Interpretations:Now I Know

From This Might Be A Wiki

Just a simple song about how there are some lessons that we can't learn until it's too late..

...Possibly involving disarming an explosive (EG: Red wire vs blue wire). YoungWilliam 17:52, 5 November 2011 (EDT)

I think the key is the narrator's not standing standing corrected keeps him from moving much further forward. ~ magbatz 18:16, 5 November 2011 (EDT)

Mass Random Guessing here, but I wonder if the blue/red wire are the blue/red pills, as in The Matrix? He's grown older, and regrets mindlessly shuffling through life in the past (probably the narrator; it would be an uphill battle to argue that either John has been shuffling through life). Like I said, just a guess. One of my favorite songs off ARNATQ; it's got a nice melody and a very pleasant intimate scale, and I love the way the middle stanza is phrased. 01:45, 9 February 2012 (EST)

Time Distortion[edit]

I imagine this song playing in a super-slow-mo sequence. The hero has just snipped the blue wire and the credits are rolling as the explosion gracefully unfolds. People and debris are drifting though the air as the calm tempo of the music soothes us. ChaosS (talk) 20:56, 13 September 2013 (EDT)

Linnell took this idea one step further with "Push back the hands". -- 00:51, 12 October 2020 (EDT)

Learning From Mistakes, Great Juxtaposition[edit]

I really like this little song, it has many layers of brilliant juxtaposition. The music is mellow and calming, Linnell's voice has a smooth and soothing tone, despite the setting being one of doom and destruction. But for me it's the lyrics that are quite funny while also being pensive. The opening words "Now I know..." are nothing out of the ordinary, but then you are thrown for a loop with "...why they said not to cut the blue wire." This unexpected line grabs you and makes you wonder what's really going on in this song.

Cutting a wire of a certain color, and making sure you get the right one, is definitely referring to a scene often portrayed in movies where a time bomb is ticking down and the hero must cut a wire to disable it. And it always boils down to the incredible tension of assuming that one wire will deactivate the bomb, while the other wire would presumably detonate the bomb. And the hero doesn't really know which is which, culminating in a last-second coin toss of great consequence.

First, I think the underlying theme of these lyrics is the concept of learning from your mistakes. It's often said that making mistakes is okay, because you can learn from it, and this knowledge will help you make a more wise decision the next time you face a similar situation. However, in the case of a ticking time bomb, you really can't afford to learn from the mistake of cutting the wrong wire. So to me it's quite funny (in a dark and twisted way) that Linnell uses this setting as a place to apply this concept of learning from (and taking time to ponder) a mistake. I really like how Chaoss pictures a super slow motion sequence, as described above.

And so here is also the juxtaposition of soothing and calm music against a violent scenario of destruction caused by an unfortunately wrong decision. Then on smaller levels, the phrase "If there's one thing I can't stand, it's when I stand corrected". Said using other words, it could be "If there's anything I can't tolerate, it's when I'm proven wrong". But in this case he used two common phrases that both use the same word "Stand", but which convey two different meanings. These two uses of the word "Stand" are very close together in the lyrics, with a dramatic pause after the second use. You are left hanging on what the second use means, until after the pause, he tacks on "...corrected".

Similarly, the line "It takes a tall man to admit he once was small" is clever. Beyond the simple juxtaposition of size comparing tall and small, it's a clever twist in meaning. Tall in this case does not refer to physical height, but rather a desirable character trait of a person who is humble enough to accept correction. And again small does not mean size, but I believe it again refers to a character trait of being humble, having been corrected. Sort of a paradoxical loop.

This is one reason why I really like TMBG, especially Linnell's lyrics. He has a real knack for taking such ordinary everyday words and phrases, then examines them through an ultra-literal lens, where it leaves us pondering why do we even have such phrases, and what do they really mean? It ends up being very clever and funny. A thing named it (talk) 17:20, 10 August 2018 (EDT)

Linnell did listen to a lot of Sparks just like Flansburgh[edit]

I don't know why, but to me this song has a very Sparks-esque sense of sarcasm to it. I enjoy it a lot.

Afraid it’s more literal…[edit]

I would love if this were just about love or life lessons… it’s very short and there seem to be disproportionately many lyrics about hands, and standing and going from tall to short and hats in hands… this seems sadly, like naughty schoolboy humor about being blown up in a bomb disarming, but “hidden” in double meanings…

“I only wish I

Could reach my hand into the past…@ “If there's one thing I can't stand It's when I stand corrected, hat in hand” “It takes a tall man to admit…” Not a coincidence, sadly…Thezef (talk) 08:18, 24 August 2021 (EDT)