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The Shins So Says I Lyrics

Last updated: 07/08/2011 11:00:00 AM

An address to the golden door
I was strumming on a stone again
Pulling teeth from the pimps of gore when hatched
A tragic opera in my mind...
And it told of a new design
In which every soul is duty bound
To uphold all the statues of boredom therein lies
The fatal flaw of the red age

Because it was nothing like we'd ever dremt
Our lust for life had gone away with the rent we hated
And because it made no money nobody saved no one's life.

So we burned all our uniforms
And let nature take its course again
And the big ones just eat all the little ones
That sent us back to the drawing board.

In our darkest hours
We have all asked for some
Angel to come
Sprinkle his dust all around
But all our crying voices they can't turn it around
And you've had some crazy conversations of your own.

We've got rules and maps and guns in our backs
But we still can't just behave ourselves
Even if to save our own lives so, says I, WE ARE A BRUTAL KIND.

Cuz this is nothing like we'd ever dremt
Tell Sir Thomas More we've got another failed attempt
Cuz if it makes them money they might just give you life this time.

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Beautiful | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/8/11

Anyone claiming that this is about a particular political viewpoint is a fool, trying to convince themselves that they know.

We are a brutal kind indeed. We will never achieve what we as a species strive for, but God damn the day we stop pursuing it.

communism | Reviewer: Glenn | 10/21/09

I agree with Hayley about communism and i think a great way to sum it up is to quote the film "enemy at the gates" which is about war torn Stalingrad in ww2 when Stalin was at the height of his powers. In this film a Soviet political officer who has always believed in communist ideals finally comes to the realisation that, in his words:

"Man will always be man. There is no new man. We tried so hard to create a society that was equal, where there'd be nothing to envy your neighbor. But there's always something to envy. A smile... a friendship. Something you don't have and want to appropriate. In this world- even a Soviet one- there will always be rich and poor. Rich in gifts... poor in gifts. Rich in love... poor in love.

Great film, suggest you watch it, and amazing song from, if not, my favourite band very jealous of Olivia for seeing them live and if they play glastonbury this year i'll kill myself (i didn't get tickets).

R.M. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/9/09

Anyone who takes this song as nothing more than an attack on communism is really seeing only one side of it.

The song's saying that whatever system we try, we humans are just doomed to fail. In communism "our lust for life had gone away with the rent we hated," but in capitalism "the big ones just eat all the little ones." All our attemps at Utopia fail and in the end "we are a brutal kind."

Communism v capitalism | Reviewer: Martin | 11/17/08

I personally interpereted the song as being anti-communist AND anti-capitalist, as the general message seems to be that whatever we do, as human beings we're going to mess it up regardless.
As a songwriter myself, I wish I could write music and lyrics like James Mercer does.

doomed to failure | Reviewer: Hayley | 8/13/08

The Shins touch on an aspect of communism that those who support it should be aware--it is doomed to failure because it ignores very important aspects of the human spirit. Man cannot help but be competitive. It is human nature to dream (as Sir Thomas More did in Utopia--he would be arrested today in most communist countries for writing such a book) and strive. This is precisely why, as another reviewer stated, that people strive for power in communist states and they ultimately degrade into dictatorships.

You cannot simply remove this basic aspect of human psychology because it interferes with the success of a form of government. Capitalism (good or bad) looks to lift humanity by allowing individuals to strive to improve their lives. Communism strives to make all equal by denying people the ability to lift themselves (and if you think that rich and poor don't exist in communist societies, think again). And the simple fact is we are not all equal. Intelligence, beauty, creativity, ingenuity differ greatly from person to person. This is why "an imaginary island off the coast of the Netherlands, Hiwabatchskan, [where]communism maintains a placid existence" is just that: Imaginary.

Communism will never succeed. What starts as a beautiful and idealistic always turns into something ugly and evil. Bebe seems to hold the arrogant belief that Communism just hasn't been tried by the right people. Assuming it were tried by the “right” people… even the right people don’t live forever.

bebe is a dumbass | Reviewer: gordo | 7/31/08

its not just about how we fail to create a utopia in just capitalism it means in every government including communism it says how communism fails our society is so in tune with having to compete and go for whatever makes money that communism wouldn't work because unless it makes money people won't go for it in theory communism is a beautiful thing but in large scale practice its nearly impossible and ends terrible

I would love communism. | Reviewer: Bebe | 3/16/08

The Shins are right; it's a terrible pity that previous attempts at communism were unsuccessful. In an imaginary island off the coast of the Netherlands, Hiwabatchskan, communism maintains a placid existence.

And a personal note: any obnxious capitalistic yuppies listening to the Shins put their beautiful melodies to SHAME. Stop broadcasting your idiocracy and try infiltrating something else. Such symphonic incredibility shouldn't be exposed to the social equivalent of Agent Orange.

the shins | Reviewer: olivia | 1/15/08

i love the shins. this is one of my favorite songs to. And was that other person saying all the shains music is crap except this song because thats bull shit. this song is great but there is so much that is great. i saw the Shins in concert best show i have ever been to. they are amazing and i love them alot.

so says I | Reviewer: Evan | 9/27/07

The song references Sir Thomas Moore, most likely reffering to Utopia, and how we again failed to reach it through all these different government types, but Utopia was written to show that even a perfect society has serious drawbacks.

He could've been talking about the penguins | Reviewer: Lindsey | 8/2/07

"See the video on youtube for further enlightenment: it spins this into a strange penguin trip about Communism and Capitalism and how neither succeed. Still, a nice toon."

The animated (carTOON) penguins in the video?

And even if he did mean tune, it was a typo. Get over it. Have you never spelled something phonetically because you were typing so fast?