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Talking Heads (Nothing But) Flowers Lyrics

Last updated: 01/15/2014 06:45:45 AM

Here we stand
Like an Adam and an Eve
The Garden of Eden
Two fools in love
So beautiful and strong
The birds in the trees
Are smiling upon them
From the age of the dinosaurs
Cars have run on gasoline
Where, where have they gone?
Now, it's nothing but flowers

There was a factory
Now there are mountains and rivers
you got it, you got it

We caught a rattlesnake
Now we got something for dinner
we got it, we got it

There was a shopping mall
Now it's all covered with flowers
you've got it, you've got it

If this is paradise
I wish I had a lawnmower
you've got it, you've got it

Years ago
I was an angry young man
I'd pretend
That I was a billboard
Standing tall
By the side of the road
I fell in love
With a beautiful highway
This used to be real estate
Now it's only fields and trees
Where, where is the town
Now, it's nothing but flowers
The highways and cars
Were sacrificed for agriculture
I thought that we'd start over
But I guess I was wrong

Once there were parking lots
Now it's a peaceful oasis
you got it, you got it

This was a Pizza Hut
Now it's all covered with daisies
you got it, you got it

I miss the honky tonks,
Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens
you got it, you got it

And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention
you got it, you got it

I dream of cherry pies,
Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies
you got it, you got it

We used to microwave
Now we just eat nuts and berries
you got it, you got it

This was a discount store,
Now it's turned into a cornfield
you got it, you got it

Don't leave me stranded here
I can't get used to this lifestyle

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Madcap DeeBag | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/14/14

The lyrics seem to be a parable for a failed relationship. Byrne may be comparing environmental disaster / societal collapse to that moment when one realizes that they have taken a wonderful relationship for granted and totally wasted it. Some of us find ourselves in such a lurch from time to time.

It's really a breakup song. | Reviewer: Madcap DeeBag | 1/14/14

The lyrics seem to be a parable for a failed relationship. Byrne may be creating an analogy between the worst possible outcome of environmental degradation for modern society AND that moment when one realizes that they have taken a wonderful relationship for granted and totally wasted it, leaving oneself in a heart-rending lurch.

Golden Age Thinking | Reviewer: Andy | 4/6/13

It is amazing how people can drag a political interpretation out of this. I'm not saying they are incorrect, but in the interpretations I have read there, not one person has interpreted this song as a dig at 'Golden Age Thinking'. This is a theme that has been explored by a range of artists, from Flaubert, to Samuel Johnson, to Woody Allen! The point isn't whether or not a natural environment is better, it is just that the grass is always greener on the other side. We all long for a simpler life, and accept the idea that Eden was perfect. But if Adam and Eve could have gone to Pizza Hut or 7-Eleven, and just got their food handed to them at their convenience, would they be able to cope with going back to hunting rattlesnakes? The snake is killed in this song, unlike the story of the Fall, so in this account mankind has done nothing to destroy paradise, they have simply constructed another one that they are dissatisfied with. This is the permanent aspect of our nature: dissatisfaction with our lot. We can't get used to ANY lifestyle. Like Randall Jarrell said: 'In a golden age, people go around complaining how yellow everything looks.'

Something for dinner | Reviewer: paerina | 2/23/13

Eating the beating heart of the snake is a culinary experience sought after by the most adventurous seeking the ultimate perfect meal.

All very exciting and relished decadently with every mouth full :)

Until of course the petal chefs arrived tantalizing you with sensuous rose salads..

I need help with a school project | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/19/12

Would you say that this song could be an example of the importance of nature? The way I see it, the song talks about how mother nature will eventually run its course and we won't be used to the changes. Therefore we should stop destroying it and get used to it.

slaughterhouse 5 | Reviewer: RJ | 11/3/12

Some have mentioned Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi, paved paradise and put up a parking lot in reverse in this song. I thought of Kurt Vonnegut's novel where the bombs and planes were carefully deconstructed and the metal returned to ore form and put back where it came from, everything done in reverse from finished product back to raw resources. I don't know what it means, it just reminded me of that. Maybe it means we can't really go back and do it again, we should be a little more careful going forward.

nooooooo! | Reviewer: anon | 10/16/12

This is not at all about a guy who wants the hippy lifestyle; on the contrary ,the most decipherable lines are vehemently AGAINST the hippy ideology. People's comprehension skills need some work..

Paul Simon? | Reviewer: Tom | 9/14/12

Great song. Heard it for the first time this year. The lyrics are definitely Byrne... but the tune could have been from the Paul Simon album Graceland. After 15 seconds, I thought "I thought I played Talking Heads, not Paul Simon."

last line | Reviewer: David | 4/25/12

Whoa, the last line sums it all up! The narrator is getting used to the natural worldsomething he has not experienced before. Clearly this is a sarcastic song about commercialism taking over. No way in Heckuvaville, does David Byrne wish for Dairy Queens and Pizza Huts to continue to take over the world.

I haven't seen my take | Reviewer: tstoneami | 1/13/12

I think its a send up of the reality we would face if we lost the world we depend on and are habituated to.

A lot of us talk the talk about "getting ourselves back to the garden", but would miss our modern way of "life". Its SATIRE.

IRONY? | Reviewer: Alan | 12/2/11

The man is speaking for an overwhelming number of human beings who would find themselves confused, frustrated, overwhelmed by the loss of LA, Mumbai, Rio, Rome, Shanghai... as we know them; by the erasure of our brief presence here through our planet's natural processes. However, the very line "I can't get used to this lifestyle..." strikes me as humorously positivist, as if to say that we'll still be around when this all goes down. By the way, I once caught a rattlesnake, and had it for dinner; not so good. Peace

Shakes head slowly | Reviewer: Wandering Penguin | 9/4/11

What amazes me most about the reviews on here is how many people have quite obviously never heard a single other David Byrne-penned song in their life. I especially like the person who opined that Byrne "might be ambivalent" on the subject of environmentalism.

Seriously, get out more.

what a tune | Reviewer: mark | 6/29/11

anti green song,and i agree i love to go out to the countryside,but give me my car and convience food,bynre had foresight in this song ,we moved on from adam and eve,but we can argue forever the true meaning of these lryics,only david knows the truth,i think maybe this was writen after a long trip though the midwest on a tour bus,you have too much countryside

Guess I was Wrong.. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/28/11

I thought it was just a simple, nice ditty about a guy who was living in the world and then people started getting rid of the buildings and cars and everything and he was the only one, or one of the few who couldn't cope, but reading stuff from you guys I'm starting to think I may be incorrect o.o

Opinions Are Like Arsols... | Reviewer: Revisonator | 5/17/11

Liberals y'all use yer tongues prettier than 20 dollar whores. Militant eruditions and multi-syllablistic interpretations aside, yer all chokin hard on the FACT that this song ain't sayin nuthin about the love of environmentalism. Quie the contrary. Only an irrational silver tongued Lefy could run them lyrics through such a thorough rinse cycle. This song's about the misery that happens when the Prog Dems get their way. You know, when those caring, salt of the earth, people of the land/common clay folks (aka: morons) swing that big 'ol pendulum away from the masses and over to their tiny headed side. So choke on that rattlesnake meat while the rest of us all head out to Dairy Queen. :P