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Life Before Aesthetics
Denison Witmer Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

I've got more important things
Than shiny diamond rings
And modern furniture

Life before aesthetics was
A nail hole in a wall
A borrowed comforter

Now I wait until the sound
As if I never drowned in my addition
I'm not saying that it's right
But waking through the night I felt it coming

And it crossed my heart
When did all this start
Stand together, fall apart
And it crossed my heart

Hear the oceans as they sing
The mountains and the spring
And all it means to me

Life before aesthetics is
A mindset that imparts impossibilities

Still I waste the chance to give
As if I've never lived throughout deletion (?)
I'm not telling you it's right
But waking through the night
I felt it happen

And it crossed my heart
When did all this start
Fall together, stand apart
And it crossed my heart

And it crossed my heart
I've got more important things
Than shiny diamond rings
And modern furniture.

When did all this start
Life before aesthetics was
A nail hole in a wall
A borrowed comforter

Stand together, fall apart
Hear the oceans as they sing
The mountains and the spring
And all it means to me

And it crossed my heart
Life before aesthetics is
A mindset that imparts impossibilities

Overall Meaning

In Denison Witmer's song "Life Before Aesthetics," the singer reflects on what truly matters in life. The opening lines indicate that the singer values something deeper than material possessions such as diamond rings and furniture. Instead, they cherish experiences that are relatable and authentic to the human experience. The line "life before aesthetics was a nail hole in a wall, a borrowed comforter," suggests that the singer values simplicity over extravagance.


Later in the song, the singer expresses regret for becoming too attached to their own desires and habits ("my addition," "throughout deletion"). However, they acknowledge that change is possible and that they can make more responsible choices. The refrain "and it crossed my heart" emphasizes the gravity of these realizations and signifies the singer's commitment to living a more meaningful life.


Overall, "Life Before Aesthetics" is a powerful commentary on the importance of prioritizing genuine experiences over superficial ones, and the ability to change one's own habits and preferences.


Line by Line Meaning

I've got more important things
My priorities are not centered around material possessions


Than shiny diamond rings
I do not value expensive jewelry as highly as other things


And modern furniture
Contemporary decor does not concern me as much as other matters


Life before aesthetics was
My experience of existence prior to valuing beauty and appearance


A nail hole in a wall
The presence of a minor imperfection in my physical space


A borrowed comforter
Utilizing a blanket that was not originally mine


Now I wait until the sound
I anticipate something until I hear it


As if I never drowned in my addition
I behave as though I did not become overly attached to something in the past


I'm not saying that it's right
I am not implying that my behavior is necessarily moral or justified


But waking through the night I felt it coming
I sensed something in the middle of the night


And it crossed my heart
I swear to the truth of what happened


When did all this start
At what point did my current concerns and behaviors come into being


Stand together, fall apart
Sometimes we maintain unity, but other times we lose direction and divide


Hear the oceans as they sing
Perceive the natural world around us making literal or figurative music


The mountains and the spring
The land and the season also seem to be expressing something meaningful


And all it means to me
All of this has personal significance and value


Life before aesthetics is
The way in which I used to live without placing high importance on beauty


A mindset that imparts impossibilities
It seems difficult or impossible to go back to that state of mind


Still I waste the chance to give
I overlook the opportunities I have to be generous


I'm not telling you it's right
I do not claim that my choices are ethical or appropriate for others


But waking through the night I felt it happen
Something occurred for me mentally or emotionally in the middle of the night


And it crossed my heart
I assert the truth of this experience


Fall together, stand apart
We can experience a sense of unity or separation in different contexts


Life before aesthetics was
Once again referencing a time before I placed much value on appearance


A nail hole in a wall
Bringing up another example of a minor imperfection in my living space


A borrowed comforter
Reiterating that I made use of a blanket that was not originally mine


And it crossed my heart
Restating that I swear to the truth of this history


Stand together, fall apart
Once again suggesting that communal integrity can be inconsistent


Hear the oceans as they sing
Repeating the earlier suggestion to listen to nature in a different way


The mountains and the spring
Further emhasizing the importance of appreciating aspects of the natural world


And all it means to me
Once again declaring that this kind of appreciation is of personal value


And it crossed my heart
Closing with one final assurance of the truth and importance of these ideas




Contributed by Audrey T. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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