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John Roderick Explains <em>Putting The Days To Bed </em>Lyrics


Over the last two years, The Long Winters have quickly become one of my all-time favorite groups. The pop songs have crisp and precise production paired with articulate and emotionally insightful lyrics. If possible, I could sit for hours talking with frontman John Roderick about his songs and the ingredients that make these records truly incredible.  

Through a series of e-mail exchanges, Roderick has answered some highly specific questions concerning lyrics off the new record.  Putting the Days to Bed will be released July 25th on Barsuk Records.

I have placed the lyrics in the order they appear on the record. Enjoy.

Track 1: "Pushover" - "Unkind girlish walk, like a deed to the world without the talk"

JR: Well... you know there are some coquettish walks, some flabbergastingly captivating gaits, which cross the line. They aren't innocent, they're wielded like a flaming sword, and they have the power to own a man for a period. That doesn't mean they're a force for good in the world.
(MP3)


Track 3: "Teaspoon" - "You weighed your suitcase down, but it still wouldn't sink"

JR: This happens to all of us at one point or another. We have a small suitcase worth of stuff, thoughts, feelings, recent events, that we would give anything to just sink to the bottom of the sea, but it's always that suitcase that refuses to go down. You can't just leave it floating there, so you have to take the damn thing home again.


Track 4: "Hindsight" - "I'm baling water and baling water 'cause I like the shape of the boat"

JR: I'm afraid that this lyric is already perfectly self-explanitory. When I say it's self-explanatory I'm not trying to be difficult, it's just to me nothing could be clearer than a lyric like that. It's a lyric about the small-scale, almost charming, tendency we all have toward self-destruction. If we weren't humans, if we were able to judge like computers or Vulcans, the only logical criteria for a BOAT would be that it floats without leaking. How it looks couldn't be less relevant to how it functions. Our humanity is revealed by our love for lost causes, for three-legged dogs and rusted-out "classic" cars, and there's something pathetic about us for that reason. The same eye that loves art and music will plunge us into buying a house with a cracked foundation, while a perfectly solid, and cheaper, house next door is rejected for being not as "cute". I celebrate this quality in people; it's what makes us interesting, and lovable, and individual, even if it means that we're doomed, somewhat. Why be in a relationship with someone? For love, comfort, support and encouragement. How many of us are in relationships that provide none of those things, but which we fight for against all odds?


Track 5: "The Sky Is Open" - "My propeller tries to find the air"

JR: Overtly, this is meant literally: the pilot is so high up and the air is so thin that his propellor is cleaving into the ragged edge of a vacuum. Indirectly it refers to the propellor in each of us which is always chewing up the air, taking us higher, hungry for sky.


Track 7: "Clouds" - "False prophesy doesn't mean prophesies are true"

JR: I'm continually amazed at how easy it is for people to recognize and laugh at the preposterous aspects of every religion but their own.


Track 8: "Rich Wife" - "So tell me, is your high horse getting a little hard to ride -- and your little bit on the side getting harder to find"

JR: You can be a snotty little brat all you want when you're twenty-five, but the day you turn twenty-seven you start to notice your friends don't think it's so cute anymore.


Track 9: "Ultimatum" - "Crave translates into slave, No-one can harness the rain, And I can make myself into rain,You feel me on your cheek, And on your sleeve"

JR: When you're in love it's very easy to start ascribing supernatural powers to your lover. "How can they make me feel like I'm about to explode, yet they seem so unperturbed?" I have felt so strongly about someone that I wouldn't have been surprised if they had just turned themselves into rain, so powerful did they seem and so inconsequential was my hold on them.


Track 11: "Seven" - "Did you see me the way I imagined, every eyelash a picket or a wire?"

JR: I see people in their teens and early twenties all the time who are blatantly shielding themselves from intimacy by wearing ridiculous costumes, or by talking constantly about themselves, or by being hyper-shy, or by a thousand other methods. When you get a little older you abandon those transparent ploys, because adults don't respond to them as well, but a great many people want to maintain their defenses and just shrink them down until they're an invisible veil over the eyes.

Previously: IndieInterviews talked with John Roderick about Ultimatum in a December podcast.

Direct download: 01_Pushover.mp3
Category:General -- posted at: 5:42pm CST