There is a limit to what you can bear, but my limit lies with not being able to show interesting posts that have to do with one particular subject. I am not obsessed, though, but I am passionate. When I was in school (in France) there was a subject I particularly disliked: text study. Now, I find it fun and entertaining, especially if the text is a song. If you are reading this, it means that you’ve got curious about the Playground, so I hope you’ll enjoy the reading for I write about this mostly for my own amusement but it is definitely way funnier if the “Fun” is shared.
Now, at the moment, the Playground is all about my new number one band (actually, they are sharing that spot with Europe) POETS OF THE FALL. If you don’t like their music, your loss… if you do, good for you! Anyway, I am fascinated with their lyrics even the ones that sound quite straight forward, they might hold some hidden twists that are longing to be found out… or maybe it is just wishful thinking on my part. There is something else that pushes me to write about this, actually three things:
- Marko Saastero is a tough cookie who said that there were very few fans who came close to the true meaning of the songs’ lyrics: provocation number one!
- Second, POTF likes the concept of trilogies and creating characters that cross over from one album to the other, with a life journey of their own. This makes the reading of the lyrics with a looking glass rather enjoyable to me.
- Third, none of the readers following Misfit at Heart on Facebook has shown any interest for such posts, so I’ll make the Playground my best writing to spite the silence… who knows, its noise might get weaker with time.
Album: Signs of Life
When Marko came to the band with the song “Lift“, the guitarist Ollie had not the faintest idea of what it was all about, but he liked it. Marko has, or so it seems, never really explained the content to the guys. Of course, this is a fun and entertaining thought to actually give a crack at the hidden meaning of “Lift” as the beginning of my undertaking. This is the first track from POTF’s first album, and first trilogy, so it had to be first. The song’s video introduces the viewer to a character whom I’ll call “Psycho Marko” for convenience purposes.
Overall, I first imagined the song to be about a woman, using “Psycho Marko“, breaking his heart over and over, or something of the sort. This theory fell apart pretty rapidly – although it is just my personal interpretation and holds no certainty on whether I am right or not.
The lyrics are displayed on Poets of the Fall’s website and, for copyrights reasons, I will not add them here. Just click the picture “Lift” below to get them.
If I take for granted that the one talking in the song is “Psycho Marko“, then the meaning of the verse – and therefore the song – is pretty straight forward. He’s lost his mind, or does not fit in the so-called normality of society. Why not? What has happened to him? bla-bla-bla… you’ll see that it is not as straight forward as I’d like to think.
“Psycho Marko” does not trust himself to say whatever he thinks or feels for fear of being misunderstood. His way of putting things might be too raw.
In such times, he feels like a prisoner inside his own skin. Life is a routine one has to get by, and when reality is “inconvenient”, as it mostly is, he makes up stories – read excuses – to help him cope. He sees only the negativity of life, where colors do not exist.
This is when he does not feel like himself; he doubts himself, everything and knows not where he is going or why. He does not give up, though, even if his soul is wounded, he just wears a mask and pretends that he is fine. Would that be to fit in? In which case one could wonder about why does he want to anyway. Fear is a feeling that comes regularly in POTF’s songs; here it is, as I understand it, a combination of an uncontrollable fear associated to the “negation of oneself”. The character is fighting for his very existence in the psychological sense of the term.
But then, comes this miraculous thing/person that he does not name and lifts his own self-inflicted sentence. When it’s here, he sees everything clearly and expresses it the way he knows how. When it’s here, he’s got wings and can do anything. Did he make a deal with the devil? That might be a suggestion from the video (or I watch too many weird series and movies). From what I gather, inspiration might be the operative word to the song although it is never uttered or clearly stated. I believe that with a little inspiration, whether for creative purposes or not, we could make our lives the best they ought to be, which is probably the reason why I understand “Lift” the way I do.
This verse is tricky and particularly challenging to my twisted mind. If I assume that this is about inspiration, and “Psycho Marko” is now trying to explain how he felt when he believed it gone for good, that is to say his dreams of mediocrity came true. He dreamt that he fitted in, maybe, like he was no one special. I find this far-fetched like there is some missing link I cannot pinpoint anywhere. From inspiration, the listener is pushed towards dreams and their probable interpretation. It is possible that I hear what and how I want to understand. Is it not true that one fathoms only what one has experienced?
So, the conclusion of the song brings up the hold-fast influence of dreams, however twisted they are. They’re here to stay, to kick us around and steer us. Have you noticed it too? “Psycho Marko” is now generalising his purpose. We are, somehow and undoubtedly on different levels, all psychos. If we don’t know what makes us tick, we’ll find that out in our dreams. It does not matter how scary – or out-there our dreams are – we’ll have to face them to bring them forth sooner or later. In the meantime, most of us just try and ignore them – putting our sanity at risk in the process. Why on Earth are we behaving in such ways? Come on, Psychology 101 (that I never took)! We are so afraid of failure… so “Psycho Marko” is saying: deal with it and move on (I think)
Lift – Summary
Most of the times, “Psycho Marko” feels that he does not belong when he thinks he should. Inspiration comes about and changes his state of being. He is still weird and twisted, but he knows that it is as it should be. He is afraid of his dreams and state that we all are, but in the end, they are what makes us unique and bring a purpose to our lives. In other words, don’t give up and believe in yourselves!
Is that really what I have explained above? Hmm!
So, that was fun and headache-giving (figuratively speaking). Unfortunately, I may never find out if my far-fetched explanation is accurate but in the end, it is not the reason why I wrote this. I do enjoy my figurative headaches they keep me sharp in the mindless, yet orderly, chaos filling my head. Besides, what does it matter if one solves a mystery if mystery there is? After all, I am no Sherlock Holmes.
Next time: “OVERBOARD” from the same album.
Check out the official “LIFT” video below.