Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Meaning of the Song Katherine Wheel

    The first time i heard about the song title "Katherine Wheel", i was like.. what does it means? It's kind of weird for me because of the two words, the name “Katherine”, and the word “wheel”. So i listen to the song over and over again, and it end up being my most favorite song ever :D
    And here i am, due to my fascination to the song Katherine Wheel, i will try to figure out what does the song means. Since Ville himself never spills out about the song meaning in any interview, i think i'm quite free to interprete the song according to my references.
    So here we go,.. i got hit by the first line;
"Lo and behold baby. These are the things you make me do. Katherine Wheel i'm burning for you. I'm burning for you"
    It seems to me that, the line were meant about someone who deeply in love with somebody, and he's willing to go through the worst scenario that could ever happen in their relationship. It seems, the situation were not good at all. They couldn't be together, but their heart were meant to each other. The line were emphasize the words "i'm burning for you", which means the subject were so ready to fall for the one he loves, whatever it takes. This theme were so familiar in any other HIM songs, so it would be not difficult to find out. And i just assumed the subject as "he", because it wrote by a guy, which is Ville Valo himself.
    Now, continue to the second paragraph;
"Come on and break me a limb at a time. Wrap me around your spoke so tight. There's no letting go. Spin me around to blur the line between you and i. What are you waiting for?"
    Here’s another emphasize to the situation, where he’s ready to fall for the one he loves, whatever it takes. And he’s not just ready, but anxious. He’s willing to be break and really look forward to it. And i imagine the situation were like, he got spin by her, in a way. It could be means that, he know that he would be confused by the one he loves. And the confusion is the only way to get near to the person. It justify that, he and the person were in a real distant. But they could get near in a confusing way. I also imagine the situation were like someone who got fasten by a rope so tight, and then release in sudden, so he would be spinning. And it almost like a wheel, or hurricane. The words wheel could also means a complicated situation, and i think it’s nearly like a catastrophe. The name Katherine somehow remind me to the name Katrina, and it similiar to Katrina hurricane. It also symbolize the person itself as the name Katherine. And i got the image that the person was someone more intellegent to him, someone who gives an enlightment. Someone who similiar with the divine figure, like a “wise old man” or ‘great mother”. And everything turns to complicated and confusing because he’s falling in love to the figure herself.
    The next line is;
“Holding hand won’t be enough in a world giving head to a gun. Love in theory and practice chapter one”
    The line were meant about frustating situation, and it’s not just frustating, but more like the ultimate frustating. It risk our life. Almost like a dangerous situation where we could get kill anytime, by ourself or other. And the words “Love in theory in pratice, chapter one” were meant, the whole thing was like a lesson in life. Lesson about love. And it’s only just the beginning, cause it said “chapter one”. And i couldn’t imagine what sort of lesson there be in the next chapter, while the first chapter is already describe as an ultimate frustating and life risking situation. It got to be an ultimate worst.
    The rest of the line were my favorite part;
“I twist and turn in your arms swirl. The dizzier i get the clearer i see. With you i’m at peace with the war within”
    The line were obviuosly describing about the spinning situation, which is more like he was lost in a hurricane because of her. It seems quite devastating, yeah.. but the more he got spin, the more he see clearly. And the worst situation somehow brings peace to him.
    At the moment i tried to figure out the song meaning, i was also reading the book “The Inferno” by Dante Alighieri. And it surprised me, because somehow it is related to the song. “The Inferno” is a book about journey through the hell, from the first circle of hell until the ninth. And when i read the second circle of hell (the Carnal), it kind of remind me to the song “Katherine Wheel”. Here are the specifict words i cited from the book;
    “They find themselves on a dark ledge swept by a great whirlwind, which spins within it the souls of the Carnal, those who betrayed reason to their appetites. Their sin was to abandon themselves to the tempest of their passions: so they swept forever in the tempest of Hell, forever denied the light of reason and of God” –Canto V, The Inferno by Dante.
    It occur to me that the situtation in Katherine Wheel is similiar to the Carnal, where they were blow and twisted in a whirlwind or a swirl. So it could be means that, the love itself is a sinful thing. Sinful so he could be banished to the second circle of hell. Or at least in a hellish condition just like in the Carnal. But he never hesitated from the start. He is ready and look forward to it, whatever it cost. If it would be hell, then be it.
    That’s all i’ve got. Well at least, it was the interpretation from my point of view. It is not an absolute truth, everybody were free to interprete in their own way. I hope you had a good time reading this. Feel free to comment and visit my gallery, just click on the picture and you’re on your way. Keep on reading your books and Himming! 

by Dies Lumina

9 komentar:

Anonymous said...

"Catherine Wheel" was a band from england
maybe the song ist about them?!?!

Venu5Doom said...

The Catherine wheel was a medieval torture device used in executions. I think you'll find this is what Ville is referring to in his song. Hope the following information helps. Cheers.

Facts and Information about the Catherine Wheel:-

The Catherine Wheel or Breaking Wheel was an instrument of execution where the unfortunate victim had his limbs systematically broken. Catherine wheel or breaking wheel, an instrument of execution often associated with Saint Catherine of Alexandria and adopted as one of the European execution methods. Medieval Execution by the Wheel was practised in France and Germany. Breaking on the wheel, or Catherine Wheel, was a form of torture and execution where the victim was placed on a cart-wheel and his limbs stretched out along the spokes. The wheel was made to slowly revolve, and the man's bones broken with blows of an iron bar. Sometimes it was mercifully ordered that the executioner should strike the criminal on chest and stomach, blows known as coups de grace, which at once ended the torture, and in France he was usually strangled after the second or third blow.

Anonymous said...

^Yes what they are saying.. look into Catherine of Alexandria. What she stands for as a Saint, whose love for her faith outlasted her life and death. Why the breaking wheel is called Catherine wheel.
I like your analysis of The Inferno bit, though. Interesting

Unknown said...

"The song's lyrics center on a metaphor based around a medieval torture device. In the chorus vocalist Ville Valo croons, "Come on and break me a limb at a time/ wrap me around your spoke so tight." This is a reference to the martyrdom of the early fourth century saint, Catherine of Alexandra (d c310). An eighteen year old young lady of high rank and learning, Saint Catherine visited the Roman Emperor Maximinus and rebuked him for his persecution of Christians. When he ordered heathen philosophers to debate with her, the Christian teenager defended her faith with clear and lucid arguments. As a consequence Saint Catherine was condemned to death on a wheel like that of a chuff cutter. As the wheel turned the cords miraculously snapped, so the authorities instead beheaded her. The medieval breaking wheel used for capital punishment and torture in the Middle Ages came to be known as the Catherine wheel after the demise of the saint. The spinning wheel firework is also called a "Catherine wheel" from this unpleasant scenario, and there was an alternative rock band by that name in the '90s."

Anonymous said...

hello there, just to make it clear, i didn't any research, just read it, you were pretty accurate with your interpretation, i suggest you to take a look at Kat Von D's new book "go big or go home", the "katherine", is no one else than herself apparently.. and so on, the whole album was written to hers

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Unknown said...

Definitely has to be about Kat Von D

Unknown said...

It is

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