Song Analysis – “In One Ear”- Cage the Elephant

They say that we ain’t got the style,

We ain’t got the class,

We ain’t got the tunes that’s gonna put us on the map,

And I’m a phony in disguise, trying to make the radio,

I’m an anti-social anarchist, I sound like so and so,

They say I’m just a stupid kid, another crazy radical,

Rock and roll is dead, I probably shoulda stayed at school,

Another generation X that somehow slipped out through the cracks,

Oh they’d love to see me fall, but I’m already on my back,

[No matter what your dream is, some people will think you can’t achieve it. Sometimes the someone who doesn’t believe you can do it is you and that can be the hardest of all. He says he’s a “phony in disguise,” meaning he’s not as sincere as he appears. He calls himself an anarchist and a radical, a person with extreme political views. People often assume that musicians have non-conventional political views. But in reality, many musicians have fairly typical political views, aligning themselves with the two mainstream parties in the U.S.]

So it goes in one ear, and right out the other

People talking s^&*, but you know I never bother,

It goes in one ear, and right out the other

People talking s^&*, but they can kiss the back of my hand

[The phrase “in one ear and out the other” suggests a person hearing words without the meaning of the words making any impact. The implication is that the observer is either stupid or apathetic. I think the last verse of this part was supposed to be say something else. You can guess as well as I can what the singer really wants his detractors to kiss.]

Now I know I’m not a saint, I’ve been a sinner all my life

I’m not tryin’ to hide my flaws, I’d rather keep them in the light

They wanna criticize, scrutinize, cast another stone

Burn me at the stake, and sit and watch it from the throne

They say the devil is my pal,

I do a lot of drugs

The crowd will only like me if they’re really f*(^ing drunk

They think they know my thoughts, but they don’t know the least,

If they’d listened to the words they’d find the message that’s beneath

[He’s mocking his own fans. He calls them drunk and asserts that they’re ignorant. He claims that his message is pretty obvious, all people need to do is listen and they’ll find the message. I’m attempting to be one of the elite few of their fans that actually listens for a message. Everyone is part sinner, part saint. The tension between sinner and saint appears again in the band’s song, “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked.”]

But it goes in one ear, and right out the other

People talking s%^&, even though they never bother,

It goes in one ear, and right out the other

People talking s%^&, but they can kiss the back of my hand

You hear that?

You hear what’s coming?

Oh you better run for the hills

Cause we’re coming to your town

And we’re gonna burn that motherf&*(er down

[screams]

[I don’t think the band really intends to commit arson all over the country. They probably just want to carry their fiery brand of rock from coast to coast.]

Here’s the moral to the story,

We don’t do it for the glory

We don’t do it for the money,

We don’t do it for the fame

So all the critics who despise us, go ahead and criticize us,

It’s your tyranny that drives us, adds the fire to our flames,

[He declares that his band isn’t out for the things that bring many other people to music. He lists glory, money, and fame as reasons for people to make music. But if he doesn’t want these, what does he want? Maybe happiness is the answer. He makes music because it brings him joy. He challenges his critics to keep attacking him. He suggests that the tyranny of the critics drives the band. The band enjoys proving its critics wrong and wants to show all the naysayers that it can succeed.]

And it goes in one ear, and right out the other

People talking s&*^, but you know I never bother,

It goes in one ear, and right out the other

I’m only playing music, cause you know I f%&*ing love it,

It goes in one ear, and right out the other

People talking s&*^, but you know I never bother,

It goes in one ear, and right out the other

People talking s&*^, but they can kiss the back of my hand

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  1. #1 by The Word Of God on August 7, 2010 - 10:06 pm

    Do you really wanna know? Hell no! Its way to scary for you to know what they are saying. For they are not afraid to be slaves, figure this message out before they burn themselves. It is not a joke, they very likely will end with a bang out of rage. You have NO IDEA of what you speak. They obviously do! If they didnt, then you would get it.

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