New Slang Lyrics - The Shins

Review The Song (32)

Gold teeth and a curse for this town were all in my mouth.
Only, i don't know how they got out, dear.
Turn me back into the pet that i was when we met.
I was happier then with no mind-set.

And if you'd 'a took to me like
A gull takes to the wind.
Well, I'd 'a jumped from my tree
And I'd a danced like the king of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would 'a fared well.

New slang when you notice the stripes, the dirt in your fries.
Hope it's right when you die, old and bony.
Dawn breaks like a bull through the hall,
Never should have called
But my head's to the wall and I'm lonely.

And if you'd 'a took to me like
A gull takes to the wind.
Well, I'd 'a jumped from my tree
And I'd a danced like the kind of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would 'a fared well.

God speed all the bakers at dawn may they all cut their thumbs,
And bleed into their buns 'till they melt away.

I'm looking in on the good life i might be doomed never to find.
Without a trust or flaming fields am i too dumb to refine?
And if you'd 'a took to me like
Well I'd a danced like the queen of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would 'a fared well.

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music vs. lyrics | Reviewer: Dave | 1/6/14

I see lots of comments debating the meaning of the lyrics. Yes, sometimes the lyrics matter. But sometimes a song is just so good, it doesn't matter what the lyrics are. This song is that good. It gets down inside me. The melody alone is addicting.

Maybe I can ask him. | Reviewer: Matt | 1/27/13

My sister said that she saw James Mercer in the park by my house and he lives in my neighborhood in Portland. I hope that one day I bump into him there and, if I'm very lucky, he will settle this puzzle of what it all means. :)

Close | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/20/10

I find myself agreeing with Jake's assessment for the most part. The only difference I see is that the view of the world being so meaningless, was triggered by the apparent break up that the chorus explains, not just inherently. Using the word "if" repeatedly in the chorus shows a bitter nostalgia and regret, which conveys that his new-found nihilistic view of the world, in his view, is his former lovers fault.

Not at all | Reviewer: zzz | 12/15/10

As much as i respect jonny's reverance to this song he, as well as the rest of you are all wrong. First off it is not jibberish and second it has A meaning, not many. The Shins write their songs like a poet writes poetry and thus it must be analysed like such. As a writer and reader of poetry (along with the help of a poetry interpretation class i am taking) i felt as if i could at least offer my take on the song. Take it line for line then stanza by stanza. But as to the meaning its about a couple who did not try hard enough to make things work. Try not to focus on the literal meaning of phrases like gold teeth and gulls taking to the wind. Gold teeth paint a picture of the character of the man and when he says like a gull takes to the wind he does not simply mean that he wishes she would take to him, but submit to him like a gull to the wind. If this change had been made he would have gladly come down from his tree (remember those, when you wanted to get away when you were a kid?) and danced (or jumped through hoops) for her like the king of the eyesores (sore eyes, the king of being with the same girl his whole life). Then the song changes (a NEW slang, slang being a term used in substitute for the actually, probably what he calls her) and the man who wished he was back in the infatuation stage of a relationship now changes his mood to a bitter reflection, how as a relationship moves on you see faults in the person (dirt in your fries) that you hope is all good as you grow old and die. The next bit of the chorus i assume was somethingof a booty call, if you have ever broken up with someone you truely fell for you would know how hard it is sometimes to get free of that influence. As for the bakers, you see that at dawn they are making their buns and the writer wishes them to cut their thumbs and bleed into their work, because as a baker the purpose in life is to bake and as a lover it is to love, you must put yourself into that purpose until you die. Also notice the references to food to descrbe the nature of dating, he found dirt in his fries, not something he has to deal with forever. As to the girl's response pay attention to the line with no flaming fields or trust, too dumb to refine? She could find nothing horribly wrong or completely right about this guy and she wonders if she was too dumb to make the thing something worth more. This song offers a bleak outlook on love and marriage (you also have to pay attention to the music, kinda melo) and is, in my opinion, pure genius. I love the shins and i apologise for the hurriedness of this post and jonny, it should strike you differantly every time, its music. Anyways poetry is always one thing and one thing more (Robert Frost) but never everything at once.

JP | Reviewer: Johnny Deng | 12/7/10

I love this song. I listen to alot of music, mostly heavier and faster stuff but I'll listen to pretty much anything and this is my alltime favourite song. However I have not read any of your reviews and don't ever plan to. What I love about this song is that even though I can sense a general theme, everytime I listen to it I feel a different way. Everytime the lines I identify most with change and so does their meaning but there is always something there to identify with. There's a charge about the song and it's lyrics that makes me feel like I get it without having to understand the meaning behind the words. And I wouldn't want it sullied by an analysis of it. I hope someone reads this and agrees and thus is spared his or her personal sentiment about this song.

Queen of the Eyesores | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/30/10

This song is about a relationship lived and gone. First "his" perspective that things would have fared well if she would have taken to him. Then, "her" response in the end that if he would have taken to her she would have danced as well. Homage is given to all the bakers at dawn "working at it to the bone" so to say. It takes work this life, love and the perseverence of happiness. It takes two.

New Slang | Reviewer: Becky | 11/26/10

Hey Folks! I think its about someone who isn't comfortable with themselves, and relies on other people's views (in this case a love interest) to shape their self esteem. This man relies on the woman in question's approval. Maybe he started off as "the pet" because he saw himself as the possession and the woman as the master or dominator as the relationship, which is why he is so dependent on her approval. I think his confidence starts to waver because he thinks she is noticing his flaws, and he is embarrassed by them. Just an idea to throw out there.

Meaning of the song. | Reviewer: Casey | 9/17/10

I don't think this song is Gibberish. Not in the slightest. This song has a really deep meaning and is using metaphors. Its saying that sometimes you just need to get out and restart your life because just because something doesn't work out doesn't mean nothing will. This song is about how he dated someone, or maybe just fell in love with someone, who was completely wrong for him and he knew it, but he went with her anyways because he wanted to take that chance. He's saying that if she liked him more then they would've been together forever and it would've been fine. I take it as, he's tired of where he is and just wants to go out and do what is right for him. Also, he doesn't quite understand why he even liked her or went for her in the first place.

At least that's what I get from it. Mostly because I've been in those shoes, I totally understand everything about this song.

title of my review | Reviewer: jes | 9/4/10

I usually don't post on things like this .. ever. I was just looking up these lyrics because I love this song so much ... Therefore, I stumbled upon the comments and I just HAD to comment on the last one.
Dude, I know you weren't downing the song but think about this: If you read the lyrics to most of the songs you've heard, they deffinitely won't all make sense. Music is what it is. There's so many different kinds. Some, like trance, is purely for the feel. But this is like poetry, to me. haha, Jibberish lyrics. Youre right; How do you understand something like that!? But do you not like literature ?
Whatever's cool, I just want to suggest Modest Mouse.
They're astounding.

beautiful but odd lyrics. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/15/10

how do you come up with such lyrics? unless you give it your own meaning, on paper it doesnt make sense. whats he smoking? this are like random words that a hippie mumbles when hes had too much to smoke. of course he's a creative hippie. theyre all random words put together. i love this song though

my story | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/25/10

i love this song i has helpt me trough a very tough time i had it on my mp3 and i whas going to mi girlfriend at the time and her parents didn´t know that we wher going out and i hadn´t seen her in like a week so i called he and her mom answerd and she made a big deal about it and she told me that she didn´t want me near her daughter and well i whas fed up with the whole secret relationship and everithing so the next day i whent over and broke up with her but i never told her that her mom called me because i didnt want to guve her more problems and exactly when i ended things with her this song came on in my mp3 and the vers ¨Never shoulda called
But my head´s to the wall and i'm lonely¨ got stuck in my head. its amezing how one phone call can change your life

Addition to Jake's Response | Reviewer: Justine | 2/16/10

I agree with Jake, and I have found additional meaning through the lyrics:

"Flaming fields" refers to the communist-crisis in Bihar. The country faces a crossroads of whether the people are able to blaze a new trail or simply follow the beaten, grounded path of compromise established by their ancestors. This meets with Jake's review as one must question "Am I too dumb to refine?" meaning that one must face the crossroads and choose a path.

Beautiful Song | Reviewer: Matt | 10/26/09

This is one of my favorite songs. It is so well written. I interpret the song as a sad song. The guy is longing to be with a girl he use to be with. In different metaphors and what not he essentially says he be the happiest guy ever if he was given another shot by his ex. Lovely song that I could listen to over-and-over again.

one interpretaiton | Reviewer: anonymous | 8/3/09

this is one of my favorite songs as far as lyrics go, really quite beautifully written. i think its kind of a sad song, talking to a girl he used to be with but isn't anymore, and can't help thinking of what might of been, but never could be.

in the first part he's saying, somewhat sarcastically and maybe bitterly, how he's not happy where he is in his life now and would rather be back in blind love like when they started going out.

then the chorus, saying if she would have wanted to be with him, he'd do anything, and wouldn't even care about being a fool (king of the eyesores), would proudly dance about for all to see as long as they're happy.

the next part is about how reality hit him. things start to take on a "new" meaning, you notice things, "the dirt in your fries" could be an analogy to how when your a child, you can drop food on the ground and pick it up and eat it without thinking about it (all a metaphor of course), then you grow out of it and notice all the bad things, and after this the only thing left is to get old and die. and this change hit him abruptly (bull through the hall). he's regretting even telling her this but he doesn't know what else to do, kind of depressed.

chorus again

then in the bakers thumbs part it refers back to "dawn", the turning point. like when people hit this change and the innocence and sincerity is gone, they end up getting hurt, and often by something close to them, and it never really heals. also it kind of shows a change in his mood to being kind of bitter about losing her.

then finally i think he's talking about how he's seen that she's getting on with her life and is happy again, and he doesn't know if he can do the same. he's still messed up from it all, still can't trust or find any courage (flaming field), and doesn't know if he's capable of picking himself back up (refine). and then it ends with one last what if.

haha wow that ended up being long. anyways it's just one way to interpret it. tried not to miss anything.

new slang... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/26/09

I agree with the last review that this song is far from optimistic, moreso focused on the stasis and lack of movement for mankind during life in general.
However I doubt the author is considering that in detail here, like most songwriters they are most likely to be drawing ideas from there own personal experiences. So I think the song can be read either pessimistically or optimistically depending on how the listener is actually feeling a that point in time. The song can be a love song talking of how relationships can mend your life or as the world being a living hell for us all to endure, yay for hell on earth!

Personally I love this song and the album 'Oh, Inverted World' and think we should all agree 'Garden State' kicks ass (watch it if you haven't!!!), and we should all hail Zach Braff as our God and make yearly sacrifices to appease him. :)

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------ 11/23/2014

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