WAYNEPARK.COM

Pastor, Writer, Contemplative

Arcade Fire in the Woodlands Pavilion – Lyrics that Matter


I really enjoyed my first concert in Texas @ the Woodlands Pavilion north of Houston – the headliners? Arcade Fire. Rockin out with a few buddies last night was a great way to embrace Houston as my new home. Ironically, it seemed everything Win Butler sang about was leaving Houston, and yet in a strange way serenading his love / hate relationship with it (kind of like the “I Hate Winnipeg” song that has endeared so many Canadians to the city); I understand. I’ve often felt that way with NYC and more recently the Pac NW – I love all these places – but “home” is somewhere I used to live, but not anymore.

I think that’s why Arcade Fire strikes such a chord with me.

Being a blog about faith | PLACE | race, the issues of places of dwelling, living, building, working, playing, dying – reach deep into my tri-coastal experience; so here are some of the lyrics that have struck a resounding chord with me and echo as a serenade to my new city, or as an encouragement to start a revolution, or as a slap-in-the-face rebuke, or as a vision of heaven on earth – right here in the suburbs of Houston.

Intervention

The king’s taken back the throne.
The useless seed is sown.
When they say they’re cutting off the phone,
I tell ‘em you’re not home

No place to hide,
You’re fightin’ as a soldier on their side
You’re still a soldier in your mind
Though nothing’s on the line

You say it’s money that we need,
As if we’re the only mouths to feed.
I know no matter what you say,
There are some debts you’ll never pay.

Working for the church while your family dies
You take what they give you
And you keep it inside.
Every spark of friendship and love
will die without a home
Hear the soldier groan, “We’ll go at it alone”.

I can taste the fear.
Lift me up and take me out of here.
Don’t wanna fight, don’t wanna die
Just wanna hear you cry.

Who’s gonna throw the very first stone?
Oh! who’s gonna reset the bone?
Walking with your head in a sling
Wanna hear the soldier sing:
“Been working for the church while my family dies.
Your little baby sister’s gonna lose her mind.
Every spark of friendship and love
will die without a home.”
Hear the soldier groan, “We’ll go at it alone.”

I can taste your fear.
It’s gonna lift you up and take you out of here.
And the bone shall never heal;
I care not if you kneel.

We can’t find you now,
But they’re gonna get their money back somehow.
And when you finally disappear,
We’ll just say you were never here.

Working for the church while
your life falls apart.
Singin’ hallelujah with the fear in your heart.
Every spark of friendship and love
will die without a home.”
Hear the soldier groan, “We’ll go at it alone.”
Hear the soldier groan, “We’ll go at it alone.”

City With No Children

The summer that I broke my arm
I waited for your letter
I have no feeling for you now
Now that I know you better

I wish that I could have loved you then
Before our age was through
And before a world war does with us
Whatever it will do

I dreamt I drove home to Houston
On a highway that was underground
There was no light that we could see
As we listened to the sound of the engine failing

I feel like I’ve been living in
A city with no children in it
A garden left for ruin by a millionaire inside
Of a private prison

You never trust a millionaire
Quoting the sermon on the mount
I used to think I was not like them
But I’m beginning to have my doubts
My doubts about it

When you’re hiding underground
The rain can’t get you wet
But do you think your righteousness
Can pay the interest on your debt?
I have my doubts about it

I feel like I’ve been living in
A city with no children in it
A garden left for ruin by a millionaire inside
Of a private prison

I feel like I’ve been living in
A city with no children in it
A garden left for ruin by and by
As I hide inside
Of my private prison

Sprawl I (Flatland)

Took a drive into the sprawl
To find the house where we used to stay
We couldn’t read the number in the dark
You said “let’s save it for another day”

Took a drive into the sprawl
To find the places we used to play
It was the loneliest day of my life
You’re talking at me, but I’m still far away

Let’s take a drive through the sprawl
Through these towns they built to change
Then you said the emotions are dead
It’s no wonder that you feel so strange

The cops shone their lights
On the reflectors of our bikes
Said “Do you kids know, what time it is?”
Well, sir, it’s the first time I felt like something is mine
Like I have something to give

The last defender of the sprawl
Said “Well, where do you kids live?”
Well, sir, if you only knew what the answer’s worth
I’ve been searching every corner of the earth

Suburban War

Let’s go for a drive and see the town tonight
There’s nothing to do but I don’t mind when I’m with you

This town’s so strange they built it to change
And while we sleep we know the streets get rearranged
With my old friends it was so different then
Before your war against the suburbs began

Before it began

Now the music divides us into tribes
You grew your hair so I grew mine
You said the past won’t rest
Until we jump the fence and leave it behind

With my old friends I can remember when
You cut your hair, I never saw you again
Now the cities we live in could be distant stars
And I search for you in every passing car

The night’s so long
Yeah the night’s so long
I’ve been living in the shadows of your song
Been living in the shadows of your song

In the suburbs I, I learned to drive
And you told me we’d never survive,
So grab your mother’s keys we leave tonight

But you started a war that we can’t win
They keep erasing all the streets we grew up in
Now the music divides us into tribes
You choose your side, I’ll choose my side

All my old friends they don’t know me now
All my old friends are staring through me now
All my old friends they don’t know me now
All my old friends they don’t know me now
They don’t know me now
All my old friends, wait…


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2 Comments»

  JPG wrote @

I was at that show too! I liked Arcade Fire before, but after Wednesday I LOVE Arcade Fire. Moving and thoughtful, their show reminded me of my 1st U2 concert during the Joshua Tree tour. Their lyrics make me think, very rare for a band these days.
Welcome to Houston!!

  Wayne Park wrote @

right on, man.
Joshua Tree must’ve been a GREAT tour – wish I had seen it.
I am glad there is clamor for more bands of substance these days – lyrics with meaning.
keep on rockin bra..


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