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Discovered Meaning of Flightless Bird

  • rickk999's picture
    Discovered Meaning of Flightless Bird
    says (2011-01-04 00:01)

    "I was very young and quick with my decisions, getting deeply involved with things that caught my eye; while your attention was on things that didn't actually belong to me. Then when the debonair moved in and our hippie generation moved out, I became old, conformed, making my long hair style of my youth cut short. I decided to one day steal an old telephone book out of a phone booth, looked up all the people with your name, and called for you everywhere.  Did I finally get the right one? Have I found you, the person that said she going to change the world?

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rickk999's picture
on (Jan 04, 2011)

"I was very young and quick with my decisions, getting deeply involved with things that caught my eye; while your attention was on things that didn't actually belong to me. Then when the debonair moved in and our hippie generation moved out, I became old, conformed, making my long hair style of my youth cut short. I decided to one day steal an old telephone book out of a phone booth, looked up all the people with your name, and called for you everywhere.  Did I finally get the right one? Have I found you, the person that said she going to change the world? The person we all looked up too, stood by her side as she spoke like no other using an array of verbiage to fight the tyranny we all marched in Washington against. Are you sure I have the right person? How can this be you, a person now envious of those that we fought against?  I have a bad feeling about this.  Have I found you, someone we don't know anymore?  The further I look, the more I fear what I have found and will soon discover.  

I will say I'm not so beautiful myself anymore; I've become a domesticated couch potato, overweight, and getting older by the minute. My public speaking/protesting days are over.  Those politicians still make me sick with their smiling faces, kissing babies, and stabbing the American people in the back. They intertwine their own agenda's in their offices tainting all they touch, yet they are able to get away with it all slipping through cracks of the great American system. Back in our days they lured the American people in tainting the media with their propaganda causing many pure young innocent lives to be extracted by the hook of a draft pulling them out of this Godly country to face an ungodliness nightmare of death and destruction.   They hooked and pulled 9,087,000 during the Vietnam Era.  303,704 were wounded in action.   58,156 were killed.  75,000 were severely disabled and 23,214 were completely disabled.

 From this old worn out phone book, Have I found you, the person that said she going to change the world? The person we all looked up too, stood by her side.  The person that was so beautiful as she spoke her iron words against the evil; how can this be you --a person now rich and envious of those that we fought against?  Looking back seeing you through time the image is so beautiful.  What happened? You've turned into someone we don't know anymore.  All the vibrate dreams of the past, visions that got away from you; a white dove and so pure, that never flew. It's a hard thing to swallow and digest; Our American Mouth that spoke for all of us is gone. I'll always miss her."    ________________________________________________

 It's amazing that hardly anyone picked up on the meaning of this song; a song constructed by a "Flower Child" with an invisible message planted into a "Twilight Love Scene" of 2000 with Peace & Love :)

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CPV's picture

My comments are pretty long so I will probably make multiple posts. I loved this song on Twilight, finally downloaded it, then read the lyrics. Couldn't make heads or tails of it, so I decided to listen over and over until I could understand.

I think this is about the writer's personal spiritual journey.

A bright, perceptive youth going deep for things of value but those things are only man-made SYMBOLS of value.

The world is watching and in the inescapable bright light of examination-- which only goes so far because street lights only come on in the dark-- his carnival game is exposed as a sham and a scam and is shut down.

Thus exposed, he cuts his OWN hair (unlike Samson)-- he changes, gives up a certain type of power, grows up. He goes on a quest -- scriptures are his map and he goes looking for God.

Has he found God, a flightless bird-- wings clipped and unable to soar because that is what American religion has done to Spirit-- cut its wings and defined it? A jealous god. A sad god.

A big pill to swallow-- if you accept man's definitions of God's limitations.

He tries to swallow.

In the process he becomes a complacent, fat cat - domesticated - eating canned food and having lost all natural interest in the hunt. Curiosity hasn't killed the cat-- curiosity itself has been killed. Its own nature denied, the cat grooms itself until its tongue is sore.

The fence is meant to keep other things out-- it is an ossified structure of rules and beliefs, but since it restricts freedom and it, too, sets up artificial, man made boundaries, it has cracks through which the proponents of poisonous paradigms weave in and out with impunity.

Bored, stressed animals eliminate on the glossy photos of our obsessions-- the material world of tortured desires. That fat cat is sick and disturbed but unable to be free.

(CONTINUED IN NEXT COMMENT)

CPV's picture

Jesus said he would make his disciples fishers of men, but the man-made lures actually pull living souls OUT of the pure stream of Christ Consciousness, and then the souls are killed and consumed.

The God-Spirit and the personal spirit are actually One, but human religion has rendered it grievously wounded and stuck to this plane.

The uniquely American brand of religion pre-packages a limited God that cannot fly, and the Western mind mindlessly swallows this pill.

Having tried to swallow, the writer finds that the pill is stuck going down. He is still searching for the union of Supreme Spirit and his own soul -- the ultimate love story.

Finally, this song is set in a minor key, and the hauntingly beautiful melody is the sound of a heartbroken soul, weeping.

(END OF COMMENT)

China's picture

@DJEILAN - very interesting piece you wrote but I read recently that the actress Kirsten Stewart chose this piece of music for this particular scene as it was a personal favorite of hers. Either way this worked well because this is such a beautiful song. Still haven't a clue what Beam is on about but my next move is to learn this on guitar and serenade my wife! Peace x

alecabedo's picture

Hi there!! I am from CHile and I found this page in Summer here ( one month or two ago) 'cos I just loved the interpretation of this beautiful song. I entered to the page today, and it was not here anymore :( Who wrote the complete interpretation? 'cos above there is a short one. If someone can send me that please, I will be more than welcome. I am a teacher of English and I was thinking to start a discussion in my class with that. Anyway my mail is alecabedo85@gmail.com thanks :)

Jessica712's picture

This is a very interesting interpretation, but I think that's really all it is. There's nothing inherent in the song to indicate the Vietnam War, the 60's, or a particularly political agenda.
The beautiful thing about a song like this is that everyone can decide what the ambiguous lyrics mean to them, and I don't think any one interpretation could ever speak for how each and every person feels this song. This interpretation does speak for how deeply and diversely we can understand the lyrics.

Jessica712's picture

This is a very interesting interpretation, but I think that's really all it is. There's nothing inherent in the song to indicate the Vietnam War, the 60's, or a particularly political agenda.
The beautiful thing about a song like this is that everyone can decide what the ambiguous lyrics mean to them, and I don't think any one interpretation could ever speak for how each and every person feels this song. This interpretation does speak for how deeply and diversely we can understand the lyrics.

garyjules's picture

in the first verse,was he talking about an unrequited lover "and your attention was on things that didnt belong to me"? because near the end he says that she betrayed america. was he making a reference to jane fonda? like how she betrayed america?

Trip's picture

rick - where is this text coming from?

Djeilan's picture

continued from previous post:

finally, i would like to point out that Sam Beam is hardly a flower child. he was born in 1974. i was born in 1962 and so was a child through the sixties, but i was no hippie. when i was eleven-going-on-twelve on the day Mr. Beam was born in 1974, there was no way i could have been considered a flower child. i was simply a child, and Mr. Beam was a newborn Generation-Xer. i doubt Mr. Beam's song has anything to do with the Viet Nam War, but i could be wrong. i suppose we'd have to ask him to know for sure.

Djeilan's picture

if this is what these lyrics say to you, then your interpretation of them is one-hundred percent correct for you. i would argue that the lyrics of "Flightless Bird American Mouth" are universal and timeless and therefore do not belong to any particular era or locale.

a universal dilemma each of us struggles with is reconciling the vision of who we believed we would become versus the reality of who we have become; therefore, i believe that the "you" the poet wonders if he's found or lost is something within himself, as perhaps a set of ideals.

in "Twilight," when "Flightless Bird American Mouth" is playing in the background, Bella and Edward are debating her desire to become an immortal in order to be with him forever versus his desire for her to stay who she is because he loves who she is, exactly as she is, and he knows that the loss of her "humanness" will change her in ways she can't imagine. Edward is trying to save Bella from the dilemma of having to reconcile her vision of who she believes she will become with the reality of who and what she will become if she takes the path she's determined to travel.

i propose that perhaps the director chose this piece of music for this scene because it is very euphonic and has a beautiful melody that gives it a very romantic, sweet feel on the surface, representing the optimistic, idealistic, and innocently superficial place that Bella is coming from, juxtaposed with the dark and disturbing lyrics that evoke uncomfortable images and teach that all beauty is ephemeral, and that life becomes less certain and we become more cynical the longer we live it, representing the darker, deeper well of experience that Edward is coming from.

continued...

Jules's picture

This explination makes more sense than anything else I have heard so far. I got the first verse, but the second one was beyond my comprehension. Thanks.