Regina Spektor – “Genius Next Door”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Recently I’ve shared with you Obsolete by Regina Spektor, and I thought I’d share one more song by her, one that I really like musically and that I think has quite interesting lyrics, which, just like with Obsolete and I believe most of Regina’s songs, can be interpreted in many ways.

The way I understand it is, that it’s more symbolic than literal. I think the lake is some kind of serious life problem that people are experiencing and deal with it in different ways. Some – the neighbours – sweep it under the carpet and prefer to pretend that it doesn’t exist or at least it’s very much a taboo thing. Others – the kids – take it very lightly, make fun of it and don’t really care even if the problem gets worse, because of some fun aspect to it that they can see, so maybe this problem is drugs or something like that. – And then we have the genius, who I think represents anyone who is intelligent but also quite sensitive, who seeks some meaning in life but all he does is “wipingclean the ketchup bottle labels” instead. He actually wants to confront the problem head on and I guess also be somehow acknowledged for doing so, but overestimates his capabilities and ends up drowning under the weight of it because he can’t cope – commits suicide in the “lake”, I think. Perhaps he’s somehow too immature for that or something hence the “foolish child”? But has some feeling of fulfillment before he actually dies – the “orgasm”. Or maybe he actually doesn’t confront it but simply uses it as some sort of counter-weight to his dull and uninspiring life, which would make even more sense if we’re indeed talking about drugs or some other addictions.

I could be totally off with that, but since I don’t think we know officially what the song was meant to be about, I don’t really care, and I’ve seen both similar and different interpretations of it.

What do YOU think it is about?