"Art Is Hard" as written by Gretta Mindy Cohn, Tim Kasher, Matthew Ryan Maginn, Clint Frederick Schnase and Ted James Stevens....
Cut it out - your self-inflicted pain
Is getting too routine
The crowds are catching on
To the self inflicted song

Well, here we go again
The art of acting weak
Fall in love to fail
To boost your CD sales

(And that CD sells - yeah, what a hit)
You've got to repeat it
You gotta' sink to swim
If at first you don't succeed

You gotta recreate your misery
'Cause we all know art is hard
Young artists have got to starve
Try, and fail, and try again

The comforts of repetition
Keep churning out those hits
'Til it's all the same old shit

Oh, a second verse!
Well, color me fatigued
I'm hiding in hte leaves
In the CD jacket sleeves

Tired of entertaining
Some double-dipped meaning
A soft serve analogy
This drunken angry slur

In thirty-one flavors
You gotta' sink to swim
Immerse yourself in rejection
Regurgitate some sorry tale

About a boy who sells his love affairs
You gotta' fake the pain
You better make it sting
You're goin' break a long

When you get on stage
And they scream your name
"Oh, Cursive is so cool!"

You gotta sink to swim
Impersonate greater persons
'Cause we all know art is hard
When we don't know who we are


Lyrics submitted by ruben, edited by Mellow_Harsher, NBSrock

"Art Is Hard" as written by Gretta Mindy Cohn Clint Frederick Schnase

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Art Is Hard song meanings
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62 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI dedicate this song to Conor Oberst.
    fetologyon April 18, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTim Kasher seems to be describing the act of "selling out". That to "boost your cd sales", you have to be someone that you're not, you have to conform to the ideals of everyone else. You're no longer putting out albumns full of emotion that you personally feel, you're putting forth an albumn that will only please the public. In other words, Kasher's criticising artists who make music for money, instead of because they love it.
    xrachiexon June 19, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenttim's saying how when you write a song or get on stage you have to re-enact your pain. he's pretty much mocking that whole idea.
    the ashleeon June 14, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTim Kasher seems to be describing the act of "selling out". That to "boost your cd sales", you have to be someone that you're not, you have to conform to the ideals of everyone else. You're no longer putting out albumns full of emotion that you personally feel, you're putting forth an albumn that will only please the public. In other words, Kasher's criticising artists who make music for money, instead of because they love it.
    xrachiexon June 19, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that is not about selling out,is about self-loathing,and is self-ironic.He criticizes himself.The selling out theory doesn't sit well with me,I think these lyrics are deeper than that.
    dorareeveron June 21, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is about how, when you write something personal to get something off your chest or whatever, you have to reenact what the song meant to you for stage show (possibly aimed at dashboard confessional who cries during his songs). after a while, it all starts to become an act of showmanship instead of an act of actual emotional significance. or maybe it's the public's want for artists to do something like that (cry) on stage when they sing their songs that are "touching," and their want of heartbreaking lyrics (artists have got to starve). i know the emo crowd loves that.
    misreadon June 25, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like the break a leg line. break a leg as you wish to actors before they go on stage, but it also links well to the first verse :

    cut it out
    your self-inflicted pain
    is getting too routine
    the fans are catching on
    to the self-afflicted song

    nice.
    I think that reading a couple interviews would help you to understand the song better its not about selling out or conor oberst or anything remotely similar.
    dorareeveron April 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentjust a couple corrections on the lyrics.

    it's -the crowds are catching on

    the anabashed weak -is-The art of acting weak

    yeah, the artists have gotta starve-is-young artists have gotta starve

    double deaf meaning-is-double dipped meaning

    yeah, thirty one letters-is-in thirty one flavors

    make the scene-is-make it sting

    oh kasher, he's so cool-is-oh cursive is so cool

    the person the grave to exist-is-impersonate greater persons

    and we don't know who we are-is-when we don't know who we are
    dressdtothenineson April 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIsnt this song just as much about him as it is about bands like dashboard and bright eyes? I mean a lot of Cursive's songs are about how Kasher's wife left him and fucked him over.
    losemoneyon May 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti really think this song is about both things. meaning, about the showmanship and fakeness of emotion and self pity (i.e. dashboard, emo) but also, realizing at the same time, that sometimes that he himself does that. and he is really bad and bitter about that part of himself.
    elodieon May 26, 2004   Link

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