The National – Conversation 16

I think the kids are in trouble

Do not know what all the troubles are for
Give them ice for their fevers
You’re the only thing I ever want anymore
Live on coffee and flowers
Try not to worry what the weather will be
I figured out what we’re missing
I tell you miserable things after you are asleep

Now we’ll leave the silver city ’cause all the silver girls
Gave us black dreams
Leave the silver city ’cause all the silver girls
Everything means everything

It’s a Hollywood summer
You never believe the shitty thoughts I think
Meet our friends out for dinner
When I said what I said I didn’t mean anything
We belong in a movie
Try to hold it together ’til our friends are gone
We should swim in a fountain
Do not want to disappoint anyone

Now we’ll leave the silver city ’cause all the silver girls
Gave us black dreams
Leave the silver city to all the silver girls
Everything means everything

I was afraid, I’d eat your brains
I was afraid, I’d eat your brains
‘Cause I’m evil
‘Cause I’m evil

I’m a confident liar
Had my head in the oven so you’d know where I’ll be
I’ll try to be more romantic
I want to believe in everything you believe
I was less than amazing
Do not know what all the troubles are for
Fall asleep in your branches
You’re the only thing I ever want anymore

Now we’ll leave the silver city ’cause all the silver girls
Gave us black dreams
Leave the silver city to all the silver girls
Everything means everything

I was afraid, I’d eat your brains
I was afraid, I’d eat your brains
‘Cause I’m evil
‘Cause I’m evil
‘Cause I’m evil

Taken from High Violet Album.

Berninger, as always, is extremely self-deprecating although this song unusually contains some justification for his self-pity.

He’s afraid that he’ll become a “zombie” in life.

The verses (and a lot of the album) describes these really mundane, everyday rituals of family life and moving on into middle age. The narrator is just going with the flow: doing what is expected of him, not disappointing anyone, reading the script of his movie, keeping his shitty thoughts to himself and only telling his wife about them after she’s asleep. It’s making him turn into a “zombie” though… he’s becoming less enthused about life, he’s unable to express himself, going through the motions, becoming a “confident liar,” etc.

In the last verse he states all of the anti-zombie things he wants: to be romantic, to believe, to be safe, to continue loving his wife… but he’s ultimately afraid he’ll “eat her brains”. He’s afraid that the ritual of everyday life will strip him of his appealing aspects until he’s unable to feel emotion (like a zombie) and cause him to do harm to the person he loves and wants the most (eat her brains).

Because he’s evil.

i feel the same too, sometaiims

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