A Is to B as B Is to C
Boards of Canada Lyrics


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Forwards
One two three four five
Six seven eight nine ten
Now in Spanish, then in French
We'll say that twice again

Backwards
We love you all (also forwards)
I'll be gone about a week
Oh, by the way, I brought brought her pillow
If you go down to the woods today, you'd better not go alone
I don't know, it makes it?
I still got 'em, I still dream about him
I don't know, I just wish it had never happened
The whole thing?
The whole
The whole thing goes over and over




So, those prophecies you've been describing
And now to business

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to Boards of Canada's song A Is to B as B Is to C are enigmatic and possibly nonsensical, but they invite listeners to engage their imagination and come up with their own meaning. The song starts with a counting exercise, first in English, then in Spanish, and then in French. The counting serves as a repetition exercise, setting the stage for the rest of the song which features various backwards and forwards phrases. The backwards phrases are particularly interesting because they suggest hidden meanings and subliminal messages. For example, "We love you all" backwards becomes "All you love we" which has a different connotation and emphasis. Similarly, "I still dream about him" backwards becomes "Mu aboti maerd lliw i" which is gibberish but could be interpreted as a mantra or spell.


The song's title "A Is to B as B Is to C" refers to a logical or mathematical analogy where the relationship between letters or numbers implies a pattern or progression. In the song, this analogy could be interpreted as a metaphor for life or relationships, where everything is connected and follows a predetermined path. The lyrics that follow the counting and backwards phrases further reinforce this idea, as they are fragmented and ambiguous but hint at emotions, memories, and expectations that are shared among humans. The phrase "And now to business" at the end of the song could be seen as ironic, as the song defies any conventional notion of business or order, and instead celebrates the fluidity and unpredictability of existence.


Line by Line Meaning

One two three four five
Counting in numerical order with no particular significance


Six seven eight nine ten
Continuing to count without any significance or purpose


Now in Spanish, then in French
Switching languages to add variety to the counting exercise


We'll say that twice again
Repeating the exercise twice to reinforce memory and fluency


We love you all (also forwards)
Expressing affection and gratitude for the listeners


I'll be gone about a week
Informing the audience of the singer's upcoming absence


Oh, by the way, I brought brought her pillow
Making a casual remark about bringing someone's personal belonging


If you go down to the woods today, you'd better not go alone
Issuing a warning against venturing alone into an unknown area


I don't know, it makes it?
Expressing confusion about the significance or value of something


I still got 'em, I still dream about him
Admitting to continued attachment and feelings for someone from the past


I don't know, I just wish it had never happened
Expressing regret or disappointment about a past event or experience


The whole thing?
Asking for clarification or confirmation about a topic of discussion


The whole
Providing a confirmation or reaffirmation of what was previously discussed


The whole thing goes over and over
Describing how a thought or memory recurs repeatedly


So, those prophecies you've been describing
Referring to previously discussed prophecies, indicating transition to a different topic


And now to business
Announcing a shift to a more serious or important topic




Lyrics © WARP MUSIC LIMITED
Written by: MARCUS SANDISON, MICHAEL SANDISON

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@Naetrox

I've always imagined this song as something you hear before death, when your life is flashing before your eyes.

@blueazure9658

after tripping Id say it feels just like that because it’s the separation of your spiritual mind and physical body that makes you feel like everything you know is disappearing… so the memories sometimes just fly through your head uncontrollably. Like flipping through a book and reading every page you pass. It’s terrifying.

@carolyns4519

Same, I've always thought either that, or what you hear while you're having a bad seizure

@blueazure9658

i’ve heard it a million times but the ending still gives me chills…

@sandro2628

If you go out in the woods today, you better not go alone...

@mazingerz8379

😱

@fictionsmith3688

Boog is sorry 🐻

@Pyrofries

this song is particular is pretty spooky... for some reason, it's the voice that counts that scares me the most. Whatever he says after he counts is garbled... I wish it was possible to hear what it actually says. Geogaddi is definitely BoC's creepiest album. It was being written around the time of the 9/11 attack, and there's an interview with the duo that said that the events of 9/11 contributed to the creepiness. The campfire headphase so far is my favorite album. It's just right :>

@cd06tgc79

I know this comment is ancient by YouTube standards but if you hadn't already found out (and for people just coming here) the counting guy says "now in Spanish, then in French, and say that twice again"

@the_original_Bilb_Ono

if you're going out in the woods tonight, you better not go alone. if you're going out in the woods tonight, you better not go alone. if you're going out in the woods tonight, you better not go alone. if you're going out in the woods tonight, you better not go alone. if you're going out in the woods tonight, you better not go alone. if you're going out in the woods tonight, you better not go alone. if you're going out in the woods tonight, you better not go alone.

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