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Someone Great

Posted by Scott

lcdsoundsystem_sound_of_silver
I find myself listening to less and less "electronic" music these days so it’s rare that I find new tracks I really enjoy.  I remember being pretty blown away by this album when it first came out and I keep going back to this track in particular. I really wish I knew what this song was about though, such great lyrics but a bit confusing when you try to piece it together.  Anyone have any ideas? 

As for the cover art, it’s nice and clean and i like the use of Avant Garde in this context.  Sadly, AG is becoming less and less appealing to me unless used very carefully.

LCD Soundsystem – "Someone Great"

15 Comments Leave A Comment

1

Simon Jakobsson says:

January 12, 2008 at 3:34 am

Yes, I’m experiencing that same thing with Avant Garde. It’s a bit overused where it’s not supposed to.. It’s such a beautiful font, but I see more and more situations where it feels like it’s meant to carry the quality of the picture itself. So rather than used as a detail, or carrying a message, it’s becomes an excuse for the overall composition.

2

adslakias says:

January 12, 2008 at 6:24 am

My explanation:
A couple was about to have a baby (Someone Great) but there was an abortion – not totally unexpected. That had an impact on their relationship. They don’t even talk about it.
On the other hand, there are things (the weather, songs to be finished) not related to the abortion, so they have no change.
He wishes he had a new relationship but he has no courage to move on. As long as the couple is safe (=alive?) the unpleasant thought of the abortion will be a tyranny.

3

Alex / HeadUp says:

January 12, 2008 at 8:53 am

Someone Great must be everyone’s favorite song on SoS….I gotta be honest, I’ll always be partial to the self-titled one myself- Daft Punk is Playing at My House, Yr City’s A Sucker, Thrills, Disco Infiltrator, etc.

These lyrics are surprisingly advanced for Mr. Murphy…not sure what to make of them.

4

David says:

January 12, 2008 at 9:31 am

It may be a bit too obvious, but I think it’s about Dr. George Kamen, who died in 2006. The album is dedicated to him and I’m fairly certain its generically about an old important friend who died (“the voice on the other end,” if you will) and his experience. Specifically these sections:

“The worst is all the lovely weather, I’m sad, it’s not raining. The coffee isn’t even bitter[..]”

That he was expecting the death to have a larger, cinematic impact. Similarly, the way he’s conveyed this person to others is also larger than life. I imagine this is when they’re viewing the corpse at the funeral:

“You’re smaller than my wife imagined, Surprised, you were human.”

5

Jon says:

January 12, 2008 at 12:39 pm

It’s funny that you posted this. I’ve had this song on repeat for the last week. As for meaning… not entirely sure. They have a similar version without lyrics on the 45:33 album which is nice too.

6

Pier Janssen says:

January 12, 2008 at 2:04 pm

When you look at the first part of the song, it seems to be about a guy (who’s singing it) who’s girlfriend/wife broke up with. Makes sense I guess.
But then the lines like :
“You’re smaller than my wife imagined,
Surprised, you were human.”
and
“We’re safe, for the moment.”
Which are quite confusing indeed….

7

Paul Clarkson says:

January 12, 2008 at 2:21 pm

I thought I read that Murphy was a huge Donny Osmond fan, got a chance to meet him back stage, and then when the meeting occurred Osmond acted like a huge jerk. The song is supposedly about that event.

I’m partial to “All My Friends” myself.

8

michael j. says:

January 13, 2008 at 3:20 am

i like that the lyrics are not so specific; they paint a nice picture that everyone can sort of adapt their own meaning or story to. when a song allows room for that, it can become much more personal and carry many meanings among many people. i always prefer that to one specific story within a song, and i think this song does that nicely.

9

Marcus Evans says:

January 13, 2008 at 5:00 pm

I managed to convince a course mate to not use Avant Garde for body text in one of his print projects several weeks back. I really shouldn’t have needed to say!

I’m not personally a massive fan of LCD. Other than their most famous songs. This is one of the ones I like though. I do listen to a lot of electronic music but so many other artists and bands too. Hmm, I should listen to your first two albums again some time soon. It’s been a while…

10

Hannah Palmer says:

January 14, 2008 at 10:42 am

Wow, I’ve been hooked on this song lately and the chorus is haunting. I have no guesses as to the original meaning of the lyrics, but it makes me think about death and finality… How the mind circles back to grief even years later. I pictured footage of JFK’s funeral mixed in with Bhutto’s funeral. How weird that it makes me want to dance all the same!

12

Michael says:

May 22, 2008 at 7:54 am

I think it is about his wife calling him to tell him that she had a miscarriage. He is surprised that the weather is nice and the coffee isn’t bitter because it is such a sad time. I’ve listened to this song on repeat for a long time and I didn’t really analyze the lyrics. Now that I realize what the song is about, it almost makes me cry when I listen to it. The line: “You’re smaller than my wife imagined, Surprised, you were human.” Makes a lot of sense now.

13

Steve says:

July 23, 2009 at 11:05 am

For the longest time I thought this song was about the death of an estranged friend or partner; someone the singer would talk to about this event (but there, that’s the problem).

Then there’s the line “to tell the truth I saw it coming; the way you were breathing”. All of this jives with either the death of an infant, or with what “David” (above, on January 12th, 2008) suggested about the viewing of the body at a funeral “You’re smaller than my wife imagined”.

I think the real mystery in this song is how it fits so well on an album that sounds great at parties. This song (and “All My Friends”) are deceptively catchy, and once you start listening to the lyrics you’ve fallen down the rabbit-hole. I hope none of us are right. I hope it’s meaning is too obscure…and if any of us are right, I hope the song is about Donny Osmond.

14

Ashli Marie says:

January 17, 2011 at 5:01 pm

1. Your blog is perfect.
2. I came here searching for the meaning of the song.
3. I like adslakias and david’s answers the best.
4. <3 ~ashli marie