Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Bloodbuzz Ohio"

A couple of weeks ago I did a Weekend Assignment post about poetry.  The gist of the post was that I didn't care much about poetry unless it was set to music as lyrics.  I also made the debatable point that maybe our best poets aren't really poets at all, but are songwriters.

Which brings me to the subject of my favorite new band of the moment (well, new to me anyway), The National.  I like their sound, and whoever writes their lyrics -- I suspect lead vocalist Matt Berninger -- has a poet's sensibilities.  Instead of just coming out and saying what he means, everything is symbolism and metaphor and hidden meaning -- so much so that I'm really confused about what it all means.

Case in point, "Bloodbuzz Ohio."  When he says, "I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees," he surely doesn't mean that literally. It seems like it's related to the old adage that you can't go home again -- "...but Ohio don't remember me." Is he talking about a trip back home or is he just reflecting on the idea of Ohio? And there's all that other stuff -- "stand up straight at the foot of your love," "lay my head on the hood of your car," "I still owe money to the money to the money I owe," etc. -- most of the song actually -- that doesn't seem to have much to do with anything else. It all sounds pretty good though...




LYRICS:
Stand up straight at the foot of your love
I lift my shirt up
Stand up straight at the foot of your love
I lift my shirt up

I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees
I never married, but Ohio don't remember me

Lay my head on the hood of your car
I take it too far
Lay my head on the hood of your car
I take it too far

I still owe money to the money to the money I owe
I never thought about love when I thought about home
I still owe money to the money to the money I owe
The floors are falling out from everybody I know

I'm on a blood buzz
Yes, I am
I'm on a blood...buzz
I'm on a blood buzz
God, I am
I'm on a blood...buzz

I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees
I never married, but Ohio don't remember me

I still owe money to the money to the money I owe
I never thought about love when I thought about home
I still owe money to the money to the money I owe
The floors are falling out from everybody I know

I'm on a blood buzz
Yes, I am
I'm on a blood...buzz
I'm on a blood buzz
God, I am
I'm on a blood buzz.

So what's it all about? Any ideas?

If you're stumped on that one, try your hand at figuring out "Brainy."  This is an obsessive love song -- very similar thematically to the Police's "I'll Be Watching You" or Sarah McLachlan's "Possession" -- or is it?  I'm especially intrigued by the amazingly enigmatic couplet, "Everywhere you go is swirling, everything you say has water under it."  The song is on YouTube, the lyrics are on SongMeanings.com.


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6 comments:

johntorresmusic said...

I'm a fan of the National. Recently took a crack at Bloodbuzz in Ohio

Enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sudkVgLnKE

Anonymous said...

This song is about being underwater financially on his home and being in debt to the creditors to the point he will never be able to repay his loans. The writer is on a blood-buzz because the blood has been sucked out of him. He has given his creditors the shirt off of his back and his head is now an ornament on their car. He never thought about love when he thought about home is a polite way of saying that he's been f__ked in a real estate transaction along with everyone he knows, whose floors are falling out from under them.

LKFW said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV_sYYRnINE i made a blood buzz ohio trubute too!

Anonymous said...

I kinda think that Ohio is referring to the woman he loves and he calls her Ohio because their love felt so right she felt like "home" to him. I think "stand up straight at the foot of your love" means two things: him nervously awaiting her approval and trying to keep it together while she never lets him actually get close to her, hence, "foot" of your love, and then kinda of a more literal, they're about to make love and he's nervous that she doesn't love him back.

new director said...

definatly a love song.
stand up straight at the foot of your love i lift my shirt up - he is exposing himself and willing to do so just for a little part of her love.

i was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees - what does bees known for?? :)his type of guy is giving honey while stinging.. and there is nothing he can do about it..
Ohio got over him.. although he never got married.. basicly he did not give her a reason to get over him..

she made him thinking love when he is thinking about home... something that never happend before he met her..

and so on and on..

Anonymous said...

btw Brainy is about being in a relationship with someone smarter than you and trying to keep up. it's been mentioned in a bunch of interviews.