"Soft Rock Star" as written by and James Shaw Emily Haines....
Climb the wall to make the sun rise in time
But the night had already begun
Climb the wall to make the sun rise in time
But the night had already begun
Now here I am I am the one
So hang high soft star
Don't shine for swine

Not a lot of room to move us
Where is my guide
I tried lookin' up to you girls
Please correct me, but didn't you let the work slide
Capitalize on a novelty, cheap pink spotlight
Is it alright

Choose the highest bidder was my answer
When they told me I was up for sale
School yard junior high style bullies
Have always tried to buy the better girls
But failed, now the check is in the mail

Bubble gumbo martini
Is nothing like depanneur red wine
Travel through time
Who were you after
You were mine

Choose the highest bidder was my answer
When they told me I was up for sale
School yard junior high style bullies
Have always tried to buy the better girls, haven't they
Choose the brightest future, mind the death
And try to buy the better girls
But failed till now
Check is in the mail

So hang high
Soft rock star
Hang high
Soft rock star
Don't shine
Before swine

Choose the highest bidder was my answer
When they told me i was up for sale
School yard junior high style bullies
Have always tried to buy the better girls, haven't they?

Choose the highest bidder was my answer
When they told me i was up for sale
School yard junior high style bullies
Have always tried to buy the better girls
But failed now
The check is in the mail


Lyrics submitted by killstar

"Soft Rock Star" as written by James Shaw Emily Haines

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Soft Rock Star song meanings
Add your thoughts

39 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +7
    General CommentThis song definitely is talking about respect for women in the music industry specifically, and other industries broadly.
    "Climb the wall to make the sun rise in time But the night had already begun" is talking about our predecessors putting in lots of work to make things change, but the way music has evolved its like we are back in the dark ages where women are only seen as sex objects (think every single rap video, or britney spears)
    "Now here I am, I am the one." "So hang high soft star" - now its her turn to try and do something. She wants to be above the influence, and be able to be honest in her lyrics without being completely trashy (which i think metric does extremely well!) The swine are people (esp. men) who would only listen to her music if shes nearly naked, or people who dont take lyrics and talent seriously.

    "Where is my guide" - shes having a hard time figuring out to how work things out and be successful because everyone whos come before her has given into peer pressure.

    "I tried lookin' up to you girls. Please correct me, but didn't you let the work slide?" - talking again to the girls who sold out. They didnt do a very good job setting the stage for more female musicians.
    "Capitalize on a novelty, cheap pink spotlight" - could be anything that some female "musicians" use to get attention that doesnt have anything to do with talent or the message of the music.

    "Choose the highest bidder was my answer
    When they told me I was up for sale" - basically her manager or whoever tells her that sex sells, and part of her wants to just give in and say "ok, whatever makes the most money is what ill do"
    The bullies (music industry people who think they can buy and sell girls based on their sex appeal) "Have always tried to buy the better girls.... But failed this time" - it may have been that way in the past but they failed to buy her b/c shes standing up for herself/her music.

    I can also see the chorus being interpreted as her giving in to the industry because theyve mailed a check to her (she has been bought), but that wouldnt seem to match with other metric themes, or the verses. who knows?
    episodeivon January 26, 2007   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionI think what designeddtodie said is spot on - I came in here looking to see if I'd heard the lyric right, about dépanneur red wine (having just returned from a summer vacation in Québec, where dépanneurs are literally everywhere and they all sell alcohol of varying quality, I wasn't sure if I heard right!) and I love the interpretation of the nouveau-riche martini vs. the cheap convenience store wine (that comes in a box, probably... .) It totally fits with the theme of the song, about selling-out vs. staying true to one's roots. Leave it to Metric to use corner store wine as a metaphor for authenticity... gawd I love these guys!!!
    Lynzee005on October 01, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI've always thought the song is about "selling out" with lyrics like:

    "Choose the highest bidder was my answer, when they told me I was up for sale"

    And "Bullies have always tried to buy the better girls" and "the cheque is in the mail"

    She also seems to be contrasting life before and after being famous. She's talking about how she tried looking up to existing soft-rock stars, girls who went before her and struggles with image, from lyrics:

    "Where is my guide, I tried looking up to you girls", and potentially implying that they "let the work slide", capitalizing on a cheaper image (pink spotlight) to appeal to a larger audience, make more money, and asks if it's okay. "Not a lot of room to move" may be referring to how the image of female artists is pigeonholed.

    Buying wine from a depanneur is commonplace in the impoverished wannabe-artist culture of Montreal, contrasted with bubblegum martinis of more streamlined, swanky bars and clubs.

    In addition, other lyrics throughout the album make it sound like she misses Montreal (The dirty sugar factory on the water should smell sweet).

    All together, this makes me think the theme is about her thinking she's sold out, struggles with image, and missing life before fame.
    heeepterson November 21, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Don't shine for swine" is right. "Don't shine before smiling" doesn't particularly make a lot of sense, but "don't shine for swine" does because it's like she's saying, don't make an effort for the people that don't deserve it.
    These lyrics are spot on.
    iheartnitzon December 14, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyeah...my lyrics are right :)
    killstaron March 03, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti say...three years later. Don't shine before smiling. haha like metric would write lyrics like that :S
    killstaron March 03, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI definitly hear it as "Don't shine before swine
    Falcasauruson January 04, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSorry Pirate, but I think "Depanneur" is correct. "Depanneur" is a french word for a convenience store or corner store and is a common term in Quebec... remember Emily is from Canada.

    I think she's comparing a fancy martini to a cheap bottle of wine bought at a corner store (Bubble ball martini glasses are popular among the Nouveau riche. I thought the lyric was "bubble gumball martini" just a playful way of saying bubble ball martini by inserting the "bubble gum" phrase. Or, there is also a bubblegum martini... just s froofy twist on a regular martini).

    She's just trying to set up a contrast between what the sell-out artist is going to be able to afford to drink (the martini) vs. what the artist who doesn't sell out is going to be drinking (cheap wine).
    designedtodieon March 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsoft rock star...
    soft porn star.
    CALLEY_roadtojoyon April 10, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with what everyone said. I think it's about being pressured in to something you're not when you're in the music industry. I wonder if she had a personal experience of some record company or somebody wanting her to be a certain image?

    I thought of "soft porn star" too when I first heard the song title too. I think it's sort of making a connection to how celebrities are kind of like soft porn stars, they try to be sexy without being overly revealing. I think the "hang high soft rock star" is kind of like the record company or manager or whatever influence is telling her to be in the spotlight ("hang high").
    fivergirlon June 29, 2008   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain