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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Inside the Song: 'Star Witness'

There's glass in my thermos
And blood on my jeans
Nickels and dimes of the fourth of july
Roll off in a crooked line

…fffeerreeuuuuppppttsfdrfeirjeijlsdkfjslfjeijweirjsjfkdjf


There's glass in my thermos
And blood on my jeans
Nickels and dimes of the fourth of july
Roll off in a crooked line

Fffeerreeuuuuppppttsfdrfeirjeijlsdkfjslfjeijweirjsjfkdjf

There's glass in my thermos
And blood on my jeans
Nickels and dimes of the fourth of july
Roll off in a crooked line

That’s the audio from inside my car as I drive home from work. I’m still addicted to that song. It’s come to the point where I’m nearly taking notes of the lyrics and carefully thinking about what they mean and what they could mean. I know with lyrics it’s all a matter of what it means to “you” but Neko Case’s lyrics are kinda tricky, so I’m going to make an attempt to pick the song apart lyric-by-lyric and figure out the true meaning of the song, Star Witness by Neko Case.

(Warning: To all you gifted existencialist geniuses out there, this may be a little like watching a one legged kid in an ass kicking contest)

First verse:
My true love drowned in a dirty old pan
Of oil that did run from the block
Of a falcon sedan 1969
The paper said '75
There were no survivors
None found alive

She starts out describing a car that just crapped out (a huge crack in the engine block), but then the “there were no survivors, none found alive” is a little strange, as if the car blew up.
Then again, it can’t be that easy. Case may be trying to convey the feeling of death and helplessness as a result of death. Perhaps it could be a bigger tragedy involving people who had vehicles like these and she’s representing the people by their car and “oil from the block” could be blood from the heart like in a shooting or something.

Trees break the sidewalk
And the sidewalk skins my knees
There's glass in my thermos
And blood on my jeans
Nickels and dimes of the fourth of july
Roll off in a crooked line
To the chain-link lots where the red tails dive
Oh how I forgot what it's like

This is the verse I started out with and it’s the most intriguing one I have ever listened to. All describe obstacles or inconveniences to normal things
nickels and dimes of the 4th of July, roll off in a crooked line” (noted coins that don’t just lie flat but they have to spread out and roll under things)

This verse could be describing how frustrating life is after death. Like her everyday life could be tainted with such a death. Everything she used to do now reminds her of that death and just makes her sick.
oh how I forgot how it’s like” could simply be that, what was it like before the death?

Then there’s the chorus,

Hey when she sings, when she sings when she sings like she runs
Moves like she runs
Hey when she moves, when she moves when she moves like she runs
Moves like she runs
Hey there there’s such tender wolves ‘round town tonight
Round the town tonight
Hey there there’s such tender wolves ‘round town tonight
Round the town tonight

This has always puzzled me. “Sings like she runs”…I guess it could mean that she’s taking her frustrations out in how "she sings and runs". I know both are a great way to relieve stress with everything that has happened around her. Not that I sing or anything but…I’m sure it relieves stress.

tender wolves” could simply mean a man lending his ear to her troubles as she vents in a bar or something.

Hey pretty baby get high with me,
We can go to my sisters if we say we'll watch the baby"
The look on your face yanks my neck on the chain
And I would do anything
To see you again
So I’ve fallen behind…


Ah…. I think I’m starting to get it (seriously, writing the lyrics down does help). This verse could be referring to the “tender wolf” and how she’s gotten back in the playing field by spending time with him. She even says she’ll get high together and ignore her sister’s baby as they make their own babies or something. It’s like that episode of the Simpsons where Jimbo comes over and talks about how his shirt and pants were chaffing.
Fallen behind” could be referring to how she’s been “out of the game” for awhile.

Chorus

Go on, go on scream and cry
You're miles from where anyone will find you
This is nothing new, no television crew
They don't even put on the sirens
My nightgown sweeps the pavement
Please don't let him die

Oh how I forgot...

Crap, just when I thought I was getting things straight, then this verse comes along. This paints the picture of Tony Soprano waxing some dude in upstate New York with the dude’s wife nearby. I think this could mean a disease of some sort because that wouldn’t require a “television crew” or help from “screaming or crying”. Of course a gun shot would be more appropriate and complete the cycle that a lot of song writers love to do (start with how you end).
Yeah, I think I got it. A gun shot so the “oil” would again, “run from the block” of a “whatever car describes the person.”.

At least that’s how I interpreted the song anyways. Damn, that was fun! We should do this again sometime.

4 comments:

Aliecat said...

You are an even bigger nerd than I am...hahahah!

Boof said...

shuddup skimmer!

Anonymous said...

WTF was this?

Boof said...

huh?