Crystals is an indie folk song by the Icelandic pop band Of Monsters and Men. It served as the lead single from the band’s second album titled Beneath the Skin.
Before exploring the Crystals lyrics meaning, you should know the intent behind its title.
Title – What does it mean?
The song Crystals deals with the theme of self-discovery, self-acceptance and the final transformation that comes with the realization. In that sense, the term “Crystals” signifies how difficult it is to change yourself.
Crystals are one of the toughest materials in nature. Once formed, it is difficult to return them to their original state, or turn them into something else. Only sheer will and effort can change them. This song deals with the first step of addressing transformation. It talks about the very realization of requiring a change.
Now that the title of the song has been explained, it is time to understand the Crystals lyrics meaning.
Verse 1 – What does it mean?
Lost in skies of powdered gold
Caught in clouds of silver ropes
In the very beginning of the song, the narrator finds himself disillusioned. Up until this point the narrator had lived inside his head, dreaming fancy scenarios that were far from reality. The phrase “Lost in skies” shows the extent to which the narrator was fooling himself with lies and fantasies.
The use of terms like “gold” and “silver” emphasizes the quality of his delusions. Everybody daydreams. And these daydreams usually picture a better, brighter life than what actually exists. The narrator was no different. He found himself “caught in clouds” bound by “silver rope” of fantasies.
The problem is not the act of fantasizing itself, but believing that those fantasies are true. Dreaming gives you the motivation to aspire to something bigger. It should encourage you to work hard and try to achieve your fantasies, not bask in them.
Showered by the empty hopes
As I tumble down, falling fast to the ground
The narrator has had it with “empty hopes”. He does not want to spend the rest of his life dreaming about happy scenarios and success but not really working at it. It is time for the narrator to wake up and get practical in life.
This realization comes at a cost. When you first understand the harsh truth of life, which is, you need to work really hard to accomplish your goals, it can shatter your spirit. The idea of facing challenges is intimidating. To be scared on the face of this blatant truth is very natural. The narrator too feels like he is “falling fast to the ground”. For someone whose head was mostly in the skies, this humbling experience can also be very daunting.
Pre-Chorus – What does it mean?
I know I’ll wither so peel away the bark
‘Cause nothing grows when it is dark
When you come to terms with reality, you understand how short life is. All the dreams you thought you could realize now seem impossible to achieve. It is all about time management. Choosing what you must focus your energy on becomes a tough decision. One cannot have everything in life.
So the narrator understands he will “wither”. His days are numbered, but he does not let this bring him down. He is ready to “peel away the bark”. This means he is ready to grind and devote his time to his goals. This is the only way to realize his full potential.
It is important to face the harsh light of truth. Living in the dark, that is ignorance, is easy. It keeps you comfortably in denial so you do not lose hope. But such hope is baseless and only results in misery. In order to attain true happiness, you need to enter the light and accept your shortcomings. The narrator has accepted this truth and is willing to grow in the light.
In spite of all my fears, I can see it all so clear
I see it all so clear
As mentioned earlier, coming to terms with reality is scary. You realize how much time you have lost and how far you are from achieving your target. But that is the catch. Fear should be used as a catalyst to keep moving. The narrator is on the right path. He admits he is afraid, yet he will be brave and work hard. Bravery is not the absence of fear. It is in fact doing what is right in spite of being afraid.
Chorus – What does it mean?
Whoa-oh-oh-oh, cover your crystal eyes
And feel the tones that tremble down your spine
The narrator is encouraging himself to keep his preconceived judgments aside. The “crystal eyes” here refer to his outlook and personality, which have become permanent in his mind as his old self. If he keeps listening to his old self he will never move ahead.
To overcome his old outlook, he needs to ignore the negative thoughts and keep working. His mind set and personality will gradually change on their own overtime.
Whoa-oh-oh-oh, cover your crystal eyes
And let your colours bleed and blend with mine
This is the future potential self of the narrator speaking with the old damaged self. The narrator needs to work so hard that he starts bleeding, metaphorically. Only then will the old wounds of a negative personality heal into a stronger, more optimistic self. This will slowly aid the narrator in becoming who he was truly meant to be.
The chorus contains the true Crystals lyrics meaning.
Verse 2 – What does it mean?
Making waves in pitch black sand
Feel the salt dance on my hands
The imagery of a beach in the dark is beautifully used here. To break through the limitations of his former self, the narrator must tread on relentlessly. The struggle is similar to running on salty sand while your feet are cut and torn from hard work. It is painful, but necessary. Eventually, this hardship will pay off.
Raw and charcoal coloured thighs
Feel so cold and my skin feels so paper-thin
There will come a time when the narrator’s spirit will become very vulnerable. He would want to quit then. His “paper-thin” skin will beg for relief. But the narrator will not give up. Even though his journey is wrought with obstacles the narrator will shatter them as he trudges along towards victory.
Bridge – What does it mean?
But I’m okay in see-through skin
I forgive what is within
Soon, the narrator will be close to his true form. The world will be able to see him just the way he sees himself in his “see-through skin”. He will come to terms with his limitations and accept them. No longer will the narrator live in denial.
Because I’m in this house, I’m in this home
All my time
The phrases “house” and “home” refer to the narrator’s mind and body. With all the hard work put into self-transformation the narrator will finally be at peace with himself.
Hope you have now understood the Crystals lyrics meaning.
The real Crystals lyrics meaning rests in constantly evolving yourself. You need to be honest about who you are and where you are headed. This is crucial in making the necessary changes or upgrades that add up to a stronger, better version of you.