"Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes" as written by and John S./flansburgh Linnell....
All the people are so happy now, their heads are caving in
I'm glad they are a snowman with protective rubber skin
But every little thing's a domino that falls on different dots
And crashes into everything that tries to make it stop

And the mirror, it reflects a tiny dancing skeleton
Surrounded by a fleshy overcoat and swaddled in
A furry hat, elastic mask, a pair of shiny marble dice
Some people call them snake-eyes, but to me they look like mice

And nothing's smelling like a rose
But I don't care if no one's coming up for air
I know nothing's gonna change my clothes ever anymore

All the people are so happy now, their heads are caving in
I'm glad they are a snowman with protective rubber skin
But every little thing's a domino that falls on different dots
And crashes into everything that tries to make it stop

And nothing's smelling like a rose
But I don't care if no one's coming up for air
I know nothing's gonna change my clothes ever anymore

No, no, no, no
Nothing's smelling like a rose
But I don't care if no one's coming up for air
I know that nothing's gonna change my clothes ever anymore


Lyrics submitted by Irrational

"Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes" as written by John Linnell John Flansburgh

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentHeh. I'd always thought the "Dice" were... Y'know...

    Balls.
    Sharpon April 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI read something a while ago, that really made me go, "hmm," about this song. As much as I had already loved this song, I liked it even more afterwards.

    This song is talking about death. Here are some clues.

    "Heads are caving in," is what happens when the skin and muscle starts decaying in the face -- the cheeks pucker inward.

    "Rubber skin," is the skin itself becoming waxy and hard - losing more and more elacticity.

    "Domino that falls on different dots," has to do with the bones, I believe. Maybe the teeth. I can't recall, but I remember thinking that it made sense. Maybe someone else can fill this one in?

    The overcoat is the body skin, and the hat, mask, and dice are all features of the head - hair, face, and eyes.

    Nothing's smelling like a rose - the scent of decay, juxtaposed against flowers (which are given to the dead when visiting). No one's coming up for air, obviously, because they're all dead and buried. And the clothes you wear are the only clothes that you'll ever wear again - no one will be changing your clothes ever again.
    Sir_Larrikinon July 22, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI only sort-of disagree with Sr. Larrikin.

    The key idea--the key to understanding this song--is to realize that the writing establishes this as a "self-realization anthem," like Lennon's "Across the Universe," which has the line "Nothing's gonna change my world." So the John who wrote this is saying, in effect, "Lennon turnedon/tunedin/droppedout and gave us his acid-drenched take on the Big Picture. Well, I've had my own epiphany, and this song is here to lay it on you." The choice to mutate the line with the word "clothes" is actually rather arbitrary, though it does also happen to be a little funny. Nothing wrong with a little humor!

    That given, what, then, is John's insight? This is just a prophetic vision of what he sees around him. All the things he describes are actually pretty much a realistic description of the world we live in. In addition, he tries to home in on an important spritual reality; that people do tend to allow themselves to smother in closed systems, minimizing opportunities to have fresh feelings and insights, or meaningful exchanges with others; in effect, not "coming up for air." Well, notwithstanding the musical stylizing and the way he tosses this line off like nothing, it's actually very, very serious.

    This is another case where the Johns couch a rather dire scenario in a happy-go-lucky, lilting little showtune. They also do this in "Son of God."
    razajacon March 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is simply about how "the singer" will no longer let what's going on around him affect who he is and what he believes in.
    rog27on May 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyea, i caught the decomposition motif, I got it from the bit where they run through it backwards "dancing skeleton...look like mice".

    also i think you missed the signifigance of them being happy, when you dont have skin, you dont have much choice in terms of facial expressions, all you can do is grin.

    I also think the lively tune counder points the death point of view nicely so I like this view best.

    I always thought the domino thing was about ineviability.

    the only bit that doesnt fit the death motif well is the image of snowmen.
    carseron April 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI suppose the snowman thing is about decomposition again. Melting snowmen = decomposing fleshmen.
    carseron April 15, 2007   Link

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