wednesday wisdom: i believe in symmetry by bright eyes

Conor Oberst, aka Bright Eyes, first wormed his way into my angst-ridden, girly emo heart back in my early college years during the Bush administration. I was drawn then, as now, to his soulful, poetic, political lyrics. “I Believe in Symmetry” is a genius anthem (and dare I say, it’s super yogic! I mean that as a compliment, Conor!), a dark symphony of time and space, choice and fate, birth and death.

First the live performance, from last year’s Austin City Limits:

And now the lyrics, so you can sing along:

I Believe in Symmetry
Some plans were made and rice was thrown
A house was built, a baby born
How time can move both fast and slow
Amazes me
And so I raise my glass to symmetry
To the second hand and its accuracy
To the actual size of everything
The desert is the sand
You can’t hold it in your hand
It won’t bow to your demands
There’s no difference you can make
There’s no difference you can make
And if it seems like an accident
A collage of senselessness
You weren’t looking hard enough
I wasn’t looking hard enough at it

An argument for consciousness
The instinct of the blind insect
Who makes love to the flower bed
And dies in the first freeze
Oh I want to learn such simple things
No politics, no history
Till what I want and what I need
Can finally be the same

I just got myself to blame
Leave everything up to fate
When there’s choices I could make
When there’s choices I could make
And now my heart needs a polygraph
Always so eager to pack my bags
When I really wanna stay
When I really wanna stay

When I wanna stay [4x]

The arc of time, the stench of sex
The innocence you can’t protect
Each quarter note, each marble step
Walk up and down that lonely treble clef
Each wanting the next one
Each wanting the next one to arrive
Each wanting the next one
Each wanting the next one to arrive

An argument for consciousness
The instinct of the blind insect
Who never thinks
Not to accept its fate, that’s faith
There is happiness in death
You get to the next one
You get to the next one down the line
You get to the next one
You get to the next one down the line

The levity of longing that
Distills each dream inside my head
By morning watered down forget
On silver stars I wish and wish and wish

From one to the next one
From one to the next right down the line
From one to the next one
From one to the next right down the line

You get to the next one
You get to the next one down the line
You get to the next one
You get to the next one down the line

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