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An Attempt To Tip The Scales Lyrics

Artist: Bright Eyes
Album: Fevers And 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 left worth seeing.
So we trade for liquor for blood,
In an attempt to tip the scales.
I think you lost what you loved
In that mess of details.
They seemed to important at the time€"
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.

Interviewer: Hi, we€™re back. This is Radio ---X. We€™re here with Conor Oberst of the band Bright Eyes. How are you doing, Conor?

Conor: Fine, thanks. Just a little wet.

Interviewer: Oh, it€™s still coming down out there.

Conor: Yeah, I sorta had to run from the car.

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

Conor: Sure, let€™s see. The fever is€"

Interviewer: First, first, let me say that this is a brilliant record, man. We€™re really into it here at the station. We get a lot of calls. It€™s really good stuff.

Conor: Thanks. Thanks a lot.

Interviewer: So, talk a little bit about some of the symbolism.

Conor: The fever?

Interviewer: Sure.

Conor: Well, the fever is basically whatever ails you or oppresses you. It can be anything. In my case it€™s my neurosis, my depression€"but I don€™t want to be limited to that. It€™s certainly different for different people. It€™s whatever keeps you up at night.

Interviewer: I see.

Conor: And the€"and the mirror is, as you might have guessed, self examination or reflection in whatever form. This could be vanity or self-loathing. I know I€™m guilty of both.

Interviewer: That€™s interesting. Uh, how €˜bout the scale?

Conor: The scale is essentially our attempt to solve our problems quantitatively, through logic or rationalization. In my opinion, it€™s often fruitless, but always€"ah, not always€"And the clocks and calendars, it€™s just time, our little measurements. It€™s always chasing after us.

Interviewer: It is, it is. Uh, how €˜bout this Arienette? How does she fit into all of this?

Conor: I prefer not to talk about it, in case she€™s listening.

Interviewer: Oh, I€™m sorry, I didn€™t realize she€™s a real person.

Conor: She€™s not. I made her up.

Interviewer: Oh, so she€™s not real.

Conor: Just as real as you or I.

Interviewer: I don€™t think I understand.

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

Interviewer: That€™s interesting. Now, you mentioned your depression.

Conor: No I didn€™t.

Interviewer: You€™re from Nebraska, right?

Conor: Yeah, so.

Interviewer: Now let me know if I€™m getting too personal, but it seems to me that there€™s a pretty dark past back there somewhere. What was it like for you growing up?

Conor: Dark. Not really. Actually, I had a great childhood. My parents were wonderful, I went to Catholic school. They had money. It was all€easy. But basically, I had everything I wanted.

Interviewer: Really. So some of the references like babies in bathtubs are not biographical?

Conor: Well, I did have a brother that died in a bathtub. Drowned. Actually, I had five brothers that died that way.

Interviewer: Tahuh.

Conor: No, I€™m serious. My mother drowned one every year for five consecutive years. They were all named Patrick, so they all got one song. It€™s kind of like walking out a door and discovering it€™s a window.

Interviewer: But your music is certainly very personal.

Conor: 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, empathy for other people, and understanding their situations. So much 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.

Interviewer: I see what you mean.

Conor: Can you make that sound stop please?

Interviewer: Yes. And your goal?

Conor: I don€™t know. Uh, create feelings, I guess. A song€it never ends up the way you plan it.

Interviewer: That€™s funny you would say that. Do you think that€"

Conor: Do you ever hear things that aren€™t really there?

Interviewer: I€™m sorry, what?

Conor: Nevermind. How long have you worked at this station?

Interviewer: Oh, just a few minutes. Now, you mentioned empathy for others. Would you say that that is what motivates you to make the music you make?

Conor: No, not really. It€™s really just a need for sympathy. I want people to feel sorry for me. I like to feel the burn of the audience€™s eyes on me when I€™m whispering all my darkest secrets into the microphone.

(From the side, two teenage thugs start swearing about the music, talking over the conversation.)

Conor: When I was a kid I used to carry around this safety pin everywhere I went in my pocket and when people weren€™t paying enough attention to me I€™d dig it into my arm until I started crying. Everyone would stop what they were doing and ask me what was the matter. I guess I kind of liked that.

Interviewer: Really€you€™re telling me you€™re doing all this for attention?

Conor: No, I hate it when people look at me. I get nauseas. In fact, I could care less what people think about me. Do you feel alright? Do you wanna dance?

Interviewer: No, I€™m feeling sick.

Conor: I really just want to be warm yellow light that pours over everyone I love.

Interviewer: So, uh, you€™re going to play something for us now. Is this a new song?

Conor: Yeah, but I haven€™t written it yet. It€™s one I€™ve been meaning to write, called, €œA Song to Pass the Time.€?

Interviewer: Oh, that€™s a nice title.

Conor: You should write your own scripts.

Interviewer: Yeah, I know.

(Conor says from the side, €œI kept singing today€"It would be eeeeeeasy€€?)


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