"Political Scientist" as written by and Ryan Adams....
He is drinking water from the faucet from the river
From the tributary it comes through the rusted pipes
Outside the window he sees the water
That's supposed to be clean by the chemicals
Polluted by the candy factory lines

Someplace on the edge of town
Someplace on the edge of town
Is where they live
Political scientists

So now she is crawling on her hands and her knees
She is dirtying her jeans choking on her own perfume
With a pen she writes below the sink
In someones restaurant
This place is inconvenient for my name
She forgets to write it anyway
She forgets to write it anyway
The government supplies the cocaine
Political scientists

There's no guarantees
There's no guarantees
There's no guarantees

Banging hard upon a crooked drum
She feels them tearing down
Salvation Army houses back in Michigan
Her husband's divorced
But he treats her that way of course
Because he needs her just like he needs medicine

She forgets to write him anyway
She forgets to write him anyway
What's red and white and nearly over?
Political scientist
Political scientist
Political scientist

There's no guarantees
There's no guarantees
There's no guarantees


Lyrics submitted by BlueAndStarry

"Political Scientist" as written by Ryan Adams

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Political Scientist song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commenti cant really figure this one out. something about the corrupt society?
    lauraleyeon November 12, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the idea of a corrupt society is at the heart of this. But that's the least that could be said for it.

    The first verse is important in a metaphorical sense. The water is like a symbol of power, the pipes are like the channels it travels through, that is , politics. It gets distilled through corrupt lines (as in, the rusty pipes, the supposed candy factory lines) The power of governing becomes damaged and badly used or something. The other verses feel like examples of of individual people suffering from this society. The first chorus/bridge is like a description of politicians. They live on the edge of town, away from the center, and all the troubles and injustices that might occur there.

    You're probably a wanker.

    Star wars is awesome.
    Mortonium Iceon January 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti don't really know what it's about, but i don't think he's trying to send a political message or anything like that. but whatever, it's a damn good song.
    peepeeheadon March 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits about The White Stripes
    Dan33185on April 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not really familiar with The White Stripes, so I can't relate to that.
    However, it seems to me that this song deals with those strange people ("banging hard upon her crooked drum she feels them tearing down...") who believe in those ridiculous ("water... polluted by the candy factory lines") conspiracy theories. Those people blame those mythical ("someplace on the edge of town") political scientists that poison us all ("the government supplies the cocaine").
    cookiemanon July 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno, I mean it is about The White Stripes, according to Ryan himself.
    Dan33185on December 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah, it is about the white stripes. he said it when this album was first released.

    "Banging hard upon her crooked drum"
    meg.

    "Salvation Army houses back in Michigan"
    seven nation army. detroit, michigan is where they're from.

    "What’s red and white and nearly over?"
    obvious.
    unisonon January 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsure it might be about the white stripes, but i think there is such a deeper meaning to this song!
    I think it's about the backwards and corruption of society. Doesn't it seem odd to supposedly clean water with chemicals? "Somewhere on the edge of town" could suggest how removed governments are from the people they govern. The fact that there are "no guarantees" suggests how leaders might promise something that would make life better for people, but that promise might not come to reality. Twisted and backwards govenmental rule can be what give people troubled lives.
    aammiieeon May 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdoes anyone know the story behind why he writes a song on the white stripes?
    cause this song seems to be a more negative feel towards them.. "what's red and white and nearly over?"
    but then in one of his album covers he writes "meg white you saved rock and roll" in his thank you section.
    any takers?
    conourtney56on July 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe's had a beef with Jack for a while I guess. He did a cover of Dead Leaves & The Dirty Ground once, with some alternate lyrics thrown in:


    Dead Leaves and the burning ground
    When you I'm not around
    30 letters in a mailbox when you know that you hear the sound
    Know that you hear the sound
    If you could a piano fall you could hear me coming down the hall
    Meg White you do me alright
    You do me anyway I want
    Do me anyway I want
    Yeah, Detroit they got some bands and they'll blow you're fuckin' mind
    Volebeats, the White Stripes, maybe the Von Bondies or the Goldtime
    Went down and met my friends said "Shit, I better stick around"
    Poor Jack White he can't get no sleep since Mr. Ryan he come around
    Since Mr. Ryan he come around
    Mr. Jack you gonna get it back but you gonna have to wait your turn
    Taking on everything you got and everything you wanna learn
    Gonna take it all with me
    Cause I'm feelin' like a cat
    Don't got no alley, got a limousine, with money
    How you like that Mr. Jack
    Yeah, How do you like that
    Dan33185on September 08, 2007   Link

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