The Mars Volta Son et Lumière Lyrics Meaning (The Injection Of Cerpin Taxt)

This article examines the meaning of the lyrics of ‘Son et Lumière’ which is the first track on The Mars Volta’s studio album ‘De-Loused in the Comatorium’. This track begins the story of Cerpin Taxt (which you can read my overview of here).

Son et Lumière is loosely translated as “sound and light”. In the song, Cerpin Taxt describes his beaten and battered body (by drugs) and continues on to his attempted suicide.

After injecting himself with Rat poison, he falls into a Coma (the Comatorium).

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The Lyrics Meaning

Cerpin Taxt (Julio Veneges) comes into the song after the intro and begins a sung narration.

In the following line he describes how he finds refuge in the words of the bible.

I need sanctuary in the pages of this book

Cerpin then takes a syringe full of rat poison, and plunges it into his skin. We know this when he says:

Clipside of the Pinkeye fountain

The “pinkeye” is referring to the drop of blood and morphine mixed at the end of the needle from checking your vein. The fountain refers to the morphine inside the needle, releasing a large amount at once like a fountain into your bloodstream.

This is also a reference to Cicatriz ESP when Claviatika heals her wounds in a fountain.

Cerpin paints his seemingly bleak character as hopeless when he says

I’m not the percent you think survives

When he says this, he is describing how he has a hopeless chance of surviving his suicide attempt, because his body is already battered as described in the last 4 lines of the song.

Gestating with all the other rats
Nurse said that my skin will need a graft
I am of pockmarked shapes
The vermin you need to loathe

Cerpin is a drug addict, and constantly shoots up rat poison as part of his addiction. When he says “gestating with all the other rats” he is referring to….well… rats! It is talking about how he is taking a share of what the rodents get. But instead of a lethal dose, it is only enough to get him high.

The band said that the real Cerpin (Julio Veneges) was ridden with scars, welts, bruises, and bumps. His arm was also shriveled up due to the massive amount of syringes he took on account of his addiction. (Shown in the above text)

The lyrics in this song, show only the start of what is to come in the life and times of Cerpin Taxt (Julio Venegas). The extreme use of metaphor and alliteration is not for the feint of heart. So Caveat Emptor, because the rest of this trip into lyrics is about to get wild.

The Music

Son et Lumière starts with the sounds of wind and is somewhat reminiscent of a storm. Then an arpeggiated guitar comes into play. The guitar is portrayed as the sirens of an ambulance, coming to take Cerpin to the Hospital. Then Cedric (Cerpin) starts singing.

My favorite thing about this song is at 1:11 when he sings “loathe”. The way his voice reverberates is one of the most satisfying sounds I could imagine. It definitely is something worth listening for.

After the verse, the syncopated sound of drums burst into the scene. This change of direction refers to the beating of Cerpin’s Heart. The offbeat rhythms show how frantic and out of control it becomes, as Cerpin’s body rejects the drugs.

Son et Lumière introduces what is to come. Being one of the three non-fiction songs in the album (the rest are in the dream world [comatorium] which would be impossible to know what happened) it stays true to the memory of Julio Veneges. It is also one of the two songs in which Cerpin Taxt is not in a Coma.

Full Son et Lumière Lyrics

Clipside of the pinkeye fountain
I’m not the percent you think survives
I need sanctuary in the pages of this book
Gestating with all the other rats
Nurse said that my skin will need a graft
I am of pockmarked shapes
the vermin you need to loathe

Next, Cerpin taxt becomes “lost” in Intertiatic E.S.P.

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“De-Loused in the Comatorium”
Translation Guide

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