Lyrics And Meanings > Absolution > The Small Print

The Small Print

Lyrics

take, take all you need
and i`ll compensate your greed
with broken hearts
sell, i`ll sell your memories, for 15 pounds per year
but just the good days

say, it'll make you insane
and it's bending the truth
you're to blame
for all the life that you'll lose and
you watch this space
and i'm going all the way
and be my slave to the grave
i'm a priest god never paid

hope, i hope you've seen the light
coz no one really cares
they're just pretending
sell, i`ll sell your memories, for 15 pounds per year
but you can keep the bad days

say, it'll make you insane
and im bending the truth
you're to blame
for all the life that you'll lose and
you watch this space
and i'm going all the way
and be my slave to the grave
i'm the priest god never paid

Extra information

Meaning

This song’s original title was “Action Faust”. Faust is a legend dating back to the early years of Christianity, that has been used in many books. Faust: A Tragedy is the title from a masterpiece by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832). It’s an “Allegorical poetic drama”.

The characters from the book were:

Faust, a scholar who is offered knowledge by the Devil
Mephistopheles (Mephisto, the Devil) , the great Satanic tempter
Gretche (Margaret) , a young woman who falls in love with Faust
Martha, Gretchen's neighbor and friend

Faust was a guy who studied philosophy, jurisprudence and medicine, and worst of all theology. Mephisto offered Faust to be his slave. Faust was wary: "And for my part, what is it you require? ... Not safely is such servant taken on." Mephisto then presented a proposition: ". .. You shall be the Master, and I Bond,/ and at your nod I'll work incessantly;/ but when we meet beyond,/ then you shall do the same for me." Faust agreed to the bargain: .,Beyond to me makes little matter ... It is from out this earth my pleasures spring. . . "

The years went by. Faust was now a great lord, with vast and rich land-holdings, which land he had himself "redeemed from the sea" by building a system of dikes. Nearing the end of his life, he gazed out from his huge palace at the gardens and orchards spreading far into the distance - only to find that he was yet discontent. Even when Mephisto returned from a voyage with much new wealth for Faust, he could not smile. "You spurn good fortune without joy . . . " the Devil observed. "The whole world is in your embrace." No, Faust told his servant; one cottage remained that he did not own - a small lot, within sight of the castle, that belonged to an elderly couple. "Go then, get them out of the way!" he ordered Mephisto.

That night, the Devil and his cohorts returned with the news that the deed was done. "Forgive," they told Faust, "but we had to use force. It burns, you see, a pretty pyre." Faust, now twisting against the pangs of his own guilt, angrily shifted the blame: "Did you not hear me that I bade not robbery but simple trade?" He retired to his garden. There he was seized upon by something hovering above him in the air. Then, out of the midnight blackness came four elderly women - Want, Debt, Care, and Need. Their brother, Death, was also nearby, they explained. Faust inquired of Care what it was she wanted. "Is Care a force you never faced?" she taunted. Haughtily, Faust replied, "Whatever I might crave, I laid my hands on .... I stormed through life." But still he had to admit that some inexplicable inner hunger had never been satisfied; and thus Care alone, of the four sister spirits, was able to gain entry into his soul. "The human being is, his life long, blind," she said. "Thus, Faustus, you shall meet your end." (scription by http://www.awerty.com/faust.html )

In short: Faust sold his soul to the devil for fulfillment of his earthly desires.

Muse’ The Small Print, is based on this story. The song is taken from the Devil’s prospective. “The priest God never paid” is the devil. Small prints are the texts on a contract who’re typed in very tiny font, mostly it has some tricks.

Production

Produced by Rich Costey

Authors/copyright

Matthew Bellamy





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