Don't waste you life being chaste | Reviewer: jeremiah | 4/3/08
Clearly this is about a virgin waiting for the right man to marry while the singer wants her to just live in the now and not let religion constrain her.
Firstly, the singer tries to persuade the girl with biology: "Born to multiply". We were born to procreate, intercourse is part of being human, don't deny your own humanity!
When he sings; "We all come in doing cartwheels, we all crawl out on our own" he means that we are all human, we all die, why wait for heaven when you can have it now?
The "dual tone on the wall" is a picture of Christ, "the selfless fool who hoped he'd saved us all". It stands as the symbol of the religion that says you should remain chaste until marriage. But religion is "holding you back" from experiencing real bliss. If the girl does not become "changed by a potion, And find a handsome young mate" she will be "damned to pining through the windowpanes" and "grow old" without experiencing real love.
Finally, the singer tries to persuade the girl to give into temptation by saying: "So give me your hand, And let's jump out the window." The window of course is a metaphor for the threshold of beliefs and mores that stand between her and true happiness.
Hence the title... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/13/08
I heard that the title "Australia" was given to this song because it was written while the Shins were touring in Aussie. I <3 this song a lot..not super sure what the lyrics all mean. anyone have ideas?
haha no strippers | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/24/08
the song is definitely not about a stripper haha.. this is what i get from the lyrics..
its about someone not living up to their own expectations.. as if all they're born for is to "multipy, and gaze into the sky" they feel restrained ("feet in the fetters") and unable to free themselves. they try to keep their hopes up ("wick in the air") while trying to endure their perpetual hard times.. what has become their norm.. the riddle they can't seem to get away from.. their life has become that of a human-like robot. hence the use of "android's/ dodo's conundrum."
the person has given up.. he keeps his hands "folded in his lap" only to raise them to "beg for scraps". when he tries to get above what he has become and do something with is life, he just plummits to the ground, never reaching his goal of what he desires to become. (I felt like I could just fly, But nothing happened every time I tried"). someone is holding him down, and every time he gets up, he's just pushed right back down. he's not alone though, theres someone else in the same situation as him.. they both want to escape, and know if they don't act soon, then it will be impossible. "your nightmares only need a year or two to unfold". hes been watching his live go down the drain for a while and is ready to take action.. he wants to take her along with him. So he asks her to "give me your hand, and let's jump out the window".. its time for them to go, there's nothing to loose. He's ready to try his hardest to get away from what his life has become and give himself a future that isn't just about wanting "one more Saturday." he knows its possible to change his situation.. he just hasn't tried hard enough yet.
thats my analysis.
Breaking free | Reviewer: poormomma
I hear that we all get stuck in a rut as to what we believe our life is doomed to be (been there), but just take a chance, step out of the mold, create and find all life has to offer!
Brightens my January day, I tell you what!
It's about love... | Reviewer: Cher
I always thought this song was about a guy who is in love with this girl who is with this loser of a boyfriend. This guy is trying to show this girl that she's in a dead end relationship and wants her to experience something better, better with him. Now, I'm not sure we they called it Austrailia. Oh well, great song!
... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/7/07
My opinion is that this has to do with a sort of artistic frustration, which seems to be a common theme in The Shins songs. This guy feels like he should be able to produce something of value or merit, but finds himself unable to. Hence the sterile hands, dodo's/android's conundrum. He has the vague desire of giving up and being a normal person (as an artist he is supposed to be better than normal) but is probably unable to because he's just too neurotic.
The jumping out the window thing isn't explicitly a call for suicide, but rather a sort of general statement of existentialism (as are the first two lines 'born to multiply/gaze into night skies'; we are animals with no a priori higher purpose, etc...) and perhaps frustration with the status quo (Sleeping Lessons is all about that).
I think I also agree that he's speaking to a stripper (or someone similar, perhaps just a girl who likes to party) in the narrative, but I suspect most of the lines he's really saying to himself. There's some kind of parallel going on there, but I'm not really sure about it.
a step to solving the puzzle. (dont belive everything on wikipedia haha) | Reviewer: steph | 11/28/07
hhmmm i think its to do with the first fleet...seing as it landed january 1788. Im an aussie this is just standard history for me haha. the conditions were horrible on the ships and they also didnt know what to expect from the land they were travelling to...but of course there is the glum feeling of death in this song which ties in with the people having to live with it on their long trip...
i wonder if this helps at all:S...and for the steve irwin thing im finding it hard to relate the lyrics to his death at all:S
the shins are amazing. and i think this cd came out before steve irwin died, didn't it? anyways, i love this song. i love lyrics like this. the more they make you think, the better. [in my opinion]
stripper? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/23/07
isn't this a pathetic dude at a strip club singing about a stripper (exotic dancer) and her presumed stripper life dilemma ? hard to disregard all the specific references: "dance floor, tip, try to make it fun, come in doing cartwheels and crawling out, filth, etc.."
do what thou will | Reviewer: me21
for me it describes choosing destiny not letting fate determine your future.
whoever things this refers to the death of a wildlife film maker from a stingrays barb is on some narcotics.
Death of Steve Irwin? | Reviewer: Ryan Peters | 9/21/07
According to Wikipedia, this song is about the death of Steve Irwin (the Australian dude who wrestled aligators untill getting stung by a sting ray) After reading the lyrics I have no f - ing clue what the song is about. Any thoughts?
ha | Reviewer: hi | 9/18/07
"And everyone who doesn't like them... well,
I do and so do like 83945 other people
so fuck everybody else"
you're going to be fucking more than 6.9 billion people.
the shins would be disappointed in you
deep lyrics | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/17/07
this is one of da best songs eva!! i think its more about being restricted by things in your life, and then finally letting go of all your worries, and fixing your life for good.
It's really not about feeling empty and ultimately killing yourself. I interpreted it as having a dead-end, boring life, but after realising that you can do it, turning your life around.
Well, thats just me. Everyone interprets things differently. Exactly like a poem (Only with bounce!)
Tchyeahhh | Reviewer: A-Dawg | 8/20/07
The Shins are brilliant and so are their lyrics
And everyone who doesn't like them... well,
I do and so do like 83945 other people
so fuck everybody else