Epic – Dissecting the Intrigue of Desire and Defiance


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Faith No More's Epic at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Pursuit of the Unattainable – An Epic Journey
  5. Opaque Poetics – The Labyrinth of ‘It’
  6. The Masquerade of Sensation – Sweet, Dark, & Bitter
  7. Unforgettable Verses – A Collision of Antithesis
  8. An Anthem of the Ages – The Everlasting Echo of ‘Epic’

Lyrics

Can you feel it, see it, hear it today?
If you can’t, then it doesn’t matter anyway
You will never understand it ’cause it happens too fast
And it feels so good, it’s like walking on glass
It’s so cool, it’s so hip, it’s alright
It’s so groovy, it’s outta sight
You can touch it, smell it, taste it so sweet
But it makes no difference ’cause it knocks you off your feet

You want it all but you can’t have it

It’s cryin’, bleedin’, lying on the floor
So you lay down on it and you do it some more
You’ve got to share it, so you dare it
Then you bare it and you tear it

You want it all but you can’t have it
It’s in your face but you can’t grab it

It’s alive, afraid, a lie, a sin
It’s magic, it’s tragic, it’s a loss, it’s a win
It’s dark, it’s moist, it’s a bitter pain
It’s sad it happened and it’s a shame

You want it all but you can’t have it
It’s in your face but you can’t grab it

What is it?
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it

What is it?
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it
What is it?

You want it all but you can’t have it
It’s in your face but you can’t grab it

It’s it
What is it?
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it (yeah, yeah, yeah)
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it (yeah, yeah, yeah)
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it (yeah, yeah, yeah)
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it
What is it?
It’s it (yeah, yeah, yeah)
What is it?
It’s it

Full Lyrics

When Faith No More released ‘Epic’ in 1989, it struck a chord with audiences hungry for a sound that was both familiar and radically new. Beyond its immediate appeal as a hard-hitting rock anthem with a genre-bending blend of funk, hip-hop, and metal, ‘Epic’ encapsulated an enigmatic narrative that has kept listeners and critics alike debating its true meaning for decades.

At first glance, the song could be a straightforward depiction of insatiable desire and the frustration that comes with wanting something just out of reach. But like any great piece of art, the closer you look and the more you peel back its layers, ‘Epic’ reveals a myriad of interpretations, each as valid as the one before. Here, we dive into the heart of ‘Epic’ and the conversation it has sparked, examining lyrics that have remained compellingly enigmatic since their thunderous introduction to the airwaves.

The Pursuit of the Unattainable – An Epic Journey

The chorus of ‘You want it all but you can’t have it’ can be taken as an anthem of the human condition—a perpetual state of yearning for the infinite, the perfect, the sublime. This thematic element is far from new, harkening back to ancient mythologies and tales of Icarus, yet Faith No More presents it with a fresh vehemence and a punk-esque irreverence that shakes the listener by the collar.

The palpable intensity in the delivery of these lines serves to underscore the frustration and, paradoxically, the thrill of the chase. Whether ‘it’ is love, success, or existential meaning, ‘Epic’ becomes the backdrop to our own personal odysseys toward that which we may never fully grasp.

Opaque Poetics – The Labyrinth of ‘It’

What is ‘It’? The recurring, cryptic question posed throughout ‘Epic’ adds layers of mystery to a composition already rich with ambiguity. Is ‘It’ tangible, or purely conceptual? Can ‘It’ be equated to the indescribable nature of life’s peak experiences, or does ‘It’ represent something darker and more deceitful—as the reference to ‘a lie’ might suggest?

Each iterative plea for understanding in the song’s frenetic bridge thrusts listeners into a contemplative state, igniting debates on materialism, pleasure, addiction, and the human penchant for self-destruction in pursuit of ephemeral highs.

The Masquerade of Sensation – Sweet, Dark, & Bitter

Faith No More doesn’t shy away from incorporating sensation into their music, and in ‘Epic,’ the lyrics tap into a sensory smorgasbord that captures the audience’s imagination. The song tempts the listener to ‘touch it, smell it, taste it so sweet’—only to later describe it as ‘dark’ and ‘moist,’ a ‘bitter pain.’ These contradictory sensory images play with our understanding of desire, mixing pleasure and pain in a seductive tango.

It’s the aural equivalent of sugar laced with venom—a cautionary tale that warns the listener of the dangers hidden in beauty, yet through its alluring composition, ‘Epic’ invites us to dance closer to the flame.

Unforgettable Verses – A Collision of Antithesis

Among the most memorable lines of ‘Epic’ is the hotbed of contradiction found within the second verse: ‘It’s alive, afraid, a lie, a sin / It’s magic, it’s tragic, it’s a loss, it’s a win.’ Here, the song distills life itself, capturing its essence as a series of irreconcilable truths that exist in tension with each other.

These lines navigate through a tumultuous sea of dichotomies, forcing us to reconcile the simultaneous existence of fear and enchantment, victory and defeat. It exemplifies the song’s power to encapsulate complex human emotions within the span of a few sharp beats.

An Anthem of the Ages – The Everlasting Echo of ‘Epic’

As the years have passed, ‘Epic’ has emerged as a temporal bridge connecting generations of music aficionados. Its knack for encapsulating the zeitgeist of its release while hitting on universal themes renders it a unique relic, much like a musical Rosetta Stone that speaks to the inner struggles and desires shared across decades.

The song has not just aged; it has matured, resonating with new audiences and earning its stripes as an anthem of the ages. Its title is self-fulfilling—what began as a hit single has indeed become nothing short of epic, an enduring exclamation mark in the annals of rock history.

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