There is a French story about a nobleman in present-day Bretagne, a horrifically ugly man with a blue beard and enough gold to build and fill a castle. As the story goes, Bluebeard at one point decided that he wanted to marry a young girl, who initially rejected his proposals due to his disgusting features and the fact that all his previous wives had mysteriously disappeared. However, Bluebeard managed to win her over by inviting her and her friends to stay at his estate for eight days, giving them feasts, luncheons, picnics, and taking them fishing. After this, the woman decides that Bluebeard is a respectable man, and decides to marry him despite his blue beard. After they're wed, Bluebeard tells her that he must leave for a few weeks, and he gives her the keys to all the rooms in the house, but forbids her from entering one small closet. After his departure, she invites guests over, and allows them to roam free. While they amuse themselves with Bluebeard's riches, the woman decides that whatever was in that closet could be worth checking out. She opens the door, and is so shocked from what she finds that she drops the key; the bodies of all of Bluebeard's previous wives, hung up and strewn about. She eventually picks up the key and leaves, but finds that there is blood on the key. She tries to clean it off, but it is cursed and will not wipe off. When Bluebeard returns, he finds the key covered in blood and immediately says that she must die for her disobedience. She asks him if she may have a few more minutes to pray, and buys enough time for her brothers to come and slay Bluebeard.
Here is the story: https://www.skoletorget.no/abb/eng/blueb/pdf/blueb.pdf
I believe that, while the subject of the story is still Bluebeard, it is instead told from the perspective of one of Bluebeard's earlier wives, who appears much more cynical and less naive than the one in this story. Obviously, however, the earlier Mrs. Bluebeard met a much more... gruesome fate than the newest one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by RoseQuartz (talk • contribs) 13:18, January 24, 2018
I believe this is from the perspective of Bluebeard, singing to his final wife after he is killed by her brothers. He feels betrayed by her because she looked in the closet that he forbade her from entering. He cannot see anything wrong with his actions and is appalled that she would betray his trust. It's the passive aggressive musings of a delusional, abusive man. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Idwtlitwa (talk • contribs) 23:00, February 5, 2018
Ghost's Rebuttal to "Erase"
The first song off the Glean album is clearly sung from the point of view of a person committing murder by strangulation. (It's an ugly word, but I'll say it anyway.) This song is sung from the point of view of a murder victim, and it's only logical to suspect that it's the same person the "Erase" murderer killed. The narrator is basically blaming themselves for what happened, failing to see the warning signs of the culprit, and ultimately resigning themselves to their fate, as though they somehow deserved to die for loving the wrong person. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 01:11, March 14, 2018
Caught in the Loop?
There are two clear options here: this song is either a parallel to I’ll Be Haunting You, or it’s part of the memory erase loop of songs. The loop begins with Erase, where the narrator considers erasing his memory after some sort of relationship problem. This branches out to Let Me Tell You About My Operation, where the narrator undergoes the precedure, from the point of view of the surgeon. From there, we stem to Good to Be Alive, when the narrator recovers and Aaa, when the narrator decides to look at old, erased memories. The loop circles back to Erase, when the narrator decides to erase the old memories he saw erased. This will mean in the next loop, the narrator, during Aaa, will try to see himself looking at old memories, erase it, and continue the loop. Mrs. Bluebeard, while it seems obvious this is a murder victim, because of the constant murder references in the song, could potentially be a part of this loop that conjoins Glean and I Like Fun. The I’ll Be Haunting You theory makes sense, as this song has some haunted themes, but the one difference is this is more accepting that you have been murdered by the one you love (if taken literally in this sense) whereas the other is more discovering what people do when you’re not there, for example, when you die. If this is a part of the loop Erase started, (which might also hypothetically include the songs I Like Fun, Music Jail Parts 1 & 2, and Let’s Get This Over With,) the metaphors are subtle, and the timeline is messy, but it’s possible. -—Preceding unsigned comment added by When Cheese Met Chalk (talk • contribs) 15:34, February 10, 2019
Someone who owns a bunch of death metal LP's probably isn't decorating their home with a poster of a cute cat & an encouraging message. Linnell is likely referencing one of the grisly parodies of the original "hang in there" poster - featuring a noose-hung corpse. --Nehushtan (talk) 12:15, 12 November 2019 (EST)
The joke of this song is that almost everything the speaker says is word-for-word what a passive-aggressive, petty, self-pitying person would say during a childish argument with their partner... but she's literally talking about literally being murdered. For instance, "I'm not complaining; I'm not anything" in an argument is a petulant refusal to talk about your feelings; it has a very different meaning when applied to a dead body.
So, this song is about mistreated women (Mrs. Bluebeard is about as archetypal an example of a mistreated woman as you can get) having their legitimate complaints dismissed or mocked, because people just assume they're being overly emotional about something unimportant.
Sarcastic Hyperbole of Someone Who's Been Dumped
The lyrics of the song are from the point of view of a young person that has been broken up with, sarcastically describing what’s happened to them in the most dramatic possible language. He thinks of her as a “Mrs. Bluebeard”, a female version of the spouse-killing bluebeard, who in reality is just a girl that dumped him.
- I want to say I learned something valuable today // Alas, my murdered remains are incapable of learning anything
- Trusted you–I should have never trusted you
- In fact I never did
- What's the use? I'm not complaining
- I'm not anything
- Is this what's supposed to happen
- When you're only trying to do right
- In this wicked world?
- Probably I should already know this
- Probably I should graciously accept what I get
These lyrics are a little flippant to be talking about an actual murder, and make a lot more sense when it’s just hyperbole. The narrator doesn’t accept that he’s done anything to deserve this, talking himself up as Mrs. Bluebeard’s innocent victim.
- Most people wouldn't hang the corpses up for review
- Dearest, I can only hope most people are nothing like you
These lines could be talking about photos of Mrs. Bluebeard’s ex-boyfriends, the other people she’s “murdered”.
- Nervous tics that I pretended not to see // That's how I was brought up
The narrator continues to be self-aggrandizing here, saying his only fault in this situation is being too trusting and raised well.
- Warning signs: death metal albums // "Hang in there, baby" poster
These are obviously childish things to say were warning signs about someone, and shows the narrator is being a bit silly with his rationalization. This is what pretty much cinches that this song isn’t about anyone actually being murdered, to me. Talking about things hanging up in someone’s room here is also what makes me believe the “corpses up for review” are actually photographs of ex-boyfriends.
- Is this how you thank somebody
- For their selfless loyalty? Is this what you do?
- Pardon me for failing to grasp how this works
- Excuse my breathtaking ignorance
More sarcasm, self-aggrandizing, and aschewing of blame. The last 2 lines here hint at something the narrator has done wrong because of something they didn’t know or understand, reinforcing the possibility that it’s a young person with little experience in relationships.
I thought I was pretty spot-on with this one until I read Linnell’s interview about it. So, even though it might not be what they had in mind, I still wanted to leave it here.
David Thomas, 8/31/2020