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Dedalus
04-18-2012, 07:22 AM
Hello everyone !

It is my first message on this forum and I have a few questions regarding the meaning of some of Manson's lyrics.

It's been only 4 years since I listen to Manson and, because I am not a native English speaker, I have some difficulties to understand a few verses.

I think that Marilyn Manson is among the most complicated and subtle English speaking lyricists I know -- ranking with David Bowie and Robert Smith -- He uses many tortuous metaphores, puns, and more or less obscure references. When I listen to his songs, I have to study carefully the lyrics, using Nachtkabarett or Mansonwiki sometimes to help me, but still I don't understand everything.

So would you kindly help me with that ? Let's start with his most famous verses.

Antichrist Superstar :

"prick your finger it is done
the moon has now eclipsed the sun
the angel has spread his wings
the time has come for bitter things"

Don't worry, I perfectly understand that Manson is talking about himself and his rising as the Antichrist Superstar, using an apocalyptic image. However, I don't understand what "prick your finger" means. To me it signifies to prick one's finger with a needle or a syringe but it doesn't make sense. What do you think ?

The Last Day on Earth :

"I'm so empty here without you
I crack my xerox hand"

What is a xerox hand ? Is it just kind of Sci-Fi gibberish to signify that Omega is an extraterrestrial ?

Coma White :

"Just bleeding like a polaroid
that lost her dolls"

I guess that "lost her dolls" refers to the loss of her inocence, but I don't see what a polaroid could be, here.

Born again :

"I'll put down your disco
and take your heart away"

What is a disco ? I checked in the dictionnary but none of its definitions seems to fit this context.


Valentine's day

"They slit our wrists and send us to Heaven
The first flower after the flood"

The second verse has nice alliterations in "f" but I don' understand the metaphore here. Sounds like Biblical.

Thank you for reading me !

SampleOfSoul
04-18-2012, 09:52 AM
Born again :

"I'll put down your disco
and take your heart away"

What is a disco ? I checked in the dictionnary but none of its definitions seems to fit this context.

Valentine's day

"They slit our wrists and send us to Heaven
The first flower after the flood"

The second verse has nice alliterations in "f" but I don' understand the metaphore here. Sounds like Biblical.

Thank you for reading me !

the verse from Born Again is a reference to Charles Manson. from MansonWiki:

The line "I'll put down your disco and take your heart away" alludes to Charles Manson's reply in an interview with Charlie Rose when asked what he would say if he could write a song right now. He responded "you better bow down disco, I'm going to take your heart away".

"The first flower after the flood" is indeed a Biblical reference. "In the tenth month, the tops of the mountains are seen, and Noah sends out a raven and a dove to see if the waters have subsided; the raven flies "to and fro" but the dove returns with a fresh olive leaf in her beak."

The Empirical Guy
04-19-2012, 06:21 AM
The Last Day on Earth :

"I'm so empty here without you
I crack my xerox hand"

What is a xerox hand ? Is it just kind of Sci-Fi gibberish to signify that Omega is an extraterrestrial ?

Coma White :

"Just bleeding like a polaroid
that lost her dolls"

I guess that "lost her dolls" refers to the loss of her inocence, but I don't see what a polaroid could be, here.


"Xerox" is typical American slang for a photocopy machine, in the same way they use "Kleenex" to mean "tissue". A "Xerox hand" would be one which is a copy or clone of another.

The "lost all her dolls" reference ties in with another lyric, "the valley of the dolls/ is the valley of the dead" in Born Again, and is a reference to the novel Valley of the Dolls, by Jacquelinne Susann. In the novel, "dolls" is used as a slang for drugs, a common theme explored on Mechanical Animals.

TMC
04-19-2012, 06:29 AM
Hello everyone !
Born again :

"I'll put down your disco
and take your heart away"

What is a disco ? I checked in the dictionnary but none of its definitions seems to fit this context.

Disco is either a music genre or a place where you go dancing (typical for the 70s, with disco ball and stuff ;)).




Valentine's day

"They slit our wrists and send us to Heaven
The first flower after the flood"

The second verse has nice alliterations in "f" but I don' understand the metaphore here. Sounds like Biblical.


La Primera Flor Despues Del Diluvio (which can be translated to "The first flower after the flood") is a track from the soundtrack of Alejandro Jodorowsky's "El Topo".

Not Mechanical
04-19-2012, 07:11 AM
This is a cool thread, regardless of language barriers, as I didn't know the Born Again/Charles Manson reference or the Valentine's Day/El Topo reference, being totally unfamiliar with that film.


"Xerox" is typical American slang for a photocopy machine, in the same way they use "Kleenex" to mean "tissue". A "Xerox hand" would be one which is a copy or clone of another.

Even though this is something I did understand, it's still cool to see it discussed, just because I study English and I remember a while ago discussing brand names that had become common names for something. /notinteresting

Dedalus
04-19-2012, 02:32 PM
Thanks for your answers, that's cool !

I guess that to truly understand Manson's lyrics you have to be American, given that his art is deeply rooted in its culture.

Yet nobody has yet answered what is the most puzzling one to me : "prick your finger". It may be too obvious for you but I really don't get the point :(. Why is Manson saying to his listeners to prick their fingers ?

Whisky And Speed
04-19-2012, 04:56 PM
I'm not american but I can understand the lyrics quite well but some lyrics are just puzzling and hard to understand(I mean their subliminal internal meaning).

Jaglie
04-19-2012, 07:50 PM
Thanks for your answers, that's cool !

I guess that to truly understand Manson's lyrics you have to be American, given that his art is deeply rooted in its culture.

Yet nobody has yet answered what is the most puzzling one to me : "prick your finger". It may be too obvious for you but I really don't get the point :(. Why is Manson saying to his listeners to prick their fingers ?

Unless it's another obscure reference, I think "prick your finger" is just supposed to bring to mind a sort of ritual bloodletting. The whole verse has always seemed like a ritualistic chant to me.

Dedalus
04-20-2012, 02:47 AM
Thanks !

TMC
04-20-2012, 07:44 AM
Unless it's another obscure reference, I think "prick your finger" is just supposed to bring to mind a sort of ritual bloodletting. The whole verse has always seemed like a ritualistic chant to me.

I agree, it feels ritualistic. I would say that the line: "the moon has now eclipsed the sun" is the symbol of evil becoming more powerful than good. Maybe the evil side of the main character became the most powerful and important one. As far as I remember many tribes and ancient cultures believed that the sun was the good god while the moon was his enemy.

I think this part:

"the angel has spread his wings
the time has come for bitter things"

is about growing up, the end of childhood and innocence.

Sans Agendum
04-21-2012, 09:11 AM
"The First Flower After the Flood" is also the name of a section from the Holy Mountain soundtrack.