"Staple It Together" as written by and Jack Hody Johnson Merlo Podlewski....
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Lyrics submitted by AllStarMe

Staple It Together song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentInteresting posts. General love for Jack seems to be pervasive. I have it too.

    Here's what I think Jack is trying to communicate:

    There is a dude Jack knows, maybe even Jack himself, who has made some mistakes. Those mistakes are continuing to plague him, and he only makes them worse. Sort of a self destructive spiral. The line "he stabbed the moment in the back with the brown thumbtack that held up the list of the things he's got to do" seems to indicate that the subject Jack is talking about has neglected his responsibilities. If the thumbtack once held up the list, it no longer does. What happened to the list? Think it is mixed in with the other trash on the floor.

    "Moving on before he understood" indicates the a lack of learning from one's mistakes. Not necessarily out of compulsive behavior, but possibly out of frustration or impatience.

    The reference to the "faces that he knew" may be about the people the song's protagonist's circle of friends or family that he has abandoned to pursue his self destructive behavior and the fact he sisn't try to see how or why the people he wronged felt wronged.

    The refrain seems to indicate a general sense of "oh well, just bad luck, better just move on."

    The next few lines seem to indicate that the subject is haplessly stumbling into further trouble through lack of insight and ignorance.

    I'm puzzled by the line "cause hate is such a such a strong word" some antipathy for his situation and his perceived projection of his own failure on the people he has abandoned is what I think is likely.

    The bricks and walls seem like bad decisions that further isolate the subject from both those who care about him and possibilites of rising out of the situation he is in.

    The final refrain is what I thin the subject is saying to one of those he has wronged. It is sort of a insincere commitment to reconsile "if the weather get's better" which I would say is unlikely. Or perhaps one of the subject's friends trying to draw him into a meeting where the subject is educated on his misdeeds.

    No matter if this is a good analysis or a bad one, the song is dripping with meaning and is quite thought provoking. I was initially put off by the "staple it together and call it bad weather" thing, but perhaps that is much more colloquila in Jack's circles where weather is everything (surfing, island existence, etc.)

    My best guess is that this is about one of Jack's troubled surfing buddies.

    It really grew on me and now I can't get it out of my head without trying to hum "the girl from ipanema."

    Well done Jack! care to comment?

    frank7on August 17, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis is a great song by Jack, and like a lot of his songs it seems to have a blues influence. The chord progression (A-minor to D-major) is the same as Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love", and Jack can be heard using the same Zeppelin lyrics in a live performance of this song. The rhythm guitar in the solo portion of "Whole Lotta Love" is also very similar to Jack's song, with the rhythm being two strong strums on the A-minor chord while a lead guitar solos over it.

    The meaning of the song is ambiguous, but I always thought the main theme/influence of the song was procrastination. Being a college student from UCSB, he probably had his bouts with procrastination.

    "It's really too bad he became a prisoner of his own past
    He stabbed the moment in the back with a brown thumbtack
    Then held up the list of things he gotta to do"

    Procrastinating was the mistake he made in the past, and now he has a big list of things he has to do.

    "It's really no good he's movin' on before he understood
    He shot the future in the foot with every step he took
    Caught from the places that he did cause he forgot to look"

    When you procrastinate homework, you tend to move on before you understand the material so you can finish the assignment. He's making steps forward by getting the assignment done, but not understanding the material is shooting himself in the foot for future assignments/tests.

    "Better staple it together and call a bad weather"

    Staple the assignment up, turn it in, and accept the consequences of procrastinating.
    steveachuon February 11, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"he stabbed the moment in the back with a brown thumb tack"
    dumanyoon February 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThanks a lot ;)
    mastachandon February 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentanother fine song from jack, I can't wait for this album to come out.
    poisonformyvainson February 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love jack johnson, but this is my least favorite song on the album.
    bananapancakeson March 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentR u serious??? how can this be your least favorite song???... this song is sooo good, especially how the bass line and drums come together. You're prolly one of those teenie-boppers who just likes some of his romantic lyrics and pays no attention to the music skill
    n3j1y1on March 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalso, it's "round thumbtack" not brown thumbtack. I'm gonna go ahead and say that this should be the next single...or maybe "Good People", but his album is just too good to pick the next single.
    n3j1y1on March 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is the worst on the album
    liamoon April 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song i s sick, bad , awesome.....if u listen to it the first time it may not sound like Jack but after a while it grows on you. Its not mellow but its still Jack. I think this song is talking about someone whos messing up all the time and he's screwing himself over and jack is saying just let it go.
    "better staple it together
    and call it bad weather "

    Until the last line than he's talking about a girl and saying forget the past, and just be in the present.
    saminexon April 02, 2005   Link

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