Transcendental Youth


Transcendental Youth




the Mountain Goats



Previous Track

"Spent Gladiator 2"

Transcendental Youth is the 12th song on the album Transcendental Youth.


Cold through broken baseboards
I despise this town
Snow on the sunroof
Two stories down
Hold hands
Wish the snow away
Rise in the darkness
Of the gathering day

Sing for ourselves alone
Speak into
The microphone

Cedar smudge our headbands
And take to the skies
Soar ever-upwards
On air gone black with flies
Shroud ourselves in the cosmos
Let the music play
Bright star of the morning
Shine on his rising way

In the night
In the nameless dark
Father long gone
But we bear his mark

Learn some secrets
Never tell
Stay sick
Don't get well

Clutch those broken headboards
Ride the highest wave
Dusky diamonds shining in the far depths of the cave
Try to explain ourselves
Babble on and on
By the time you receive this, we'll be gone

Sing high
While the fire climbs
Sing one for the old times

Comments by John Darnielle About this SongEdit

  • "You look at this one as what 'Satan' would be with more than one person involved. It gets into the coping strategies you use for mental illness, which are really the fabric of what keeps society moving forward at all." -- Mountain Goats' John Darnielle Discusses the 'Satan Record' (Rolling Stone)
  • "This is a song about, um…. It’s about how you miraculously — because you have a certain measure of contempt for your own body and you have never really felt comfortable in your own skin — but you miraculously go through a season when it seems like your body is your best friend, and you hole up in your room and, uh, decline to emerge from it, uh, with the person you’ve chosen to hole up with." -- 2012-10-23 - Pabst Theatre - Milwaukee, WI
  • "I struggle to describe what this song is about, uh, because it's about, uh, human sexuality, which sounds really dry, right. So, uh - but at the same time - it's about - so if you live in the Pacific Northwest, and, and maybe if you've been nineteen and extraordinarily lonely in a, in a January or February here, right, and it's fuckin' gray, and even if you grew up here, even if you spent lots of summers here, still the Januaries and Februaries are going to be extraordinarily rough, right, and so - It's, it's kind of rougher than where it snows and is icy for real, because, like, in the Midwest, it gets really cold, it's so fuckin' metal, right -- yeah, man, it's like twenty fuckin' below and no one can move, you know. But here, it just sort of is like it's this thing, this thing descends on you, right, and then it rests with you for several months. A lot of people try to pretend it's not a big deal. It's actually a big deal. And, and but maybe you find somebody to be with in a room and not leave for days on end. And it's a really special, amazing thing especially if you're kind of sick in your mind and you can't seem to get better and you can't relate to people very well. This is called 'Transcendental Youth.'" -- 2012-12-17 - The Showbox - Seattle, WA

Things Referenced in this SongEdit

Live Shows this Song Was Played atEdit

Videos of this SongEdit

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