Who do you carry that torch for, my young man?
Do you believe in anything?
Or do you carry it around just to burn things down?
[In keeping with the themes of the loss of faith, and subsequent search for it, “The Archer’s Bows Have Broken” observes the fine line drawn between religion and politics. Singer Jesse Lacey begins by directly addressing his audience—a new generation of youths shaped greatly by a harsh and fear-drive political climate. In doing so, he introduces a figurative idiom of initiating a crusade, “Who do you carry a torch for, my young man?” then creates a jarring juxtaposition by presenting imagery of fires and burning, giving it a palpable, physical and literal grounding.]
Meet me tonight on the turnpike my darling,
Where we believe in everything.
If we sweat all these debts then we’re sure to drown,
So let’s strap ourselves up to this engine now
With our God who we found laying under the back seat.
[This stanza once again speaks to this disillusioned youth that can relate to the downfall of the American economy and the War on Terror as its defining historical events. Imagery of the “turnpike” and strapping “ourselves up to this engine” represent the tremendous speed with which the world continues to move forward—as it threatens to leave this generation shattered in its wake. Although not created in today’s economy, the hyperbole “If we sweat all these debts, then we’re sure to drown” definitely relates to the current state of America’s fiscal affairs—debts so large that they are simply unfathomable to the common man, who thereby disregards this major societal problem, and defers it to an ineffectual government. The idea that “God” is found “laying under the back seat” may be a reference to the supposed religious affiliations of major politicians who claim their great “Mandates of Heaven” yet seemingly equivocate and act contrarily to their spiritual tenets.]
What did you learn tonight?
While shouting so loud, you barely joyous, broken thing.
You are a voice that never sings, is what i say.
You are freezing over hell
You are bringing on that end you do so well
And you can only blame yourself, is what is say.
[Once again, Lacey shifts in focus to addressing individually his specified audience. By setting a solid contrast between creating noise and creating meaningful noise, i.e., “You’re shouting so loud” versus “You’re a voice that never sings,” Lacey indicates that this generation creates a lot of noise—a simple fact of the world’s current intersection of places that used to be worlds apart through social media, but at the same time it fails to make an appropriate impact, and consequently is “bringing on the end,” and can “only blame yourself.”]
Oh, order your daughters to ignore me
Think that will sort me?
And sweep me under the rug?
While you’re beating with a book
Everyone that book tells you to love.
[Here, Lacey rails against censoring powers—record labels that don’t want what he himself wants to write; an older generation that discourages his music; a society that prefers homogenization through the mainstream. By once again using hyperbole and and giving physicality to an idiom, “sweep me under the rug,” Lacey presents himself as an infinitesimally small voice shouting out for change. The final line definitely relates to the hypocrisy of politicians, through its repetition of the word “book,” who subscribe to religion.]
There is an ember in the heart of this kiln
And it’s burning hot with love.
Burning out my center till there’s nothing but dust
Then rolling me with care into your cigarette
‘Cause the God i believe in never worked on a campaign trail.
[This relates to the physical imagery of fire earlier initiated through the idea of carrying the torch. Once again relating to Lacey’s feelings of being a tiny voice lost amid an ocean of noise, he describes the fire within him strongly as “an ember in the heart of the kiln” and “burning hot with love.” However, as strong as these emotions are, they are also destroying him from within—“burning out my center till there’s nothing but dust.” The last couplet oozes vitriol—that if society allows Lacey’s metaphorical light burn out, it will ultimately work to kill society: a figurative cigarette for society, so to speak. After skirting metaphorically around the matter, Lacey directly makes an ad hominem attack against those who claim to be God-fearing men of principle, that “the God I believe in never worked on a campaign trail.”]
Feels like we could escape,
And I don’t mind throwing away this filthy silver song,
If you try running a maze of your lies,
It’s too hard to save if you’ve thrown out everyone.
[Once again speaking to how today’s youths are misguided an lost, Lacey ends with an extended metaphor for each individual being trapped within “a maze of lies.” The first line exudes optimism for change—“feels like we could escape”— but on the condition that he joins his voice with Lacey’s to build up a voice demanding change in the world. Otherwise, if each man and woman stands alone by his own principles (“thrown out everyone”), he or she will, like Lacey, be a disparate voice lost in a sea of sounds seeking to silence him or her.]