Colossus – Unraveling the Anthem of Rebellious Self-Acceptance


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Idles's Colossus at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Echoes of Dissonant Youthful Rebellion
  5. A Symphony of Endless Toiling: Understanding ‘Goes and it goes’
  6. The Shadow of Paternal Legacy – Weighing ‘a tonne’
  7. In the Spinning Reels of ‘Forgive me father, I have sinned’
  8. The Revelatory Stand Against Conformity: ‘I don’t want to be your man, your man’

Lyrics

I was done in on the weekend
The weekend lasted twenty years
The world’s best bulimic bartend
Tender, violent and queer

Forgive me father, I have sinned
I’ve drained my body full of pins
I’ve danced till dawn with splintered shins
Full of pins, full of pins

Goes and it goes and it goes
Goes and it goes and it goes
Goes and it goes and it goes
Goes and it goes and it goes

They laugh at me when I run
I waste away for fun
I am my father’s son
His shadow weighs a tonne

Goes and it goes and it goes
Goes and it goes and it goes
Goes and it goes and it goes
Goes and it goes and it goes

They laugh at me when I run
I waste away for fun
I am my father’s son
His shadow weighs a tonne

Goes and it goes and it goes
Goes and it goes and it goes
Goes and it goes and it goes
Goes and it goes and it goes

Forgive me father, I have sinned
I’ve drained my body full of pins
I’ve danced till dawn with splintered shins
Full of pins, full of pins

Goes and it goes and it goes
Goes and it goes and it goes
Goes and it goes and it goes
Go go go go go go

It’s coming
It’s coming
It’s coming
It’s coming
It’s coming
It’s coming
It’s coming
It’s coming

I don’t want to be your man, your man
I don’t want to be your man, your man

I’m like Stone Cold Steve Austin
I put homophobes in coffins

I’m like Fred Astaire
I dance like I don’t care

I’m like Ted DiBiase
I win no matter what it costs me

I’m like Evel Knievel
I break bones for my people

I’m on my best behavior
Like Jesus Christ our savior

I’m like Reggie Kray

Full Lyrics

Colossus by Idles – the opening salvo from their critically-acclaimed album ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’ – is far more than a mere song. It transcends musical landmarks to become a conversation, a pulsating cry of defiance and introspection wrapped in a distorted riff that echoes the complexity of modern masculinity.

To pierce the veil of Colossus is to engage with the layers of provocation, vulnerability, and a commentary stitched into the fabric of societal norms. The track employs a serrated edge of punk rock infused with a lyrical prowess that becomes an intimate portrayal of an individual’s battle with identity, societal expectations, and personal demons.

The Echoes of Dissonant Youthful Rebellion

The track kicks off with the monumental declaration of a weekend lasting two decades, an ode to prolonged adolescent unrest. This isn’t just a fleeting moment of teenage angst; it is an extended period of struggle, suggesting the stunted growth society imposes on men, demanding eternal youth and vitality from them.

Idles lead us down the rabbit hole of a distorted bildungsroman, where the protagonist’s journey is met with a ‘bulimic’ cycle of consumption and purging, reflecting perhaps on both tangible and emotional materialism and its inevitable rejection in a culture of excess.

A Symphony of Endless Toiling: Understanding ‘Goes and it goes’

The hypnotic repetition of ‘Goes and it goes’ becomes a mantra, summoning images of Sisyphean endeavors. Each ‘goes’ resonates like the tick of a clock, a heartbeat, a reminder of time passing and the persistence of life’s cycles. It speaks to the unrelenting nature of self-scrutiny and societal pressures that never cease.

In this relentless rhythm, we find the mundane and the profound intertwined, the numbing continuity of existence and the internal struggle to break free from it. It’s a common thread, a shared experience engrained into the very structure of every person’s life, highlighted by Idles with both clarity and a dire sense of urgency.

The Shadow of Paternal Legacy – Weighing ‘a tonne’

Among the most striking lyrics is the admission ‘I am my father’s son / His shadow weighs a tonne’. Here we touch upon the daunting inheritance of male lineage – the expectation to emulate, to carry forward a mantle and an identity that may not align with one’s authentic self.

The track confronts this narrative head-on. It is an unflinching examination of generational burdens, the perceived necessity to live up to outdated masculinities, which Idles points out with a pen dipped in the ink of personal revelation and social critique.

In the Spinning Reels of ‘Forgive me father, I have sinned’

This introspective incantation brings forth an individual battling with internalized guilt and self-destruction. The pins, possibly metaphors for pain or harmful coping mechanisms, and ‘dancing till dawn with splintered shins’, cast light on self-inflicted suffering as a response to sin – both perceived and actual.

But there’s also a plea for forgiveness laced within the chaos, suggesting a yearning for absolution from an archetypal father figure, or perhaps from a patriarchal deity, highlighting the complex dance between rebellion and the desire for approval tethered to traditional frameworks.

The Revelatory Stand Against Conformity: ‘I don’t want to be your man, your man’

The crescendoing statement ‘I don’t want to be your man’ is both a climax and a declamatory break from the chains that the song has so far expounded upon. It is a moment of liberation where the individual rejects the suffocating molds that society has prepared for him.

And as Idles layer cultural references – be it Stone Cold Steve Austin or Evel Knievel – they’re not just name-dropping. They’re juxtaposing traditional masculine idols with a declaration of independent thought, parading a celebration of self-identity that rejects toxic molds in favor of an authentic existence.

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