Televators (An Eulogy For Cerpin Taxt) Lyric Interpretation & Song Meaning

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This article discusses the lyrics and meaning behind the The Mars Volta song Televators, which is track 9 of their Deloused in the Comatorium album. This song follows ‘This Apparatus Must be Unearthed‘ and continues Cerpin’s story.

In Televators, years pass in the real world. Cerpin tries to tell his friends and family that he is leaving, that he will take his own life. But none of them think that he is serious.

Meanwhile the house of Tremula Metacarpi invades Cerpin’s mind, coaxing him to put and end to his life so he can join them in the Comatorium. He finally gives in.

Cerpin walks to a bridge in Rezjua, and jumps. Just as his body hits the ground, his mind is transported back into the ESP. Thus ending the story of Cerpin Taxt.

 

The Lyrics Meaning

Televators starts off by saying:

Just as he hit
The ground
They lowered a tow that
stuck in his neck to the gills

He is saying how as he died, the Tremulants pulled him out of his body and back into the Comatorium. Cerpin is using the metaphor of when a fisherman catches a fish, they stick the tow (a metal bar) into the fish’s gills and pull the fish out of the water. He is saying that the Tremulants “pulled” him out of his body.

He continues:

Fragments of sobriquets
Riddle me this
Three half eaten corneas
Who hit the area

The line “Fragments of sobriquets” is referring to Cerpin’s multiple identities (Moatilliatta, Claviatika, Cerpin Taxt) and showing how he is now not any one of them fully, but is “fragments” of each. “Three half eaten corneas” is talking about Claviatika Tres Ojos (Tres ojos meaning Three eyes, Cornea is a part of the Eye).

It is simply re-iterating the fragments of sobriquet line and how his personalities are broken up (hence the “Half eaten”).

He finishes up the Verse with:

Stalk the ground

In this he is talking about his jump off the bridge, where he Stalks the ground below the bridge in his suicidal thinking.

In Televators Chorus it says:

Page of concrete
Stain walks crutch and hobbled sway
Auto da fe
A capillary hint of red

In these lines he is describing how his suicide was a public execution, which is what the line “auto da fe” means. The word also means “act of faith”, which would very well describe Cerpin’s death, as he made his jump in faith that he would be transported back into the ESP. The other lines just describe what happened to Cerpin’s body as it hit the ground (hint: it wasn’t pretty).

The next line shows how Cerpin’s other forms (the ones in the Comatorium) and how they escaped from the death that only the Real world Cerpin Taxt experienced

Only this manupod
Crescent in shape has escaped

The song continues to the next Verse:

The house half the way
Fell empty with teeth that
Split both his lips
Mark these words

He describes the world that he is living in (the same one you and I live in) as being “the house half the way”. In this he is referring to a half-way house because the time he spent in this world was just a layaway between the first time he went into the Comatorium, and when he kills himself to enter it again.

It says that the half-way house “fell empty with teeth that split both his lips” because Cerpin taxt’s identity on earth became non-existant when his lips were split from the fall.

Then it says:

One day this chalk outline will circle this city
Was he robbed of the asphalt that cushioned his face?

He is describing how his death will affect everyone in the city because he had so many people that cared about him. Then he describes how he didn’t have to feel the pain when his body hit the ground, because he transported back into the Comatorium and was “robbed” of the pain.

In Televators bridge it says:

Pull the pins
Save your grace
Mark these words
On his grave

In most airplanes, there are ejection seats in which you have to “pull the pins” in order to eject. This is very similar to Cerpin Taxt “ejecting” from his body and projecting it back into the Comatorium.

After that, it simply says to write the words “Save your grace” on his tombstone. At the very end he states “Everyone knows the last toes are always the coldest to go” which is making a reference to the rigamortis that occurs after you die.

Now let’s move on to the music.

 

The Music

Televators Begins with a minute of ambient noise. In the background you can hear the sounds of a monkey. These monkeys are called Tarsiers, which are known for their suicidal behavior when kept in captivity. These suicidal primates are almost extinct due to that fact.

As the song Opens up, the peaceful sounds of acoustic guitar come in. Combined with Cedric’s voice, it creates a very gripping atmosphere.

As Televators Chorus starts, the sounds of Justin Meldal-Johnsen’s double bass give the song a very natural sound. The sound of all the instruments together gives the Chorus a very full and satisfying feel.

The song continues on, until the Bridge. In which the echoing sounds of voice (harmonies and such) just put it over the top. From “pretty awesome song” to “Holy mother of moses this is insanely good”.

Televators ends with the ambient noises, some being reminiscent of traffic in the streets. You know at this point, Cerpin taxt has lost his life, yet much of the world continues on. The ambient noises change back and forth, showing Cerpin’s transportation back into the Comatorium, and out of his tortured existence.

Overall, this is one of my favorite song’s on the CD, enough so that I would play it with my very own band.

 

Full Televators Lyrics

Just as he hit
The ground
They lowered a tow that
Stuck in his neck to the gills
Fragments of sobriquets
Riddle me this
Three half eaten corneas
Who hit the area
Stalk the ground
Stalk the ground

You should have seen
The curse that flew right by you
Page of concrete
Stained walks crutch in hobbled sway
Auto da fe
A capillary hint of red
Only this manupod
Crescent in shape has escaped

The house half the way
Fell empty with teeth
That split both his lips
Mark these words
One day this chalk outline will circle this city
Was he robbed of the asphalt that cushioned his face
A room colored charlatan
Hid in a safe
Stalk the ground
Stalk the ground

You should have seen
The curse that flew right by you
Page of concrete
Stain walks crutch in hobbled sway
Auto da fe
A capillary hint of red
Only this manupod
Crescent in shape has escaped

Pull the pins
Save your grace
Mark these words
On his grave

You should have seen
The curse that flew right by you
Page of concrete
Stain walks crutch in hobbled sway
Auto da fe
A capillary hint of red
Everyone knows the last toes are
Always the coldest to go

Now, let’s continue to the aftermath in track 10, Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt.

 

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Andrew 'The Real Musician' Muller

I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story. If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O’Neil’s home cooking and eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham. Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat McDonald’s at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot. I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy.