What does Letter From a Thief mean?

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Chevelle: Letter From a Thief Meaning


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Letter From a Thief Lyrics

They know what everybody knows
Better sit a letter from a thief says
Why lead when everybody sleeps
So few ways to
Cover up the old wounds
Lost in a finger forced to lie
This sends us medicating
Through it all

If you ever enter my mind


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    Feb 18th, 2013 2:38pm report

    You completely missed the meaning. It's about a thief stealing property and sorrowfully returning it. Pete Loeffler lost his prized guitar and the thief returned it later on. You can't apply interpretations so figuratively, it's much more literal.


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    Oct 24th, 2011 10:53pm report

    i think you have a great interpretation of the song, and i almost completely agree with you. my only difference to your meaning is that rather than pete trying to keep us fans in the dark as to the meaning of his lyrics, i feel its aimed more towards their record label and executives. rich and powerful people tend to associate themselves with the like, and if some of their comrades felt that a popular artist is suggesting lyrically that the listener feel a certain way about a topic (ie: "jars"/green movment, oil industry) that they (and/or possibly the executives themselves) are affiliated with, they might ask their pals to put a hush on it, therefore jeopardising their career.


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    Jul 26th, 2011 7:58am report

    in answer to the other posted interpretation:

    I saw Chevelle in Lubbock, TX within the last year or so. Pete said from the stage, "This song is about something that happened to us in Dallas."

    I've studied the song, as I believe is evident from my interpretation above. I think I'm pretty close because if I felt like my fans had stolen something from me by unlocking the encryption on my songs, I think I might try to mislead them a bit too.

    Another theme you'll see in Pete's lyrics fairly commonly is the idea of opposites. In one of his songs he actually uses the line "Confuse by opposites" in another "Opposites: we never need to tell". I believe that these are clues to his encryption.

    How easy would it be to have a thief steal your gear on the road and to allow the experience to inspire a song relating theft to the unlocking of your obviously cryptic lyrics? To me it seems as natural as can be. I might even tell the story of that theft just to make it that much harder for someone to figure out. Especially if I feared that the truth of my lyrics might end my ability to do what I love if it were to get out.

    I didn't write the song, so I could be wrong. But I do have a hard time directly pinning the song to a story about stolen equipment.

    I've heard the stolen gear story before, I chose to look at the words and see what they actually say. I think I get more out of the song that way...even if it is just my feeble attempt at interpretation.



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    May 27th, 2011 5:53pm report

    They wrote this about their equipment being stolen while they were doing a show one time, really, look it up that's what its about.


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    Apr 30th, 2011 4:47am report

    They Know what everybody Knows
    This is the author telling himself that his secret is safe. I assume that his secret is the meaning in his songs.

    Better sit, a letter from a thief says:
    Shocker! Someone's figured out the meaning and written him a letter about it.

    Why lead when everybody sleeps?
    So few ways to cover up the old wounds.
    This is what the letter says...the thief recognizes that the author is presenting ideas which might provide healing, but the thief thinks nobody's paying attention, so why try to lead them to something better?

    Lost in a finger, forced to lie
    This sends us medicating through it all
    The thief's letter is accusing. It says, "You're saying..." or it points a finger at the author who, when mezmerized by the finger pointing feels forced to lie.
    I'm not sure about the medicating line, but it has to do with dealing with having his secret exposed.

    If you ever enter my mind,
    Stay there, You'll live
    Defend it off and fool them all
    The author says to the thief, if you understand what I'm saying, be silent, hide in your understanding. Embrace the belief and it will bring you life. Don't expose my secret to everyone, keep it to yourself.

    Faceless; so little there to judge
    He's didn't meet the thief. He has nothing to go by.

    Left wing; let's separate the cold out.
    because of the structure of the lines in the second verse, I don't think he's addressing the left wing, but calling the left wing the cold which needs to be separated out. This is in keeping with the political themes of the rest of the album as well.

    Opposites; we never need to tell
    One sting; I've found I'm having to
    There's a line in another song on this album, "Confuse by opposites". I believe that the author uses devices to confuse potential thieves who might figure out what he's saying. This line is him reflecting on the thought that he'd never have to admit to anyone what the true meaning of his songs is. I believe that the author feels that his career might be threatened if the establishment knew what he was saying. But alas, he's found that he's having to admit that the thief figured out his meaning after all.

    Solitude, waste of a man
    Being the only one who knows the meaning behind his lyrics is wasteful because what change can he bring about if he's the only one who knows what he means.

    This fades as soon as the sun sets
    All this will pass away in the end anyway.

    I now own this fatal role that lives
    Remember I said that the author fears his career might be damaged if the establishment figures out what he's saying? Here's more proof...He says that he's playing a part that will kill him.

    Imagine, here's a better feel:
    He's giving the thief an idea why he wants to keep his meanings secret, he's giving the thief a feel for the situation.

    Told to dissolve or choose to fade
    Or stay here, you'll live
    He's been given advice telling him that his choices are basically go away, or disguise his meaning to preserve his career.

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