Red Rabbits Lyrics - The Shins



Review The Song (20)


Hurled to the center of the Earth again,
The place where it's hot, love,
You know, it hurts to breathe in,
And the watershed you balance on is begging it,
Well did he ever know,
Will he ever know?

The trees in the moonshine are a dark lattice,
So you catalog in the angle you notice,
In a vacuum you recharge to record this,
So you won't make it easy on me.

And I can't go into this no more,
It puts too many thorns on my mind,
And the necessary balloon lies a corpse on the floor,
We've pissed on far too many sprites,
And they're all standing up for their rights.

Born on a desert floor, you've the deepest thirst,
And you came to my sweet shore to indulge it,
With the wan and dreaming eyes of an orphan,
But there is not enough,
There is not enough.

Out of a gunnysack for red rabbits,
Into the crucible to be rendered an emulsion,
And we can't allow a chance they'd restore themselves,
So we can't make it easy on you.

Undaunted, you bathed in hollow cries,
The boils were swollen, sunburned eyes,
A reward for letting nothing under their skin,
So help me, I don't know, I might,
Just give the old dark side a try.

Don't cast your warring eyes on the shore,
Did we even the score?
I still owe you for the hole in the floor,
And the ghost in the hall,
Who decides who paddles over the falls?
Yeah, who makes the call,
Who makes the call?

Well, I know there's an eventual
Release from every scale of crime,
But the necessary balloon lies a corpse on the floor,
We've pissed on far too many good intentions held by clever sprites,
And they're all standing up for their rights.





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AYOOO an epiphany | Reviewer: Chillum | 12/13/13

So I was reading the lyrics trying to figga,,,,,
Then I read some comments and while most translations are a little far-fetched but Camille's from four years ago is actually spot-on...
She doesn't elaborate much but if you read the lyrics from a political standpoint it seems the writer is giving a voice to abortfed babies & standing up for their rights.
I'm VERY pro-choice but try reading it from that perspective. It fits!

I support shakesbeer theory Big Guy Verse Little Guy | Reviewer: zak | 1/14/12

I think this song is defiantly not a love song... but rather about the Big Guy Verse Little Guy
We've pissed on far too many sprites seems to be the point of the song.
So, Sprites- Connotative meaning: young, growing, small, colourful, creative,innocent & maybe a naive individual.

Hurled to the center of the Earth again,
The place where it's hot, love,
You know, it hurts to breathe in - Meaning Every day the sprite is burnt and cant breath due to peoples greed or selfishness like the man balancing on the watershed who wont share and has so much it is will fall.

Well did he ever know - Asking if he will ever find out that he is only a falling watershed away from being one of those without water.

So you won't make it easy on me - meaning people make things hard so the sprites cant get to the top.

Necessary balloon lies a corpse on the floor- represents a child never given a chance.

Born on a desert floor, you've the deepest thirst,
And you came to my sweet shore to indulge it,
With the warm and dreaming eyes of an orphan,
But there is not enough - Meaning again that he will tune down the sprites in most need because he is greedy and won't share his "sweet shore" .

Out of a gunnysack fall red rabbits,
Into the crucible to be rendered an emulsion,
And we can't allow a chance they'd restore themselves - Meaning the sprits are helpless like the bloodied rabbits, that are sacrificed for their blood and are quickly finished because they don't want the rabbits to be revived of life.

Undaunted, you bathed in hollow cries,
The boys with swollen, sunburnt eyes,
A reward for letting nothing under their skin,
So help me, I don't know, I might,
Just give the old dark side a try. - Meaning after suffering in a heartless world the sprites spirits is broken and decides to fight fire with fire and gives the dark side a try ( greed, maliciousness..ex)
The sprit is no longer a sprit but becomes the man on top and evens the score.

Red Rabbits | Reviewer: Anon | 12/25/11

This song is about a bad relationship that ended, just like most other shins songs. I really dont know why, but the necessary ballon always makes me think of a condom. The red rabbits symbolize lust while at the same time veing innocent and pure. Pissing on sprites is also a reference to adulterating something pure. The first paragraph appears to be something concerning the couple being either the center of attention or being.. In hell. The woman's (if the narrator is heterosexual) search for love is apparently hinted at in the second. But really, this song has no obvious meaning. It seems like the writer just focuses on the images, which listeners connect together to imagine their own story. I would suggest They might be giants to people who like these types of lyrics, like me. Just a suggestion. This song might not even carry any meaning, but then again - who knows?

Is it about imigration? | Reviewer: Knut S | 5/2/11

Tricky song this, but quite captivating. I did not see this as a song about love, but rather *immigrants* coming to the promised land full of hope, only to find there aren't enough jobs, the locals reject them etc., possibly giving some kind of uprising.

Another review on this page. | Reviewer: Camille | 12/10/09

Brilliant song, and very captivating. At first, and probably still, so confused not by the lyrics, but by how they incorporate themselves with the music in the background. As much sense as the War translation is, this song would have had to been written VERY deliberately in an upbeat Major key, or he was high.
No offense meant at all.
My somewhat limited translation of this song is about, yes, love, but mostly a relationship based around a miscarriage, or an abortion; "the NECESSARY BALLOON lies a CORPSE on the FLOOR."
I believe that the second stanza implies 'her' dreaming, of trying to forget what happened, as what she sees is described in great detail.

That is all that I can write down, the limited much, but it's better than nothing. I just can't understand the relationship of the lyrics with the melody.

OK... here's what my obsessive self has always thought... | Reviewer: Nick | 12/6/09

First, I'm so pleased to find so many interpretations of this and many of their songs. I think that at heart that's what they're made for. Its beautiful....

...I have always believed this song to be referring to a soldier's psyche who is entering the middle east. Then the "you" is referring to a native, who's in turmoil with our role there. OK:
"The center of the earth,... where it's hot, hurts to breath in," I've always thought of as desert.'
The "watershed you balance on- caving in-" would be in reference to the resources they have there, like water, running our, remember the "you" being the native person.
"In a vacuum you were charged-" being the brainwashing they've experienced growing up in their manipulative society -"So you won't make it easy on me-" the anger brewed towards the me/I, or the American.
... Here's where the psyche of the soldier who wishes he wasn't playing the role that he is playing begins-
"I can't go into this no more...etc.." is his pain going into this place as a soldier and doing to these people what he believes to be wrong- "The balloon- corpse-" is the hope for something better, magical, greater than the situation at hand.
"We've pissed on far to many sprites- " aka - We, as a dominating country, have marked our territory and reeked havoc on far too many other countries, and taken control.
And now what's happening ? "They're all standing up for their rights!" Which is why we're there, to force the into submission.
"Born on a desert floor, you've the deepest thirst-" this native person needs more than what they've been able to get in their poor situation...
Also, I believe it's possible the line might be "Bomb on a desert floor"- which would later be referenced as "I still owe you for the hole in the floor"- the hole caused by the bomb, or a reference to major scale warfare.
"You came to my sweet shore to indulge it" would be 911. "But there is not enough, there is not enough", is sarcastically referring to the world's resources, claiming we don't have enough to share with him, with their country, when we really do.
"Out of a gunny sack (gunny, referring to the guns they carry)- fell red rabbits (the US , blood hungry soldiers)- "into the crucible" or middle east warfare....
"And we can't allow a chance, they'd restore themselves" -meaning we are keeping them from uprising, and gaining power.
"So we can't make it easy on you," almost like the soldier is apologizing, saying sorry man, but here's how it is.
"Undaunted, you bathed in hollow cries-" the echo's of war and death the poor native was experiencing.
"The boys with swollen sunburned eyes-" soldiers or men of war on either side, US or middle east-
"A reward for letting nothing under their skin"- the blocking out of basic human compassion, empathy, not letting the killing get under their skin, being strong, soldiers, being undaunted which means not backing in the face of danger/fear.
And because these men are being rewarded, here's where his psyche - the US soldiers', twists around hardcore- and he succumbs to the sick, disgusting fate of murder and warfare when he says -
"So help me I don't know I might, just give the old dark side a try-"
From here he goes onto say- "Don't cast you're worried eyes on the shore-" as in don't back out now -"Until we've evened the score-" "I still owe you for the hole in the floor"- this being the vengeance still sought because of the violence, getting even, for the "bomb" on the desert floor...
"I know there's an eventual...." this is him saying, it will of course, one day, end, and get better... "But the necessary balloon is still a corpse on the floor"- or the balloon being a metaphor for freedom and liberty...
Then again, "we've pissed on far to many sprites, and their all standing up for their rights-" referring to our domination as a country. And now, however, with acts like 911, these folks are retaliating, standing up for what they think should be....
And here's the crazy part,.....TO ME, the last bit of noise on the track, the sort of fuzzy sound that ends the song, sounds a lot like a huge crowd of people, screaming/cheering together. I believe this sound depicts the masses of those who are in fact gathering to "stand up for their rights."

....if anyone actually read all that and cares for this song id love to hear how this sounds to you, if you make any similar connection or not....




I love this song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/9/09

I am trying to decide if this is about a love affair or someone in a situation where someone in the lead is taking over, and there are some people who are suffering.

I think that one of the people prbobally a male is on the side where the people are leading and taking over. There is someone else who is one the other side "the dark side" who convinces him to join.

The watershed would be covering the stuff that they are doing from the people under their rule.

Not sure if any of that made sense :P

somber lyrics for such a beautiful song | Reviewer: anne onimous | 5/30/09

I think this song is about a love affair from the eyes of the man that the woman is cheating with. Their affair leads to her getting pregnant with several children and she decides to get an abortion. this event takes an emotional toll on both of them and the husband is oblivious to the whole ordeal.

Bizarre But Good | Reviewer: mel | 4/12/09

It does seem like some kind suspicions of a love affair, doesn't it? The "necessary balloon on the floor" really reminds me of someone finding a used condom.

But, at the same time, it seems to imply witchcraft and spells and wierd stuff. The "Red Rabbits" that get rendered into emulsion and "giving the dark side a chance".

Very bizarre and interesting.

Rabbits Eh? | Reviewer: Scott | 2/18/09

I love this song, to be honest i love this band. Every song is like a riddle and a poem swirled into one with a delious frosting of slight cords and percussion.

My personal belief of what this song is about IS...

That it is about his girlfriend/wife, cheating on him with other men. However she is great at hidding it and it is only a belief he has, yet he doesn't want to bring it up because if he is wrong he looks like the villian. The balloon i belief resembles a speech bubble or a thinking bubble stuck because the impact of which confronting his partner would cause. <-- Also explains the line, "Who decides who paddles over the falls?
Yeah, who makes the call,", but it almost makes it seem as if he did something wrong also.

That is my outlook sorry if you disagree. =D

I want to know all outlooks though, please post more.

Love, love love. | Reviewer: Nina | 11/12/08

I am falling in love with the most incredible mind and being, who has presented this song to me as an interlude, to what.
I have to find out.
All the sprites are standing up for their rights the balloon lays a corpse on the floor, at some point one has to make a decision, is it worth it to find out if there may be the most magical friendship and love there?
Who wants a life of regret and fear? Perpetual ambivalence is not living, we can only create with, or with the influence of others.
One must find out. You cannot have screaming sprites and busted balloons your whole life until you die.
This is what love is, it's mutual invention and evolution, spectacular and very hard at times.
Mercer did it, many great minds do.
I must.
I will.

indulge my creative interpretation | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/31/08


love the song too! Makes me feel good Too ! I think due to the changes lyrically as well as instrumentally .
I can't say my interpretation is correct but, it is creative . crazy perhaps too !
1st stanza - I think he is saying he is in hell seeing her or falling for her .


" it hurts when he breathes in "-- the passion he has for her is so full and painful to bear .
"The watershed "-- I think implies her sexuality .
that
She may be cheating / hding her emotions or perhaps doing something else on the side .
( that is what I get when he says "will he ever know" which could also hint that her current lover/spouse does not realy know her or realy get her _

" The trees in the moonshine are a dark latice "- to me that implys that he is watching her from a distance " next few lines are a tad bewildering
not 100% sure to the meaning

"And the necessary balloon lies a corpse on the floor" this line says to me that he's talking about condoms but "unused "-meaning that she is living in a passionless relationship and it hurts him to see that or that he is cheating with her and he is refusing to do it anymore due to the anguish he is feeling to being in that situation .


"Born on a desert floor, you've the deepest thirst, And you came to my sweet shore to indulge it,With the warm and dreaming eyes of an orphan,
But there is not enough,
There is not enough."
Here I think it implys how much passion and lust she has and perhaps he thinks he can never realy satisfy her or believes she will never be satisfied .



"Out of a gunnysack fall red rabbits,
Into the crucible to be rendered an emulsion,
And we can't allow a chance they'd restore themselves,
So we can't make it easy on you."
I think red rabbits represent femal sexuality ie like vaginas or overt female sexuality )
I think it is just a line that is being stated not from the point of the man but in regards to the heavenly /magical forces in the universe .
For people who have read about Alchemy there is alchemy of the spirit or soul and to me this is implying the cleansing or rendition of impure or rather extremity of the senses . Because I don't realy believe it to be impure but , if people believe in karma and the progression of spirit and soul there are those that beleive that the more you are able to rise above the base lust or human appetites then the pureer you are . Thus you will be like the alchemist "Gold " rendered pure from various tests to the soul .Here it is implied as a roof over all of women not just her .

Then
"Undaunted, you bathed in hollow cries"
( either going about her business without any
verbal support from her partner or a indescrite other reason )
The boys with swollen, sunburnt eyes,
A reward for letting nothing under their skin( men / or boys who indulge in looking but not trying to reach out to her )
So help me, I don't know, I might,
Just give the old dark side a try.( feels that he is committing adultry or feels that he would rather try something he considers bad to be near her to make her happy )
" Don't cast your whirling eyes on the shore
‘til we even the score.( has still some issues with her ..& still wants to be the one who is in control )
I still owe you for the hole in the floor,(spying on her )
nd the ghost in the hall,( spying on her )
Who decides who paddles over the falls?
Yeah, who makes the call,
Who makes the call?"
( he loves her but both of them are extremely passionate and he knows she can be bold and yet self destructive and the line of who paddles over the falls could imply either 1- the passionate self destructive side or the leap of faith into something destructive ie as in an affair

"I know there's an eventual
Release from every scale of crime,"
( which could imply either the guilt from her or his part involving sex for the most part .


We've pissed on far too many sprites,
And they're all standing up for their rights.

I think here that it is just a line to say how life has given them both so many good oportunities to hook up but, they sort of screwed it up and as a result the other man made so called opportunity options have been screwed also .. like magical forces saying "hey, we did you a favor before and you didn't listen so , now you don't get any more " . "You didn't listen when you were sopposed to listen ". A grumpy guardian spirit saying "F You " !

Big Guy Verse Little Guy | Reviewer: Shakesbeer | 4/13/08

This song rocks. When I first listened to it I thought it may be about the current political climate in the world which it could be. However, I think it may actually be about the music industry and the people who record, publish, distribute and ultimately decide who "goes over the falls" and who doesn't.

meaning??? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/21/08

Could this be a song about an "aborted" love affair. Maybe a girlfriend had an abortion without consulting the man... Just quick ideas flowing into my head based on what the lyrics "look like" in my head...

Red Rabbits | Reviewer: Bryant | 3/20/08

It is because of this song that i am a new fan of The Shins. The lyrics cause you to visualize the images of the words sung as you listen. You become immersed in the words spiraling down and not caring if you step foot on land again.


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