"We Want A Rock" as written by and John S./flansburgh Linnell....
Where was I? I forgot
The point that I was making
I said if I was smart that I would
Save up for a piece of string
And a rock to wind the string around

Everybody wants a rock
To wind a piece of string around
Everybody wants a rock
To wind a piece of string around

Throw the crib door wide
Let the people crawl inside
Someone in this town
Is trying to burn the playhouse down
They want to stop the ones who want
A rock to wind a string around
But everybody wants a rock
To wind a piece of string around

Throw the crib door wide
Let the people crawl inside
Someone in this town
Is trying to burn the playhouse down
They want to stop the ones who want
A rock to wind a string around
But everybody wants a rock
To wind a piece of string around

If I were a carpenter I'd
Hammer on my piglet, I'd
Collect the seven dollars and I'd
Buy a big prosthetic forehead
And wear it on my real head

Everybody wants prosthetic
Foreheads on their real heads
Everybody wants prosthetic
Foreheads on their real heads

Throw the crib door wide
Let the people crawl inside
Someone in this town
Is trying to burn the playhouse down
They want to stop the ones who want
Prosthetic foreheads on their heads
But everybody wants prosthetic
Foreheads on their real heads

Throw the crib door wide
Let the people crawl inside
Someone in this town
Is trying to burn the foreheads down
They want to stop the ones who want
A rock to wind a string around
But everybody wants a rock
To wind a piece of string around


Lyrics submitted by Irrational

"We Want a Rock" as written by John Linnell John Flansburgh

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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We Want A Rock song meanings
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37 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentDoes anyone else by chance think that the title itself (in reference to fads) is a shot at Hair Metal? "We Want A Rock" - "I Wanna Rock" ?? just a thought to add onto the idea of fads..
    Jpak88on December 08, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI always thought of this song as being about stupid fads...
    Like pet rocks... with little string leashes.. Heh heh.
    And don't forget prosthetic Klingon foreheads!
    Burninatedon December 07, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentPiglet is a piggy bank. "If I were a carpenter" is a reference to an old song lyric (look it up), it's not a reference to Jesus (other than a second-hand reference). So, he smashes his piggy bank with a hammer to get the seven bucks he has saved to buy the fake forehead. Not complicated.

    Burning down the playhouse is also a reference to other song lyrics that I think originated long ago in the blues community. I'm sure the phrase appears in many many songs. I believe it's a sort of threat to out-do or defeat someone, but I was also told once that it an allusion to infidelity -- to burn (or tear) someone's playhouse down is to sleep with his woman. Maybe sort of like mowing someone else's grass? It's not very obvious or literal, but I can see it.

    TMBG used to twist up old rock and pop lyrics a lot. They don't do it much anymore, but their early work is full of mangled lyrics from well-known songs. A lot of younger fans miss the references and get really, really confused.

    The baseball interp is very interesting but doesn't cover all the bases, so to speak. I've always taken this song to be about pet rocks, fads, and (obviously) a pun on "We wanna rock." I like to think the pun came first and the rest of the song was built around it.
    chadd_vzon July 13, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always thought he had to get married (a diamond/rock around her finger) and get a job (carpenter) in order to get freaky with his girl (prosthetic forehead being a strap-on dildo for the forehead). I don't think I am so far off.
    Psychedelephanton June 28, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song I hilarious... and catchy
    Emily1014on April 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentagreed. its about fads and how stupid they are and how quickly they shift.

    Rodan2000
    Rodan2000on December 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti was one of those with the klingon foreheads
    chillisunfireon March 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell said about fads indeed
    sparticus150on June 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell said about fads indeed
    sparticus150on June 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentinteresting theory on the KKK, but...

    I'm not sure this theory aligns with these lyrics

    "they want to stop the ones who want a rock to wind a string around"...if the people who want the rock to wind the string around (OWWRTWSA) are the KKK, wouldn't it be the OWWRTWSA being the ones burning down the playhouses?

    I do think there is something in the hiding in the churches though...I hadn't given it much thought before.
    CoryGreenwellon July 22, 2005   Link

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