Haligh, Haligh, A Lie, Haligh

Album: Fevers and Mirrors (2000)
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Songfacts®:

  • Dealing with a relationship's end that has made claims of lifelong faithfulness invalidated, Connor Oberst may be at his emo-est on this track. The song's poetry is remarkable, and it both captures and inspires teenage heartbreak powerfully.
  • The arrangement is sparse. Oberst's lyrics draw on his recurring theme of linking the death of relationships with physical death: "thank you and hang up the phone, let the funeral start, hear the casket close. Let's pin split-black ribbon to your overcoat."

    His warbling, breathy voice over the acoustic guitar make it sound as though he and the band are in mourning. The song manages to accomplish what many Bright Eyes tracks thematically attempt: to put breakups and the end of love on the same scale as the end of life itself. Hence, the 'emo' for 'emotional' tag the band was stuck with for much of the 2000s.

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