"My Name Is Jonas" as written by and Labi Siffre....
My name is Jonas
I'm carrying the wheel
Thanks for all you've shown us
But this is how we feel
Come sit next to me
Pour yourself some tea
Just like grandma made
When we couldn't find sleep
Things were better then
Once but never again
We've all left the den
Let me tell you 'bout it

The choo-choo train left right on time
A ticket costs only your mind
The driver said hey man we go all the way
Of course we were willing to pay

My name is Wepeel
I gotta box full of your toys
They're fresh out of batteries
But they're still makin' noise
Tell me what to do
Now the tank is dry
Now this wheel is flat
And you know what else?
Guess what I received
In the mail today
Words of deep concern
From my little brother

The building's not goin' as he planned
The foreman has injured his hand
The dozer will not clear a path
The driver swears he learned his math
The workers are goin' home!

My name is jonas


Lyrics submitted by antispork

"My Name Is Jonas" as written by Labi Siffre

Lyrics © CHRYSALIS MUSIC GROUP

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My Name Is Jonas song meanings
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  • +3
    General Commenti hate when people say the lyrics are random.
    i think its about how when youre a kid, youd do anything to be a grown up, and when youre grown up, youd do anything to be a kid again. i agree for the most part with switchfootfreak


    "My name is Jonas
    I'm carrying the wheel"
    his name is jonas, a child, and he is directing and is in control of his life.

    "Thanks for all you've shown us
    But this if how we feel"
    hes thankful for what he has learned and what people have shown him, but he feels that being something else would be better.

    "Come sit next to me
    Pour yourself some tea
    Just like grandma made
    When we couldn't find sleep
    Things were better then
    Once but never again"
    fast forword 20 years or so. someone is listening to his problems, like they used to when he couldnt fall asleep. he is reflecting as an adult about childhood. how great it was, but itll never be that good again.

    "We've all left the den
    Let me tell you 'bout it"
    when we grow up, we leave the protection of our family. when i read "left the den" i think of a wolf den. when the baby wolf grows up, it leaves its den where it was protected, into the wilderness where it has to fend for itself. stupid analogy, but thats just how i think of it.

    "The choo-choo train left right on time
    A ticket cost only your mind
    The driver said 'hey man, we go all the way'
    Of course we were willing to pay."
    now, back to childhood. using childish words like "choo choo train" instead of just "train" to show its a kid, he is "willing to pay" to be an adult, or "go all the way" in life

    "My name is wepeel
    I gotta box full or your toys
    They're fresh out of batteries
    But they're still makin' noise"
    now that hes grown up, he is a different person. hes not jonas anymore, hes wepeel. he has memories or his childhood, or toys. "theyre fresh outta batteries" - theres no hope of going back. "but theyre still makin noise" - there are still strong memories of them.

    "Tell me what to do
    Now the tank is dry
    Now the wheel is flat"
    he has no direction in his life and if asking what to do. he has no will to move on ("tank is dry"), and even if he did, he still has obsticles (a wheel being flat, stopping him from moving along)

    "And you know what else?"
    in a kind of complaining way, that there are too many things going on.

    "Guess what I received
    In the mail today
    Words of deep concern
    From my little brother"
    put simply, he has problems filling up his life

    "The building's not goin' as it's planned"
    being an adult isnt as great as he had thought as a kid.

    "The foreman has injured his hand"
    again, he has no direction in his life. a foreman is someone who has control over workers, so with the leader and controller out, the workers are left on their own.

    "The dozer will not clear its path"
    fits with the foreman, there is not path for him to follow, he has no direction.

    "The driver swears he learned his math"
    again, life as an adult isnt was he thought it would be as a kid.

    "The workers are goin' Home!"
    he has given up.
    whybother737on January 17, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song is somewhat cryptic, but I agree that it's a song about an adult looking back on his childhood. The words of the song are simplified to what his inner child has to say about becoming an adult.
    It also implies a sense of homesickness from the adult's perspective, wishing to go back to the happy innocent sheltered life of a small child.
    HappySunshineChriston December 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMm, for some reason I thought "Weepel" was "Wakefield" or something, which explains part of my interpretation.

    I had the impression this song was about growing up and learning that life wasn't as smooth as it was when you were young; young, being the beginning part of the song, when he calls himself Jonas (as children, you generally are called by your first name).
    Leaving the den and the train's departure are basically when you've grown up and are on your own, and the price of the ticket - your mind - means your childhood and innocence.
    "Of course we were willing to pay" - kids are always anxious to grow up and become adults. (To any kids out there, enjoy your childhood while you still can. Seriously.)
    (Here's where my Wakefield/Weepel confusion comes in.) When he says his name is Wakefield, which could very well be a last name, it signifies that he's now grown up, because adults go by their last names rather than their first. The toys are memories of a better past, long gone (out of batteries) but still something that he misses (making noise).
    The empty tank/flat wheel and building problems represent hardships in life, where sometimes you feel like you just can't keep going or things end up not turning out the way you planned. With the workers abandoning their posts and going home, it's like most people don't really care and just want to do what they like; people in the real world have their own plans and can't always be dependable.
    The ending line, "My name is Jonas", fades out somewhat wistfully, probably means that he still remembers how good it was to be young and wishes that he hadn't been so eager to grow up.
    rabidarcheron February 04, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningRivers Cuomo has gone record saying the song is about his brother, Leaves Cuomo, who was in a car accident and was having trouble with insurance. The song is a narrative that serves as an incredibly dramatic metaphor for Leaves' situation and is supposed to be representative of people who have experienced similar situations, in which they are always getting reamed by the Man, whether it be insurance, or corporate, or Social Security, whatever. In the song, the Jonas character represents the insurance company and Wepeel represents Leaves Cuomo, while the brother is clearly Rivers Cuomo.
    The lines about construction aren't metaphorical, they're literal. Basically, it's about a man who has a job doing labor and he relies heavily on this job, not just to support himself but to keep his mind and body active. Perhaps he decided to not pursue an education after high school or his degree has not afforded many white collar opportunities. Either way, he is working at a job site and suddenly, he no longer has this job for whatever reason. It's like he didn't even matter, he's totally replaceable, nobody appreciated him, nobody is going to make it up to him, nobody is going to help him, it's just 'let's cut ties here and now'. They give him a paltry consolation prize for his trouble or some insincere meant-to-be-comforting-but-really-isn't parting words.
    The entire first verse is from the point of view of the person telling the employee he no longer has a job. The song isn't ABOUT Jonas, it's being said BY Jonas, who is actually the bad guy, the boss or work foreman ("Thanks for all you've shown us, but this is how we feel, come sit next to me, pour yourself some tea...")
    Now the question is why does Weepel, presumably the man who was let go by Jonas, no longer have a job? It could be for many number of reasons. Maybe the job was shut down early and now there's no real payoff, the company is not providing for jobs lost. This meaning explains the line, "The workers are going home." But also incredibly likely, he was injured on the job or involved in a human resources situation and he was forced into retirement. His severance package or security from the government is probably paltry, which means the system that Cuomo is talking about has a dual meaning: the system, as in corporate or union, and the system, as in the government that is failing to provide for Wepeel.
    Not only is this situation bad on a financial level, but it's bad on an emotional and mental level. Wepeel put all this time and energy and effort into this job and was treated poorly; now he has nothing to give him self-esteem or occupy his time or mind. This is confirmed by the lines "the ticket costs only your mind" and "I got a box full of your toys, they're fresh out of batteries but they're still making noise." He's saying, "This job gave me all of these issues and now the job is gone, but I'm still dealing with these problems. Who is going to help me care of this?" Everything in his life is subsequently going to pieces ("Now this tank is dry and this wheel is flat".)
    To kill his self-esteem more ("And you know what else?"), Wepeel's little brother is calling out of concern. The little brother, a representation of Rivers Cuomo, is successful, much like rock star Rivers Cuomo. How does that feel, to lose your job and ability to work and to be ignored by the people who are supposed to help you, and then your *little* brother is this big success and is trying to help you, undermining your status as elder brother and accidentally rubbing his good fortune in your face? In real life, Leaves may or may not be older than Rivers, but the 'little brother' description is added to basically add insult to injury, to make Wepeel's situation even worse.
    The last lines are Jonas' words. They could be his excuses to Wepeel about why he is discontinuing the project and letting Weepel and his coworkers go. Or these lines are a snippet of a conversation he is having with whomever, possibly his own superior, complaining about how the project is plagued with many problems. or excuses why the job is taking longer than it should; in this case, the foreman that has injured his hand is Weepel himself. If it is the latter, the hand injury would explain why Wepeel was let go. In this list, Wepeel is simply 'the foreman', just a faceless worker who is a problem is a long lsit of other problems, and we get a sense of just how unimportant he is to Jonas overall.
    sassbackon February 01, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI agree that this is about growing up, he says many things to point to this.

    "I gotta box full of your toys, They're fresh out of batteries, But they're still makin' noise"

    As is he left his toys when he grew up, they are out of batteries as in he doesn't need them as he has outgrown them, but they still are a memory. Something like this.

    "Pour yourself some tea, Just like grandma made, When we couldn't find sleep, Things were better then, Once but never again, We've all left the den."

    They out grew up, but they can still go back and remember their roots.

    "The choo-choo train left right on time, A ticket costs only your mind, The driver said hey man we go all the way, Of course we were willing to pay!"

    They left, but it cost their sanity to grow up, they had to go all the way.

    Again this is just my basic idea.
    LivinLaVidaLokion May 25, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE this song! its so fun 2 sing it loudly when your home alone and its always in my head
    chrisypoo13on January 05, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with Eurika, i think this song is about being a kid again, but most of it is really random, that's what makes it a good song though.
    weezerific:cutleryon January 05, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe title reminds me of a book - "The Giver" . .. there's a kid named Jonas, and he says at one point "My name is Jonas, and I'm carrying the will" . . . perhaps that was the point, perhaps not
    zencicadaon February 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti have no idea what this song means, but it's cool.
    lunch box angelon April 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti have no idea either what this is about
    but i think the Jonas is from (Jason-put the letters in diff order)- Jason Copper the weezer guitarist be4 brian bell
    and Weepel is Rivers himself...
    plucky_duckon April 17, 2002   Link

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