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An Attempt To Tip The Scales lyrics

Rating: 4.65
Song Details
Artist(s)Bright Eyes
Album(s)Fevers & Mirrors

Did you expect it all to stop at the wave of your hand
Like the sun's just gonna drop if it's night you demand?
Well in the dark we're just air
So the house might dissolve once we're gone
Who's gonna care if we were ever here at all?
Well summer's gonna come,it's gonna cloud our eyes again
No need to focus when there's nothing that's worth seeing
So we trade liquor for blood in an attempt to tip the scales
I think you lost what you loved in that mess of details
Now you can't even recall any names
Faces or lines it's more the feeling of it all
Well winter's gonna end I'm gonna clean these veins again
So close to dying that I finally can start living

"Hi we're back This is Radio [beep]
And we're here with Conor Oberst of the band Bright Eyes
How are you doing Conor?"

"Fine, thanks...just a little wet"

"Oh, it's still coming down out there?"

"Yeah, I sort of had to run from the car"

"Well we are glad you made it
Now your new album Fevers and Mirrors tell us a little bit about the title
I notice there is a good deal of repeated imagery in the lyrics
Fevers mirrors... scales clocks...
Could you discuss some of this?"

"Sure let's see... The fever is..."

"First let me say that this is a brilliant record man
We're all really into it here at the station
We get lots of calls
It's really good stuff"

"Thanks,thanks a lot"

"So talk a little bit about some of the symbolism"

"The fever?"


"Well the fever is basically whatever ails you or oppresses you
It could be anything
In my case it's my neurosis my depression...
But I don't want it to be limited to that
It's certainly different for different people
It's whatever keeps you up at night"

"I see!"

"And the mirror is as you might have guessed
Self examination or reflection in whatever form
It could be vanity or self loathing
I know I'm guilty of both"

"That's interesting. How about the scale?"

"The scale is essentially our attempt to solve our problems quantitatively
Through logic or rationalization
In my opinion it's often fruitless
But always... well not always
The clocks and calendars it's just... time
Our little measurements
It's always chasing after us"

"It is it is... How about this Arienette?
How does she fit into all of this?"

"I'd prefer not talk about it in case she's listening"

"Oh I'm sorry I didn't realize she was a real person"

"She's not I made her up"

"Oh, so she's not real?"

"Just as real as you or I"

"I don't think I understand"

"Neither do I but after I grow up I will
I mean a lot of things are really unclear for me right now"

"That's interesting
Now you mentioned your depression"

"No, I didn't"

"You're from Nebraska, right?"

"Yeah, so?"

"Now let me know if I'm getting too personal
But there seems to be a pretty dark past back there somewhere
What was it like for you growing up?"

"Dark? Not really Actually I had a great childhood
My parents were wonderful.
I went to a Catholic school
They had one so it... was all easy
Basically I had everything I wanted anytime"

"Really? So some of the references like babies in bathtubs are not biographical?"

"Well, I did have a brother who died in a bathtub... drowned
Actually I had five brothers who died that way
No I'm serious
My mother drowned one every year for five consecutive years
They were all named Padraic
So they all got one song
It's kind of like walking out a door to discover it's a window"

"But a lot of your music is certainly very personal"

"Of course I put a lot of myself into what I do
But it's like being an author
You have to free yourself to use symbolism
And allegory to reach your goal
And a part of that is compassion and empathy
For other people and their situations
Some of what I sing about comes from other people's experiences as well as my own
It shouldn't matter the message is intended to be universal"

"I see what you mean"

"Can you make that sound stop please?"

"Yes. And your goal?"

"I don't know... Er create feelings I guess
A song it never ends up the way you planned it"

"It's funny you would say that do you think that...?"

"Do you ever hear things that aren't really there?"

"I'm sorry, what?"

"Never mind. How long have you worked at this station?"

"Just a few minutes
Now you mentioned empathy for others
Would you say that is what motivates you to make the music that you make?"

"No not really It's more a need for sympathy
I want people to feel sorry for me
I like to feel the burn of the audiences eyes on me when I'm whispering all my
darkest secrets into the microphone
When I was a kid I used to carry this safety pin around with me
Everywhere I went in my pocket and when people weren't paying enough attention to
I'd dig it into my arm until I started to cry
Everyone would stop what they were doing and ask me what was the matter
I guess I kind of liked that"

"Really? You're telling me you're doing all this for attention?"

"No I hate it when people look at me
I get nauseous
In fact I could care less what people think about me
Do you feel that way?"

"No, I'm feeling sick"

"I really just want to be warm yellow light that pours all over everyone I love"

"So, you're going to play something for us now
Is this a new song?"

"Yeah, but I haven't written it yet
It's one I've been meaning to write... called A Song to Pass the Time"

"Oh, that's a nice title"

"No, it's not
You should write your own scripts"

"Yeah, I know..."

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