Interpretations:Stone Cold Coup D'État

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Teenage rebellion[edit]

Reading the lyrics literally, they talk about a group of objects that are tired of being oppressed by their masters and want to revolt (stars vs. sun & moon, words vs. book, viola vs. conductor) against them. A "stone cold coup d'état," if you will. As for the chorus, the narrator admits that even though he doesn't know why, he still finds the idea of rebelling appealing. Considering that other John Linnell songs on this album are about the experiences of parenthood (Nanobots (Song), Sleep, Replicant) and the fact that Linnell's son, Henry, is 14, it might be that this song is about teenage rebellion. The verses might be outside influences like the media or his friends that inspire the young Henry to rebel (and call to mind a more grown-up version of I Am Not Your Broom, another Linnell song) with the chorus, sung from his perspective, showing that the idea of rebelling against his superiors is starting to appeal to him despite never having these feelings before. Also, the verse that Mr. Tuck mentioned might reflect Linnell's fears about this rebellion possibly becoming violent, or perhaps his son's adolescence in general. As for the "if history is any guide" part...I got nothing. (Maybe it's dealing with the kid's impulses and that he won't know how to really be a proper person until he matures-"the winning side"?) It could be that I'm reading WAY too much into this song, but hey, at least I tried to find a meaning here. Tvfactoryguy, out! - User:Tvfactoryguy 17:54, March 16, 2013

--That's what I was just thinking too. It's about angsty, adolescent rebellion. "I'm angry and I don't want to take it anymore!" "Take what anymore?" "You're smothering me and I'm not gonna get bossed around by you or anyone else ever again!" "That's nice, dear. Here's your lunch and your allowance." "Thanks, Dad..." Not sure about the first verse but for the rest of them (especially, obviously, the one about the family), every one of these "rebellions" ends with the rebels "winning" nothing except for a lot of directionlessness and inevitable doom without the caretakers they depend upon. --ADoS (talk) 15:18, 23 September 2017 (EDT)


A Tennyson reference! "Nature's red in tooth and claw" from In Memoriam. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:37, March 20, 2013


coup d'état means overthrowing government which makes sense because it's all about revolts. je ne sais quoi means i don't know what

It's French for 'I don't know what'. ~ magbatz
I see what you did there.

Reference to "No One Knows My Plan"[edit]

The narrators of this song and "No One Knows My Plan" both fortell a future including burning autumn leaves.

Very tongue-in-cheek[edit]

This song seems plain nonsensical fun at first glance (it did to me, anyway), but after examining it more closely, I think it has a deeper meaning. Consider the definition of coup d'état vs. revolution. The whole song muses about what to call a "coup d'état". A lot of the situations in the lyric could be labeled "revolution", i.e. a group of people (or animals, or musical instruments, etc.) overthrows the person who used to suppress them. In the chorus, Linnell's observing character reflects on the scene and admits that it has a "certain je ne sais quoi", which could mean that he secretly appreciates the outcome. Then, suddenly he is shocked at his being satisfied about it and talks himself into believing that it was nothing but a "stone cold coup d'état". Note also the significance of the color red: "Autumn leaves may burn" (i.e., they turn red); "nature's red in tooth and in claw". Red is widely recognized as the color of revolution, especially of the Communist kind. Soviet Russia comes to mind - with the October Revolution arguably being more of a coup d'état than an actual revolution, which makes the lyric even more ironical. Perhaps the lyric is inspired by the events of the Arab Spring? --Freakiosis (talk) 18:39, 3 September 2013 (EDT)

The Seduction of Revolution[edit]

It's just about rebellions and the tendency for rebellions to occur. --Mishuga (talk) 16:25, 28 September 2016 (EDT)

Why French phrases?[edit]

Because of the 1789 revolution. The monarchy was overthrown, decapitated by guillotine. Blood ran in the streets. --Nehushtan (talk) 00:44, 30 November 2019 (EST)