1. Standard memberPhlabibit
    Mystic Meg
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    07 Apr '05 02:37
    They might be giants wrote a song called 'Hopeless Bleak Despair'. Interesting song, but our hero goes to Hell at the end. Here are the lyrics, and would like your thoughts on what this song might mean.



    They Might Be Giant
    Hopeless Bleak Despair'


    I never knew what everybody meant by endless, hopeless bleak despair
    Until one day when i found out
    The first time i ever left my house
    It saw me and followed me home
    And stayed with me for my whole life

    For years and years i wandered the earth
    Condemned to a life of bleak despair
    Then one day i looked around and found
    It had disappeared

    Hopeless bleak despair
    It was always there
    And then one day it disappeared
    In a puff of smoke
    In an unceremonious way
    One day it disappeared

    All i had ever wanted in my life was only to be free of it
    It drove away my family
    It made me lose my job
    Whenever anybody saw it
    They'd say get out of here

    For years and years i wandered the earth
    Sick of my life, looking forward to death
    Then one day i looked around and found
    It had disappeared

    Hopeless bleak despair
    It was always there
    And then one day it disappeared
    In a puff of smoke
    In an unceremonious way
    One day it disappeared

    For years and years I wandered the earth
    Until i died and went to hell but my
    Despair had ascended to heaven
    That's how i finally got rid of it

    Hopeless bleak despair
    It was always there
    And then one day it disappeared
    In a puff of smoke
    In an unceremonious way
    One day it disappeared
    -------------------------

    Why so much bleak despair? Does he really go to Hell and why? Did his bleak despair really get to go to Heaven?

    ES
  2. Standard memberPhlabibit
    Mystic Meg
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    09 Apr '05 14:35
    Last chance to consider this song. I'd really like some feedback on this subject... but no one is taking a bite.

    ES
  3. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    Royal Oak, MI
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    09 Apr '05 15:28
    Originally posted by Phlabibit
    Last chance to consider this song. I'd really like some feedback on this subject... but no one is taking a bite.

    ES
    Sorry, I can't help you out here. I don't have any idea what they're going on about. At first I thought it was going to be about some sort of existentialist dread, but I don't think that's right.
  4. Standard memberDeepThought
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    09 Apr '05 15:36
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Sorry, I can't help you out here. I don't have any idea what they're going on about. At first I thought it was going to be about some sort of existentialist dread, but I don't think that's right.
    It's irony.
  5. Joined
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    09 Apr '05 15:45
    As a former songwriter, I can only guess that the lyricist may have had little intention in conveying meaning in this song in the broadest sense. It may mean something only to him/herself. I can't get a clear feeling on it at all.

    As writers of the song "Violin," some of the words to which are:

    "One quarter of George Washington's head
    Half of George Washington's head
    Three quarters of George Washington's head
    All of George Washington's head..."

    I think it's possible that it's beyond easy comprehension.

    😉
  6. Joined
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    09 Apr '05 15:46
    I thought about it for a while, buit couldn't really come up with anything. Maybe the black despair is something to do with knowledge? Knowledge of what, I don't know, maybe just nowledge itself (tree of knowledge good and evil, apple, leaving the garden of eden etc.).

    That's all I could come up with to be honest. Not great lyrics really, there doesn't seem to be any depth to them, unless that depth is so deep I'm missing it entirely.
  7. Standard memberPhlabibit
    Mystic Meg
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    09 Apr '05 21:45
    Thanks guys. The song sounds better than it reads, perhaps. They Might Be Giants is a rather strange band. You either love them, hate them, or have never heard them. I know of only one person that didn't like them, and changed their mind after being bombarded with their music at work. They actually don't like the fact that they now love the music!? Go figure.

    Anyway, I think the song is a lot to think about... and I am sure the true meaning is in it someplace. If I had to guess, is it perhaps saying you can suffer your whole life for no reason? I'm really still not sure why the Hopeless Bleak Despair gets to go to Heaven...

    I just listened again, and am no closer to an answer.

    ES
  8. Standard memberDeepThought
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    10 Apr '05 01:05
    Originally posted by Phlabibit
    Thanks guys. The song sounds better than it reads, perhaps. They Might Be Giants is a rather strange band. You either love them, hate them, or have never heard them. I know of only one person that didn't like them, and changed their mind after being bombarded with their music at work. They actually don't like the fact that they now love the music!? ...[text shortened]... k Despair gets to go to Heaven...

    I just listened again, and am no closer to an answer.

    ES
    No, the song is about depression, the problem for the protagonist is that his depression defines him so having escaped it his life has no meaning. So he goes to hell and his despair - the true him which he has cast off - goes to heaven.
  9. Standard memberPhlabibit
    Mystic Meg
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    10 Apr '05 02:24
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    No, the song is about depression, the problem for the protagonist is that his depression defines him so having escaped it his life has no meaning. So he goes to hell and his despair - the true him which he has cast off - goes to heaven.
    Good user name, I'm sold.

    ES
  10. Joined
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    10 Apr '05 20:23
    Originally posted by Phlabibit
    They might be giants wrote a song called 'Hopeless Bleak Despair'. Interesting song, but our hero goes to Hell at the end. Here are the lyrics, and would like your thoughts on what this song might mean.
    [b]


    They Might Be Giant
    Hopeless Bleak Despair'


    I never knew what everybody meant by endless, hopeless bleak despair
    Until one d ...[text shortened]... ir? Does he really go to Hell and why? Did his bleak despair really get to go to Heaven?

    ES[/b]
    A songwriter knows what his song means to him, but the larger question is, 'does this song carry any truth, or describe the truth?'

    My answer to that is yes and no.
    Born into a fallen world, being sinners with 'righteousness like philthy rags' we are faced only with said bleak despar. That part is true, but the song leaves out the good news, and confuses things in the end.

    Yes, some people will go to hell, but despair will not be found in heaven. There, there will be "no more tears'!
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