Millstone by Brand New Lyrics Meaning – Unraveling the Intricacies of Regret and Redemption


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Brand New's Millstone at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

I used to be such a burning example
I used to be so original
I used to care, I was being careful
Made sure I showed it to those that I love

I used to sleep without a single stir
‘Cause I was about my father’s work

Well Take me out tonight,
The ship of fools I’m on will sink
My own stone around my neck,
Be my breath, there’s nothing I wouldn’t give

I used to pray a God was listening
I used to make my parents proud
I was the glue that kept my friends together
Now they don’t talk and we don’t go out

I used to know the name of every person I kissed
Now I made this bed and I can’t fall asleep in it

Take me out tonight,
The ship of fools I’m on will sink
My own stone around my neck,
Be my breath, there’s nothing I wouldn’t give

Throw me that lifeline,
The ship of fools I’m on will sink
My own stone around my neck
Be my breath, there’s nothing I wouldn’t give

Never hit the brakes
There’s no time to save him
He’s run out in the street
Anybody know his name?
I think I recognize him
Sure it’s him?
Running from that mistake

Whoa

So take me out tonight
The ship of fools I’m on will sink
My own stone around my neck
Be my breath, there’s nothing I wouldn’t give

To save my life tonight
The ship of fools I’m on will sink
My own stone around my neck
Be my breath, there’s nothing I wouldn’t give

Full Lyrics

Brand New, a band synonymous with its introspective lyrics and haunting melodies, has never been one to shy away from the complexities of the human experience. In their song ‘Millstone,’ the band delves deep into the chasms of regret, self-reflection, and an arduous search for redemption—the kind that leaves an indelible mark on both the artist and the listener.

Layered beneath the gripping instrumentals and Jesse Lacey’s evocative vocals lie penetrating truths about the past’s inescapable pull and the struggle to reclaim an original self that has been corroded by time and consequence. As we navigate the song’s lyrical journey, we find that ‘Millstone’ is as much a personal lamentation as it is a universal allegory for our fall from grace and the ongoing battle to detach from the millstone that is our former selves.

A Portrait of Disillusionment: The Fall From Originality

The track opens with a vivid narrative of a protagonist once lauded for their uniqueness and consciousness, now left grappling with the dim realization that they have deviated from their original path. The artist’s self-awareness about their present mediocrity vis-a-vis their vibrant past amplifies this sense of loss, casting a retrospective light on dreams abandoned and ideals compromised.

‘I used to be such a burning example, I used to be so original,’ the lyrics whisper a haunting confession. In this admission, we are invited to reflect on our own wanderings from the luminescent confines of youthful ambition and the smoldering coals of ‘what could have been,’ as opposed to the cold ashes of ‘what is.’

Bearing the Millstone: The Weight of Personal Failures

The chorus introduces the metaphoric millstone—the emblematic weight of failure and guilt—which the protagonist languishes under. The song crafts a metaphor so palpable that one can almost feel the physical gravity of these intangible burdens in the ‘stone around my neck.’

Here, Brand New accentuates the human tendency to shoulder our downfalls as we traverse life’s voyage—a ‘ship of fools’ doomed to sink with our errors serving as an anchor dragging us to the depths. As listeners, we are led down a soul-stirring contemplation on whether our mistakes define our existence or whether redemption still lies within the realm of possibility.

Echoes of the Fallen Faith: From Piety to Skepticism

The track’s candid reference to spiritual disconnection, ‘I used to pray a God was listening,’ captures the shift from a state of religious conviction to one of skepticism. This somber acknowledgment reveals a severed bond not only with the divine but also with a community of believers, family, and friends.

The very fabric of relationships unravels upon the disclosure, ‘Now they don’t talk and we don’t go out,’ painting a scene of isolation ensuing the loss of faith. Brand New juxtaposes this detached state with the poignant yearning for former days of harmony, adding a layer of emotional complexity.

Reckoning with the Past: The Song’s Veiled Message

Stepping beyond the tangible lyrics, ‘Millstone’ reaches into the abyss with a covert narrative on facing the past. The imagery of recognizing but not being able to save a figure ‘running from that mistake’ represents the inevitability of confronting personal transgressions. It speaks to the shared human condition of longing for atonement in the face of our perennial flaws.

In unraveling this cryptic section, one discerns the subtle art Brand New employs in speaking to the soul’s struggles, hinting at the potential for growth and learning embedded within the regrets we harbor.

Memorable Lines That Claw at the Heartstrings

A testament to Brand New’s lyrical prowess is found within the memorable line, ‘I used to know the name of every person I kissed. Now I made this bed and I can’t fall asleep in it.’ This stark confession marries the intimacy of cherished memories with the disquiet of present discontent.

As the song reaches its climax, the pleading tone of ‘Be my breath, there’s nothing I wouldn’t give’ emerges as a powerful plea for salvation, epitomizing the core of human desperation—the search for oxygen when one is underwater, both literally and metaphorically.

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