site logo

Bright Eyes Cleanse Song Lyrics

Last updated: 06/22/2011 11:00:00 AM

Hear the chimes, did you know that the wind when it blows
It is older than Rome and all of this sorrow
See the new pyramids down in old Manhattan
From the roof of a friend's I watched an empire ending
Heard it loud and long the river's Om
Time marching on to a madman's drum

Don't forget what you've learned all you give is returned
And if life seems absurd what you need is some laughter
And a season to sleep and a place to get clean
Maybe Los Angeles, somewhere no one's expecting
On a detox walk through a Glendale Park over sidewalk chalk
Someone wrote in red, "start over"
So I muffled my scream on an Oxnard beach
Full of fever dreams that scare you sober
Into saltless dinners

Take the fruit from the tree, break the skin with your teeth
Is it bitter or sweet? All depends on your timing
Like a meeting of chance with the train station glance
Many lifetimes had past in a instant reminded
Of a millstone house in a seaside town
When your heart gave out in a mission bed
So your wife gave birth to a funeral dirge
You woke up purged as a wailing infant
In Krug Thep, Thailand

Hear the chimes, did you know that the wind when it blows
It is older than Rome and our joy and our sorrow





write a review for this song
(Important: Use a nickname if you don't want your name to be published) Type your review in the space below:


Om | Reviewer: Nuzz | 6/22/11

I'd just like to throw my little bit in here.
"Heard it loud and long the river's Om"
I don't know if it is or not, but in the book Siddhartha, the protagonist is "reborn" in a sense when he hears the river saying "Om" over and over again.

I had a little book-nerd moment when I heard that line.
:)



It's cool, we can be friends | Reviewer: Stray Dog | 9/21/10

I always thought it just had to do with how the world and it's current problems (our current problems) are just a drop in the bucket, for the Universe is just so much bigger and older than such ideas. How in a way we live every instant like another life, and every life like another instant, and that we have the choice to understand that both joy and sorrow in each of these instants are fleeting moments that we can go to if we so choose. Brilliantly written! He layers his symbols so well, that it all at once talks about fatalism, hopelessness, addiction, reincarnation, spiritualism, modern imperialism, politics, all joined together by the expirience of overcoming each and cleansing one's self of their distractions and loss. No matter what one has expirienced, or how one relates to these notions of his, he is saying that one can always start over and choose to laugh again, as such transcendance is a part of the nature of our world, just as pain, sorrow, or joy are. Much like the ever moving wind presses on, each moment forward.



my thoughts | Reviewer: brighteyesfan | 6/1/10

There are actually more references to drug and alcohol addiction then you believe, but as a whole I think the song is about being able to see the beauty of life without the distractions (for Conor mind altering substances) to me the line "see the new pyramids down in old Manhattan" I believe is referring to the alcohol anonymous meetings which use the symbol of pyramids on there sobriety chips. Also laughter is key in recovery which is often said in AA and NA meatings hence the line "and if life seems ubsurd all you need is some laughter. Also it is often said that if someone starts a drug habit young the day they become clean its like there continuing from that age because they have lost their coping skills because they are now restricted from the drug that they were dependent on, hence the line "you woke up purged as a wailing infant, in krug thep Thailand" conor. Starting drugs at such you've age probably felt like a child not being able to deal with his emotions and alienated by his society. Any who those are just my thoughts, another beautiful song by conor oberst with the beloved bright eyes



follow up | Reviewer: brighteyesfan | 6/1/10

another point i forgot to mention is the line "take the fruit from the tree break the skin with your teeth is it bitter or sweet all depends on your timing" i believe this is a reference to the tree of knowledge from the catholic story of adam and eve, considering conor weant to a catholic school and that he has on numerous occasions used references from the catholic faith i dont think this is too far fetched, but basically i think what hes trying to explain is that through the hard times of an addicts life some times the truth of their problem is more clear then others, and sometimes the support of trying to become clean is more welcome then other times, when an addict is ready to kick their addiction they "surender"



ilovethissong | Reviewer: Samantha | 12/17/09

wow so the person judging on the aspect that this is about drugs is clearly a retard.
you are right it isnt about DOING drugs, its about getting clean, "On a detox loft through a Glendale Park over sidewalk chalk
Someone wrote in red, "start over"
So I muffled my scream on an Oxnard beach
Full of fever dreams that scare you sober
Into saltless dinners"


detox? what does that mean hmm. yeah duh.

its about more than just getting clean from drugs though, its about getting a clean and healthy spirit, getting rid of things that trouble you and being free and pure.



Well actually... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/12/09

It seems to me to be about cleansing in a more general sense.

"Of a millstone house in a seaside town
When your heart gave out in a mission bed
So your wife gave birth to a funeral dirge
You woke up purged as a wailing infant
In Krug Thep, Thailand"

"And if life seems absurd what you need is some laughter"

These quotes seem to have little to do with drug addiction, that's just another example in the song of a person who is attemption to cleanse themselves. It's about the notion that no matter where you are, you can always begin aknew. It's also about perspective, about realizing that even though you've become so wrapped in in what you've become, that in the grand scheme of things these don't mean very much:

Hear the chimes, did you know that the wind when it blows
It is older than Rome and our joy and our sorrow



Peace, Bi*ch! | Reviewer: Luke | 10/10/09

I gotta say my part.
If it's called "Cleanse song" then it's not about DOING drugs. And who says that it's about drugs? I'd take a break from LIFE if I could, I dunno, maybe take off to Los Angeles. Maybe he's talkin about taking a break from being wasteful, or breaking away from the self centered mind set we're so prone to having.

This song kinda makes me think green. And I'm not even the stereotype Granola that might listen to Conor Oberst. As far as the fruit thing goes, it was a good attempt at interpretation, MY interpretation is that he's singing about how you look at life. Saying, it can be good, but only if you allow it to be. (That kinda thing

Just me though, I guess.



seriously... | Reviewer: anonymous | 8/6/09

"And if life seems absurd what you need is some laughter
And a season to sleep and a place to get clean
Maybe Los Angeles, somewhere no one is expecting
On a detox loft through a Glendale Park over sidewalk chalk
Someone wrote in red, "start over"

there is barely anything to "twist" --the song is even called "Cleanse Song." it is clearly about overcoming an addiction.



To "annoyed" | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/26/09

Why on earth would people not want to interpret music? People want to understand what he means - And if he didn't want people to understand, what's the point of him making music? You're a little off your rocker in my opinion, which I'm sure is shared. Our "Twisted minds" seek understanding, "let me tell you that now"



annoyed | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/25/09

ugh! how about we leave the song as it is and not tie drugs into every thing that your twisted minds can make it refer to?! hmm, sounds good, so stop trying to break down these songs, if it doesn't make complete sense to you, it's not supposed to! and maybe you think it does, let me tell you right now, it doesn't!!!