Traveling, swallowing Dramamine
Feeling spaced, breathing out Listerine
I've said what I've said but I'd tell ya
And that you'd killed the better part of me
If you could just milk it for everything
I've said what I've said and you know what I mean
But I still can't focus on anything
We kiss on the mouth but still cough down our sleeves
Traveling, swallowing Dramamine
Look at your face like you're killed in a dream
And you think you've figured out everything
I think I know my geography pretty damn well
You say what you need so you'll get more
If you could just milk it for everything
I've said what I've said but you know what I mean
But I can't still focus on anything



Lyrics submitted by rojazz, edited by demward, hankwarner, TheJester, truthlover557, danahk


Dramamine song meanings
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  • +8
    General Comment:if this song doesn't make you contemplate your existence, then i don't know what the fuck your problem is. that's all.
    theyrenotwitcheson April 15, 2003   Link
  • +6
    General Comment:I've been listening to this song a lot since last summer when I first heard it. The playcount on iTunes is well over 1,000 times. I think the artist is trying to express a dysfunctional relationship by paralleling it to the experience of motion sickness. I think he is angry at his partner because she uses him for whatever she needs, and never has a true relationship. He is "spinning" in a world where he cannot tell the difference between true personality and a fake persona. Just my take.
    EnterDaMatriX444on February 05, 2006   Link
  • +5
    My Interpretation:I just did a song lyrics analysis for class and chose this song so I thought I would share it with you all:

    The song “Dramamine” by Modest Mouse is a complexity beyond my understanding, yet I will make an attempt to analyze it’s meaning. The name of the song itself and the repeated lines, “Traveling, swallowing Dramamine,” in my opinion refers to one of two things. Dramamine is a drug meant to alleviate nausea, but when taken in large dosages can create hallucinations. Therefore, his reference to Dramamine could be a metaphor for him feeling sick of being in a bad relationship, or it could be a simple reference to a really bad trip.
    Due to his multiple references to another person, I am going to assume that the true reason for the “Dramamine” is because of his relationship. The line “feeling spaced, breathing out Listerine” makes me think of two people not physically distanced but emotionally spaced and yelling at each other with harsh words that burn the same way Listerine does. I think he purposefully used Listerine and capitalized it to make a reference to the mouthwash in a metaphorical way. So another theory I have for that line is that their words are cold and burning like the cold sensation you feel when you literally breathe out Listerine.
    “You killed the better part of me” doesn’t mean that she literally killed him, but is figuratively referring to the fact that she has hurt him immensely and he will never be the same because of it. “I’ve said what I’d said and you know what I mean” makes me feel as though he is having to repeat himself over and over again to her and she is twisting his words, yet deep down she understands him.
    I absolutely love the line “We kiss on the mouth but still cough down our sleeves,” and it was this line that made me choose this song to analyze. I feel as though it is a metaphor that could be taken many different ways, but to me it is exemplifying a relationship that looks pretty on the outside but in truth is falling apart. Like they put on an act for everyone, but they both know what’s truly going on. “Look at your face like you’re killed in a dream” is definitely imagery. I see a woman who is absolutely torn apart from the fighting and looks like hell. Probably red eye, makeup smeared, snot dripping; Death. Or, he could be referring to the way he looks at her. As if his hatred towards her is so immense that he dreams of her dying. He then says “And you think you’ve figured out everything” referring to the way she has learned to play his emotions, his tolerances, possibly even his wallet. The next line confused me a little bit, “I think I know my geometry pretty damn well,” but I have a theory. Geometry is the mathematical science that deals primarily with shapes. Now you’re constantly connecting points and adding things up with geometry so what I think he is trying to say with this metaphor is that he’s not an idiot and he has connected the dots, and added everything up and has figured her out. He knows now who she is and what she is all about.
    I think that whether this poem was about drugs or not, I do know that Isaac Brock was an addict and with an addict, drugs rule every part of their lives. I feel as though this song refers to Brock coming home on drugs and getting in a fight with his girlfriend. He then ends by saying, “but I still can’t focus on anything.” He’s drugged out, upset, yet doesn’t have the state of mind to fully focus on his anger or the argument, and therefore knows it will be a never-ending, nauseating circle which will probably call for more Dramamine.
    groovexchildon May 19, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Comment:I think Modest Mouse is one of the best bands ive ever heard... end of story
    AphexJoneson July 30, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment:when i listen to this song i feel that it's about being in a relationship with someone who uses you and leaves you feeling drained
    braindrain052389on April 15, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:so. dramamine. definitly an unpleasant trip. and. if you do it for the tripping affect you lose your vision. you literally cannot focus on anything. it's like you're seeing it from very, very far away. and just the other obvious signs of this song being about travelling and swallowing one too many dramamine.
    metalhearton October 05, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:an interesting perspective...."traveling"...through life, maybe? "swallowing dramamine" may refer to human being's uncanny ability to "swallow" anger/grief/disenchantment and convince ourselves that we are actually fulfilled. We prefer to endure a lifetime of torture to avoid the brief and temporary despair associated with a break-up/separation/divorce...which is often the most liberating experience of one's life...ironic?
    jrlaffreyon January 06, 2009   Link
  • +2
    Memory:I have no idea what this song is "actually" about, but sometimes i don't think the original intent really matters. I recently discovered my fiance was a heroin addict....this song.....reminds me of him. Dramamine, to me references the nausea i feel. "You killed the better part of me..If you could just milk it for everything" somehow i feel like my fiance would use me for everything, including my weaknesses...anything that would make him "feel" better. "You say what you need so you'll get more" He would LIE! even to himself, so he'd "get more"....I still can't focus on anything....in my life for that matter...to me, "dramamine" refers to the nausea of heartache..
    shermasmon January 08, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:people are overanalyzing the shit out of this song, this song is about fucking tripping balls on dramamine lol every line in this song is just describing a different aspect of the trip its obvious if youve done it
    jomalomalon September 07, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:First off, love the song, love the band.
    I think this song has a lot to do with nihilism, the belief that life has no purpose or meaning.
    The lyrics are hard to decipher and the guitar drowns out most of what he is saying, like it doesn't matter what he is saying in the end it means little whether you receive the message or not.
    The song has an emotion of anger and frustration, which are exactly the emotions tied to the knowledge that life has no purpose.
    johnnyblueyeon October 11, 2012   Link

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