“king’s crossing” literary analysis pt. 2

hello!! today i will be continuing an older post, my “king’s crossing” literary analysis!


hi, it’s been a while since you saw this title huh? i know i said i was going to post a part two last week but,,,,, things happened. anyways, here are the last two lyrics i’ll be dissecting!

“read the part and we turn out fine, it’s a hell of a role if you can keep it alive”

in many songs and interviews, elliott has described the music business as a slow path to death or self-hatred. here, he compares it to being the main actor in a movie that is slowly killing you. you want to keep the part, but it gets physically harder and harder the more you continue. in the song “fake plastic trees” by radiohead, thom yorke talks about this same theme similarly:

“and it wears me out, it wears me out. if i could be who you wanted all the time”

now, the final lyric. 

don’t let me get carried away, don’t let me get carried away, don’t let me be carried away

this is 100% the most powerful and beautiful lyric in the entire song, and lots of people gloss over it. it may seem like a simple repetition, but the contrast between using “get” and “be” in this sentence is drastic. “don’t let me get carried away” almost feels like a request, don’t let me go too far with it. and while “don’t let me be carried away” is also a request, elliott isn’t simply asking you to tell him when he’s going too far, he’s asking you to save his life. don’t let him be carried away.


“king’s crossing” isn’t easy to listen to by any means. but i can’t recommend it enough. go out and listen and form your own opinions about the lyrics seen here. they have depth and are begging to be appreciated. thank you.

*genius was used for some background information on each lyric!

link to song (spotify):

https://open.spotify.com/track/2GsiKnbHHXDpoL7R6cJUTZ?si=7000bff9e908415b

link to live performance (youtube): 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D7vRObaTyo

“I liked the idea of a self-contained, endless pursuit of perfection. But I have a problem with perfection. I don’t think perfection is very artful. But there’s something I liked about the image of a skater going in this endless twisted circle that doesn’t have any real endpoint. So the object is not to stop or arrive anywhere; it’s just to make this thing as beautiful as they can.” -elliott smith

Author: Erin Erter

“i liked the idea of a self-contained, endless pursuit of perfection. but i have a problem with perfection. i don’t think perfection is very artful. but there’s something i liked about the image of a skater going in this endless twisted circle that doesn’t have any real endpoint. so the object is not to stop or arrive anywhere; it’s just to make this thing as beautiful as they can.” -elliott smith

3 thoughts on ““king’s crossing” literary analysis pt. 2”

  1. I love how you assess songs and the way your mind comes to terms with the lyrics. Keep writing these, they’re very interesting… to me at least and I get song recommendations from them, good job!

  2. Just like the first part of this series, I loved the way you broke up the lyrics and described the meaning of each line in a way that shows the reader who may also enjoy this song but may not understand the real meaning of the lyrics

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