Some Riot
Elbow Lyrics


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A friend of mine grows his very own brambles
They twist all around him 'til he can't move
Beautiful, quivering, chivalrous shambles
What is my friend trying to prove?

The booze turns a tall gentle boy to a terrible totem
And the kids gather 'round trying to see what's inside
I think when he's drinking he's drowning some riot
What is my friend trying to hide?

Cause it's breaking my heart, it's breaking my heart
And it's breaking my heart to pull on the reigns
Brother of mine, don't run with those fuckers




When will my friend start singing again?
When will my friend start singing again?

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Elbow's song "Some Riot" address a theme of addiction and the destructive impact it has on individuals and their relationships. The opening lines describing a friend's entanglement with brambles that immobilize him symbolize the grip that drugs or alcohol can have on a person's life. The "quivering, chivalrous shambles" suggests an individual in a state of disarray and confusion, attempting to maintain a sense of honor or pride despite being ensnared.


The second stanza delves deeper into the friend's addiction and its effects. The line "The booze turns a tall gentle boy to a terrible totem" suggests that alcohol transforms the friend into an object of worship or fear, something that the young kids are drawn to for its novelty or shock value. The line "I think when he's drinking he's drowning some riot" reveals the root of the problem, that the addiction is a coping mechanism for the person to deal with their inner turmoil and pain.


The chorus of the song, with the repeated refrain of "it's breaking my heart", captures the emotions of a concerned friend who is unable to reach out or help the person they care about. The line "Brother of mine, don't run with those fuckers" highlights the impact of peer pressure and the negative influence of others in the friend's circle who enable the addiction. The final line "When will my friend start singing again?" expresses a hope for the person to find their voice and reclaim their identity and agency.


Line by Line Meaning

A friend of mine grows his very own brambles
My acquaintance nurtures a thorny plant, likely to represent the troubles in his life.


They twist all around him 'til he can't move
These issues are overwhelming him and leave him trapped.


Beautiful, quivering, chivalrous shambles
Despite the chaos that surrounds my friend, he remains noble in character and strong in spirit.


What is my friend trying to prove?
I question the purpose behind my friend's actions, for they seem irrational.


The booze turns a tall gentle boy to a terrible totem
Alcohol causes my friend to transform from a kind-hearted and gentle person into an intimidating and destructive force.


And the kids gather 'round trying to see what's inside
Others are drawn to his erratic behavior, curious as to what drives his alarming behavior.


I think when he's drinking he's drowning some riot
It is my belief that my friend is trying to suppress some inner turmoil or conflict by heavily consuming alcohol.


What is my friend trying to hide?
I am left with the question of what deep-seated emotions or secrets my friend is attempting to conceal with his actions.


Cause it's breaking my heart, it's breaking my heart
My emotions are deeply affected by my friend's struggles and behavior, causing me immense pain and concern.


And it's breaking my heart to pull on the reigns
Trying to intervene or help my friend change his destructive behavior is a difficult and painful endeavor.


Brother of mine, don't run with those fuckers
I urge my friend to dissociate himself from negative influences and individuals who may exacerbate his issues.


When will my friend start singing again?
I anticipate my friend returning to a more peaceful and harmonious state of being, allowing him to enjoy life and seek joy once more.


When will my friend start singing again?
Reiteration of the hope for my friend's return to positivity and happiness.




Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: CRAIG LEE POTTER, GUY EDWARD JOHN GARVEY, MARK POTTER, MARK ELLIS POTTER, PETER JAMES TURNER, RICHARD BARRY JUPP

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

Daniel Jackson

This is in my top 3 songs of all time. Unreal song. The lyrics, the sound, that vocal line absolutely ridiculous. Elbow are alternative music gods. Awesome band.

AllRiseForDrEvil

Why only 611 views? This is one of my favourite songs on the album. Comes second only to Loneliness of a tower crane driver.

sidusgekst

142K. You happy now? ;)

robert k

same m8

Monty2814

lol

Toozday's Child

This is easily one of the best songs I've heard in a long time. The melody is so bittersweet and melancholy, and the lyrics are nothing short of inspired.

Everything In Middle Earth

I love this song. This band are so underrated.

Matthew McVicar

I love the distant trippy piano riff. Its somehow deeply embedded in my subconscious

Kariido Kan

So underrated! This song is amazing in all ways

Clothilde

3:33 onwards shivers my bones. Darkly beautiful.

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