Song by Hungry Lights
from the album Heavy Is The Crown
November 15, 2016
Heavy Is The Crown track listing
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Contempt The Thorn That Split My Wheel

"Wickerman" is track three on the Hungry Lights studio album "Heavy Is The Crown." Remember that this is a summary, not the entire story! It is like 10% of what is actually going on—just the skeleton. It is a rough translation of what is literally going on in the lyrics. There is also a figurative story that is taking place at the same time which goes much deeper and does not involve the fictional character Prill, but that is up to you to find :) It is much easier to discover the hidden meaning when you grasp a decent understanding of the literal meaning first. These are your puzzle pieces, and I highly suggest you study them before pursuing the next albums in the sequence, otherwise emotion and information will be lost, therefore connections will be missed!


Compared to other Hungry Lights songs Justin has written, "Wickerman" seems to be very straightforward. The song continues with the regret and self-loathing from "Contempt," but this time Prill accepts responsibility for his actions. Despite looking around for something/someone else to blame everything on, he can see that only he is at fault. What is he going to do about it? Sitting around and doing nothing is adding to the feeling of being burned alive from the inside out, and Prill thinks that it might be too late to stop it.

Over the last eight years, to escape the constant self reprimanding and hate, Prill has distracted himself with gambling and drinking. On this particular day, he decides to partake in these activities, and he seems to have gained a winning streak (although the line, "and i learned a few tricks" suggests he might be cheating). It is made clear that the people Prill is gambling with become rather upset over his constant winning, but that does not stop the overzealous sea hunter from playing again and again and again. Soon enough, Prill decides to stop playing whatever card game he starts with, and the lyrics suggest he moves to shoot craps.

Prill bets higher and higher as his streak of luck continues, and then eventually the catalyst shows up. The mysterious man plays against Prill and makes a bet that Prill cannot possibly pay, but Prill is arrogant as always, and he thinks his luck (or cheating) will persist. The next section of lyrics, he expresses that he lost. Whether he lost because he was luck ran out or because he was not able to cheat anymore is undetermined, but he acknowledges that he was greedy and that he made a mistake. But hindsight does not really help him with his problem...

After the devastating blow to his ego, reality strikes Prill as the fight or flight reaction kicks in. Prill chooses to fight, then stands up and brandishes a gun—threatening to kill Zhin. Prill essentially freaks out, his emotions get the best of him, and then a gunshot is audibly heard at the end of the song.


O’ I had just simmered and fumed!

My heyday was trimmed and was pruned

T'was soiled with the mulch of remorse

I replayed this hundreds of times in my head

And I searched for a fault or a blunder or curse to blame

-No such miscue occurred

It was my cross to bear,

And I walked with that cross on my back

My bridle and patience wore off

I'd not sink in and wait for a door

I had to get out!

-Had to flee from the scrawl in my head!

All these starving flames inching onto me

Can’t be stomped out now

And you'd never let go

We’re hanging from the edge,

Swaying riotous

While candles burn away at my straw, wicker hands

O’ the fall’s so far down!

From the brim of my hell, I had glimpsed an escape

So I played a few hands, and I learned a few tricks

And from ‘cross the bridge, such glowering facets turned

It seemed luck's key had found its hole

And with such merry comes great sorrow

On and on those candles burned...

This windfall would never wear off!

With a verve, I made way toward the floor!

Fate threw me the dice,

And I staked such a price—that I did!

One more game—one more chance to reclaim my crown!

All these starving flames inching onto me

Can’t be stomped out now

And you'd never let go

We’re hanging from the edge,

Swaying riotous

While candles burn away at my straw, wicker hands

O’ the fall’s so far down!

Then a darkness veiled the scene,

And spelled me to walk the flames

To roll and wonder—always wondering!

If time rewound itself, I'd kick myself to leave

This was defeat

Before I even hit the ground, I knew that I was smoke

A fuse made of greed had fastened into me

And it had stitched up my retreat

And I had been given one chance

Bet you'll never see me again as I burn it all away

I had betrayed me!

I didn't know if I should fight or run or beg for mercy

I knew for sure that all my common sense had turned to ash

Across from me, a dozen eyes reflected malcontent

So I stood up tall to point and aim the gun between his eyes

I couldn't figure what I felt inside

-It buzzed and pressured

Like being stabbed in the gut

And in the heat I cried,

"Get on your knees and beg me not to kill you and your family

Down on your knees,

You pray to God that I don't change my mind!”

‘Cause inside, there's a gun that's loaded

And that gun's always itching to be fired

I had my finger on it—I had my finger on it

To pull the trigger

-Problem solved and walk out pure as wine

Had I learned to bite the bullet...

Had I known my place in line...

I had my finger on it—I had my finger on it

And then I pulled it

I was charred enough to change my mind

 Trivia Edit

  • An earlier conceptualized name for this song was "From Windfall To Hell."