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E.J.

Open (Down the road & up the hill)

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I'd never considered the Holocaust or Anne Frank either, or a lot of these interpretations. I like yours what-we-saw. I think it fits in the song, especially the breathing part, and the theme of it goes along with the mood of the song in a way.

Listening to the song I've vaguely imagined a woman who has gone sort of insane, and lives alone in her house (which sits on top of a hill, yeahh). Maybe she’s waiting for a sweetheart/husband. The “Four straight walls. One floor, one ceiling” represents her literally being shut in her house but also trapped metaphorically in her mind. I thought maybe there could be a twist, like she murdered her husband and she knows that she’s waiting in vain for him to come back, and what they had could have been “potentially lovely” but “perpetually human” qualities (jealousy?) destroyed it. "Scrubbing out the stains again" could be trying to erase her guilt for killing him. There might be some flaws in this, but oh well.

The murdered-husband thing sort of sounds like Marry Ann too, heh.

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"Scrubbing out the stains again" might be the tattoo that every prisoner gets when he reaches the Concentration Camp. She wants to get rid of it and with it rid of her current situation.

Ooh yeah, thats a good idea!

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ignoring my last, rather embarrassing post in this topic, i still can't put my finger on what this song evokes in me. I love, love, love the Anne Frank interpretation! That's brilliant, and i agree that it's in keeping with regina's work. For me, there's still some element to this song that i feel and can't describe, ever since i first heard it. It moves me for sure, and i haven't seen or heard that element described yet. (Regina magic!)

There is a sense of "time," maybe a time period, like Anne Frank in the holocaust. Or just some specific event that's happened, like how Val saw it before. There is also an element of decay, and conversely a sense of ghosts: both of which point to a lack of resolution. Decay seems like something abandoned and forgotten, while ghosts are self-perpetuating, self-remembering. Decay eventually ends or reaches a point of utter end, while a ghost's decay is eternal and also impossible. (I sound like i'm smoking weed, lol. I'm not, i promise! :P )

Also, in my imagination, the room in Open is all mixed up with the locations described in Uh-Merica:

Somewhere between the cobblestone floor and the slated wooden ceiling

[...]

Somewhere between the sticky floor and the cracks in the ceiling

both the narrator in Open and the "we" in Uh-Merica seem to lead singular existances, yet they require the permission/acceptance of another: Uh-Merica says "the mind has already forgotten what the body still misses" (mother's kisses." Open's narrator (99% likely to be a woman, right?) is only potentially lovely, waiting for "you." Potentially always implied, not that she hadn't acheived loveliness, but that she would be lovely only when someone took notice of her. You know, beauty in the eye of the beholder and all that.

I'd draw another parallel between Open and The Flowers. The Flowers chooses an external object (her flowers, of course :rolleyes: ) as the decaying thing. In Open, it is the narrator that is rotting away. The Flowers' narrator is naive, thinking that staying awake will somehow get this "you" to return, while the narrator of Open says that she waits "in vain."

Gah! There's more to this song than a ghostly existence for me, and i can't figure it out. I will, someday! Unless I never do!

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Well, there is a thread of eternity in Regina's songs.... she sings of perpetuity in this song... and then .. 'They were in our in minds... until forever' (The Calculation). I am not sure that I hear any specific time and place in this one..

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upon reading over the lyrics just now, i had a very different interpretation.

the first line that really sticks out to me is "wires around my fingers," and i don't really see how it works into the piano idea. i don't mean to say that every lyric must have a concrete explanation for a particular interpretation, but for me personally i just don't feel that one as much.

one image that "wires around my fingers" really brings to mind for me is someone in a hospital bed, connected to various machines. "potentially lovely, perpetually human, suspended and open;" an immobile, "frozen," possibly comatose or braindead person.

i'm not sure if this is true for non-americans, but the most well-known example of a person like that in my memory is terri shiavo. and, as it happens, it seems that regina debuted this song in january 2005. this was around the time that the terri shiavo case was a really big story, and it's very likely regina would have also been hearing about it. i wonder if it's possible that there's a connection there?

the story was very public, which connects with the verse about everybody staring, and also with the narrator being "open."

"potentially lovely;" the 'what-if' factor. what if the comatose person wakes up. what if one day there is a solution. the person still exists and is still "alive," and thus the potential for them somehow regaining their life still exists, at least in the eyes of some people.

"perpetually human," the other side of that, which is the argument that a person is just being kept alive to ease the suffering of their loved ones, and is trapped and powerless. 'perpetually' has a negative connotation, especially next to 'potentially lovely,' and so it seems like this is being cited as a bad or tragic thing.

and again, either way the person is just in 'suspended' animation, and 'open;' laying on their back, vulnerable, and immobile.

the second verse seems to switch narrators, and could refer to a lover, or just loved one, of the person. 'waiting in vain' for the person to return, so to speak, 'scrubbing out the stains again (i.e. cleaning up after/caring for the person monotonously).' just like the first person, they too are only 'potentially' lovely, 'perpetually' human, and 'suspended,' as their life has mostly become devoted to this situation.

the fourth verse may be the first person again. the gasps, like the wires, again conjure up for me images of someone in a [hospital] bed. the 'room i built myself' makes me think of something mental rather than physical. not actually a room someone literally built, but one they've created in their mind.

the "open" parts seem to follow a shift from the description preceding them ('suspended and open') to a more affirmative tone, and asking/commanding/calling for another person to "open." the last verse completes the thought, adding '...up your eyes.' in the context of this interpretation i guess that one would be self-explanitory.

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upon reading over the lyrics just now, i had a very different interpretation.

the first line that really sticks out to me is "wires around my fingers," and i don't really see how it works into the piano idea. i don't mean to say that every lyric must have a concrete explanation for a particular interpretation, but for me personally i just don't feel that one as much.

one image that "wires around my fingers" really brings to mind for me is someone in a hospital bed, connected to various machines. "potentially lovely, perpetually human, suspended and open;" an immobile, "frozen," possibly comatose or braindead person.

i'm not sure if this is true for non-americans, but the most well-known example of a person like that in my memory is terri shiavo. and, as it happens, it seems that regina debuted this song in january 2005. this was around the time that the terri shiavo case was a really big story, and it's very likely regina would have also been hearing about it. i wonder if it's possible that there's a connection there?

the story was very public, which connects with the verse about everybody staring, and also with the narrator being "open."

"potentially lovely;" the 'what-if' factor. what if the comatose person wakes up. what if one day there is a solution. the person still exists and is still "alive," and thus the potential for them somehow regaining their life still exists, at least in the eyes of some people.

"perpetually human," the other side of that, which is the argument that a person is just being kept alive to ease the suffering of their loved ones, and is trapped and powerless. 'perpetually' has a negative connotation, especially next to 'potentially lovely,' and so it seems like this is being cited as a bad or tragic thing.

and again, either way the person is just in 'suspended' animation, and 'open;' laying on their back, vulnerable, and immobile.

the second verse seems to switch narrators, and could refer to a lover, or just loved one, of the person. 'waiting in vain' for the person to return, so to speak, 'scrubbing out the stains again (i.e. cleaning up after/caring for the person monotonously).' just like the first person, they too are only 'potentially' lovely, 'perpetually' human, and 'suspended,' as their life has mostly become devoted to this situation.

the fourth verse may be the first person again. the gasps, like the wires, again conjure up for me images of someone in a [hospital] bed. the 'room i built myself' makes me think of something mental rather than physical. not actually a room someone literally built, but one they've created in their mind.

the "open" parts seem to follow a shift from the description preceding them ('suspended and open') to a more affirmative tone, and asking/commanding/calling for another person to "open." the last verse completes the thought, adding '...up your eyes.' in the context of this interpretation i guess that one would be self-explanitory.

i really like this idea. this song is just an odd mix of "happy" and sad, and this is the best interpretation i've heard besides taking the lyrics literally, which doesn't make sense anyway.

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Hmm.. My interpretation is a little different from the others.

This may sound weird but I think there are similarities between 'Ghost Of Corporate Future' and 'Open'.

The character in 'GOCF' is really open minded. He thinks that people are just people: stop worrying, be yourself and have fun. (yay!)

In 'Open', the character is totally different. I think the character is lonely and has a sort of social phobia. She (or he) waits desperately for someone who will join her. She is 'potentially lovely' which means that she has love to offer but she is also 'perpetually human', she feels vulnerable and she is afraid to show her feelings.

Then, there is this amazing line about the snow: "In the night the snow starts falling, and everybody stares through the windows at the streetlights, too beautiful to see..."

Nobody can see the snow without the streetlights, there are many beautiful things in the world but it's not so easy to notice them. The character realizes the reason why she is lonely. She is like the snow (but without the streetlights -_-), nobody can see the beauty she has to offer if she hides herself from the world. She is feeling desperately lonely and starts suffocating.

In this thread someone said "you just can't breath normally when she starts gasping". I think this is the reason why I love this song so much. Even if you have not social phobia, you can identify yourself with the character and.. become the character. (I may have schizophrenia, though :huh:)

Finally, I think there is hope at the end of the song. The melody is the same than the one used when people look at the snow falling. The character understands the reason why she is lonely, if she opens her eyes she allows people to look at her.

I tried my best not to sound corny but I failed miserably. Haha.

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I agree with the Holocaust/Anne Frank interpretations, but there's something that I would like to add.

At the end, when she is gasping, it's like she's sick or dying or suffering, and "day after day [she] wake up feeling," meaning that she can feel all of the suffering, and she really doesn't want to. Then, at the end, she opens up her eyes, and there's a quiet "Oh" or something like that. She is free or released, although whether it's by death or some other means I'm not sure. Then, she hums or sings quietly and joyfully.

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