The overall tone of the song communicates the idea of trying to have hope for better when the present is dark and needs goodness, but it all feels hopeless and like a trap, with everything under the control of larger forces. All though this may make no sense, to me it resonates as being “hopeless hope”.
“In any other world you could tell the difference” This shows how Tam Lin knows that things are wrong and there is corruption, and that in any other setting, the difference would be seen and it would be understood by the majority as wrong.
“And let it all unfurl into broken remnants” Connects with the previous line in showing that the world Tam Lin lives in is built of broken pieces, each piling up and adding to the troubles, which are currently unrecognized by so many who are under control.
“‘cause it’s all in the hands, of a bitter, bitter man” This screams Tam Lin in relation to El Patron, because his life is now in the hands of this fuhrer, who is most definitely a bitter, bitter man. Such as when Tam Lin was forced to leave with El Patron. A specific example of this is when Tam Lin says “He grew large and green until he shadowed over the whole forest, but most of his branches are twisted (Farmer 70)” (in reference to El Patron).
“Say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in” This line highlights Tam Lin’s efforts to get Matt to realize what is wrong with their world, the drug lord, the opium fields, and the society in general, and how it’s not what Matt thought.
“Take a bow, play the part, of a lonely, lonely heart.” To me, this communicates the fact that Tam Lin was a terrorist back in Scotland, but really it was because he felt he needed to stand up against what he believed was wrong, and so essentially he was obliged to play the part of what would be seen as evil and a lonely, lonely heart. When Hugh is talking about Tam Lin's past, he mentions that Tam Lin was a Scottish nationalist, and though Hugh said it discretely and rudely, it seemed to be that Tam Lin was standing up for what he believed in, and what he probably believed to be morally right.
“I tried to live alone. But lonely is so lonely, alone.” I believe this reflects how Tam Lin ended up having to trust Matt, and couldn’t just stay alone with his beliefs, but rather had to reach out and share the truth with Matt.“I had to give up my defences.” This shares the fact that Tam Lin had to give up his terrorist attempts to better society, as he is now under the control of El Patron.