Interpretations:The Statue Got Me High
- 1 seriously?
- 2 Lovecraftian song
- 3 Limerence
- 4 Yep, backs it up...
- 5 Super Mario Brothers
- 6 The Lure of Capitalism
- 7 Artistic Expression
- 8 Is this all
- 9 Well, having watched 2001 A Space Odyssey again...
- 10 The Stress of Her Regard
- 11 Crazy Evil Statues!!
- 12 Objectophilia
- 13 The real answer-Night Gallery
- 14 The Power of Statues
- 15 its about Nutcases
- 16 The electric chair!
It's a satirical take on an art enthusiast who piles hyperbolic praise upon a supposedly brilliant piece of art. He's a snob who prefers the smug satisfaction of his artistic assessment to the company of others ("And though I once preferred a human being's company They pale before the monolith that towers over me").
In some ways Linnell's singing about himself, as he's forever writing about inanimate objects. Musically, I think this song is really about trying to write a hit record that recycles your previous hit; this is what the song is really about, trying to recapture the success of Birdhouse in you Soul. It has a similar theme and pop production. However, like reheating a soufflé, it doesn't work. With Birdhouse, the narrator (our blue canary nightlight) is so utterly sincere that we are charmed and won over. Linnell's narrator, be it himself or a writing as a character, just doesn't sound convinced, and the song lacks the inventive metaphors and image of Birdhouse.
I remember being desperate for this to be a hit, and given a stronger tune, it could have been, in the UK at least. They played the show on the Jonathan Ross show (a big deal when the majority of the country still only had four channels) and they showed up the limitations of not having a band by having to play with the House band. A nervous Linnell massacres the accordion intro (go on Youtube, it's awful) and it went down hill from there. Apollo 18 is a weak album for Linnell. It was one of those rare times when he had no obvious single. Flans should have been less modest and pushed for "My Evil Twin" or "See the Constellation", which were both stronger lead off singles. They compounded the error of "Statue" by releasing The Guitar and Snail Shell as the next two consecutive singles (in the Uk at least), which effectively killed both this and John Henry, and saw the Giants retreat to their cult hardcore fans. It was no longer 1990. Grunge and then Britpop were the rock/pop idioms and the Giants a spent the rest of the 1990s in the Wilderness. Only Flans' energy kept them together.(Mr Tuck)
i listened to it and was pretty happy with the thought thats it is about a guy looking at a statue, then exploding.
See, I always thought this was about someone who was going to go out with a girl, but he got stood up and was left waiting for her by a statue. When he says the statue got him high, he is being sarcastic because the girl was supposed to get him high but she didn't even turn up. He's also sort of comforting himself like- "it'll be alright, me and the statue". And at the end he's so pissed off he imagines that the statue tells him to burn a building down.
I always thought that it was about a guy being taken in by the police (or something like that) for being really high on something. He's so high, he thinks that the statue got him high. Perhaps him thinking he's burning is a side effect of his drugs, and saying that the statue will burn them is him threatening them for catching him. -SirNapkin
To me, this song is, at the core, about getting emotionally swept away by a piece of art, to the extent that one loses one's sense of self.
"I remember seeing an interview with linnell once, and he explained that this song is about a guy who looks at a statue and his head blows up. No hidden meanings or anything..." (off Usenet)
I thought it was about a microwave.
Really. I thought it had something to do with politics. Hmm.
I always had this bizarre and probably erroneous notion that this song is about a Doctor Who story from the late70s/early80s called The Keeper Of Traken. Though I'm sure Mr L has probably never seen the Tom Baker story in question, the song describes some of the scenes in the programme very closely.
Adam S Leslie
I concur! It's been a while since I saw that serial, but I remember a lot of the scenes matching up pretty good.
Maybe someday a youtube sync'd video?
I thought it was about being killed in an incident with an exploding space shuttle.
It's about Don Giovanni. I heard it from some live recording. Linnell said something along the lines of "This song is about Don Giovanni... which I didn't know when I first wrote it." http://www.metopera.org/synopses/giovanni.html I've seen this opera... basically a statue burns this dude in the end. It matches up with the song. - Doctor Masonstein
- The recording was from Live!! NYC, and I suspect Linnell's joke is to be taken literally.
I dunno... it kind of sounds like some guy doing LSD or something and blaming it on the statue... :) -- StarkRG
Stuff by Linnell is threaded with angst, guilt, and a bit of sublimated sex. This sounds like a guy with a secret sexual fixation on someone, and he is externalizing it, so the desire has a stone form of the object. Here's my thinking:
1. The object of desire "sent a beam into my eye" (Saw the object of affection and was transfixed by it. The paranoid idea that the object has special power over him. Also might be a biblical pun: cast out the beam in your own eye before attending to the mote in someone else's)
2. "took my hand" (romance begins), "it threw me to the sky," "made me die" (In French, orgasm is "the little death")
3. "though I once preferred a human being's company, they pale before the monolith that towers over me." (The desire for, the idea of, the object of affection has taken on huge dimensions in his mind, and even supercedes the object itself.)
4. "The truth is where the sculptor's chisel chipped away the lie." (The secret desire that wants to be revealed. Made me think of Michelango's famous comment that he sculpted by chipping away anything that wasn't statue.)
5. Climax to the song, if you pardon the pun: "And as the screaming fire engine siren filled the air, the evidence had vanished from my charred and smoking chair." (This is heavily sexual - he is overwhelmed by the heat he has for the statue, it completely consumes him. "Evidence had vanished"; evidence is what you gather after a crime - in this case, the crime of desire by him and the damage it does to him, burning him to a crisp. Also, not just a siren, but a screaming siren, an alarm sound; it evokes an intense nerve-shattering feeling. I think this guy is masturbating while worshipping the representation in his mind of object of his affection. The screaming fire engine siren is the sound in his mind. Awesome. Kind of disturbing.)
6. "And now it is your turn, your turn to hear the stone and then your turn to burn." (He resents the object for its effect on him, and he wants the object to return his affection, and he wants the object to suffer as he has. He wants the object of affection to hear the call of desire personified and externalized, and capitulate. He wants the object to be consumed while worshipping before the alter of desire. "You can't refuse to do the things it tells you to" is a directive to the object of his affection and an excuse, as in, I couldn't refuse to do what it told me to.)
And as long as I am being a wiki pig, I do see Don Giovanni here, but referenced because Don G. is about guilt and seduction and firey retribution for same. It's like referencing the resurrection of Christ in writing - literature isn't usually about Christ per se, it is alluded to because it is a powerful culturally shared idea. - ~Christina Miller
I saw a congruence between this song and 2001: A Space Odyssey which is pretty obvious: the statue is the reappearing artifact in the film. There's nothing wrong with the statue - in fact, it's perfect in its right angles and smooth texture which foils the dirty apes in the beginning of the film. The conflict is the reaction characters have to it which brings about change. It'll kill them like it killed the apes, and replace them with something better. Man made it to the moon but the statue showed them it wasn't far enough. HAL, a piece of perfect technology himself, actually does kill a bunch of humans (I'm assuming HAL could substitute the statue since they're both high-end technologies but the statue lacks the instruements for murder). Afterward, they're replaced by something better again, a space-baby or something.
So the song follows: the monolith is introduced. Here it is, it's going to bring a change. Next, it takes effect and the old start dying off, apparently starting with the singer. Finally, it ends as we fall from its effects - if we don't, it'll just wait until we die to start the change.
I could get into the changing, relating it to extinction, the collapse of great empires, Darwinism and social entropy but that would be more like interpretation of the movie and not the song (you could even get psychoanalytical and see the artifact as a big phallic symbol). If you havn't seen the movie and like this song, I recommend it. - sheep
QUOTE: It's about Don Giovanni. I heard it from some live recording. Linnell said something along the lines of "This song is about Don Giovanni... which I didn't know when I first wrote it." http://www.metopera.org/synopses/giovanni.html I've seen this opera... basically a statue burns this dude in the end. It matches up with the song. - Doctor Masonstein
One of them said a similar thing about Metal Detector at a show or on Soundcheck, I forget which. Which would make this comment useless. Gotta love wikis. -underscore
If Linnell said he didn't know it was about Don G when he wrote it, then it is only about Don G. if you buy the whole Jungian thing about universal unconscious and archetypes, and even then, you could say that John dug into our shared bag of images and pulled out one that Mozart already used for his opera. It's not like he was sitting around the pool one day and said, mm, gotta write me a song that rips off Mozart - what would make a good pop song? The Magic Flute? Y'know, Don Giovanni needs to be taken down a peg. If I write a song about a guy who avenges his father's murder by his uncle, that doesn't mean it's about Hamlet.
I like the 2001 comparision better. The problem is that the monolith doesn't kill anyone, it is an agent for change, for evolution. It causes primates who come into contact with it to evolve to a higher level. The killing is secondary. HAL didn't evolve, he was making the best he could of being given conflicting instructions, remember? The killing was secondary to the problem, an adverse side effect of bad programming, and in fact, Dave "de-evolves" him in the famous Daisy, Daisy scene. HAL would have gotten unbalanced even if he were not near the monolith. The monolith certainly didn't make anyone burst into flame, as the singer in "Statue" does. It's a clever comparision, though.
All my opinion, of course. Gotta love wikis, and I do. - ~Christina Miller
I believe that this song is about being ensnared by American captialism. "The statue" is the Statue of Liberty, the symbol for the United States. Let's go through it line-by-line, shall we?
It got him high, it empowered him by blinding him ("sent a beam into my eye"). Then it destroyed him, but made him see the good by doing so ("took my hand" - supported him, "killed me" - brought him crashing down, "turned me to the sky" - made him look at heaven).
The allure of money was too much for him to resist ("the stone, it called to me" - the stone is money, but now he sees what money really means). "The rock that spoke a word" parallels with the old saying of how money talks. The line after that involves "animated mineral", which means that money is the moving force, extremely powerful and unshakable (like a rock), and reiterates the money talking bit: "Though I once preferred a human being's company" - He once liked to be with people, now he just wants money and the power of "the monolith that towers over me".
"The truth is where the sculptor's chisel chipped away the lie" - Study of the way the country was MEANT to be made (the way the "sculptor" wanted it) caused him to see the truth after chipping away the lie, therefore showing the ugliness of the statue. All the reference to burning may be talking about hell, burning in hell for his greed, etc. "coat" implies riches.
The screaming fire engine part I interpret two ways.
1. The fire engine kept coming to save him from hell, but he burned up and disappeared so that he could continue to be greedy.
2. The fire engine might be the engine that MAKES fire, and he burns into insignificance and poorness to escape from it.
INSTRUMENTAL BREAK - END:
Linnell goes on to say that everyone will be tempted by greed.
One more thing: the video for this song depicts large, very plain stone objects, perhaps a statement about the blandness of culture that greed brings about. This also adds relevance to the line "The truth is where the sculptor's chisel chipped away the lie."
--- That can't be true, because the song says the statue is mineral, but the Statue Of Liberty is metal. (anonymous)
These are all elaborate interpretations of the symbolism of the song, which has such a seamless narration that, most likely, there exists no symbolism. In essence, any hypnotic impulse that one feels leads to destruction can be the "statue" (a lover, a pusher, an obsession, a religion, or any seven deadly sin) in the listener's mind--no one "explanation" is any more canny than the other. On that note, the song certainly has no more to do with "2001: A Space Odyssey" than it does with "Pygmaelion." The common use of a "monolith" as a symbol is purely coincidental. Additionally, the nature of Linnell's gag about "Don Giovanni" would indicate that that the song was not written with the opera in mind. It's simply another TMBG mind control anthem, along the lines of The Bells Are Ringing and Spiraling Shape.
Maybe, but just because the artist didn't intend to create a certain meaning, that doesn't preclude it having meaning. ~Christina Miller
My mom thinks its about acid. she would know
who's that old guy in the video?
I think that it's about a fantastic HUGE DEATH LASER disguised as uh, a STATUE. The person singing was the protagonist of some movie with those cliche take-over-the-world schemes. And he was wasting his time, sitting in a chair, being indecisive. Then the HUGE DEATH LASER STATUE fired a laser beam into his retinas that was so intense he combusted and was matterwisely obliterated. And as he died, the statue gave him the meaning of the universe. But he couldn't share it with anyone, because he was dead. And everyone already dead knew it. So he went to heaven. That's what they mean by 'High'. They mean that spiritually. That movie would probaly be a flop anyways, with the antagonist succeeding, and the main character dying. Even if it had a killer song attached. Anyways, that's my interpretation. Pleased to be of service. --Homfrog
Definitely not what the songs about, but I envision a big statue somewhere falling and the narrator is killed by it. The guy's on a small rope bridge in a park next to a really big statue, and he stops halfway across because he thinks the statue is talking to him ("the stone, it called to me"), but then the base gives out and the statue shoots down, and the pillars on one end of the bridge and hit by debris so the end goes down, but the bridge is really solid so the other end goes up, and the narrator gets tangled up by the rope and he's thrown into the air ("got me high"). Some concrete beams holding the statue to the building behind it snap off and one of them impales the narrator in the eye as he's in the air ("sent a beam into my eye"), and a falling piece crushes off his hand as he falls ("it took my hand"). The bridge is right above a barbecue area, so when it and the statue falls, the area explodes and the narrator's incinerated ("made me fry"), and then a bunch of fire engines come to put out the flames from the explosion ("the screaming fire engine siren filled the air").
I think it's about... uhmmmmm... really staring at a piece of art (in this case a statue) and being like... um... really interested. And then your head blows up. Figuratively of course... like, it's all you can think about. I dunno, this is a weird song. Not to mention weird video. I like the video though. =D --Lemita 07:31, 3 Jul 2006 (MDT)
I think this song is about a walking sentieniet killer statue killing a guy. Nothing more, nothing less. No metaphors. The only part that doesn't fit, is the "they pale before the monolith that towers over me" but have you ever considered that maybe it's "they failed"? All the times I listened to the song I thought it was that and it made more sense... ~AgentChronon
I think I like the "Overwhelmed by art" interpretation. Makes the most sense to me.
Just a note but the line 'The evidence had vanished from my charred and smoking chair' probably refers to instances of spontaneous human combustion. Incidents where a person sitting in a chair combusted can occour without the surrounding furniture catching fire.
Of course, that's not exactly the same as having your head explode/face implode but it fits with the "burning with excitement" interpretation.
When I first head this song when it came out, I thought "Wow, a modern song about Don Giovanni!", which was quite exciting since Mozart's "Don Giovanni" happens to be my favorite opera. It made perfect sense: the narrator is Don Giovanni, the statue is Il Commandatore, and the entire song is about their confrontation towards the end of the opera ("Don Giovanni! a cenar teco m'invitasti..."). It's amazing that it's not the case! Xannie
Quoth John Linnell: It's not about drugs or anything, it's just about a guy that looks at a statue and his head explodes.
A guy gets killed by a statue. OMG. That's it. Foos. ~AgentChronon
Okay, it sounds like a guy was looking at a statue and his head exploded. I'd like to think there's more to it than that, (like the art "blew his mind" or something), but I'm pretty sure this is just a song about a strange random death. -Alice
This song is about Don Juan. End of story. From "The Don Juan Legend" as stated in Wikipedia:
The legend says that Don Juan seduced a young girl of noble family, and killed her father. Later, he came across a statue of the father in a cemetery and impiously invited it home to dine with him, an invitation which the statue gladly accepted. The ghost of the father arrived for dinner as the harbinger of Don Juan's death. The Statue asked to shake Don Juan's hand, and when he extended his arm, he was dragged away to Hell.
I always thought it was about watching TV. mr
I'm not sure if anyone else had to do this, but whilst studying Hamlet in my english class, we had to create a soundtrack. I think it need 7 seven songs including a theme, right away I put "Insanity" by Oingo Boingo as the theme, and then this song. How I had to explain it to my teacher is to "instead of statue, pretend he says ghost". You could interpret it as the idea of obsession, Hamlet, after seeing his father's ghost (the statue) was changed forever. He could no longer trust anybody ("and though I once prefered a human being's company"), and the concept of revenge just enveloped him. It's late here, and I'm tired... I'll probably expand on this more later.. feel free to add anything if you can think of more parallels. Johnocide
I always assumed it was a metaphor for drugs taking over a guy's life, but I like taking it literally.
I know this is an interpretation of the song and not the video, and that they may be completely unrelated, but ... could the cup of tea at the beginning of the video be a Douglas Adams reference? And further, if this is a Douglas Adams reference, maybe the statue is Douglas Adams and the song is about Linnell's perceived self-inadequacy in the face of such monolithic genius. Or not. But gee, that cup of tea is prominent.
Are the cup and saucer orbiting Earth a play on Russel's Teapot?
One way to look at it is false worshiping. The stone calls to him, tells him what to do, makes him do drugs. "The Statue Made Me Die" and "Fry" signify that the statue got him sent to Hell. "And what they found was just a statue standing where the statue got me high" signifies that everyone tries this religion and wants to see who they are worshiping, only to find out it's only a statue. "And Now it is your turn" is signifying that he got someone else to worship with him and now they are coming to Hell too. "And as the screaming fire engine siren fills the air The evidence will vanish from your charred and smoking chair" Says that the statue will eventually lead you to kill your self, and again, sending you to Hell. Finally, "And what they'll find is just a statue standing where the statue got you high" Is saying that, as I mention above, everytime someone expects to go see a great god or something will infact get a statue, and only a statue. --Dunklekuh81 22:04, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Here's my attempt to illustrate the 2001 interpretation: http://youtube.com/watch?v=iwi8spLEKeE
--- I always thought it was 2001 too! "It killed me and it turned me to the sky" Dave appears to die and returns as that space baby thing. "Although I once preferred a human beings company, they pail before the monolith that towers over me." Dave become part of the monolith (it's clearer in the subsequent books) and losses contact with humans. "Return to hear the stone, and then your turn to burn." They return in 2010, some people do in fact burn when they move to close to the monolith. "You can't refuse to do the things it tells you to." Dave becomes part of the monolith and is under it's control (again clearer in the latter books).
I thought it had to do with the Gorgon sisters from Greek myths, specifically Medusa. Y'know-- she tempts you to look into her eyes, and when you do, you get turned into a stone STATUE. She's referred to as the statue because, according to myth, she turned herself to stone when she was tricked into looking at a mirror. The line "And what they found was just a statue standing where the statue got me high" means that the speaker himself was turned to stone, so people perceive him to be just a statue. No one bothers to help because of this.0dd1 05:39, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
It took me a while but I'm pretty sure that this song is a pun. Another word for getting high is getting stoned. This song is a pun on this. The statue somehow turned him into a statue (Getting stoned is like getting turned into stone). "What they found was just a statue" This line supports this. But, later in the song, it also talks about fire or something like fire. So I think that it is a double pun. Somehow the statue is a pun on drugs so "The drugs got me high" and the high is getting turned into stone so "The statue turned me to stone.
I really just think it's about what Linnell says it's about. Dude looks at statue, dude is lit on fire, dude's head blows up. Mot of these interpretations are just people thrusting their own personal philosophies on songs they didn't write, which is sorta the point of a lot of songs, I think, but Capitalism? Really?
I agree with a lot of comments that, while attempts at symbolic deconstruction can be interesting, we somehow seem to fall into a trap with music and poetry where everything has to be strictly metaphorical. If I read a novel or short story where someone was transfixed by a statue and then lit on fire, I would accept, "This thing happened in this story. Furthermore, it could be read to symbolize XYZ." With music it seems we often skip step one. The principle of charity requires me to take the narrator at face value before I seek alternate readings. To immediately assume it's about a drug trip or a metaphor for epiphanic artistic appreciation or what not denies the literary possibility of song. For me, this is first and foremost a very creepy (all the more so for its major key) work of fiction along the border of contemporary fantasy and horror.
Man, you people are really overthinking this. I'm with John Linnell on this one: Guy looks at a statue, head explodes. EVERYBODY WINS. --Salioshy
I always thought of it as a dude who was smoking weed through a bong (the statue, that got him high), but he burnt the house down. The bong survived the fire and it was still sitting where the dude left it when he realised he was in trouble and ran from the house
The song is about coming to appreciate an art form for the first time. A personal epiphany if you will. "The truth is where the sculptor's chisel chipped away the lie" and now its your turn, as if.
I always thought it was a reference to the original "420" kids in the early 70's who would meet at the louis pasteur statue at San Rafael high school at 420 every day to smoke pot.
So, i don't think this is how the song was intended, but personally, i like interpreting this song as part of the Cthulhu/Lovecraft mythos. I mean, ancient monoliths and statues, driving people insane, to suicide, , is pretty common place if the statue is of an elder god.
It's about some guy who finds a statue of Cthulhu, and it drives him insane, possesses him and shows him the greatness of the Old Ones far off in the Sky, and in madness he commits arson and kills himself. It fits so well. Especially the way the statue CALLS to him CALL of cthulhu, name of that story. Just saying.
I think if it's about any Mythos thing it would have to be about Nylarlahotep; "And now I see the things the stone has shown to me/a rock that spoke a word/although I once preferred a human beings company/they pale in comparison to the monolith that towers over me[...]/you can't refuse to do the things it tells you to". Does that sound like Cthulu to you?
--LlamaMilk 16:09, 14 December 2012 (EST)
The song is about having an overwhelming feeling of being in love with someone, obsessively, when in reality the being-in-love feeling is mainly internal, and does not have a lot to do with the object of desire. So, the object of desire is the statue. The person's love of the "statue" makes them see truth, makes them feel like they died and faced heaven, and burned them to a crisp. When the singer says "now it is your turn", he is talking about a time, which he hopes is pending, when he will be strong and less in love and the love object will be madly in love and burning for him.
- I agree. This seems like one of their crush (a statue could crush you) songs to me (by the way, I think we need "crushes" as a theme category). As Linnell says in the interview, it was originally going to be called 'The Apple of My Eye' and of course, a the object of a crush is the (temporary) apple of one's eye.--Tyranny Sue 12:36, 20 August 2011 (EDT)
Yep, backs it up...
Super Mario Brothers
This song is obviously about the last level of Super Mario Brothers 3 in which Mario must get past seemingly harmless statues of bowser that will shoot lasers out of their eyes at Mario if he gets too close.
The statue made me die! is obviously what Linnell yelled out when he approached this level for the first time and got burnt.
The evidence had vanished from my charred and smoking chair. there was no evidence left because when Mario dies, he goes off-screen.
The Lure of Capitalism
Chalk up another person who always saw this as a song about the lure of excessive capitalism.
This song is about how both the artist and the art observer can get swept up and carried away by the process of artistic expression and observation.
Part of the song is from the point of view of the artist -- and how the artist's medium (in this case, the artist is a sculptor, and the medium is granite/stone/rock) can be both a source of artistic inspiration ("sent a beam into my eye", "the stone, it called to me"), a source of passion ("burn[ing]") and a source of obsession, sometimes to the point of death ("it took my hand, it killed me..."); (think of the many instances of devoted (sometimes obsessive) artists delving into their work so deeply that they eschew food, sleep, the company of other human beings, and the other necessities of life).
The artist is sometimes willing to die in pursuit of his art, because he believes the very act of his artistic expression will eliminate the untruths and will lead him to the ultimate truth ("the truth is where the sculptor's chisel chipped away the lie"). There is more than a hint of narcissism here: in his passion and wild exultation, the artist can come to believe that he, and he alone, will be in possession of the truth.
The other part of the song is directed at the art observer -- "and now it is your turn..."; the artist is hoping that the art observer will also experience transformation through the act of observation. The artist hopes that, long after he has passed away ("vanished"), his art will continue to be a source of inspiration for art observers, and may even cause observers to become as obsessed as he once was ("you can't refuse to do the things it tells you to").
Is this all
some huge elaborate troll on me? Is this all one huge prank so nobody outside of us would understand what this song is about?
I mean, seriously?
Well, having watched 2001 A Space Odyssey again...
The people who suggested that the song was inspired by 2001 are probably right. Watch it again and then tell me that the statue "monolith" did get the apes, the men on the moon and spaceman Dave, "high". And then it might describe the effect of the film on the viewer as well - or at least the best state in which to watch it.
The Stress of Her Regard
"The Stress of Her Regard" is a weird, interesting, and very creepy horror/fantasy novel by Tim Powers. The premise is that some of the Romantic poets like Byron and Shelley were capable of such wild literary visions because they were victims of vampire-like creatures made of stone. Literally, statues got them high. Lyrics like "and though I once preferred a human being's company..." are quite close to the plot and tone of the novel. The connection is probably unintended, but it's not hard to interpret the song in terms of this book.
A guy sees a magical statue, which captivates him. He is so amazed that he feels high. The statue tells him what to do but eventually incinerates him.
Crazy Evil Statues!!
I know I've seen this many times on TV Tropes, but it might MIGHT be about the Weeping Angels from Dr. Who. They kill you and "turn you to the sky". Also, although it came out long after Apollo 18 was released........BEN DROWNED, anyone?
Anyone here ever heard about objectophiles? They're people who fall in love with and/or are sexually attracted to inanimate objects. I've seen a couple of documentaries on them. The reason I bring this up is that this song could be interpreted as being from an objectum-sexual's POV. In particular, a real-life example that strikes me as similar is the case of Amanda Liberty, who is in love with the Statue of Liberty: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2110198/Amanda-Whittaker-love-Statue-Liberty-Shop-assistant-got-new-flame.html
Originally, and still for the most part, I do believe either the "impressed by art" or "guy looks at statue and his head explodes" interpretations. They are the simplest and the most logical. But as I was listening to the song now for the first time in quite a while, objectophilia came to mind for some reason. Specifically, the line "and while I once preferred a human being's company/they pale before the monolith that stands in front of me" stuck out as being applicable to the feelings many objectophiles feel. Many of them state in interviews that they either don't like people very much or have a difficult time communicating with other people or becoming close to them. This song could almost be a theme song for this group of people. Obviously, this isn't a perfect connection... what with the end of the song being about the guy exploding, but hey, maybe you could interpret that as a metaphorical thing, as well as many of the other lines. :)
--- No one else here seems to have this interpretation. I always thought that this was about some sort of incredible power or entity that channeled it's power through a human being. The human would find a statue and realize that it holds this power, that it is actually a being. Then the line "And though I once preferred a human beings company, they paled before the monolith that towers over me" would be about him becoming obsessed with the statue, trying to communicate with whatever force was contained inside it. It sort of makes me think of a cult in which he would be a servant of the statue. Then, once he started serving the statue, it would start channeling it's power through him. That human would be sort of elevated (I think that high in this song sort of has the meaning of elevated,) but the human would not be able to contain the power, eventually it burns him up. (That being the frying and death that is referenced.)"And now it is your turn, your turn to hear the stone and then your turn to burn. The stone it calls to you, you can't refuse the to do the things it tells you to." I think that the ending is the cycle continuing, someone else is drawn into the statues power, and the old victim is basically saying that the same thing is going to happen. The exact same thing. This probably isn't what they meant by the song, but this is what I thought of. Sorry if it's a little weird. I think of songs as stories. After watching the music video I came up with an alternative idea. An astronomer was studying the sky and found evidence of life on a planet, maybe Neptune since that is the stand that John was standing on. The evidence is in the form of a single statue. He becomes obsessed with this idea, growing to care more about this statue than human being's company, and he chases this idea with a passion that burns him up. He enters a sort of dementia and is in a crazed state, but nevertheless, he launches a mission and gets to explore this life. He and a crew go to the planet. He goes to the planet and he finds the statue, and then finds a whole alien civilization, and then excitedly reports back to Earth with his findings. More people come, but as soon as they get there all evidence of the civilization is gone, the only thing left is the statue. All they find was a statue sitting where he had seen so much more. They naturally assumed that he was crazy, but as they were leaving, another crew member starts seeing the things that he had seen too. This song could be from the point of view of the person who originally started seeing these things and could be directed towards this person, telling him that it is now his turn. Or it could be more general and less extreme, and just be about scientific passion to an extreme. Either way, I think that it is one of their best songs and any interpretation is great.
The real answer-Night Gallery
I feel certain I have the actual answer for the question of what this song is about. It might be the case that the majority of TMBG fans are too young to know the actual pop culture inspiration for The Statue Got Me High, but the Johns certainly are not. From the first time I heard it, I understood immediately that this song is based on a segment from the television show Night Gallery from 1972. You can find it online-it’s called “Last Rites For A Dead Druid”, and stars Bill Bixby as a man who becomes possessed by a statue of an evil Druid. More info here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/davidjuhl.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/night-gallery-story-last-rites-for-a-dead-druid-reviewed-here/amp/
The Power of Statues
While John Linnell did not intend for this to happen, I firmly believe this piece takes on new meaning with modern context. When one gets a statue made in their name, it is to honor an individual. This statue sends a message. I believe this piece, in modern day, can be about the confederate statues in the south and the message they send to people. This piece would be from the point of view of somebody supporting the southern statues, with them not realizing that subconsciously, these statues send a message to them. "The stone it called to me (And now I see the things the stone has has shown to me). A rock that spoke a word (An animated mineral it can be heard." The statue sends a specific message to the people. Not only has the statue made them high (and mighty), it has also been sending subliminal messages. Just by its presence. "And though I once preferred a human being's company, they pale before the monolith that towers over me." When people plead for these statues to come down, the people supporting these statues ignore it, stating that these statues are important. These monoliths: they're our history. The lives lost in the name of what these statues represent, however? Totally irrelevant. Who needs people when you have the statues. "And as the screaming fire engine siren filled the air The evidence had vanished from my charred and smoking chair and what they found was just a statue standing where the statue got me high" After all of the wars that caused chaos and destruction in the name of racism, they believe there's no evidence of racism. It doesn't exist anymore, they say. All that's left is a statue. Their history. However, what they don't realize is that the statue is the proof of that racism and war. "And now it is your turn. (Your turn to hear the stone and then your turn to burn).The stone it calls to you. (You can't refuse to do the things it tells you to)." Now, they call on you. They try to tell you that you need to agree with the rhetoric of these statues being necessary to preserve history, despite currently standing for hate. And, the last verse where it reprises "And as the fire engine...," but every "me" has been replaced with "you." Because they've gotten you to believe their rhetoric of the hate of these statues. You've been consumed, like they have.
its about Nutcases
might be retarded but I felt like it was about wannabe revolutionaries and “political ideologists” who practically worship historical figures like Napoleon, Marx, Caesar, etc etc. many of these people can be found in the form of statues, which are heavily dramatized, and these nutcases will go as far as to imprint that very dramatized version of those historical figures onto themselves, and use their names to do all sorts of stupid and dangerous shit. in the end, this desire goes full circle, and they get themselves fucked up by their stupid actions, which hilariously makes them the next martyr or “statue” that gets more idiots high off of their own self-righteousness.
The electric chair!
The statue got me high in my opinion is about being sent to the electric chair hence " Charred and smokey chair " the statue would be the prison guard " Monument made of granite " as granite is a tough substance and you have to be mentally tough to be a prison guard and " A beam into my eye " represents him realising the fault that he has made to get him here in the first place." The statue made me fry " shows that the guard has turnt on the chair making the prisoner well fry! " The truth is where the sculptors chisel chipped away the lie " is about when the guilty person is in court and the judge is trying to find out the truth and not lies " And that is all the evidence I have for my interpretation.