and subtly referred to again later as he "catching up on his mime." His being obsessive over every detail must have been a major factor in the crumbling of the relationship, but then again those who do not consider their lover worth thinking about and worrying over, do they really care, or is their "life just a big joke?" He reassures he is calm and in control even though she is fearful, he "left his urge in the icebox." I will go on record saying none of us will ever hear a lyric about keeping your lust under control better then that.

I don’t want to give you a thorough analysis of every lyric, you can do that on your own if you like the song as much as I do. But I like to point out while this song is definitely about some long lost love, there is so much being said in each lyric, disdain and regret, passion and affection, longing and anguish. Even a paranoid over thinker like me can’t figure out every deep meaning going on in this song, and that says a lot.

Interpol will be in Calgary April 22; I am very excited to go see them. They have had two albums out so far in their career both are extremely excellent. They at an interesting point in their career, this next few years and the next album will be do or die. I don’t necessarily mean commercially either, you can look at a bad like Collective Soul, who had two very strong albums, and even though they are more a commercial success now then ever their music is far below par of what it was one. Also you can look at bands that start out strong never achieve huge commercial success but their music simply grows mundane and uninspired after their pinnacle first few albums. Interpol is at that phase, they have either reached their prime and now is the time to see them before they sell out or become mundane, or they are going to grow into something totally awesome and now is the time to see them while they are evolving before our eyes. I have never had the experience of seeing a band live at this specific point in their career it is going to be awesome.

Well everyone who knows me you knew I was going to go on about Interpol eventually, god I love those guys. This probably won’t be the last one of their songs I review.

Until next month, remember nothing wrong with being a slave to the details, because you are whether you know it or not, or is your life such a big joke? Good damn those are good lyrics.

- Colin Kelly

1 comment:

  1. I discovered Interpol about a year ago, and i don't think there has been a day that i did not listen to Interpol ever since. Leif Erikson have become one of my all time favorites. i swear that it stirs feelings inside me that i never knew existed. I was basically searching for some interpretations for its lyrics when i came across this blog, and it made me very happy because i realized that this song affects (or at least affected) someone else as deeply as it affects me. Thank you for the beautiful analysis and i hope you are not a slave to the details and you did not mind my lower case i's and errors. Have a great day!