What does "Organs" by Of Monsters and Men mean?
"Organ" is the eighth track on Beneath the Skin by Of Monsters and Men, and the song is a departure from the much of the rest of the album. Not only is the music more like a ballad style than any other song, but the lyrics rely much less on abstract references to nature than other songs do. Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir leads the vocals single-throatedly on this song with a soft and airy style that reminds one of Ingrid Michaelson more than of the Norwegian singer's usual style.
"Organs" is soft, haunting, and thoughtful. It appears to be thoughts on a relationship with a person who has left Nanna tired and unhappy. She knows that life is difficult, but she's thinking to herself about how she wishes she could make a break and change things. But instead the Of Monsters and Men lead-singer compromises and waits for a way out of "the dark."
"Organs" Lyrics Meaning
The title of the song, "Organs," refers to the parts of Nanna-her face, tongue, lungs, and heart-that she must discard to fit into a world/relationship that she doesn't like. These organs are the central imagery, giving the song focus.
In the first verse, Nanna sings about her frustration. She says, "I am sorry this is always how it goes." She is apologizing to her audience or to the friend that she has to talk about this to; she feels the need to figure out why things are going as they are, and she must do this because "[t]he wind blows loudest when you've got your eyes closed," suggesting the idea that if you ignore a problem, it'll only get worse. Of course, this also seems to be an indictment of the person she's singing to. He's been ignoring her needs, so she's trying to tell him that she's hurt.
None of the mess is Nanna's fault because she's "never changed a single colour that I breathe." She's been steady and not difficult to figure out or to understand. Her conclusion: "So you could have tried to take a closer look at me." Her lover would have been successful because she's not a complicated person, and it would have showed some effort on his part-the effort to know her that Nanna needs to see.
But she's exhausted by his absence. She's "tired of punching in the wind." His closing eyes have caused her to have to fight harder, and she's tired of having to let "it all in." She's had to take extra weight on her shoulders, and it's been too difficult for her. This person has been difficult to love, and she realizes that "I should eat you up and spit you right out." She has justification to tell him off and to "not care," but, she realizes, she doesn't "know how." She cares too much and can't help herself.
Because of this, she concludes that she must try to survive in the situation she's in. Her solution is to "take off [her] face" and "pull out [her] tongue." These "organs" symbolize her individual personality-which are also expressed in the "colours" she breathes. The Of Monsters and Men singer says they remind her "of how it all went wrong." Her individualism could have prompted her to join in this relationship, or perhaps more likely they are the parts of her that she really wants recognized within the relationship. The relationship went wrong when he stopped caring about her for who she was.
In verse 2, she sings, "I am sorry for the trouble, I suppose." Since the other person won't take blame, she'll half-heartedly accept it in an attempt to keep caring for this person. In the meantime, her "blood runs red but [her] body feels so cold." She's angry and intense on the inside, but doesn't show it outside. She can't; her energy and individuality will only be ignored.
She'll continue to "swim for days in the salty sea." Salt water is difficult for humans to stay in for long because it dehydrates them and is full of dangerous creatures and large waves. Indeed, these "waves will discolour me." Resigining herself to this relationship will leave her personality dead and keep her from actually being herself.
In two chorus variants that sandwich the bridge instrumental, Nanna adds to the giving up of her "face" and "tongue" a coughing up of her "lungs." The organ that provides her air to breathe and that allows her to say words-something of a life force-is not compatible with this relationship, and she must get rid of it.
Her one exception in her self-purge is that she will "leave in my heart / Because I don't want to stay in the dark." These are the last words of the song and are powerful because they are the faint glimmer of hope that she leaves listeners with. She's not completely giving up. Though she won't let her heart inform what others hear or see, it will be there waiting for encouragement to grow and to bring her to light again-the light that she so desperately wants to see. She hopes that this relationship can one day be something beautiful again, and if it does, she'll be ready to love.
What do you think of "Organs" by Of Monsters and Men? Did you like it? And what do you think it means? Is it about a man or the world in general or someone else? What do you think of the rest of Of Monsters and Men's album Beneath the Skin? Thanks for reading. Cheers!