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Meaning of the song ‘Around the Fur’ by ‘Deftones’

Released: 1997

“Around the Fur” by Deftones punches through the speakers with a blend of aggression, introspection, and eerie beauty that’s as complex as the lyrics themselves. This track, like much of Deftones’ work, delves into themes of obsession, desire, and the superficiality often found in relationships and society. Frontman Chino Moreno’s evocative lyrics and impassioned delivery dig into the carnal and darker sides of human nature, wrapped in the band’s signature mix of heavy riffs and atmospheric soundscapes.

The opening lines, “Hey, vanity / This vial’s empty, and so are you / Hey, glamorous / This vial’s not God anymore,” set a tone of disillusionment. ‘Vanity’ and ‘glamorous’ here are not just adjectives; they’re addressed as if they’re entities or people, personifying these traits to criticize. The mention of the ‘vial’ being empty speaks to the hollowness of basing one’s identity purely on surface-level attributes or external validation—highlighting a void that such superficiality brings, despite appearances.

The chorus, marked by the cry of “Speak! (Speak!)”, reveals a struggle for genuine connection amidst this facade. “Should I ignore the fashion or go by the book? / I don’t want it, I just want your eyes fixated on me,” expresses a desire to break free from societal expectations or norms—’the fashion’ and ‘the book’—craving instead for authentic, undivided attention (‘your eyes fixated on me’). The line “Coming back, oh, coming back around the fur,” seems to reference this cyclical battle with superficiality and the desire for something deeper, with ‘around the fur’ possibly symbolizing the outer, superficial layers one must navigate.

The second verse introduces the term ‘Prostitute,’ which Moreno uses not in a literal sense but as a metaphor for self-compromise or selling oneself short, morally or emotionally. “Climb back down from the floor / Please don’t fuck around and die like this / ‘Cause I love her” could be interpreted as a plea to someone close, potentially spiraling into self-destructive behavior, indicating a complex mix of concern, frustration, and love.

In the bridge, the call to “Speak!” is repeated, now with added lines that reveal a conflicting mix of defiance and vulnerability: “you’re so bad to me / I don’t wanna get dressed up anyway / Come on, have some fun, I’m innocent.” This defiance could be seen as a rejection of playing roles or games in relationships or society. The claim of innocence and the demand to “Drop your weapons and come on” hint at wanting to strip away defenses and facades for a sincere connection.

The song closes with a declaration: “Speak, you’re a liar, you’re a liar / And I don’t care about her, her, her.” This could signify a turning point or realization, calling out dishonesty directly—with the repetition of “her” possibly pointing to the object of obsession or desire mentioned throughout the song, or perhaps representing the varied facets or faces of superficiality and deceit encountered.

Overall, “Around the Fur” navigates the murky waters of human relationships and identities with a raw, unfiltered lens. Deftones masterfully weave together a powerful musical and lyrical tapestry that challenges the listener to look beyond the surface, questioning what’s real and what’s just fur—just an outer layer disguising the empty vials within.

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