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I still don't fully understand the song Jotun

Discussion in 'In Flames' started by Jabi, May 1, 2003.

  1. Jabi

    Jabi Member

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    From this perspective it looks kinda silly
    I tried to do a line-by-line analyzation of the song Jotun but in the end it didn't turn out very well, cuz I suck at English and stuff. However, here's some thoughts anyway.

    "I often dream of huge numb buildings
    jet-black sinister architecture
    being installed when nobody sees
    their appearance so sudden that few would take notice
    And when I wake up
    I imagine being crushed by one
    imagining its weight its silence
    the absence of excuses for a havoced life
    And the privilege of a 22-kilometer tombstone"

    The story is set in a future world which is about to be destroyed. The main cause for the destruction seems to be overgrowing of cities/overpopulation. Buildings in the cities can grow as tall as 22 kilometres (this sounds very unrealistic, but obviously Anders needed a three-syllable word and the line "a 22-kilometer tombstone" just fits in better than, say, "a two point two kilometers tombstone"). Line 4 suggests that few actually pay attention to the problem until the shit really hits the fan.

    "Jotun
    A body of black that carried no reflection
    Defying its own room
    The unearthly eggs of de-creation"

    Jotun means giant in Norwegian, so these buildings are like giants. Line 3 is in other words "growing bigger than it should". An egg of de-creation is something that will eventually bring destruction, so overgrowing of cities will bring other problems later on.

    "There would be colonies
    Mushroom-scattered, forever out of context
    Rising spores from a dying world
    To pollute, to chase away what's left"

    Line 1: People are building colonies in space because the Earth is dying.

    "Sun-white pulverized desert stone
    and serpentine lizards mouth
    Pales away the pyramids
    rewriting 4,500 years of history
    Raping the Statue Of Liberty
    Outplays the Acropolis
    Inverting the fjords
    invades the n.y. skyline to
    dream its own existence in one single final word"

    "Can we identify them?
    As the flint buried in our reptile skulls
    or the time-bomb coded in our dna"

    Now here's when things begin to get complicated. Lines 1 and 2 I really don't understand to begin with. What are sun-white pulverized desert stone and serpentine lizards mouth? That'd be the key question here.

    Lines 3-4: all I know is that the pyramid in Giza is believed to be approx. 4,500 years old and Pharaohs often liked to "rewrite history" in order to make themselves look like gods.

    As I said this interpretation of mine didn't go very well but all kinds of additional ideas are welcome!
     
    Freddy Krueger likes this.
  2. Uneasy_Conscience

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    as a whole, the song is about capatalism isnt it?
     
  3. Demonic Rapture

    Demonic Rapture Vomit surge

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    That was a pretty good analysis. I'm still not sure what the hell the lyrics mean, but the guitarwork in that song makes me drool. Easily my favorite In Flames song.

    As far as I can guess, maybe the song is about the extinction of the dinosaurs around ancient Egypt? Or maybe just the downfall of society in ancient Egypt. But maybe it is about capitalism. I dunno.
     
  4. paddok

    paddok Member

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    I think you are dead on with the first part, but to me the second part of the song .. the "sun-white.." part is the aftermath of mans over population of the world, and the destruction of monuments we currently adore. By rewriting history, I think anders meens to erease (sp?) history by distroying every remnance of of it.

    and then time bomb encoded in our dna, I take that as, could man have some how avoided this ? or was it entwined in our fate as human ?
     
  5. Freddy Krueger

    Freddy Krueger The Dream Child

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    Actually it's hard to make sense out of a lot of In Flames' song. Anders either writes over our heads, or we just have no idea what the hell he's talking about.

    But you've cleared jotun up for me, that makes a good amount of sense.
     
  6. Jabi

    Jabi Member

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    From this perspective it looks kinda silly
    Ok, I got some help recently on the other forums concerning Jotun thus I'm able to continue.

    "Sun-white pulverized desert stone
    and serpentine lizards mouth"

    Perhaps this is what the pyramids will eventually look like after they've been destroyed.

    "Pales away the pyramids
    rewriting 4,500 years of history"

    Whatever the people of the future are doing, it's "rewriting the past" and making them to forget about it. And as I said, the oldest pyramids are believed to be approx. 4,500 y/o...

    "Raping the Statue Of Liberty
    Outplays the Acropolis
    Inverting the fjords
    invades the n.y. skyline to
    dream its own existence in one single final word"

    Hence the "its" on the 5th line, I believe the Jotun is the subject to all of these lines, so this part is written symbolically. What I mean is:

    for example "inverting the fjords"

    can first be expanded into --> "The Jotun/a huge numb building is inverting the fjords".
    and finally --> "Overgrowing of cities/overpopulation is eventually causing a climate catastrophe which makes the water in the fjords stream in the reverse direction"

    and "raping the statue of Liberty" can similarly be explained like this:

    --> "Overgrowing of cities/overpopulation will lead into anarchy and disappearance of democracy and liberty".

    You got the idea? :) Good! The next one I'm gonna do is The Hive.

    @Freddy Krueger: Yeah... I think The Jester Race and Whoracle are albums which can never be fully interpreted. That is because they are concept albums, and - AFAIK - Anders and Niklas first created the concept/the story and then wrote the lyrics based on the concept. Therefore it is very difficult to fully understand what the hell the lyrics are about, since we don't (accurately) know what the concept/story behind them is.

    And finally, some quick thoughts of mine concerning the meanings of various In Flames songs:

    Reroute To Remain: If you look at the cover of the album, in the bottom you'll see people who are renewing their skins. Taking this detail into account, the meaning of the song is obvious. We must take an alternative path (reroute) and change our ways in order to survive (to remain) in the ever changing conditions and circumstances we're living in.

    ...As The Future Repeats Today: I think this one is simply about man's inclination of committing the same mistakes over and over again, iow. how "the future" is just comprised of further "todays".

    Pinball Map: About bouncing aimlessly from a situation to a different one like a ball on a pinball map, never knowing who is playing the game/driving you into these new situations.

    Free Fall: Isn't this about an identity crisis?

    And the very last thing for sure: Alex from the Everdying forum has done a GREAT analysis of Ordinary Story. I might aswell post it here. Enjoy! :)
    ---

    "Ordinary Story

    Egoism dictates human relation
    a world where fashion outshines morality
    Here success is written in blood-red colours
    designed by the thirst for power

    -This first verse has become a classic symbol of the depth of In Flames lyrics.. - It describes how nowadays, people let their own needs prevail over any morals they may have been tought through the years. Also how the desire to have a good image (fashion), also means satisfying moral values one may have. (outshines morality).
    Last 2 lines - Finally Anders describes how success can only be reached by sacrificing someone else's own success, since power is the most important thing in the world.

    Gather the faithful and propose a toast
    to the epoch of indifference

    Here Anders uses sarcasm to describe the way in which most people refuse to better themselves since it may mean sacrificing some things. He says "propose a toast" as if they have something to be proud of, but in reality is speaking ironically.

    An all to ordinary story
    with an aftertaste so bitter, so bitter
    forced to be someone I don?t want to be
    I´m losing myself, sinking deeper down
    I´m caught in the world wound web

    An all to ordinary story - meaning every1 basically follows the same path in life.. birth - education - work - death.
    With an aftertaste so bitter - meaning that towards the end of your life it all seems pointless and as if you wasted your life.
    Forced to be someone i don't want to be - Meaning that people have to become things that do not please them simply because it is the only way to gain enough money to survive in this world..
    The last 2 lines of the chorus say that as time passes and you continue the same life you are simply sinking deeper down into your misery, again not taking advantage of the nice things that life has to offer. You are cought in the daily routine (world-wide-web) which you cannot escape since there is no other way to survive.

    A time represented by the void
    A bad excuse without a content
    Stuck, in the abyss of existence
    with a content void of excuse

    In this last verse Anders describes how time is empty since we do not live life the way we should and the way in which we excuse our bad decisions in life, only to find ourselves trapped in an inescapable loop of a miserable life.

    Ordinary Story is a great song with pessamistic but very meaningful lyrics which basically give an incentive to each and every one of us to improve the way we live and not become another ordinary story.. (resembling the meaning of "Another brick in the wall" (pink floyd)) "
     
  7. Aecliptica

    Aecliptica NOT FRANCOIS

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    i gotta agree with the first part
     
  8. Nocturnal Emperor

    Nocturnal Emperor Why so serious ?

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    dude this has made me realise that anders is a really good lyricist although its bloody hard to understand.
     
  9. commandante

    commandante Zealot

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    you made me realize that you dont know that Niklas Sundin wrote the lyrics in Whoracle and TJR.
     
  10. Nocturnal Emperor

    Nocturnal Emperor Why so serious ?

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    shut up smart arse. Well did anders write the lyrics for ordinary story beacause they are good lyrics.
    oh and....
    ...dude this has made me realise that niklas sundin is a really good lyricist although its bloody hard to understand
     
  11. commandante

    commandante Zealot

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    I am not a smartass, I just buy the albums to support the band. I am not just downloading it. If you just took a quick look over the booklet that would be it...

    anyway, you are an englishman and you are drunk at anytime of the day, so there is no use of trying to tell something to you.
     
  12. Nocturnal Emperor

    Nocturnal Emperor Why so serious ?

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    wow i must be pretty bloody good at downloading because iv managed to download not only cds with the graphics on them but the booklets and jewel cases. I support the band just as much as most people do and own all there albums because in flames are one of my favorite bands so dont assume what you dont know. What so i didnt know that niklas sundin wrote the lyrics on those albums.. Big fucking deal at least i dont masturbate over who wrote the lyrics on what (sinfully childish and imature i know but its a must). and whats with the racism now and yes im drunk 24/7 because im english... nice one at least i won't be serving kebabs in a sweaty chippy like you will probablly be doing for a living. Im sorry it had to come to this but you started it.
     
  13. Steve

    Steve New Metal Member

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    this is:
    Thoughts of being in a dead city, many dark and evil looking black buildings, many appearing and rising from the earth with noone seeing, then I imagine being crushed by one, no reason to anything, with a huge black stone above me

    That's what I thought of it...
     
  14. Nocturnal Emperor

    Nocturnal Emperor Why so serious ?

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    jotun really does kick ass
     
  15. Steve

    Steve New Metal Member

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    What a creative comment... kind of out of place
    -lyrical interpretation-lyrical interpretation-lyrical interpretation-lyrical interpretation-lyrical interpretation
    -"jotun really does kick ass"

    Steve
     
  16. Nocturnal Emperor

    Nocturnal Emperor Why so serious ?

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    well its the best i can do when it comes to analysing jotun and i bet you agree its a correct analysis.
     
  17. commandante

    commandante Zealot

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    ahahahhaha you english are really giving me laugh!
     
  18. Nocturnal Emperor

    Nocturnal Emperor Why so serious ?

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    glad to be of help /forum/images/smilies/supergrin.gif
     
  19. Jabi

    Jabi Member

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    From this perspective it looks kinda silly
    Um, I believe Anders wrote the lyrics in Swedish and Niklas translated them for him?
     
  20. commandante

    commandante Zealot

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    no my friend, Niklas Sundin wrote the lyrics according to the synopsis(of course I dont know the plural of that :) ) of Anders. That means Anders told him like I want this song to be about this and that thing and Niklas wrote the lyrics. That doesn't degrade Anders as a lyricist though, because he wrote damn good texts on Colony(this the case you thought of. Anders wrote most of them and they are partly translated by Sundin) and Clayman.

    NP: Death - nothing is everything (that lead is the best ever)
     

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