Bush: A Lesson in Incomprehensibility

Bush: A Lesson in Incomprehensibility

The mid-90’s produced some of the best music in the history of mankind. I know, a bold statement, to be sure, but a true and valid statement nonetheless. One of the bands that, in my opinion, really epitomizes the excellence of this era in music is the British alternative-rock band, Bush.

A few weeks ago, Lindsey and I were in the car, heading back from one tedious event or another. As we made our way through the rough urban streets of… Fresno… we treated ourselves to some mood music: Bush. As often happens, one of us will be thinking something as the other person gives voice to it; in this case, I was reflecting on how Gavin Rossdale’s lyrics were nigh incomprehensible when Lindsey made mention of the same sentiment.

“Chris,” I hear you asking, “how can you say that Bush is one of the defining bands of one of the greatest times in music in one sentence, then say that their lyrics are incomprehensible in another sentence?” That’s a fair question, dear reader; it does seem somewhat paradoxical, I grant you. On the other hand, I’m the one writing this article, so shut up.

The beauty of Bush’s music is that, while the lyrics are ridiculous, it doesn’t matter. I will sit and sing along to Bush music all day long, not knowing what the fuck it is I’m saying, and I’m perfectly happy with it. Gavin’s lyrics seem to be little more than a string of random statements and irrelevant metaphors that have little to no relation to each other over a very unique musical sound.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at some Bush favorites:

Glycerine:

I’m never alone
I’m alone all the time
Are you at one
Or do you lie
We live in a wheel
Where everyone steals
But when we rise it’s like strawberry fields

If I treated you bad
You bruise my face
Couldn’t love you more
You got a beautiful taste

Swallowed:

Swallowed, borrowed
Heavy about everything
But my love
Swallowed, hallowed
Sharp about everyone
But yourself
Swallowed, oh no
I’m with everyone and yet not
I’m with everyone and you’re not
I’m on everyone and yet

Piss on self-esteem
Forward busted knee
Sick head
Blackened lungs
I’m a simple selfish son

Personal Holloway:

Tune my weaker eye, spit white
Hold the world up all day
She’s blue in the face again
Paracetamol, burn the darkness all away
And drinking kitchen paint to dye the winter eye
I hope we’ll never see again

Personal holloway, six months linen
It’s safe to say we are alone
Suburban suicide, watching night come amber
It’s all so temporary

Convinced yet?

To be perfectly clear, though, I love Bush (heh heh, do I ever), ridiculously incomprehensible lyrics or not. That being said, do you have a favorite incomprehensible Bush lyric? If so, comment and let us know what it is, and what you think it means, if you’re brave.

I'm the Ambassador of Kickyourassador. I am the Walrus. I'm on a highway to the Danger Zone. I am the Kwisatz Haderach.I do things with words that have a generally geeky gist.

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