"Dinner Bell" as written by John Linnell and John Flansburgh....
I've been leaving on my things
So in the morning when the morning bird sings
There's still dinner on my dinner jacket
'Til the dinner bell rings

Experimental dog
Salivating dog
Good dog
Waiting for the dinner bell to do the bell thing (waiting for the dinner bell)
Dinner bell dinner bell ring

I've been leaving on my things
So in the morning when the morning bird sings
There's still dinner on my dinner jacket
'Til the dinner bell rings

I don't want a pizza, I don't want a piece of (experimental dog)
Peanut brittle, I don't want a pear.
I don't want a bagel I don't want a bean I wouldn't like (salivating dog)
A bag of beef or a beer or a
Cup of chowder, corn, cake, or creamed cauliflower cause I'm (good dog)
Waiting for the dinner bell to do the bell thing (waiting for the dinner bell)
Dinner bell dinner bell ring

Shoulder, bicep, elbow, arm
Forearm, thumb, wrist, knuckle, palm
Middle, pinky, index, ring
Dinner bell dinner bell ding

I don't know whether I'd rather be having a bottle of vinegar (experimental dog)
I don't know whether I'd rather be having an egg.
I don't know whether I'd rather be having an order of bacon (salivating dog)
Or whether I'd rather be having a basket of garlic bread.
I don't know whether I'd rather be having some pie or (good dog)
Saving my appetite 'cause I'm
Waiting for the dinner bell to do the bell thing (waiting for the dinner bell)
Dinner bell dinner bell ring

I've been leaving on my things (I've been leaving on)
So in the morning when the morning bird sings (the morning)
There's still dinner on my dinner jacket (on my)
'Til the dinner bell does the bell thing
Dinner bell dinner bell do the bell thing
I'm waiting for the dinner bell to do the bell thing (waiting for the ding)
Dinner bell dinner bell ding ding ding
Waiting for the dinner bell to do the bell thing (waiting for the ding)
Dinner bell dinner bell ding ding ding
Waiting for the dinner bell to do the bell thing (waiting for the ding)
Dinner bell dinner bell ding


Lyrics submitted by sawg

"Dinner Bell" as written by John Linnell John Flansburgh

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Dinner Bell song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +3
    General Comment"Shoulder, bicep, elbow, arm
    Forearm, thumb, wrist, knuckle, palm
    Middle, pinky, index, ring"

    I think this MAY be from the point of view of the dog, (maybe the whole song is?) recognizing it's dinner time... Clearly the bell signifies dinner time, so I'm imagining the dog seeing his master and looking down his arm in anticipation, from the shoulder down to the hand, leading to...DINNER BELL!

    Cool song.
    kickstart71on November 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentprecisely!

    except the listing off of different foods. that's just indecision and pretty humorous.
    NQArbuckleon May 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo, uh...:

    "Shoulder, bicep, elbow, arm
    Forearm, thumb, wrist, knuckle, palm
    Middle, pinky, index, ring"

    Why?

    Just cause it's cool to list body parts? Or is there something I'm missing?
    freethegoldfishon December 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was hoping someone would have come up with a crazy interpretation of the whole 'dinner on the jacket' notion.

    Without asking the Johns or researching it, it never gave me any concrete 'story'. Nothing literal. The obvious Pavlovian references are fine, but there's alot going on in here! It makes me think of habituation and our tendency to latch onto the path of least resistance. Someone is holding out for all the things he could have in favor of something else. Something he's anticipating and possibly already has (on his jacket). Must... research.... before shooting off my mouth, but first impressions are always more interesting. You never know what a subtly abstracted song will mean to it's fans. Must be bustling over at the "Yes" lyrc forums...
    warmPhaseon February 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the whole song is from the dog's point of view. The dinner bell is the bell the dog's owner rings when it's time to eat. While he's waiting for the ring, the dog is seeing all this food on the table, but he knows it's not for him so he doesn't want it.

    In the next verse, he's not sure if he'd rather eat the food or wait, because he's getting hungrier, however, due to his obedience he continues to wait.

    I got the same impression as kickstart71, the "Shoulder, bicep, elbow, arm" part could represent the owner finally ringing the bell and giving the dog some food.

    SammoSammyon October 19, 2010   Link

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