What does Evil mean?

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Interpol: Evil Meaning

Tagged: Prison [suggest]

Song Released: 2005



Evil Lyrics

Rosemary
Heaven restores you in life
Coming with me
Through the aging, the fearing, the strife
It's the smiling on the package
It's the faces in the sand
It's the thought that moves you upwards
Embracing me with two hands
Right will take...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Nov 22nd, 2006 11:45am report


    I'd say that the use of the car crash of a metaphor is highly plausible, and would probably make the song more credible, but I'm gonna take it at face value for my interpretation.

    Firstly, I think the guy (I don't think that Paul is writing as himself - hence the use of a puppet in the vid and not a trace of the 'pol anywhere) lost his partner in a fatal car crash. I think perhaps she didn't die instantly but that she ended up in hospital and didn't make it. The song is about the guys struggle to come to terms with the loss of his partner (who I think may have been dead for some time now) in the face of feeling romantically towards somebody new - Sandy.

    Right, now let's back all that up:

    "Rosemary, Heaven restores you in life" - Let's everyone know she's dead right at the beginning, also shows us he believes in Heaven and believes that she may still be aware of everything that's going on. This is backed up the next few lines:

    "You're coming with me, through the aging, the fear and the strife" - This line could also be a reference to the wedding vows:
    "I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live." I only just thought about this one, but everything he says 'aging', 'fear', 'strife' it's all negative stuff, and in the wedding vows you promise to stick by each other even in times of trouble so maybe they were married and he's saying that even though she's no longer here, she's still going to be with him through all the things they promised when they got married.

    "It's the smiling on the package, it's the faces in the sand, it's the thoughts that hold me upwards embracing me with two hands" - Again, I concur with what others have said - he feels her around him (the embrace - most common meaning is a huge between lovers e.g. a lovers' embrace) and sees her everywhere (sand, packaging).

    Now for the next lyric I've found two different interpretations of the actual words he says. I thought it was "Right will take you places" but I've read elsewhere people think it's "Write, we'll take you places". It's almost impossible to decipher by listening so I'll interpret both.
    "Right will take you places" - She lived a good life so she went to Heaven.
    "Write, we'll take you places" - Stay in contact even though I'm falling for someone new, you won't be forgotten, you'll always be there with us too. This line goes better with the next one "Yeah, maybe to the beach"

    "When your friends they do come crying" - Again, suggests that the person has died as her friends are also affected, it's not just the guy singing the song that has lost her.

    "Tell them now your pleasure's set up on slow release" - she's going to be happy for a very long time, i.e. It will take a long time for her pleasure to diffuse because it's on a slow release. Also as he says "tell them" it suggests he's saying let them know you're happy it might help them come to terms with things.

    "Hey wait, great smile, sensitive to faith not denial." - Maybe she was always a happy person, even when she was in hospital facing the likelihood she may not pull through (not denial - she wasn't in denial about how serious it was), sesitive to faith, perhaps she was believing her faith might pull her through.

    "But hey, who's on trial?" - He reflects that he's just been judging her behaviour after the accident (noticing that she faced up to things and put on a brave face), but realises that it wasn't her fault, she was the innocent and she died. "But hey, who's on trial?" as in "Why am I judging your behaviour after that horrific accident, you had every right to behave however you pleased." Alternatively, after thinking about the next line, it could be that he was driving and feels responsible...

    "I've spent a lifespan with no cellmate" - He's the guilty party (feels responsible) as far as he's concerned (maybe not in the eyes of the law, i.e. maybe another car hit them but he was the driver) referenced by the "cell" - prison - and he's also managed to go this far without felling anything for anyone else "mate".

    "The long way back" - Could have several meanings. Perhaps that fateful night they took the long way back? Perhaps they didn't and he wishes they had? Perhaps he just means it happened a long time ago?

    "Sandy, why can't we look the other way?" - Why am I having these feelings for you, when I still love and miss Rosemary?

    "we speaks about travel
    Yeah, we think about the land
    We smart like all peoples
    Feeling real tanned" - sounds like he's imitating ghetto speak. Angry at black people? Maybe it was a group of black people who were driving the other car?

    "I could take you places -
    Do you need a new man?
    Wipe the pollen from the faces
    Make revision to a dream while you wait in the van" - He starts thinking about Sandy again, and quick as a flash Rosemary comes back to the forefront of his mind:

    "Hey wait, great smile, sensitive to faith not denial"

    And then again, he wishes he didn't feel this way towards Sandy:

    "It took a life spent with no cellmate
    To find the long way back
    Sandy, why can't we look the other way?"

    "You're weightless, you are exotic
    You need something for which to care" - This could be about Rosemary and/or Sandy. With Rosemary "You're weightless, you are exotic" - She's weightless because she's no longer a physical presence and she's exotic because she's different to everyone else. With regards tos Sandy, it could be she's extremely thin (not as goos an interpretation as with Rosemary I feel) and she's exotic - maybe she's foreign, maybe she's black and that's why he was mimicking ghetto talk earlier in the song. Maybe "you're weightless" is a reference to Rosemary and "you are exotic" is a reference to Sandy. The "you need something for which to care" could be a reference to either as well.

    Then back to why is he thinking about Sandy, why can't he just forget her?:

    Sandy, why can't we look the other way?"

    Then he seems to start asking for to remember Rosemary and keep her with him so he doesn't feeling the wanting for Sandy:

    "Leave some shards under the belly
    Lay some grease inside my hand
    It's a sentimental jury
    And the makings of a good plan" - I think this is metaphorical, I don't think he really wants glass in his belly or grease in his hand, he just wants a permanent and prominent reminder of Rosemary so he doesn't move on.

    "You've come to love me lightly" - He can feel her presence
    "Yeah you've come to hold me tight" - He won't let himself move on, he allows her to hold on him still.
    "Is this motion everlasting
    Or do shudders pass in the night?" - Will he always feel like this, or does he just need more time to come to terms with it? Alternatively, maybe he wonders how long until he forgets about Rosemary altogether because he doesn't want to?

    "Rosemary
    Oh, Heaven restores you in life
    I spent a lifespan with no cellmate
    The long way back
    Sandy, why can't we look the other way?" - I've explained this enough.

    "You're weightless, semi-erotic,
    You need someone to take you there
    Sandy, why can't we look the other way?
    Why can't we just play the other game?
    Why can't we just look the other way?" - Sounds like this is all about Sandy so the other references "you're weightless, you are exotic" probably is as well. I feel here he is practically begging and pleading to forget about Sandy because he feels to consumed with guilt about what happened to Rosemary and also about letting her go.



  2. 2TOP RATED

    HyperVexx
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    Dec 3rd, 2005 12:46am report


    This song seems very similar to what the point of view of a British serial killer named Rosemary West after being parolled from life imprisonment and how strange it may be to adjust to freedom after being confined for so long.



  3. 3TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Aug 22nd, 2007 8:15am report


    I think this song is actually about the life of Albert Speer who was the "good Nazi". I use that term very loosely as anyone who knows will know he wasn't.

    However, he spent a life sentence with no cell mate. His wife was rosemary who committed suicide white the Nuremberg trial was happening when Speer was on trial. That leads to her memoires while he is in jail thinking about her.

    He is also associated with the killing of thousands of jews, but was never actually convicted.

    There is more in the song, but I can't be bothered. Look it up yourself, more fun that way.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 19th, 2019 10:00pm report


    I always thought it was about Rosemary Kennedy after her lobotomy



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 16th, 2017 11:32pm report


    Everyone gets the lyric wrong, it's not 'Sandy'...the word is 'Simply,.



  6.  

    anonymous
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    May 6th, 2015 5:27am report


    if I had to guess the the real meaning of the song: guy gets into a car crash and with loved ones. as he's dieing these, are his last words to them. but that's just how I see it



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 28th, 2012 9:01pm report


    I can't get past it. The song appears to be about him and his girl trying to cope with the painful fact that they lost a child/had an abortion.

    Think about it.



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 22nd, 2011 4:46pm report


    Although now i see the other meanings i thought the song was simply about Evil when i heard it.
    "Rosemary" -Rosemary's baby
    "Why cant we just look the other way" -Not taking the blame for a crime, just ignoring it
    "Life span, with no cell mate" -Solitary Confinment
    "Your coming with me" -The survivors will always be with him, they wont forget what happened, and neither will he
    "When your friends they do come crying" -Funeral for the victum
    Idk, i just thought of it as pure evil.



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 17th, 2010 12:03pm report


    Paul Banks was fascinated with serial killers, and as a literally major in college, probably with a lot of ideas around the inner workings of people.

    The references to the Rosemary West killings are pretty clear (not just her name, but the "trial", "cellmate" and "shards under the belly".

    Still, it doesn't make sense that this is from Fred West until the final year of his life are looked at. He confessed to the killing pretty quickly - suggesting remorse. And he attempted to make some kind of emotional contact with Rosemary...he tried twice and failed. And a few weeks later, committed suicide.

    I think this song is the story of Fred West dealing with the evil he had done, and trying to reach Rosemary...the Biblical references are pretty clear. So this is his story after he committed suicide and what he'd say to her.

    The first verse of the song is about embracing Heaven and god. "Heaven restores you in life" - this is a clear reference to being alive and that there is a means to salvation in life. The rest of the verse is about what that is and if she comes with him what she gets - it's the smile on the package, the faces in the sand, the thought that holds you up, their embraces - all the good things in life...the "slow-release" (inner peace) as opposed to the instant and twisted gratification of torturing their victims.

    The next verse is his message to her: Hey wait, great smile (his nickname for her?) - have faith and don't deny (Just confess and faith - don't play the victim card)...then again, "but hey who's on trial" An admission he coped out by committing suicide - so he can sympathize with her decision.

    Then he confesses to her what his life was about. Being completely alone (a lifespan without a cellmate) searching for a way out...from the trap of just looking the other way to everything he did - all the suffering he caused. That's the root of his "evil". Just look the other way. What was wrong with that?

    The next verse describes that world of what could be or could have been - perhaps the afterlife or fantasy existence. "I could take you places....Make a revision to a dream...."

    Later on, the line, "You need something to which to care" - I think a reference to how serial killers are considered uncaring.

    The next verse talks about their crimes, how they hoped to presume innocence and hope for a sympathetic jury....and whether or not they really loved each other and if that was over - "Is this motion everlasting or do shutters pass in the night"

    The final verse mentions that she needs someone to take her there - perhaps him or someone else (earlier - "do you need another man"). and changes the chorus - "...play the other game" a reference to their interaction not involving the girls they tortured and murdered. Suggesting once again, his remorse.



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 17th, 2010 12:02pm report


    This is a song about losing one's self after a trauma. It was likely inspired by the final days of Fred and Rosemary West, a British serial killer couple. While awaiting trial, Fred committed suicide, leaving his wife to serve a life sentence in prison.

    Knowing that, the lyrics make a lot more sense. Look up the case notes.



  11.  

    troyboy85
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    Aug 22nd, 2010 8:40pm report


    I think this is about Rosemary from Rosemary's Baby -- the novel and the 1968 film directed by Roman Polanski.

    If you know the story it makes sense.

    Rosemary is duped into being raped by Satan and bears his child. Her husband and her neighbours and doctors and even strangers all conspire against her.

    The title Evil alludes to the evil nature of the child.

    It fits so well, check it out!



  12.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 30th, 2010 4:16pm report


    The murder of Rosemary LaBianca by the Manson Family. Hasn't Manson had a life spent with no cellmate?



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 19th, 2010 2:11pm report


    It's about watching a one time vibrant beautiful woman getting hooked on oxys



  14.  

    manny_k
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    Nov 5th, 2009 11:25am report


    It took me a while to figure this song out - extremely hard to piece together, but after reading the interpretations on the web, and reading more about Paul Banks, I think I got it. Paul Banks was fascinated with serial killers, and as a literally major in college, probably with a lot of ideas around the inner workings of people.

    The references to the Rosemary West killings are pretty clear (not just her name, but the "trial", "cellmate" and "shards under the belly".

    Still, it doesn't make sense that this is from Fred West until the final year of his life are looked at. He confessed to the killing pretty quickly - suggesting remorse. And he attempted to make some kind of emotional contact with Rosemary...he tried twice and failed. And a few weeks later, committed suicide.

    I think this song is the story of Fred West dealing with the evil he had done, and trying to reach Rosemary...the Biblical references are pretty clear. So this is his story after he committed suicide and what he'd say to her.

    The first verse of the song is about embracing Heaven and god. "Heaven restores you in life" - this is a clear reference to being alive and that there is a means to salvation in life. The rest of the verse is about what that is and if she comes with him what she gets - it's the smile on the package, the faces in the sand, the thought that holds you up, their embraces - all the good things in life...the "slow-release" (inner peace) as opposed to the instant and twisted gratification of torturing their victims.

    The next verse is his message to her: Hey wait, great smile (his nickname for her?) - have faith and don't deny (Just confess and faith - don't play the victim card)...then again, "but hey who's on trial" An admission he coped out by committing suicide - so he can sympathize with her decision.

    Then he confesses to her what his life was about. Being completely alone (a lifespan without a cellmate) searching for a way out...from the trap of just looking the other way to everything he did - all the suffering he caused. That's the root of his "evil". Just look the other way. What was wrong with that?

    The next verse describes that world of what could be or could have been - perhaps the afterlife or fantasy existence. "I could take you places....Make a revision to a dream...."

    Later on, the line, "You need something to which to care" - I think a reference to how serial killers are considered uncaring.

    The next verse talks about their crimes, how they hoped to presume innocence and hope for a sympathetic jury....and whether or not they really loved each other and if that was over - "Is this motion everlasting or do shutters pass in the night"

    The final verse mentions that she needs someone to take her there - perhaps him or someone else (earlier - "do you need another man"). and changes the chorus - "...play the other game" a reference to their interaction not involving the girls they tortured and murdered. Suggesting once again, his remorse.



  15.  

    ironman6913
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    Jul 8th, 2009 7:03pm report


    I agree with everything said in the first interpretation, except for the way that Rosemary died. In the music video itself it starts off at the scene of a car crash. Therefore, it's easy to see that the shards are actually shards of glass, and when he talks about leaving some grease inside my hand, he's literally talking about grease from the car.



  16.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 27th, 2009 6:06pm report


    I think its about Rosemary West aswell. She has been portrayed in the UK as one of the worlds most evil women. Evil is a word frequently used to describe her in the British media where her husband was usually described as being disturbed, perverted and crazy. During her marriage to Fred West she was photographed by him in ways where she appeared exotic. Ghosts and shadows etc could be their victims including their children. The murders were often sexual in nature involving grease and shards of wrought-iron. She was widowed early in the case with Fred's suicide. She's been on medication 'set up on slow release'.



  17.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 4th, 2009 6:46am report


    August 11th, 2006 09:48AM is a smart cookie. That sounds right.



  18.  

    somethingsomething
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    May 12th, 2009 5:00am report


    Taking into account the video (which is not always a good way to interpret lyrics) it looks as as this is a song about mourning and loss after the accidental death of a loved one. The song could also refer to a car crash (glass and grease) and as previous entries have pointed out, there are a number of references to grief, loss and mourning, given with a detached attitude (but hey who's on trial?) that is also represented in the video where the protagonist is a plastic dummy, in shock and filled with a sadness rather than grief. Also there is no reference to a 'sandy' in this song. I believe some people may be mis-hearing the line 'saying 'hey, why can't we look the other way?'



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