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Speed Trials
Elliott Smith Lyrics


He's pleased to meet you underneath the horse
In the cathedral with the glass stained black
Singing sweet high notes that echo back
To destroy their master

May be a long time 'til you get the call-up
But it's sure as fate and hard as your luck
No one'll know where you are
It's just a brief smile crossing your face

Running speed trials still standing in place

When the socket's not a shock enough
You little child what makes you think you're tough
When all the people you think you're above
They all know what's the matter

You're such a pinball yeah you know it's true
There's always something you come back running to
To follow the path of no resistance

It's just a brief smile crossing your face
Running speed trials standing in place
It's just a brief smile crossing your face
Running speed trials all over the place

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Steven Paul Smith

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on specific lyrics, highlight them
Most interesting comments from YouTube:

Roiy Benkel

He's pleased to meet you underneath the horse
In the cathedral with the glass stained black
Singing sweet high notes that echo back
To destroy their master
May be a long time till you get the call-up
But it's sure as fate and hard as your luck
No one'll know where you are
It's just a brief smile crossing your face
Running speed trials still standing in place
When the socket's not a shock enough
You little child what makes you think you're tough
When all the people you think you're above
They all know what's the matter
You're such a pinball yeah you know it's true
There's always something you come back running to
To follow the path of no resistance
It's just a brief smile crossing your face
Running speed trials standing in place
It's just a brief smile crossing your face
Running speed trials all over the place



notThatBad411

I just realized what this song is about!!!

Lines 5-6 tell us that the narrator is unlucky.
Why? Because getting "the call-up", which is described in Lines 1-4, is his fate.
This means that the narrator was born to do what he's doing in the chorus of the song:
"Running speed trials"
Running a speed trial is like, for example, running a speed test on your computer. The only difference is that the test, whatever the test is, is being done on himself, and not a computer.
We get more information on what the test is.
"Running speed trials, standing in place"
The test is standing in place.
Some believe that this means he's running in place, running in the same spot, not moving.
But standing in place can also mean something else.
Understudies stand in place for actors, and that is precisely what the test in this song is. The narrator is in the entertainment industry, where understudies (a stand-in for a singer) are constantly being used for actors (the actual singer). T
For example, all of the members of the Beatles, a band that apparently inspired Elliott Smith, were replaced by new actors in 1966, after they stopped touring.
The use of stand-ins is common, and known about by people in the entertainment industry. However, it is quite hidden to the public. This could be why the song is sung in a whisper. In Verse 2, someone is berating the narrator or the narrator is berating himself. It is sung in an angrier, louder whisper.
Either way, someone reminds the narrator that, as an understudy, he shouldn't get used to the fame by becoming cocky. The narrator is talented, so he believes he's better than other musicians. But the other musicians know that he is just an understudy. (Lines 2-4 of Verse 2)
He has to remember that, as an understudy, his fame is "just a brief smile crossing" his face. A quick moment of happiness that crosses by and leaves forever. This entire album is about this interesting narrator's interesting story.



비정한세상

he's pleased to meet you underneath the horse
그는 너를 만나 반갑다
in the cathedral with the glass stained black
스테인드글라스가 온통 검은빛인 성당 안 마상 아래에서
singing sweet high notes that echo back
아름다운 고음역의 목소리로 노래하는 그 남자 장차 메아리로 되튕겨나와
to destroy their master
그들의 조물주를 파괴해버릴
may be a long time til you get the call-up
네가 소집 명령을 듣기까진 시간이 오래 걸릴지도 모르지만
but it's sure as fate and hard as your luck
그건 운명처럼 확실히 올 거고 네 운처럼 재수 없을 거야
no one'll know where you are
네가 어디 있는지는 아무도 모를 일이겠지

it's just a brief smile crossing your face
그건 단지 네 얼굴에 스치는 찰나의 미소
running speed trials still standing in place
제자리에 선 채 최고 속도를 시험하는

when the socket's not a shock enough
소켓의 총격도 가소롭다 싶나본데
you little child what makes you think you're tough
이 쪼그만 꼬마, 네가 그렇게 세다고 믿는 근거는 대체 뭐지
when all the people you think you're above
넌 그들 머리 꼭대기 위에서 논다고 생각할지 몰라도
they all know what's the matter
그들은 사실상 뭐가 문제인지 알고 있단다
you're such a pinball yeah you know it's true
넌 진짜 핀볼 같은 놈이야 맞아, 너도 동감할 걸
there's always something you come back running to
어디로 떠나든 항상 네가 허겁지겁 돌아오게 만드는 뭔가가 있어
to follow the path of no resistance
결국은 불가항력의 길을 걸을 수밖에 없단 말이지



All comments from YouTube:

Kill Rock Stars

Check out this rare live footage of Elliott's 1999 New Year's Eve performance at The Knitting Factory: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6KwzgIePF4Dy7347Om6Ijcsr4vh6JJjP

John Nihil

Nevermind. That appears to exist already. Sweet.

John Nihil

You guys need to make a double lp version of Either Or with all the live stuff on a 2nd record. I already have the single edition.

Steven Rivera

I wonder how he was SO GOOD at recording these haunting, yet, beautiful songs. The production in this album is one of the best I ever heard.

Taylor Brinkley

Natural effortless talent

Havalina Chiel

very very capable at what he was doing already , to say the least
but yeah , always surprising and a special one to add , lets say ^-^

giovanna

I could use a little more presence on his voice.

PFH Music Plus

@gbluecheez depression does not give you creative superpowers. You create despite of that.

okok

@CleanFamilyVideos simplicity is beautiful

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Grimosaur

He always sings so quiet as if he's a teenager trying not to let his parents hear him

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