A Perfect Circle: Orestes Meaning
Pull me into your perfect circle
Liberate this will
To release us all
Gotta cut away, clear away
Snip away and sever this
Umbilical residue that's
Keeping me from...
In my opinion,this song is related to Orestes from Greece mythology,but it has even deeper meaning than that.
The Orestes part is clear.Through this song Maynard,tells us the story about Orestes in shorter version,but in version much harder to understand,and thats what makes this song so special.He tells us about Greek myth,about guy who had to kill his mother,even if he loved her.He had no choise,he was going to lose in both ways,and at the end it resulted in by him kiling her.
But this is not the full meaning...there comes the other,much deeper meaning.
And that meaning is about Maynards private life.In his life,he had very similar situation.Probably many of you know that his mother had been paralyzed for a long time,but not many of you know that,right before her death she was in coma.He had to make decision will he keep her alive or will he put end to her suffering.At the end he did the 2nd option.
Thats the point where Maynard saw his connection with story about Orestes,and when he wrote this song.
For more info about the "Orestes" myth visit wikipedia.
anonymous Jul 4th 2012, 08:17 report
I've always thought this song was about abortion.
anonymous Sep 12th 2009, 18:45 report
From my point of view, it could mean multitudes of things, like....giving birth to a bastard child. But honestly, I think he's talking about from the moment of conception to the moment of birth,
Pull me in to your perfect circle...Conception
One womb one shame one resolve could mean born out of wedlock OR possibly getting the baby aborted.
Gotta get away clear away, snip away and sever this umbilical residue that keeping me from killing you..could refer to women who would conceive but then would die after birth, so they wouldn't have the chance to see their baby.
And from pulling you down with me in here, I can almost hear you scream..Basically (This may sound crazy..) But when the woman pushes the baby, th baby pulls back in, also referring to when she dies the last thing that baby will hear is his or her mothers scream.
Give me one more medicated peaceful moment...3 times?! O_O Well, MORPHINE MORPHINE MORPHINE! Lol.
and I dont wanna feel this overwhelming hostility,..Could mean that her family is watching out of shame, curiousity. Etc etc. Well I think ive disected this song enough.
Now you know my point of view on the lyrics of this awesome song. ^-^
anonymous Sep 4th 2009, 09:41 report
The myth of Orestes is that he has to kill his mother. We all have that set, don't we? The "umbilical residue" is what's connecting him to his mother. "Gotta cut away, clear away, snip away and sever this umbilical residue" means he has to forget that it's his MOM he's killing and just do it. Maynard IS Orestes in the interpretation.
I'm not entirely sure of the song's meaning, but I read an interview a few years back wherein Billy Howerdel said that he named the band after a lyric in this song before Maynard was involved. Also, the acoustic demo version is sung by Billy, leading me to believe that he probably wrote it. The lyrics seem to point to a link with the story of Orestes (hence the title, haha) the 'snip away and sever this umbilical resadue, keeping me from killing you' being the obvious reference.
orestes is an old play in greek the theme is that Orestes is forced by the Gods to kill his mother, and this deed tortures him. Therefore, the line "Gotta cut away, clear away, snip away and sever this umbilical residue keeping me from killing you..." He's attempting to forget she is his mother so it easier for him to kill her. so it has connection to maynard and his mother because she is paralyzed and knows she is going to die.
anonymous Jul 16th 2008, 05:53 report
Its a metaphor based on the story of Orestes. Orestes has to make the ultimate choice. The Oracle basically says that he has to avenge his fathers murder. One of the conspirators against his father being his mother, whom Orestes still loves. If Orestes kills her then he will forever be tormented by Inres which were demons that punished those that committed the sin of matricide in Greek mythology. If he doesn't fulfill his destiny, Orestes must face the wrath of the God's for not completing the task fate they set for him. In other words, he's damned either way. That's the "overwhelming hostility" because he's pressured from all sides. He needs a "medicated peaceful moment" to escape the constant pressure. Further he doesn't want to kill his mother because its his mom, that link is also making him hesitate. It's a situation many have to face in that damned if you do and damned if you don't scenario. It's lose/lose. Thats how I always interpreted it.
anonymous Feb 14th 2008, 06:13 report
I believe it's more about his mother's death. The umbilical cord is his connection to her, being the son. He just can't "cut the cord" and let her die.
I think this song is about Maynard trying to make the decision to pull the plug for his mother (although I have no clue to whether this actually happened or not it is just what I hear when I listen to the song)
i think he want to cut the umbilical cord (pull the plug to end her suffering) his link to his mother he is pulling her in and he can almost hear her scream because she want to end her pain
he is giving her one more medicated moment before he essentially kills her but he doesn't see it as that he is saying goodbye and giving her one last moment without pain before she dies and leaves him
anonymous Jul 18th 2007, 11:01 report
Severing whats keeping you from being whole, pure, well again. Take your pick. Umbilical cord being what ties you to that affliction. Interesting way to put it:)
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
anonymous Jun 27th 2006, 18:24 report
According to the Homeric story, Orestes was absent from Mycenae when his father returned from the Trojan War and was murdered by his wife's lover, Aegisthus. Eight years later, Orestes returned from Athens and avenged his father's death by slaying his mother's paramour. According to Pindar, Orestes was saved by his nurse Arsinoe or his sister Electra, who conveyed him out of the country when Clytemnestra wished to kill him. He escaped to Phanote on Mount Parnassus, where King Strophius took charge of him.
In his twentieth year, he was ordered by the Delphic oracle to return home and avenge his father's death. He returned home along with his friend Pylades, Strophius's son. According to Aeschylus, he met his sister Electra before the tomb of Agamemnon, where both had gone to perform rites to the dead; a recognition takes place, and they arrange how Orestes shall accomplish his revenge. The same basic story is told differently by Sophocles and Euripides in their Electra plays.
I believe it's about being forced by external sources (persons, books, believes) to do things that are persieved as what is the right thing to do. But wich not necessary are the right things to do. (ie. Think things through)
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