Monday, October 22, 2007


From Foreign Legion

As I teach the concept in my middle school reading class, a metaphor is a comparison that does not use like or as. Seventh graders can use that as a simple definition to distinguish metaphors from similes. That’s all they need it for, that’s as far as they think about it, and that’s as far as their minds can take it because they’re still developing their ability to process abstract concepts.

As we get older, some realize that our entire method of conceptualizing the world around us is steeped in metaphors. Whether it’s, “Life’s a bitch,” “Everything is Free,” or, “God is Love,” all of these, for better or worse, are metaphors, not to mention how American dialect is full of idioms, all of which are technically metaphors as well. Sometimes I wonder if we are even capable of completely extricating metaphors from our perception of the world around us.

“There is a metaphor to explain it all,” sings Seth Timbs as this song opens, brushing by this notion. He then unleashes a slew of intentionally cliché metaphors to describe a relationship gone awry. The second verse attempts to find a more suitable metaphor to specifically describe the speaker in his present situation (including a “pensive drag left holding the bag,” the last time in which Seth Timbs referred to himself as a “drag” was in Ella Minopy’s song, “Science Fiction”).

The most clever twist thrown into the whole thing is when we hear the lines, “I should be over it by now/ I should be happy as a clam/ My metaphor’s a simile,” then altering the final chorus to a series of similes before returning to the intro melody and ending this song with a series of loud sighs.


Soymilk Revolution said...

nice analysis here, mr. peach. timbs really is one clever-ass songwriter.

this was one of the first fluid ounces songs i heard, by the way.

J said...

i think is was one of the first tracks, if not THE first track, we recorded for "Legion."

magnum opus said...

i just can't take this one anymore. but thanks for covering it anyway.

Purchase Fluid Ounces mp3s Directly from the Band!