Monday, October 11, 2010

MURMUR: SITTING STILL

This is the song where Murmur earns its title.  In fact this and 9-9 are at times completely unintelligable.  And to be honest what I'm going to post here will not solve any riddles.  By the end, I had to clear all ideas in my head about what Stipe must be saying and focus on phonetically what it sounds like he's saying.  Therefore, most of the lines below do not make sense.  Sitting Still is another mash up of sayings and feelings thrown down on paper and deconstructed.  Sayings like: "Up to par," "Katie bar the kitchen door," as well as expressions like "Throw a fit," "Talk until you're blue in the face," are a large part of the feeling of this song.  The meaning could be a treatise on lethargy or idle talk or gossip, but again I don't want to get into too much speculation.  I watched a great early interview online where the band said that the songs were open for interpretation and there are no right answers.  Mike and Michael also pointed out that the lyrics were constantly changing and evolving.

That said, the lyrics below reflect what is heard on Murmur.  In later live performances, Stipe started changing things to: "This name of God we all agree," "We could bine it in the sisters where your children go."   And of course in the latest live version, he reads what he has found online which is basically ridiculous.  I'm more of the mind that he does this on purpose, perhaps as a way to say that the songs no longer belong to him.  Everyone who listens to this will have different interpretations, but I challenge you to listen to the song and follow with my lyrics and see if there are any glaring errors.

So: What is Bining?  Or "Bine in" as I wrote?  A bine is like a vine ... which conjures up all sorts of meanings when personified which fit into this song.  "Cist" I take to mean cistern.  However, due to later live shows, he could easily be saying "sis."  It's a holdover from when I thought the line was "We combinin' in the cist" and I saw no reason to change it.



SITTING STILL
This name I’ve got we all agree
The sea could stop, stop it well read
We could bine in in the cist
We could gather throw a fit

Up to par and Katie bars a kitchen signs, but not me in
Sitting trial for the big kill
A waste of time
Sitting still

I’m the son and you can read
I’m the son and you’re not dear
We could bine in in the cist
We could gather throw a fifth

Up to par and Katie bars a kitchen signs, but not me in
Sitting trial for the big kill
A waste of time
Sitting still

I can hear you
I can hear you
I can hear you

This name I’ve got we all agree
The sea could stop, stop it well read
We could bine in in the cist
We could gather throw a fit

Up to par and Katie bars a kitchen signs, but not me in
Sitting trial for the big kill
A waste of time
Sitting still

I can hear you
I can hear you
I can hear you

And you can gather when I talk
Talk until you’re blue
You could get away from me, get away from me

I’m up to par and Katie bars a kitchen signs, but not me in
Sitting trial for the big kill
A waste of time
Sitting still

I can hear you
I can hear you
I can hear you
I can hear you
I can hear you
I can hear you

Can you hear me?


This song is actually pretty simple and repetitive once you've got the rhythm down.  For the picking and chord movement, refer to the song.  In the bridge, I'm not sure why he goes from a barred A to an unbarred A, but it could have something to do with the first part of the chorus, which is basically the same barred A without the bar.  Or it could be that the openness of the chord on the second fret is pleasing ... who knows?


SITTING STILL

Intro and Chorus:
e|--------------------------|
B|--------------------------|
G|-6-4-2-6-4-4-6-4-2--------|
D|-7-6-4-7-6-4-7-6-4-6-4-0--|
A|-7-6-4-7-6-2-7-6-4--------|
E|--------------------------|

Verses and Bridge 2:

e|-------0--0--0-0--0--0---|
B|--------0--0----0--0-----|
G|-1----2--2--2-2--2--2----|
D|-2---4-------------------|
A|-2-----------------------|
E|-------------------------|
Bridge 1:
e|-7-7-7-5-0-0----|
B|-7-7-7-5-2-0----|
G|-8-9-8-6-2-2----|
D|-9-9-9-7-2-2----|
A|-7-7-7-5-0-0----|
E|-7-7-7-5-0-0----|




9 comments:

  1. This is good, Barnaby, I'm loving this!---Gloria

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are doing a great job on this. But just having just looked at Sitting Still, I think you are missing the open B and E strings on intro/chorus. I think it should be like this:


    e:|---0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0-0-0-0-0--|
    B:|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0-0-0-0-0--|
    G:|--6--6--6--4--4--4--2--2-2-2-2-2--| 3x
    D:|--7--7--7--6--6--6--4--4-4-4-4-4--|
    A:|--7--7-7-6--6--6--4--4-4-4-4-4--|
    E:|----------------------------------|

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is much fuller sound ... I think you're right on the recording ... it makes me think he might have a 12 string in there too ... will grab when I go back through from the top ... I have been noticing other things as well ... thanks!

      Delete
  3. In my head I've always heard
    "We could find an innocence"
    instead of "We could bine in in the cist".
    Any thoughts? (reply to this comment instead of the earlier one-thx)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that line and I'm sure Michael wishes he had a time machine to insert it as it captures a lot of what the album's theme is ... I stand by what I have phonetically, even though there's no way he wrote the line "We could bine in in the cist" I mean, who could?

      Delete
  4. Instead of these lyrics…
    Sitting try for the big kill
    A waste of time
    Sitting still

    I always thought it was ….
    City traffic
    the big hill
    wasting time
    sitting still

    Makes more sense to me

    ReplyDelete
  5. I always liked the "We could gather through our fears.."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Up to par Katie buys a kitchen size put nightmare in
      Sitting top of the big hill
      Wasting time, sitting still
      : )

      Delete