Interpretations:Maine

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The "shaving razor's rusty" and its "sting" are references to The Monkees' "Daydream Believer" ("the shaving razor's cold and it stings"). ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Scott Redd's Interpretation: Maine rhymes with pain.

The rhyme is too obvious, so JL went to great lengths to communicate this idea to the listener, without actually vocalising the rhyme.

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To be completely honest, JL doesn't use ANY word that rhymes with Maine

- Mr. Nuclear


Maine appears to be some girlfriend who dumped you.

Haven't clue what this one is about, but its a great joyful song! (Mr Tuck) ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Maine is clever and kind of horrible. Contains usual themes of guilt, sex, self-doubt and feelings of worthlessness, and anthropomorphizing inanimate objects. (PG-13 at least) I think the song has several meanings, including:

A. Chronic physical pain personified as a thing sitting on his hands, knees and face when he wakes up, crushing the narrator like a beartrap, keeping him/her from sleeping, something the narrator promises to love if only it will go away, because it is crushing his/her will to live ( My evil heart.) Like a poisonous relationship, the narrator keeps true and comes back for more pain. Pain is also, mercifully, not remembered clearly - please give back my evil heart so I can remember you in retrospect as you aren't. or

B. Maine is an abusive lover. The narrator is on his/her hands and knees or face in bed either as sexual positions or the abuser is holding him/her down on the bed bodily, by resting on his/her knees, hands or face. The narrator is tired from being beaten, and rests in the abuser's tender warm embrace, which is like a beartrap - a disguised weapon that wounds or kills when you unwittingly step into it. Beartraps also hold you so you can't get away, which connects to the idea that the abuser is holding the narrator down on the bed. The abuser uses the razor on him/her, and has punched him/her in the mouth. It's love that went south, and which is crushing the narrator's affection for the abuser, but he/she still loves him/her. We know because the narrator asks for the return of his/her heart. or

C. Maine is a homosexual lover. The narrator is male, on his hands and knees, or pushed down on his face, in a sexual position to be penetrated by his "beartrap," a large hairy guy who takes the top position. (A bear who is a trap, in this case.) The narrator is filled with excitement and dread, because he feels guilt about wanting men, and hasn't gotten enough sleep because he and the lover have been up all night. He gets up to shave and the sting of the razor feels good as penance for, and a reminder of, his "crimes." The guilt is why he feels he has an evil heart and why "Maine," the big lumberjack bedmate, is the poison you know, the heaven below ( the waist), etc. Even worse for the narrator, he thinks he loves Maine, promises him there is no one else, but really wishes he could go back to loving him from afar, and could get his heart back and remember him as he is not, not a lover, not a participant in his guilty actions.

There are probably others; Mr. Linnell writes really conceptually sometimes, and it allows you to mold more concrete ideas onto the general conceptual shape. ~Christina Miller

Here's an interesting PS - in an earlier DAS version of the song, the narrator asks not that Maine leave him to his ugly state, but "leave my family out of this." That's pretty loaded. Affair? Violence? Outing the narrator? I will leave the examination of that revision to the reader's lurid imagination. Man, this is better than a novel. (Christina M.)

I've never thought of any of this in connection to Maine, but it honestly does make a lot of sense--great thinking! :) Personally, though, I'd always thought it was just a song in the same vein as Don't Let's Start, with the lyrics written mainly to fit the music. ~Anna Ng hears your words. 22:45, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

The opening is a musical reference to The Beatles' Good Day Sunshine. --ASL ________________________________________________________________________

I think the thing tenderly embracing the singer is his blankets. The state of Maine itself is blanketed in coniferous green. He knows he ought to get out of bed, but it's ohhh-so-comfy. Then he shaves and the pain wakes him up.

The singer is probably depressed. That would explain why he sleeps too much, can't get out of bed, and yet feels tired all the time. He's depressed because of his troubled relationship with someone, and also because he lives out in the dark, cold wilderness of Maine and there's nothing to do all winter long.

I would say the point of this song is the struggle with the suffocating passivity of depression.

--HearingAid


The singer wakes on a foresty Maine morning after an exhausting yesterday on the road, and to his annoyance is so overwhelmed by the beauty around that he has lost his protective cynicism. He admits he is in love with Maine, but this new positive state has usurped his normal artistic control of his perceptions. First seductively comfy, things are now too real and immediate.--M. Fudd 17:06, 30 Dec 2005 (EST)


It seems to me to be no more than an exercise in contraries. Everything is opposite, upside down, backwards, averse, contradictory. One does not relax on one's hands and knees, or face; a bear trap does not provide a tender, warm embrace; one does not love poison, etc. Plus an amusing cartographic line: Maine is at the top of the "chart", i.e., the map. --Nehushtan 19:37, 12 Mar 2006 (CST)


This song is about Stephen King. Here's why:

First of all, Stephen King is from Maine, and most of his books are set there.

Reclining in the bear trap of its tender, warm embrace could refer to King's prominent car accident.

Maine is the world that went south is kind of a stretch, but in the Dark Tower series, King often referred to a world that "moved on".

Maine at the top of the chart: well, King's books aften top the bestseller lists.

Maine is the poison you love could refer to King's alcoholism.

Yeah, it's not the most intuitive thing, but still... --64.131.249.17 22:12, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Also, can I make a point? I think it could refer to Stephen King's IT, specifically.

"Reclining in the bear trap of its tender warm embrace" could be shown as the protagonists felt the need to go back to Maine, but for no reason, as they could barely remember their lives there.

"Maine is the world that went south" refers to the cycle of Pennywise, where a tragedy would happen every 27 years, it would figuratively "go south" every 27 years.

The 'Evil Heart' theme refers to It being killed with it's own evil heart being crushed.

"Leave my family out of this" could refer to how the childrens' families feigned ignorance in the plight of the children.

"Exhausted from oversleep" refers to how It overslept, after the children defeated it for the first time. "The shaving razor's rusty" continues this idea.

"The heaven below" shows us about Pennywise's home in the sewers of Derry.

That's just my view on this ~ Dansburgh



It's about time I put up my interp.

Upon my first listen, I didn't give it much thought, until the second time around, and it sounded like it was clearly about a sadomasochistic relationship between Maine and the narrator. With that idea in mind, it was months before I had the courage to listen to the song again, and no matter what interpretations I read, Maine will pretty much seem to me like a song about a sadomasochistic relationship. I hate to break it down, but I must:

The opening lines sound like the narrator's describing a sexual position. The lines about the pain from the shaving razor reminds him of Maine. "Maine/At the top of the chart/Has crushed my evil heart"...the narrator sounds like the submissive partner. Apparently the narrator still loves Maine, even with the pain, but it seems like in the end the narrator wants it to end ("Leave me to my ugly state"..."Give me back my evil heart").

If this is what comes to mind when I listen to it, I need serious help. XP --Overjoy 16:03, 15 January 2007 (UTC)



I sort of agree with the above interpretations but I don't think it is necessarily describing a sadomasochistic relationship per se. I think it is more likely an abusive relationship where one partner (the narrator) is in love with the other (Maine) despite the former being treated badly by the latter. It doesn't seem like the narrator enjoys this treatment but rather simply endures it out of his love for Maine. This is evidenced by the fact that he indicates that he wants Maine to leave him alone. The abuse isn't necessarily physical either, I don't think, though it could be. The narrator also seems to have low self esteem, as evidenced by his characterization of himself as evil, and so may feel like he deserves his poor treatment. At this point he seems to associate any sort of pain with his lover, which is why cutting himself shaving reminds him of Maine. He also talks about seeing his lover "as [they] aren't," which suggests that he is unable to see this person's flaws objectively. The fact that he also sings about "coniferous green" and promises that "there's no other state" suggests that he is literally talking about his relationship with the state of Maine, which I think is just meant to be funny.


It's just about Maine.[edit | edit source]

I love this song because it captures something important about Maine--it's beautiful and coniferous and green, it has a tender warm embrace, but it also has an edgy incommodious bear-trap quality. It can definitely feel like a rusty razor, especially if you have let your guard down and step out on a wintry morning in your flimsy hipster garb. It will bitch-slap you with an icy paw. It's big and disingenuous and (against the stereotype) welcoming. But if you come here with an arch, cynical outlook laden with urban condescension for its supposed parochial ways, well, it will crush your evil heart. So maybe it is just a paean to Maine--weird, beautiful, uncanny, savage, gentle, and exceptional place that it is.

The Pain of Adultery[edit | edit source]

I think a lot of people have hit on the fact that this song is about a relationship, and a troubled one at that. However, I haven’t seen people ascribe the song to be about an adulterous relationship. I’m not sure if Linnelll has committed adultery but the way this song describes the relationship, I find it very relatable.

I believe the song is about a man who is speaking about his mistress who I suspect lives in Maine.

The opening lyrics, as many have pointed out, describe oxymoronical situations. Relaxing in uncomfortable positions. A tender bear trap (quite a vaginal image). Exhausted from oversleep. Awake but still in bed. I believe this relates to the man living a double life and references him having sex. Particularly the lines “Exhausted from oversleep. Awake but still in bed.” However, being awake but still in bed could also relate to being unable to sleep. Feeling guilty with his actions. Feeling “excitement and dread” as the song says. These are the signs of an extramarital affair.

Then we get the line “Shaving razor's rusty but the sting brings you exactly back to Maine”. I believe this relates to the sting of looking oneself in the mirror while shaving. Or perhaps the sting of cutting oneself while shaving because you can’t look yourself in the eye. What follows are more oxymorons. A world going south that’s on top of the chart. A heaven below. This is the world through the eyes of a womanizer. He ‘loves’ woman enough to sleep with them, but doesn’t respect them enough to tell them the truth. He has an evil heart. Or had one. His evil heart, which he brings up throughout the song, has been crushed. This could either relate to our character falling in love with his mistress or finally feeling regret for his actions.

My absolutely favorite lyrics follow, particularly in Linnell’s demo.

I love you anyway

I promise there’s no other state

But only if you stay away

And leave my family out of this

These words perfectly capture the cries of an adulterer. Praising the mistress and promising her that no one else matters. But pleading that she keep their relationship secret, stay out of his public life, and not talk about his family.

This is followed once again by a line talking about the narrator’s evil heart “And give me back my evil heart so I can see you as you aren’t” I believe this is the narrator realizing that he is in the wrong, but wanting to blame his mistress for his own wrongdoing. He wants his evil heart returned so he can go back to not caring and seeing the person he seduced as a home-wrecker. Seeing her as something she isn’t.

The final verses take us out with more oxymorons. The line “the poison you love” could refer to alcohol, another scapegoat for the decision to cheat. And the line “hell from above” might be a geographical joke, as Maine is in the northern United States.

This is one of my favorite Linnell songs and there is such deep emotion, meaning and poetry in his words here that create both tragic and comedic feelings in me. I would definitely put this song at the top of the chart.

--Big Big Boredom (talk) 13:38, 27 March 2019 (EDT)