Use It – Unraveling the Anthemic Cry For Action


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for The New Pornographers's Use It at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Decoding the Cat Calls: Fame’s Price in Modern Society
  5. The Wrecking Crew: Personal Struggles Within
  6. The Hidden Meaning: A Dissection of the Phantom Heart
  7. Hope in the Human Kindness Cup: A Snapshot of Redemption
  8. Exercise Your Right: The Urgency in Proactivity

Lyrics

The cat calls through the night
And two chicks in the parking lot crack wise
On the price of fame, they stood to gain
The phone book’s been ripped off
And two shapes in the dark across the way
Know the price of flight, it’s weight and size
If you’ve got something that sheds some light

Use it tonight, tonight

Heads down, thumbs up
Two sips from the cup of human kindness
And I’m shitfaced, just laid to waste
So wait here, wait up
Stock tips from the credit checks come next
In the logic’s line, halt on that dime
If you’ve got will and a little time

Use it tonight, tonight

You had to send the wrecking crew after me
I can’t walk right
You had to send the wrecking crew after me
I can’t walk right

Phantom of the heart
Four beats from the party line
Been mine since I was a child
It just grew there wild
So heads down, thumbs up
Four beats from starting line
Get set to exercise your right
Use it tonight
If there’s a choice between a chance and flight

Choose it tonight, tonight

You had to send the wrecking crew after me
I can’t walk right
You had to send the wrecking crew after me
I can’t walk right, I can’t walk right

Use it tonight, tonight
Tonight, tonight, night, night

Full Lyrics

At the intersection of indie pop-rock and lyrical intricacy, The New Pornographers’ track ‘Use It’ stands as a beacon of motivational power disguised in catchy melodies. The song, from their critically acclaimed album ‘Twin Cinema,’ serves as an electric anthem of encouragement, laced with the complexity that keeps listeners coming back for deeper meaning and understanding.

What may initially come across as an oblique maze of indie-rock poetry is, in truth, a clarion call to exploit one’s inherent gifts and opportunities. The bold harmonies and defiant chords deliver a message that transcends the typical boundaries of pop, and beckons a deeper dive into its powerful lyrical content.

Decoding the Cat Calls: Fame’s Price in Modern Society

The song opens with vivid nighttime imagery – cat calls and conversations about fame between two individuals in a parking lot. This sets the tone for ‘Use It’ as a narrative about the societal desire for recognition and the costs associated with it. These ‘chicks,’ as they are referred to, stand not only as characters in the song but also as symbols of the ubiquitous chase for status, willing to sacrifice privacy and integrity for the whisper of celebrity.

On a deeper level, the mention of a ripped-off phone book might represent the disappearance of simplicity and connection in the age of fame and digital identity. A severed connection, perhaps, between the human aspect and the compulsion for achievement.

The Wrecking Crew: Personal Struggles Within

Halfway through, the lyrics take a turn inward. The ‘wrecking crew’—a metaphor for internal or external forces of destruction—is sent after the persona, leaving them unable to ‘walk right.’ This articulate struggle is indicative of the challenges we face when others or even our doubts hinder our progress.

There’s a palpable fight within these words, one that wages war against the barriers to our creativity and ambition. It’s a nod to the resilience required to stand up against such forces, invoking imagery of demolition to rebuild oneself.

The Hidden Meaning: A Dissection of the Phantom Heart

Beyond the initial directive to ‘Use It,’ the song delves into the ‘phantom of the heart.’ This could be seen as the untamed, instinctual part of our being that has existed since childhood—a wild, untouched essence that encourages us to act without inhibitions.

The New Pornographers seem to suggest within these ghostly beats that embracing this phantom is essential for a life lived fully. To repress or ignore it is to silence the most honest part of oneself. As much as the song is about human interaction with fame or adversity, it is about an internal dialogue with the core of our identity.

Hope in the Human Kindness Cup: A Snapshot of Redemption

Further analysis of the song’s memorable lines highlights the vulnerability and consequences of human kindness. Drinking ‘two sips from the cup of human kindness’ only to be left ‘shitfaced’ and ‘laid to waste’ conveys a sense of cynicism. Yet it’s also a reflection on the double-edged nature of generosity and connection—how they can elevate us or leave us exposed and hurt.

However, the beauty of ‘Use It’ lies in the juxtaposition of this vulnerability with the overarching message to persist, to choose action and courage despite the potential fallout from our engagements with others.

Exercise Your Right: The Urgency in Proactivity

As the song builds towards its climax, it implores the listener to ‘exercise your right’ and make the choice between ‘a chance and flight.’ It is a call for agency, for stepping up to the starting line of whatever race one is poised to run.

In the stirring crescendo of ‘Use It,’ the message compels listeners to seize their moment. To not only figuratively but literally ‘use it’—the rights, the chances, the opportunities gifted with every waking breath. This is a song of empowerment, of insistence on the individual’s capacity to enact change and to make a mark on the canvas of existence.

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