Worry the bottle, mama,
It's grapefruit wine.
Kick off your high heeled sneakers,
It's party time.

The girls don't seem to care what's on
As long as they play till dawn.
Nothing but blues and Elvis
And somebody else's favorite song.

Give us some funked up Muzak,
She treats you nice.
Feed us some hungry reggae,
She loves you twice.

The girls don't seem to care tonight
As long as the mood is right.
No static at all,
No static at all,
No static at all.
FM, no static at all.

Give us some funked up Muzak,
She treats you nice.
Feed us some hungry reggae,
She loves you twice.

The girls don't seem to care tonight
As long as the mood is right.
No static at all,
No static at all,
No static at all.
FM, no static at all.


Lyrics submitted by AbFab, edited by Mellors, MyPayne

FM (No Static at All) song meanings
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29 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentFM radio is a metaphor for (the cliche, or imaginary situation) when a guy treats a girl right. She gets in the right mood and ... well she don't mind what happens ... no problems (static)-
    The girls don't seem to care tonight
    As long as the mood is right.
    No static at all
    Bart216on January 09, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAt last somebody gets the meaning of the "no static at all" line. You should see some of the highfalutin, convoluted interpretations I've read! Total BS about it symbolizing corporate takeover of the FM radio format. (That's what the film is about.) Here, it means you'll get no problems from the girl - no static - if you make a move on her, as long as you set the mood with the music on the radio. It's also, of course, a double entendre on what made the FM band attractive to listeners - AM radio always has a lot of static, but FM has virtually "no static at all".
    Souldeep69on January 31, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhat a cool song. This song must have come out about the same time as FM radio did in the 1970s. It seems to be saying that FM radio is good, because it makes it easier for guys to get in a girl's pants! :-)
    stoolhardyon August 01, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthand downs - best steeley dan song eveer! the saxophone is so sexy.
    d0gparkon April 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSome of these lyrics are wrong. Most importantly, and you must listen carefully, it's "give HER some funked-up music" and "feed HER some hungry reggae". Not "us" - it is strictly about the effect of the music on the girls. "Us" also implies that they are both consumers of the music subject to the radio station's whims; "her" shows that these are seduction methods being offered to men by the cynical narrator.
    Also, he doesn't sing "Muzak", but "music". Muzak is a registered trademark, and its use would have incurred the same flurry of copyright notices and disclaimers on the album that Paul Simon did when he used "Kodachrome", even though he said very nice things about it and gave Kodak a free multi-million selling ad.
    Souldeep69on January 31, 2016   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIf you are going to attempt to understand the storytelling of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, then you must start with an Open Mind. NEVER, not once, did they ever construct a song with a monolithic meaning (even the one-chord song, Show Biz Kids, which savagely attacked the elites).

    As in all of their songs, they wrote purposefully opened-ended structures (both lyrically and musically) to allow for endless speculation. And this wasn't a songwriter's device by these two geniuses to protect their personal privacy; rather, both men agreed that they did NOT want to "burden" the world with their "baggage". Thus, Steely Dan songs are the absolute best representations of music sans JUDGMENT...something that this world of ours is in desperate need of today. This also makes their music simultaneously the most MISUNDERSTOOD of all time as well.

    So many just like to see Becker and Fagen as lazy...constantly falling back upon Sarcasm, time and again, to write all these songs "tongue-in-cheek". They're not...neither the Universe nor Donald Fagen and Walter Becker are so lazy that they "slum it" with coincidence or sarcasm. EVERYTHING is MINUTELY thought-out in each of their songs...everything! Nothing is just "left to chance" on these records. The Protagonist in Bodhisattva is NOT just one person and is not merely a representation of the mindlessness of American urban society looking for a quick fix. Again, there's that element to the song, but there is also a WHOLE LOT more that brought this victim of a non-spiritual society to the doorstep of Japan and China looking for answers in his life.

    We have been TRAINED since birth to become "Philadelphia Lawyers", capable of talking about any subject but firmly understanding nothing. Thus, Steely Dan songs are the most SUBVERSIVE, anti-societal creations ever because they speak Truth in an organized system that rules through constant lying. The truth that no one is good, bad or evil, just misunderstood. That nothing is ultimately right or wrong, just an experience. That one man's truth is merely the product of his upbringing...and largely just speculation from some guy in either a suit and tie or a "long-flowing robe".

    So, if you want to get past an interpretation of their songs, like this one, that men are misogynistic, women are flakes looking to be distracted before they "put out", and that something like FM radio is "the answer", then you must open your mind to the infinite and restrain from making judgments! LISTEN to the words LITERALLY against the backdrop of the music in that precise moment...then you can begin to understand their deeper meanings embedded in each song.

    FM is NOT just a simple, cut-and-dried, single about the sad state of American radio; however, it IS a simple, cut-and-dried single about the sad state of American radio. With Steely Dan songs you are rarely "wrong" with your interpretation because they purposefully construct them so open-ended. This is the GIFT of Steely Dan's music...that whatever the level of your awakening or understanding, you could find your own truth in the songs. Charlie Freak could be a down on his luck bum, constantly being exploited by the system just so he could get high and escape; or he was an incarnation of Christ, providing man-kind opportunities for personal growth outside of our "greed is good" capitalist society.

    When you take the time to listen to FM's lyrics IN CONJUNCTION with the music, you begin to see that society is constantly being DISTRACTED by all the White Noise. Just listen to all the "effects" in the song's introduction. Even Fagen's piano melody is off-kilter...Becker's guitar is all bottled up, exploding in random moments with tight groupings of notes. In the background, bubbling, gurgling just under the surface of the song are odd, unsettling noises...all of these things suddenly disappear when a sound marker is played as the song's first verse begins. Is this marker a representation of Pavlov's auditory studies??? A TV theme song, a commercial jingle, a radio station's tag line? Have we been PROGRAMMED by society to become "dumbed-down" whenever we are given these signals like so many animals...the smell of fast-food, the sight of a sports uniform or the hint of pornography???

    Remember, no matter what anyone tries to sell you, we are ALL Infinite beings of Consciousness, capable of genius in every moment...now living like farm animals in iron-cast roles that society has already planned for us. Do you gotta have a house, car, College education and stuff??? Then you MUST sink into debt...an illusory reality where you THINK you own all these things freely, only to find out that you don't as soon as you miss two bank payments in a row!!! So after a lesson in life like this one, who wouldn't succumb in depression to "bury the bottle mama" attempting to drown away their sorrows. Except, it's NOT "bury the bottle" as you might think, but rather, "worry the bottle"...tying in PERFECTLY with the unsettling music that opened the song.

    I won't go into a detailed, line-by-line analysis of the song at this point, but you get the idea...stop trying to read TOO MUCH into their lyrics alone and start thinking of them literally in that precise moment, respectful of the music. "Give us some funked-up Muzak, she treats you nice" is an incredibly revealing line if you take the time to understand what is happening in the song at that moment. Listen to how Fagen sings those particular notes as you attempt to decode the truth that is there. "Funked-up Muzak" seems like an anagram, however, it's not. Look at what those words represent literally...Fagen did NOT sing "Funked-up"...that's a powerful clue. Also, the line is connected powerfully to the two previous lines...

    "The girls don't seem to care what's on, as long as they play till dawn"

    "Nothing but blues and Elvis and somebody else's favorite song"

    "Give us some funked up Muzak, she treats you nice"

    The first line, "The girls don't..." is sung against the simplest, most-soothing melody in the song...it's calm, relaxing and sounds "right". But with the next line, "Nothing but Blues and Elvis", there is a chord change at the beginning of the bar, a subtle difference in the string arrangement that hints that something is now "wrong" once more. And by the time Fagen sings that 3rd line, he and the music are now both firmly in the realm of Daddy Don't Live in that NYC No More...not sarcastic, just now "worldly-wise" to the tricks being played on his senses!!! Thus, as the chorus rolls into all of it's glory, WE are now hip to the real meaning of "No Static at all"...in other words, there's a TON of static, only we are being told that there's none...and who is always telling us that there's nothing wrong, nothing to see here in this latest scandal...just keep moving along...next please???

    This approach is the only way to slowly come to grips with the deeper meanings found in their songs. However, it’s not essential to enjoying Steely Dan…the true genius of Becker and Fagen is that ANYONE can find their own place in the sun with each Steely Dan song…each song sounds good in car, or on the radio…as each song possesses a certain level of “clarity” flowing from verses to choruses, then back again. However, as most of us know, there is another side to each of their songs. Like Hercule Poirot’s two deductions at the end of Murder on the Orient Express, there is a simpler answer (that most of society prefers) and then there’s the deeper, darker answer that scares off those with closed minds. So, while you can listen to Do It Again, again and again on the radio, constantly wondering how the song came to its ending so suddenly, you can also sink deeply into that land of spoiled milk and rancid honey, slowly coming to a realization of how the protagonist got there in the first place…that it’s not so easy to “blame” or “attack” him/her for being mindless and trapped upon the hamster wheel…that there’s a back story to ALL OF US, that leads us to these points in time. And that’s what a Steely Dan song really is, an Objective Snap-shot of a single event in time…and to that end, Steely Dan’s discography is probably the most accurate and honest HISTORY of western civilization that you will ever come across. Why? Because Steely Dan songs don’t have an “axe to grind” with anybody or anything…they simply tell tales of what they choose to focus upon. Are there lots of completely fucked up characters and events in Steely Dan songs? That depends entirely upon YOUR definition of “fucked up”. The bookkeeper’s son who ends up in a stalemate with a Police Swat team may just be logically playing out the circumstances of his life experiences…a necessary ending to a sordid tale…nothing to become morose about, or perhaps everything to become morose about.

    In a world filled with bullshit and lies, Steely Dan songs stand out upon a sacred alter offering to every listener the opportunity to discover truth. How much or how little depends entirely upon our own level of interest and awareness…which really defines human life upon this perfect planet!
    CharlieFreakon November 03, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFM radio came out in the 70's? Try the 30's. It's from a film of the same title. One of their funnier songs, I think.
    satelliteon December 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt say how FM radio has better sound quality then Am radio whicvh was the popular way of transmitting music until the late 60's early 70's when FM took off.
    kfe2on February 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWho cares when FM radio came about... that first verse is amazing:
    Hurry the bottle, mama,
    It's grapefruit wine.
    Kick off your high heeled sneakers,
    It's party time.
    jlundberon February 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIIRC is was the title song of a 1970's movie of the same name
    NJJon March 18, 2006   Link

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