know that you'll soon go crazy just like a whittling stick / hit by the coming daylight cut up in a quick succession / a pointed confession really stripped of all your armor / down to your very nature beneath the haze and vapor gaze / you're such a willing stick to beckon that wanting knife / you've been looking for it the right blade all your life / saying "who's gonna cut me down to a size that suits me? / is there a worthy sculptor among all you fine young knives?" / it's enough to make you take your head and put it on a shelf / to cut the heart out of your chest they'll come for that as well / tell me how you do that crazy trick where you walk around asleep / save it for your doctor friend the one who keeps you under lock and key / you'll soon go screaming like bargain basement lunatic who's / not so specialized that they couldn't just replace you / why don't you start crying for all that you've got left here / why don't you stop dying before you go and get it right / now you're selling off the house so you can buy the farm / you cut the heart out of your chest to let the light in through your arm / it's enough to make you take your head and put it in a bag / to cut the teeth out at the pink now there's nothing in the bag / foul weather friend you are so dying an amateur chemist now / king medicine when is it perfect? where is it taking you? / there is no cure only reprieve some fleeting joy posing as balance / nothing is sure so every four hours king medicine / this subject loves you


Lyrics submitted by PLANES

King Medicine song meanings
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  • 0
    General Comment"...reprieve some fleeting joy posing as balance..." Yep, yep. Observant, no?
    cannibaloxon May 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not sure if anyone else gets this out of this song, but I think it could be talking about destructive relationships. It's hard to explain.
    RemyKilledElvison June 15, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentabout a girl he loves who sees a psychiatrist. the willing stick and fine young knives metaphore is pretty straightforward. she beckons guys, and it makes him crazy and want to give up, "it's enough to make you take yourhead and put it in a bag". there are a lot of puzzleing lines like "tell me how you do that crazy trick where you walk around asleep" and "now you're selling off the house so you can buy the farm" the end if pretty clear, the girl is hurt emotionally and uses drugs probably prescribed by a psychiatrist, but he doesn't think drugs are helping since they only provide "there is no cure, only reprieve / some fleeting joy posing as balance"

    what an intense build up and climax, sweet song
    maybeilllcatchfireon March 15, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe fine young knives part is the greatest. and i love how the tone changes so drastically to a dramatic one at the end.. after "before you go and get it RIGHT" JTB ROCKS.
    bukowski_punkon April 09, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with maybeillcatchfire
    impossibledreameron April 18, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThat's interesting, I never looked at it like that. It always struck me as a song about Heroin. (IE: "Let the light in through your arm" [to inject the drug with a hypodermic needle])
    CatfishClydeon April 20, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah this song is totally about heroin. 'why don't you stop dying before you go and get it right' stop using or you're going to kill yourself. 'you've been looking for the right blade all your life' somebody who's been looking to self destruct for a long time (probably has already gone through lots of other drugs etc), he keeps talking about bags and that's street talk for heroin (often shortened to 'b' for bag), 'selling off the house so you can buy the farm' selling your possessions to support the habit but ultimately you're gonna die from it 'buy the farm'. As CatfishClyde said, 'let the light in through your arm' , 'cut your teeth out at the pink' heroin rots your teeth, 'amateur chemist' drug user, 'every four hours' needs a fix.

    This is the first JTB song I ever heard and it really blew me away, it's super powerful. I love the way it really builds up into a frenzy. I also love the line 'bargain basement lunatic' it's a great description!
    sweetfractureon July 22, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI see a message of self injury, I think that's why he raises his tone on "KNIVES".
    stopeatingcarson November 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI see a message of self injury, I think that's why he raises his tone on "KNIVES".
    stopeatingcarson November 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI hear tell this song is about The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
    m.k.on April 14, 2008   Link

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