"The Sheep Song" as written by and Amanda Palmer....
Wash up
Bowl of mush
Look I made America
Hush hush
Don't don't rush
Time for quiet
Time to brush

Brown wine
Everything will be just fine
Sleep now
Never fear
All your animals are here

Counting sheep
I lay me down to sleep
But I see a sheep that will not leave
From the back they catch him in a trap
Hit his head and send him off to bed

Cutting by numbers is kinder
Invest in one with a silencer
All of the studies say if they're
Calm when they die then they taste better

Cutting by numbers is kinder
Invest in the one with the silencer
All of the studies say if they're
Calm when they die then they taste better

Olive sky
I am crying all the time
There there
Don't despair
We will find your sheep somewhere

Lyrics submitted by anna118k, edited by Inue

"The Sheep Song" as written by Amanda Palmer

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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The Sheep Song song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentCHANGE OF PLAN:

    its about war. maybe "red brush...look i made america" is about blood, and america's involvement in a lot of wars. " dont try to care too much" is to me about people becoming unfeeling killing machines.

    the third stanza makes me think of some terrifying nightmare "counting sheep" and the music is consistent with a nightmare... in keeping with the war theme, PTSD maybe?

    "cutting by numbers is kinder" - genocide or slaughter

    "invest in one with a silencer. All of the studies say if theyre calm when they die they taste better" - this is a bit outside the square, but i see that as saying if you keep whatever events quiet (silent), and calm, it tastes better only because the media cant get to a story if its been silenced.

    the last stanza is definitrly about regret. regretting that one was in a war? maybe they lost their friends/family? but regret all the same.

    and thats my very crazy thought.
    mixitupon November 02, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's really too bad that the lyrics here are COMPLETELY different from what I'm listening to right now...
    darkereflectionon June 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, this song is about those 4-H projects where you have to raise a baby animal and then they auction it off ( the beginning part "hush hush don't don't dash and don't try to care too much" seem to be instructions while showing the animal in the ring, don't walk too fast/slow, keep the animals head up, etc.) The child in the song has raised the sheep since it was a lamb and didn't know that the sheep would have to be sold. The parents don't want to scar the child (I'm assuming the child is about 7) by telling him/her where the animals actually go, where hamburgers come from, etc. However the child considers the sheep to be his friend (the human-animal bond), and doesn't want it to be turned into lambchomps or whatever. When the day comes the parents in essecance lie to the child (" There there, don't despair, we will find your sheep somewhere"). The middle part "Cutting by numbers is kinder.....calm when they die then they taste better" is the sheep at the slaughterhouse.
    Overall, the song is about how you can get so attached to an animal and it being hard to let go when it is time and how some people stay in denial about the realities of life.
    CabaretKittieon February 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis line: "never fear, all your animals are here" has great meaning to me.
    i feel the "animals" are used as a comfort device for someone to trust/ feel safe enough to fall asleep.. which can be a really inimate thing.
    i myself only loved stuffed animals when i was younger for this reason, so i found it interesting that this part was put into the aspect of this great piece.

    i could go into the whole song, but i really don't feel like it right now.
    i wish someone would transcribe this song. i'm trying, but i'm not very good. and the recording is messy.
    tiltingheadon February 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm curious.

    In the live recording, the words seem to be different.
    For instance, the lines
    "counting sheep
    I lay me down to sleep
    but I see a sheep that will not leave"

    appear to be:
    counting sheep
    I lay me down to sleep
    Please don't leave me with my awful dreams.

    Is this true, or do my ears deceive me yet again? :P

    Also, the bit about America doesn't sound like it's being said in the recording. The words seem to be similar, but is the word "America" there?

    Simply gorgeous song. Feels like such a lullaby (in quite the creepy way, mind you!)... which I find interesting when I match that with something tiltinghead has mentioned.

    I'm sure CabaretKittie has nailed the meaning right to the wall, so I haven't much to pitch in. :)
    Cancerous Adversaryon February 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this one's about having that one last strand of hope snap - when you're left as a sobbing heap on your floor, praying to an entity that you don't necessarily believe in. The sort of peaceful lull of the song is exactly how I've felt when I have hit rock bottom in the past, like "okay, there is no way I can plummet any further, so if you're up there, great. If not, I have nothing left to lose now."

    Oh, the Sheep Song.
    It's gotten me through oh-so-much.

    Anyone care to agree?

    To dispute?
    __ampersandon June 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe "...cutting by numbers is kinder..." etc. is a bit like Bad Habit. maybe i'm the only on e that thinks that, but i love it. i love both songs. amazing.
    as to the meaning, i have no flipping idea. the raising a sheep from a lamb idea works, but i think i agree more with the 'last bit of hope' idea. don't ask me why.
    'Cancerous Adversary', you're right, it reminds me of a creepy lulaby too. man its amazing.
    mixitupon July 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAhh, I love your idea that it's about war.
    Cancerous Adversaryon November 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI went to their show at the NorVa last night and she told a story about the inspiration for this song. Evidently the first time she visited Austrailia she stayed overnight in a small town called Hay (apparently it was a really really small conservative town..."If I was like I stayed in Hay, Texas you'd all be like 'uh-uh'.") At any rate, what I got from the story was that everyone was a sheep herder and they grew their own pot and ground it in a coffee grinder and some how she escaped within inches of her life. I shit you not. Kind of reminded me of the movie "Wolf Creek." Unfortunately the only clip I could find of her talking about it is here: youtube.com/…
    nixonjnon January 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentred brush
    washing up
    --washing the blood from the floors, or something
    look I made america
    --having fun with the blood, making patterns, amusing themselves whilst cleaning
    hush hush
    don’t don’t rush
    and don’t try to care too much
    --persuading themselves to not care about the animals being slaughtered

    brown wine
    somethings musn’t be combined
    sleep now
    never fear
    all your animals are here
    --all your friends are still here little sheep, they arent dead, like the song says, if sheep are calm they taste better, so if it believes its friends are all still alive it'll be calmer

    counting sheep
    I lay me down to sleep
    but I see a sheep that will not leave
    from the back they catch him in a trap
    hit his head and send him off to bed
    --exactly what it says, she is just witnessing the sheep being sorted. should be behaving better, silly sheep.

    cutting by numbers is kinder
    invest in one with a silencer
    all of the studies say if they’re
    calm when they die then they taste better
    --cutting is possibly= with cattle you can cut/herd/round them up, and you do it in numbers, but to cut one of them from the group is usually cutting...i dunno bout this one.

    cutting by numbers is kinder
    invest in the one with the silencer
    all of the studies say if they’re
    calm when they die then they taste better
    --" "

    olive sky
    I am crying all the time
    there there
    don’t despair
    we will find your sheep somewhere…
    --sky should be blue, maybe they are looking at the roof of a building which is the only sky they have ever known.
    sheep isnt happy, its crying all the time.

    i REALLY doubt this is actually meant to be about sheep, i think amanda writes deeper, but i dont have the imagination or intelligence to figure it out.
    Maidenizzyon June 17, 2008   Link

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