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Finger Of Death analysis.

Offline Bergerac

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I've agonised over the lyrics to this for years, but whenever I've read interpretations on the internet, they always struck me as wild, and phonetically improbable. They also seemed to lack any sense of viable context.

Below is the best breakdown I have been able to make of the live version, eventually I started equalising it for clarity, but I've never posted my thoughts yet. It's why I asked if anyone could help clear up the freqs in the d/l thread.

Granted, it's incomplete, it can never be complete. Words in parentheses are best guesses. Hyphens/dashes are completely indecipherable no matter how you mix it.

i fear gold tears apart chrome*
and god, i feel some fire
(now all we've said, all... is real?
real?)

and we said we are untrue**
i said you're free
i'm free
free

‐------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------
don't you know what I------------? ***
-------------------------------------------

and (this love?
we said
-----------------(is imperfect)
-----------------(on fire?)$

we said
we said
we said
all we mean


* - I believe that, unlike on WP, 'chrome' here is a reference to wedding bands. Phoenetically, that last word is 'Chro/Cro' and there aren't many other things it could be.

** - This is the clearest line, the line I've known the longest, and the most baffling when I read other interpretations. I'd stake real money that this is the actual lyric. That being said, this lyric is also key to unlocking the rest of the song, and it's a pretty fucking emotionally heavy line, if all of this is indeed about his marriage.

*** - the screamed section is largely indecipherable for obvious reasons, however I can partially make out the 'Don't you know what I-?' question in the third line.

So, 'Finger Of Death' is of course a reference to the Grim Reaper pointing, to signal time's up. I think that this is explicit reference to time called on his marriage. That said, I did always have the metaphorical view of a girl walking away, giving the finger as a refusal to speak to you, which much like a 'kiss of death', would be a 'finger of death'.

I think that the lines which seem to say 'fire' ring true with the bridge lyrics from Lovers in particular:

'The more we wait, the more we burn, before we break through'.

The time period for both songs is thematically attuned.

That said, at times I almost convince myself, particularly at point $, that some of the 'fire' lyrics are actually the word 'gunfire', which predates its usage in 'Beware'. Chrome, fire, gunfire. These are all thematically probable for Chino in this period.

Any further insight is welcome. Before anyone says 'Old song, move on', the point is that ultimately we're never going to get a studio version of this, and even if these aren't final lyrics, it's still worthwhile to try and understand what the song meant.

Ultimately I think this was some emotionally heavy, Battle-axe level shit, about the conversation where he realised his marriage was over, and that's probably as much of a reason why it didn't end up on tape as anything else.
« Last Edit: Jul 23, 2021, 06:27 AM by Bergerac »


Offline Inkblades

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Good analysis. I know when Chino writes songs, he comes up with the melodies first and fills them in with words that may not logically make sense together as placeholders for when he comes up with the actual lyrics later. That might be somewhat the case for FOD. That being said, I think you are definitely on the money that the song is touching on the end of the marriage and the bad place he was in at the time. The part you hear as:

We said
We said
We said
All we mean

I've always heard as:

Please stay
Please stay
Please stay
I need you

Pretty clear what he's talking about if those are the lyrics. That refrain might be the most saddest, lovelorn melody he's ever sung.

It's funny, when this song didn't end up on SNW, I was like "How could they not put such an amazing song on the album?" But as time passed, I realized that capturing the insane otherworldly energy his vocals had in the live version on a studio version would probably be impossible. I mean he almost doesn't even sound human on it. They could maybe come close, but you'd still have people (see: people like me) saying "Eh, not as good as the live version" lol.

« Last Edit: Jul 23, 2021, 11:42 PM by Inkblades »



Offline Vesanic

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It's funny, when this song didn't end up on SNW, I was like "How could they not put such an amazing song on the album?" But as time passed, I realized that capturing the insane otherworldly energy his vocals had in the live version on a studio version would probably be impossible.

Nah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WUpj8EwXhc