Clay Pigeons – Unraveling the Poetic Journey of Self-Discovery


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Michael Cera's Clay Pigeons at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Embarking on a Train to Redemption: The Metaphor of Movement
  5. The Lonesome Road: Michael Cera’s Exploration of Isolation
  6. The Songwriter’s Rebirth: Changing ‘The Shape That I’m In’
  7. A Haunting Refrain: The Hidden Meaning Behind ‘Feeding the Pigeons Some Clay’
  8. Memorable Lines That Resonate: ‘Start Talkin’ Again, When I Know What To Say’

Lyrics

I’m goin’ down to the railway station, gonna get a ticket to ride
Find a big, fat lady with two or three kids and sit down by her side
Ride ’til the sun comes up and down around me ’bout two or three times
Smokin’ cigarettes in the last seat
Tryin’ to hide my sorrow from the people I meet

And get along with it all
Go down where the people say “y’all”
Sing a song with a friend
Change the shape that I’m in,
And get back in the game,
And start playin’ again

I’d like to stay but I might have to go to start over again
Might go back down to Texas, or might go to somewhere that I’ve never been
And get up in the mornin’ and go out at night
And I won’t have to go home
Get used to bein’ alone
Change the words to this song
Start singin’ again

I’m tired of runnin’ ’round lookin’ for answers to questions that I already know
I could build me a castle of memories just to have somewhere to go
Count the days and the nights that it takes to get back in the saddle again
Feed the pigeons some clay
Turn the night into day
Start talkin’ again, when I know what to say

I’m goin’ down to the Greyhound Station, gonna get a ticket to ride
Find a big fat lady with two or three kids and sit down by her side
Ride ’til the sun comes up and down around me ’bout two or three times
Smokin’ cigarettes in the last seat
Tryin’ to hide my sorrow from the people I meet
And get along with it all

Go down where the people say “y’all”
Feed the pigeons some clay
Turn the night into day
Start talkin’ again
When I know what to say

Full Lyrics

The gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar, the soft, almost whispery vocals – Michael Cera’s interpretation of ‘Clay Pigeons’ draws listeners into a contemplative world where wandering and introspection align harmoniously. What may seem like simple lyrics at first glance evolve into a rich tapestry of meaning as we delve beneath the surface of this modern folk ballad, originally penned by Blaze Foley but given new life through Cera’s unique sensibility.

As with much of Cera’s work, there’s an unassuming complexity to ‘Clay Pigeons’ that warrants a closer inspection. Behind the seemingly mundane is a narrative brimming with the universal themes of renewal, the pursuit of purpose, and the solitary journey of finding one’s place in the constantly shifting landscape of life.

Embarking on a Train to Redemption: The Metaphor of Movement

There’s something undeniably compelling about the idea of boarding a train, an act steeped in metaphorical significance. Cera sings of buying a ticket ‘to ride,’ choosing companionship among strangers – a ‘big, fat lady with two or three kids.’ This quaint imagery sets the scene for a journey that goes beyond the physical; it’s about the voyages we embark upon in hopes of finding solace and closure.

The rhythm of the ride symbolizes the cyclical nature of tribulation and healing. As he rides ’til the sun comes up and down,’ Cera evokes the passage of time and the relentless pursuit of catharsis. His verses encapsulate the raw desire to escape sorrow, to blend in with the nameless faces, all while attempting to grapple with his internal struggles.

The Lonesome Road: Michael Cera’s Exploration of Isolation

Cera’s rendition digs deeply into the heart of loneliness, a theme resonant across generations. Smoking ‘cigarettes in the last seat,’ trying to obscure his grief, is a poignant metaphor for the isolation one can feel even while surrounded by others. The song becomes a mirror reflecting the jagged edges of solitude, a companion to those who have also sought anonymity amidst a crowd.

Yet, in the throes of his solitude, Cera’s character finds a resolve to ‘start playin’ again.’ It’s a poignant reminder of the resilience required to step back into the light of human connection after periods of darkness, a nod to the strength found in the crevices of our loneliness.

The Songwriter’s Rebirth: Changing ‘The Shape That I’m In’

A stirring line in ‘Clay Pigeons’ comes when Cera vows to ‘change the shape that I’m in,’ a declaration of personal transformation. This line isn’t about physical alteration but rather a radical internal shift – a metamorphosis of the spirit that speaks to the heart’s capacity to rebuild after being shattered.

Through the simple act of singing a song with a friend or mingling with the strangers in the ‘down where people say y’all,’ the protagonist weaves a narrative of rebirth, marked by reinvention and the rediscovery of joy in the commonplace.

A Haunting Refrain: The Hidden Meaning Behind ‘Feeding the Pigeons Some Clay’

One could argue that the track’s centerpiece lies within its enigmatic line – ‘feed the pigeons some clay.’ At first pass, it feels like a nonsensical quirk; yet, in this song, nothing is as simple as it seems. The act of feeding birds an inedible substance, clay instead of grains, symbolizes the folly of attempting to nourish oneself with the insubstantial – be it false hope, empty dreams, or the chase of unfulfillable desires.

This haunting refrain becomes the keystone in understanding Cera’s nuanced narrative. It invites us to consider how often we seek sustenance in things that cannot satiate our deeper hungers – for meaning, connection, and purpose – and how that very realization can lead to a profound awakening.

Memorable Lines That Resonate: ‘Start Talkin’ Again, When I Know What To Say’

In a world saturated with noise, Cera reminds us of the value of silence through the lyric ‘start talkin’ again, when I know what to say.’ It’s a meditation on the wisdom of waiting, of harnessing the power of the right words at the right moment. The line speaks to the discernment of speech and the knowledge that sometimes the most impactful expressions come after periods of quiet reflection.

This lyric serves as a memoir to anyone who has ever felt lost for words or overwhelmed by the chaos of life. Cera, through his tender delivery, intimates that there is grace in patience, and in that patience, we find the clarity that propels us back into the stream of communication and connection.

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