• 03-08-2004, 08:22 AM
    ForeverAutumn
    Do you ever wonder about the motivation behind a song?
    I was listening to Dream Theater's Train of Thought last night. I pulled out the booklet to read the lyrics for the first time. Well, if the lyrics of Mike Portnoy's Honor Thy Father come from Mike's heart then he has some serious anger issues to work out.

    The song is too long to reproduce in full, but here's a sample.

    ...Well listen to me you ungrateful fool
    Here comes a dose of reality
    You'll go to your grave a sad and lonely man
    The door is now closed to your pathetic little plan

    On and on and on and on it goes
    It's so easy to run away with nothing in tow

    How can you ever sleep a wink at night
    Pretending that everything is alright
    And have the nerve to blame this mess on me

    Never in my life have I seen someone
    So ignorant to the damage he has done
    You're the rotted root in the family tree

    I tried your 4 bill therapy
    I tried to make amends
    But nothing could lure you out of your selfish shell again

    Expecing everyone to bow and kiss your feet
    Don't you see respect is not a one way street
    Blaming everyone for all that you've done wrong
    I'll get my piece of mind when you hear this song...


    Yikes! He must have been one angry dude when he wrote this. I sure hope that getting his feelings out through this song provided some good therapy for him.

    What songs have you heard that have made you wonder what the artist was going through when he or she wrote the lyrics?
  • 03-08-2004, 08:56 AM
    Davey
    Howzabout the classic Tonio K breakup song from his Life In The Foodchain debut, H-A-T-R-E-D? Now that one has some angry ass lyrics!

    <i>Yes, I wish I was as mellow
    As for instance Jackson Browne
    But "Fountain of Sorrow" my ass, motherf<a>ucker
    I hope you wind up in the ground</i>

    Hey, and speaking of Tonio, did anyone pick up the Olé CD after it was finally released on Gadfly in 1997 after sitting in the A&M vaults for 7 years? Supposed to be a good one with T-Bone Burnett producing and guests such as Paul Westerberg and David Hidalgo and Charlie Sexton and many others. The last thing I heard from him was Notes From A Lost Civilization in the late 80s which I didn't think was very good.
  • 03-08-2004, 09:13 AM
    tentoze
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    What songs have you heard that have made you wonder what the artist was going through when he or she wrote the lyrics?

    Everything on Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, among others..........
  • 03-08-2004, 09:33 AM
    Dusty Chalk
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Davey
    Howzabout the classic Tonio K breakup song from his Life In The Foodchain debut, H-A-T-R-E-D? Now that one has some angry ass lyrics!

    <i>Yes, I wish I was as mellow
    As for instance Jackson Browne
    But "Fountain of Sorrow" my ass, motherf<a>ucker
    I hope you wind up in the ground</i>

    Hey! I thought I was the only person who ever mentions this song with any regularity.

    But speaking of what was he thinking -- Tonio K. was championed by someone in the audiophile community (Stereophile? I don't remember) back in the day when that album came out, and a lot of his anger issues had to do with bad relationships. I distinctly remember thinking, when I read an article that he might, indeed, have met someone with whom he could be happy, that it was going to be downhill from there. But then Amerika came out, and I was proved wrong.

    PS I think I got Ole' somewhere, but not sure.
  • 03-08-2004, 10:49 AM
    Troy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Davey
    Howzabout the classic Tonio K breakup song from his Life In The Foodchain debut, H-A-T-R-E-D? Now that one has some angry ass lyrics!

    <i>Yes, I wish I was as mellow
    As for instance Jackson Browne
    But "Fountain of Sorrow" my ass, motherf<a>ucker
    I hope you wind up in the ground</i>

    Wow, me too! My roommate at the time LOVED that album (on green vinyl no less) and that one snippet of lyric lays me out every time I think about it, which is fairly frequently. He musta played that song 500 times that year.

    It had a lot to do with how he sung it with that sneeeer!
  • 03-08-2004, 11:44 AM
    Dave_G
    Hard for me to comprehend most lyrics
    For some reason, I hardly ever can figure out what the hey the lyrics to songs mean.

    For instance, I listen to a bunch of songs and then do some research about them, and someone will say, well, "yadda yadda" song is about the struggle between man and animals etc.

    HUH?

    Where in the heck did they pull that info from?

    I can never figure out what the artist is trying to say.

    Unless it's real real obvious, I usually just take the words in stride and enjoy the toonage.

    Dave
  • 03-09-2004, 12:31 PM
    MasterCylinder
    Wow - Autumn
    I don't think the Potnoy lyrics could be about his actual Father. I think I read somewhere that Portnoy's Father was in on the original financing when the band was trying to get started and he was also the guy that thought of the name "Dream Theater". I never heard/read anything that did not suggest they were close.

    On the other hand, ever think about the meaning of RED STAR ?
  • 03-09-2004, 12:52 PM
    Jim Clark
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dave_G
    For some reason, I hardly ever can figure out what the hey the lyrics to songs mean.

    For instance, I listen to a bunch of songs and then do some research about them, and someone will say, well, "yadda yadda" song is about the struggle between man and animals etc.

    HUH?

    Where in the heck did they pull that info from?

    I can never figure out what the artist is trying to say.

    Unless it's real real obvious, I usually just take the words in stride and enjoy the toonage.

    Dave

    Too right. I'm in the same boat but my boat didn't come with oars. I do realize that others are often able to at least come up with a semi-reasonable theory as to the meaning but I think most of the time if there is a meaning other than anything obvious that it's missed almost completely by the audience. Too many artists get caught up in the their own inflated idea of self importance and don't realize that most people are not going to devote the time to decipher the lyrics. It's a pop song-not Shakespeare bucko! 'course that's just me.

    jc
  • 03-09-2004, 04:08 PM
    ForeverAutumn
    Red Star is about Mars isn't it?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MasterCylinder
    I don't think the Potnoy lyrics could be about his actual Father. I think I read somewhere that Portnoy's Father was in on the original financing when the band was trying to get started and he was also the guy that thought of the name "Dream Theater". I never heard/read anything that did not suggest they were close.

    On the other hand, ever think about the meaning of RED STAR ?

    Oh sorry, that's the red planet. ;)

    See? That's what I mean. It's obviously an angry song. So, if it's not about his father then what is it about? What was his motivation? Like Dave and Jim, I will listen to most songs and not spend too much time thinking about the lyrics, but once in a while I'll come across a song that just feels like it's a personal glimpse inside the author and I wonder what was going on in the author's world to inspire the song. This is one of those times.