Songs I can’t get enough of #2: “England” – The National

So I’m feeling a bit down tonight…I have no idea why…I guess it’s just the mood I’m in. Quiet. Overwhelmed. Jumbled. Contemplating the many things in my mind. So on that uplifting note, I think it’s a good time to review a darker piece of music. There’s nothing wrong with dark music, some of it is quite stunning. Lonely. Honest.  Matt Berninger’s baritone voice dispenses moonlight on a dark night. Solitary, soft, and yet strong and piercing.  High Violet is The National’s third masterpiece, in my opinion, and cements The National as one of my favorite bands of all time.  Tonight, we’ll talk about one of my favorite songs off of High Violet, “England”

As with every “Song I can’t get enough of” that I discuss, we’ll always take a closer look at the lyrics…

Someone send a runner through the weather that I’m under for the feeling that I lost today.
Someone send a runner for the feeling that I lost today
Someone send a runner through the weather that I’m under for the feeling that I lost today.
Someone send a runner for the feeling that I lost today

You must be somewhere in London
You must be loving your life in the rain
You must be somewhere in London
Walking merrily

I don’t even think to make
I don’t even think to make
I don’t even think to make corrections

Famous angels never come through England
England gets the ones you never need
I’m in a Los Angeles cathedral
Minor singing airhead, sing for me

Put an ocean and a river between everybody else, and everything you sent from home
Put an ocean and a river between everything you sent from home

You must be somewhere in London
You must be loving your life in the rain
You must be somewhere in London
Walking merrily

I don’t even think to make
I don’t even think to make
I don’t even think to make corrections

Famous angels never come through England
England gets the ones you never need
I’m in a Los Angeles cathedral
Minor singing airhead, sing for me

Afraid of the house, stay the night with the sinners
Afraid of the house, stay the night with the sinners
Afraid of the house, ’cause they’re desperate to entertain
Afraid of the house, stay the night with the sinners
Afraid of the house, stay the night with the sinners
Afraid of the house, ’cause they’re desperate to entertain
Afraid of the house, stay the night with the sinners
Afraid of the house, stay the night with the sinners
Afraid of the house, ’cause they’re desperate to entertain
Afraid of the house, stay the night with the sinners
Afraid of the house, stay the night with the sinners
Afraid of the house, ’cause they’re desperate to entertain

Now, when scourging the internets for song lyrics, I found that there is a lot of confusion with these lyrics.  So I’ve compiled what I think is the closest version to what he’s singing about. If you think there are corrections, feel free to leave a note.

When I listen to this song, I hear about the death of a close friend/lover.  Looking at the first few lines, he’s crushed…immobile and wishes someone would send a runner to look for the feelings that he lost. It’s a beautiful lyric. Sad…lonely…

You must be somewhere in London
You must be loving your life in the rain
You must be somewhere in London
Walking merrily

The spirit of his dead…well…we’ll just say “friend” to make typing easier…He imagines that the spirit of his dead friend must be walking around London, loving his new life (afterlife), walking around merrily. After a close death, the brain tries to rationalize its own pain by projecting happiness of the lost one to the most happy memory. Nine times out of ten people only remember the good that people did. Here, we get a glimpse that his friend loved London…and that the memories of his friend were most happy in London.

I don’t even think to make
I don’t even think to make
I don’t even think to make corrections

These lyrics, to me, scream about being lost in a confusion after the death of a friend. Not knowing what just happened, not knowing if he should make corrections in his own life to avoid a similar outcome, or not knowing what to do next.

Famous angels never come through England
England gets the ones you never need
I’m in a Los Angeles cathedral
Minor singing airhead, sing for me

While sitting in a Los Angeles cathedral, at his friend’s funeral…with a bad singer (but with a voice like Matt’s, you can understand this lyric), his mind still drifts to his freind’s soul in England.

Afraid of the house, stay the night with the sinners
Afraid of the house, stay the night with the sinners
Afraid of the house, ’cause they’re desperate to entertain

The last lyrics that are repeated over and over show how lonely he is after his friend’s death.  He doesn’t want to go home to an empty house. He’d rather go down to the bar with the “sinners”…drunks.  The bar flies want to be social, they’re desperate to entertain.
I can verify this statement. It seems that whenever I go to a bar, I meet the most interesting people. They *always* have a a story. One guy wanted to show me his gunshot wound…seriously…you can’t buy entertainment like that.

I’m a little worn out tonight, but in my opinion, “England” is a beautifully dark song about death, the afterlife, and solitude. It shows how we all can become confused, overwhelmed,  and saddened by death…and yet we still struggle to find happiness for a friend’s soul…to pacify our own soul. In the end, we don’t want to be left alone suddenly…and sometimes, heading down to the bar for a sip and story can help soothe the pain.

…and I can’t get enough of it.

-fw

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About fuzzywuzzy

Music Addict

Posted on October 29, 2010, in Songs I Can't Get Enough Of and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Dannielle Romole…Who? and commented:
    This is by far my favorite review The National’s song “England”, beautifully explained.

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