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City And Colour – Against The Grain lyrics

You need not to climb mountaintops,
You need not to cross the sea,
You need not to find a cure for everything that makes you weak.
You need not to reach for the stars when life becomes so dark,
And when the wind does blow against the grain,
You must follow your heart,
You must follow your heart.

When all your friends have come and gone,
And the sun no longer shines,
And the happiness for which you long is washed away like an ocean's tide,
When all the hard times outweigh the good,
And all your words are misunderstood,
When the day seems lost from the stars
You must follow your heart,
You must follow your heart.

If you feel you've paid the price,
And your wounds should cease to heal
And everything you love in life spins like a winding wheel.
If you should wake to find you're abandoned,
And the road you've traveled leads to a dead-end

When death creeps in to play it's part,
You must follow your heart,
You must follow your heart.

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    To me, this song, as much of his early work, is about living with, and pushing through life's obstacles while fighting depression. The first verse in this chorus free song, uses allegory to express the importance of giving ones self a little slack and understanding. You don't have to climb. You don't have to beat every challenge and defeat every weakness.
    The second verse is about the struggle with depression, and how it steals his joy and relationships, leaving him incapable of expressing himself in a way that people won't misunderstand. It feels unstoppable, like a force of nature, as uncontrollable as the tides.
    The last, is what to do when it's truly overwhelming, and you feel broken, incapable, and that your life is leading to nowhere, this is the time to be true to who you are.
    The hook that's used in place of the chorus, about the wind against the grain, is a double meaning to me. The term against the grain, is also a reference to woodworking. If you stain against the grain, it goes on rough and uneven, ruining the wood, in a similar way that a stiff breeze blowing up against grain crops (wheat, corn) can bre at the supporting stalk, leaving the harvest damaged.
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