Robert's most biting, and often humorous, lyrics

Today, while doing some very boring office work, I was thinking that along with all the serious messages there is also a lot of humor in Robert's words. Often, they are the same things, and he'll use juxtaposition as a literary device, cynicism and optimism at the same time. (Yes, I am a teacher, so apologies for getting technical here.) This is something we don't always talk about, so I put a mental list together and wanted to write it down...    

And you're swirling while the lights shine
Burning through the light
Bittersweet the drops of life
-Fancy Colours (II)
(The image I get in my head with this song is a girl on a dance floor. There's a lot going on in this song musically with Terry's using his Cry Baby and Walt's flute playing over the whole arrangement, so it is easy to not pay attention to the words, but it's great imagery.)

Natural man took her natural face
Made it a strange and alien place
You can't bear to look 'cus she ain't there
A mother has been raped and left to die in disgrace
She is gone
-Mother (III)
(Great personification and so blunt as compared to the hippy tunes of the day that were about the environment.)

Feels so good to be soaring
'Cause LA was so boring
-Goodbye (V)
(That's just funny, and we hear so much of theme of feeling down in LA.)

Are you a civilized person?
Is your life-form advanced? 
All music is static
Every book is a lie
There was no evolution
Only a flood, there was no time
-Sacrificial Culture (In My Head)
(This song and whole album are under-rated. I love this song because the shallowness of culture, and being bombarded with meaningless images, is all I've ever known. We live in sad times, the idea that we're digressing as a culture.)

These random moments of content

We hunger for, our soul is spent
Born each day, then die with sleep
The memories in the darkness weep
-Will People Ever Change? (In My Head)
(Some of the topics in this song turn up again in Naked In the Garden of Allah. Again, the idea that we are bombarded with so much that means so little.)  

Please add any other lyrics that mean something to you... 

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  • I love that he wrote "...There was no evolution, only a flood..."
    Science must negate God or they'll have no jobs.
  • 'Someday'

    Would you look around you now
    And tell me what you see
    Faces full of hate and fear
    Faces full of me
    Do you feel the rumblings
    As your head comes crumbling down
    Do you know what I mean

    Run, you better run, you know
    The end is getting near
    Feel the wind of something hard
    Come whistling past your ear
    As they try to get you
    Where it will upset you down
    Now you know what I mean

    Someday you will see how long
    We've waited for the time
    To show you how we've died
    To get together with you all

    Twist and turn your head around
    'til everything's unclear
    Twist and turn your arm around
    Until it is not there
    And they'd love to burn you
    Or at least to turn you 'round
    Now you know what I mean

    Can you look around you now
    And tell us what's to be
    Can you look inside yourself
    And tell us what you see
    As you feel the rumblings
    As your head comes crumbling down
    And you know what I mean

    Someday you will see how long
    We've been waiting for the time
    To show you how we've died
    To get together with you all

    • Andy, do you know this started out as a love song called "Girl"? Girl (1968)

    • Hi Stephanie, never heard that before ! Where'e that from ?

    • It's from an LA-area club called Ichey Foot Mose. There isn't much evidence about this place other than people's memories, but it was just a few months after the Barnabys shows, the two other that survive from 1968. 

    • Hi Stephanie - no ?

    • Listen to it. What did you think? The arrangement didn't change much. 

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