We Live Again Mutations

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We Live Again

        These withered hands
        Have dug for a dream
        Sifted through sand
        And leftover nightmares
5       Over the hill
        A desolate wind
        Turns shit to gold
        And blows my soul crazy

        The end
10      O the end
        We live again
        O I grow weary of the end

        O hungry days
        In the footsteps of fools
15      Gazing alone
        Through sex-painted windows
        Dredging the night
        Drunk libertines
        Stink like a colognes
20      From the newfangled wasteland

        The end
        O the end
        We live again
        O I grow weary of the end
        O I grow weary of the end

25      Love is a plague
        In a mix-match parade
        Where the castaways look so deranged
        When will the children learn
        To let their wildernesses burn
30      And love will be new never cold and vacant

        These withered hands 
        Have dug for a dream
        Sifted through sand 
        And leftover nightmares
35      The end
        Oh the end
        We live again
        Oh I grow weary of the end



Analysis: The poet (Beck) is tired of looking for a dream, going on through time, and trying to make sense of life. In an imaginary world he dreams of turning nothing into something, and it drives him crazy that this imaginary world is not reality. He says that if we die and come back to live again, then dying makes him feel weary. People starve themselves just to be like other people, and he feels he is the only one who has his own views. He watches the rest of the world through windows. He hates nighttime because of the people who drink (and consequently smell replusive) are around. Love, he says, is like the plague. It is an epidemic which causes people to match with the wrong partners. Those who arenít in love feel alienated. He wonders if people will learn to have passion in their lives and have meaningful relationships. He ends by repeating his expression of tiredness.
Danielle's analysis: I think this song is related to Beck's grandfather, Al Hansen, who died shortly before this song was written. Al was a strong influence in the fluxus art movement and was very close to Beck when he was young. Because it starts out saying "these withered hands", I think it's Al Hansen looking back on his life. He's looking through the good times and the bad times, trying to find something that never existed.

Lines 5-7 are also talking about his grandfather. I saw a clip of an interview with Al Hansen where he says "I make gold out of shit", speaking of his unique take on art. He would take trash and make sculptures out of it, like a decapitated rocking horse covered in cigarette butts. I think this verse is saying that his grandfather's art will always live on, and it's driving him crazy because his grandfather is gone. He knows he's gone for good and is tired of thinking about what the end really means.

In the next verse, Beck remembers the days when he lived with his grandfather in L.A. They didn't have much money and lived among fools. He felt lonely at night and therefore hated it. There were always drunk people everywhere who reeked of alcohol. What people thought of love wasn't real, and it caused problems because couples weren't right for each other. He wonders when people will set the example to their children that they should follow their heart and do what they're really passionate about. Then there will be a different kind of love that's real, and it isn't cold and empty.

Looking back, he sees that this love never existed. It was only a dream, and it makes him tired to think of what the end really means.


© originally analyzed in July 1999 - posted March 18, 2000 station1@hotmail.com
Analysis by posted on Nov 14th, 2000


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