The Black Keys: Little Black Submarines Meaning
Song Released: 2011
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Little Black Submarines Lyrics
Put me back on the line
Told my girl I'd be back
This is wreckin' my mind
Oh can it be
The voices calling me
They get lost
And out of time
I should've seen it glow
anonymous Jan 8th, 1:31pm report
It's about a Navy Seal's radio communication on a fast capture or kill mission against a known terrorist stronghold. The song is the words of a Hero in the field. Little black Submarines are the teams' insertion method into deep hostile territory. The Operator is their forward command center. The Seal is radioing asking the Operator to correct his course several times because the subs guidance is out and manual course corrections are needed. Without them, he won't make it to the objective alive. The stealth subs are small, oxygen is limited, and he can't surface since detection is certain being right under hostile troops. The stress is eating at him causing him to consider turning away and he has lost track of plans to react because he knows he won't make it back to the love he's fighting for if the sub fails. His mind constantly fades back to his girl and it breaks his heart to know he might not make it back because of failed equipment. He blames himself for not seeing the malfunction light glow to switch to the backup systems but didn't notice with the stress of the guidance problem so radio transmissions are now also messed up. There are a few quiet beats of tense pause for final position to join the team and a sudden cut to uptempo instrumental guitar signals his landing and background engagements due to the teams' detection by hostile forces. The final verse is the last compressed coded radio call outs telling the Operator the treasure map (Intel is good, target is there) fallen trees (under fire) call me back when it's time (tell him when the extract is there) stolen friends (man down) the repeated broken heart is blind is stress taking control. This is signaling the Operator it's no longer a capture mission they've been compromised, all hostile forces are going down. Stepping away from the radio to go to work with the rest of his team the remaining notes are the sounds of a firefight. The first cords are a couple volleys of fire. Then the exchange picks up with every note of the broken riffs being a bullet incoming and outgoing. The final picks are the Seals coming out victorious as the final shots down the last remaining assailant. ...Fuck drugs, depressing junkies.
anonymous Jun 19th, 2016 6:25am report
99% of the black keys' songs are metaphors about heroin addiction. .Under a microscope, heroin molecules in the bloodstream look like little black submarines. "Operator please put me back on the line" means he needs the fix. "Treasuremaps" is an old school reference for needle track marks, because they can resemble pirate- map type treasure maps in movies when they get bad., etc. There are always many interpretations, that what makes a popular song, but an experienced heroin addict can REALLY identify with these songs of depth and sorrow. The love and hate. The up and down. Figured I'd throw that out there. Appreciate the music but for the love of God stay away from heroin.
anonymous Sep 3rd, 2013 9:58am report
Always heard him say, "should have seen it go" as in his mind exiting following in pursuit his mind. A "glow" is comparable, however in that it is just as likely incomprehensible as the certian path of the said "broken heart."
anonymous Apr 3rd, 2013 4:33pm report
its about LOVE
anonymous Feb 22nd, 2013 2:32pm report
It's about a guy in a coma. The operator is God and he's asking him to patch him back to his mind... The "voices calling me" are people trying to talk to him in the hospital.
anonymous Nov 8th, 2012 11:02am report
It's about addiction
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