Stumbled across this, and found most of the comments to be pretty spot-on and act well to add cohesion to this rather frenetic song. I have a couple notes to add:
The Elysian Fields are a type of beatific and idyllic afterlife; cow tipping is a much-mentioned, seldom-performed past time of teenagers in the Midwest. A nice juxtaposition of disparate, yet still related phrases.
Cranes have a rich history throughout mythology. In different cultures, they’ve represented health, beauty, omens and longevity of life, among many others. One instance that comes quickly to mind is the Japanese tradition that making 1000 origami cranes would grant one perfect health. There’s also the industrial aspect that affects the use of the word, especially in the context of this song.
The three dogs could represent further paranoia and/or the ever-lurking presence of some force weighing on one’s mind. Pretty much any trinity could be interpreted here. It’s also worth noting that when Neil sings "Woof Woof Woof," after the next "Power of the holy ghost," he says "Pass auf," which pretty much means "watch out" in German.
By saying "I have come undone," the persona is admitting that he has come to worship this International Business Machine religion, having grudgingly (thus, "choking") offered up his barley bread sacrifice. "It’s just as I feared" is the justification and realization of his earlier paranoia.
The verse (stanza?) that starts out "Bugger dumb" is about conformity and resignation to this corporate theology/philosophy/ideology that has been established by the persona, who is growing fearful of his imminent assimilation into it. The first lines speaks of muting the reliance on and influence of thought and education. The line about Occam’s razor begins by saying that this conformity is the simplest and best answer, and "cutting clean" sets up an almost paraprosdokian play on the phrase, by juxtaposing it with the actual act of shaving one’s face. "Shaven like a banker" shows the transformation into your stereptypical businessman; "lilac vegetal" is a famous after-shave for men—more word play on shaving. Glass ceilings is a phrase used in the corporate world to describe an inevitable passe one will reach in his or (usually) her station due to an inherent quality (being a woman, for one, would be an example). A Golden Parachute is a retirement package that a CEO or such will set up for him/herself for when he/she steps down from the position. It usually includes things like a high pension, stock options, and other benefits—this is especially beneficial if the company is in the red. It seems this could be read as saying that once you give yourself over to this force, succeed to the top of this once-despised, now-embraced commerciality.
I should stop now before my English major kicks into any higher gear—wouldn’t really want a queer-theory reading of Clutch . . . or would we?
Anyway, it’s a great song, with great word-play and basically just rocks.
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