Australia Lyrics - The Shins
Review The Song (72)
Time to put the earphones on:
Born to multiply or born to gaze into night skies,
When all you want's one more Saturday.
But look here, until then
They're gonna buy your life's time
So keep your wick in the air and your feet in the fetters
To the day.
We come in doing cartwheels
We all crawl out by ourselves
And your shape on the dance floor
Will have me thinking such filth and gauge my eyes.
You'd be damned to be one of us girl
Faced with a dodo's conundrum
Ah, I felt like I could just fly
But nothing happened every time I tried.
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The selfless fool who hoped he'd save us all
He never dreamt of such sterile hands,
You keep them folded in your lap,
Or raise them up to beg for scraps,
You know, he's holding you down,
With the tips of his fingers just the same,
Will you be pulled from the ocean,
But just a minute too late,
Or changed by a potion,
And find a handsome young mate,
For you to love.
You'll be damned to pining through the windowpanes,
You know you'd trade your life for any ordinary Joe's,
Well do it now or grow old,
Your nightmares only need a year or two to unfold.
Been alone since you were twenty-one,
You haven't laughed since January,
You try and make like this is so much fun,
But we know it to be quite contrary.
Dare to be one of us, girl,
Facing the android's conundrum,
Ah, I feel like I should just cry,
But nothing happens every time I take one on the chin,
Yeah, him wearing your coat,
You don't know how long I've been,
Watching the lantern dim,
Starved of oxygen,
So give me your hand,
And let's jump out the window.
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it's just about "the human condition" | Reviewer: Ted M | 12/16/12
To know what a story is about, don't pick a random phrase in the middle and try to explain it. Start at the beginning. We're here to grow our species (multiply), were born to consciousness and contemplation (gaze into night skies), but as humans we also seek enjoyment and happiness (one more Saturday)". "Come in doing cartwheels" (birth and youth); "crawl out by ourselves" (old age and death).
I love "the android's conundrum" and "dodo's conundrum"!
Peter Pan | Reviewer: S! | 10/24/12
I first found out the lyrics and was like, "Wow, these are crazy and random and totally not mainstream!" But after contemplating what the song is saying I now have realized my own simple interpretation of the lyrics, whether they are similar to others or no: it's a theme song for Peter Pan- they never want to grow up :)
here's what i think | Reviewer: anon | 12/26/11
It's about a person (or people) who refuse to grow up. "Born to multiply,
Born to gaze into night skies,
When all you want’s one more Saturday." They know they should move on from their lifestyle, settle down, have a family, but they just want to continue living like they do without consequences or responsibilities.
"You'll be damned to pining through the windowpanes,
You know you'd trade your life for any ordinary Joe’s,
Well do it now or grow old." – change your life or you're gonna grow old like this.
and "so give me your hand and we'll jump out the window" – I don't know, I've not really seen it as a romantic song, but this seems more like two people being sort of, 'all right, we'll self-destruct, but we'll do it together'.
just my rambling thoughts
Just had an ah-ha moment | Reviewer: Kait | 7/6/11
Okay, so I heard in an intervieew that it was about a women who they met once. She was very contrary and I guess was afraid of people. In the first section, it talks about how she is suppossed to multiply (babies), have a happy life, etc. And when, it starts by saying, "We come in doing cartwheels," it means that they are trying to reach out to her and help her. The thing about "you shape on the dance floor..." is a compliment. The thing to understand before I move on is that this women is an intense perfectionist who is keeping herself from living a happy life because she is striving to hard for perfection. But the things is is that she is just like anyone else and cannot "fly" per say, or achieve perfection. The next section continue on this same subject for a little more and then is beckoning her to change and become content without perfection. I kind of saying, "There's not going to be some miracle or magic potion that will do it for you." So she need to do this before she grows old, or some of her "nightmares" begin to unfold. I mean, she's been alone and sad for a long time that way... I not going to hit on the last one very much. Its beackoning her one final time to, well, "give me your hand, and let's jump out the window." lalala
DODO's Conundrum | Reviewer: Steve | 4/28/11
I thought it said faced with a DOUGHNUT'S conundrum, which I thought quite clever (the conundrum of being hollow on the inside). But, I guess the DODO's conundrum of being flighless and facing extinction also makes sense as far as conundrums go.
Hung Out to Get Dry | Reviewer: Tony | 2/7/11
I've had this album for a couple of years, never really dug deep into it and only dug it out again recently...some subconscious conundrum of my own telling me to listen in. I gotta agree with Becky. I write songs and reckon i know a little about a lot of music. And new and shining convert, I believe Mr Mercer to be a proper genius. Also, I'm in Ireland, it's late and i'm pissed. Good morrow to you all...
My Ideas.. | Reviewer: Becky | 11/26/10
I don't know if I'm completely off base, and you may disagree, but from reading the lyrics I feel like a part of the song is about a girl who is preoccupied with finding the perfect man or her soul mate or the thoughts that she will never find him and she is tuning out of the excitement of life that is around her. Maybe the singer is trying to coax her into having fun and forgetting about her fantasies
-.'Or changed by a potion,
And find a handsome young mate
For you to love."
-"Been alone since you were twenty-one,
You haven't laughed since January.
You try and make like this is so much fun,"
I feel like this last quote really manifests my idea, because I interpret it as the girl is trying to defend her loneliness and isolation in her fantasies as fun and harmless. I know that I personally have been there.
To be completely honest, I have trouble understand a lot of what Mercer says in terms of articulation, but that being said this is probably my favorite song right now.
And everyone is entitled to their own opinion about what the lyrics are to a song. Thats the great part about music or poetry, as long as the person doesn't take too far (i.e. Charles Manson).
God Speaks! | Reviewer: Erika | 3/23/10
The woman in the song is a spirited woman at heart who is being suffocated by a man in her life that she needs to be free from. She can choose the man and suffer the dodo's conundrum the rest of her life and not live out her wild woman's destiny or she she can do the android's conundrum, go with it and the other man, real or ideal, into living the dream and living out of her true identity: the wild woman she really is.
wow | Reviewer: Eve | 2/17/10
i like the simile of the "dodo's conundrum"<-- completely random
I am doing a poetry unit (again) in school and my teacher gave us a project and we take a song and we interpret it. and this song was screaming pick me when she assigned it.. although it does upset me that ill be the only one in my class that isnt picking a jonas brother song. man the world needs to see the beauty in all this wonderful music and in poetry. i mean such simplicity between two notes can just make such a beautiful thing. man music is amazing... especially the shins
realistic | Reviewer: sanstitre | 10/26/09
For me these lyrics are absolutely realistic, of what is the real meaning of life.. dont try hard to find what is it about.. you born to do the same because there´s no other way , trying to find a park i life to feel much better ..I love this song
i'm not sure... | Reviewer: Bren | 10/22/09
i'm not really sure what all the fuss is about. being a musician i feel like i write songs because they mean something to me, but it is up to other people to determine and interpret the song for themselves, whether it be right or wrong in my eyes. i just think that people need to be a little nicer in this world.
there are so many worse things than having differing views on song lyrics, and personally i think all the opinions listed are valid.
good ideas! | Reviewer: Mike | 8/19/09
i like the holocaust idea. i don't agree with it, but the guy (max) who thought it up clearly developed it quite a bit and thought through most of the lyrics. a meaning i lean towards is Nicole's, although i would take it out of "story form" and think of it as a whole group of people feeling this way, not just a melancholy old man =D
Looking at it the wrong way | Reviewer: Dan | 6/28/09
I don't see why everyone's so obsessed with finding the right meaning to the song. I think it's best to find your own meaning, and attach your own memories and experiences to a song, it's much more enjoyable that way.
My interpretation of some of the song. | Reviewer: mr. marshmellow man | 4/30/09
I feel like the song is about life, boredom and pain, but you can do something about it to make it fun.
All you want is one more saturday/buy time - People who feel like they have to wait a whole week for their one day to have fun, and they're letting the world take the rest of their days from them.
Window Pane is another name for acid, "so let's jump out the window"
cartwheels, crawling - You put everything in to what you do, and yet it's not enough? Society?
Re: you guys are dumb.. | Reviewer: Maia | 4/26/09
Lyndsey, I'm pretty sure I speak for everyone when I say a) thanks for the link, and b) there's no need to call anyone "dumb". Cause all these "dummies" have been coming up with their own ideas about the song's meaning, something you failed to do.
Nonetheless, after so much hesitation regarding the matter, I find your fanatic teenager attitude quite helpful! Evidently, none of us had ever come across this interview, and were therefore unable to reach your level of enlightment. But now that you've shown us the way, we can proudly say that we've learned the true meaning of this song.
For the rest of you guys, here's the transcript:
"Well that song isn't about Australia, first of all. That's from my memories of working in offices. I've had a hundred different jobs, and there is a special kind of sickness doing a job in an office. I was a bookkeeper and a secretary, and there is something so horribly boring and defeating about it. That song is also about this woman from Texas who was just awful, a racist and a miserable person. I felt sorry for her. In Australia, she's Himmler. So it's partly me wondering, 'Is this what humans are meant to be doing?' You're in this fucking cage and there's people you can see through the window and you see the gardener and you're so fucking jealous."
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