Your silver tongue laughs at the clowns of our age
A slow production line of cheap-shots from both sides
Shot from the hip to my seventh rib
A spoiled tomato lies in all that you say
And I was the last of us to know

Sound the alarm for my sentimental ways
Have come in view and we've all got our own knives
Sold to the worst of the devils we know
Our mind and tight skin will be old
But this wasn't meant for us to know

Youth's open shutters
Give way to another
Taken by slight of hand...
And every American
Has the mouth of a pelican
Now can I share that pillow with you love?

They've got us in fits to find a way out
Of this exploded view of a life once so simple
First with the curse that my sentimental ways
Are drawing my innocence to a close
And these were not meant for me to know

Lyrics submitted by evapor8ed

My Seventh Rib song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentGreat song! Love every line...
    "And every American
    Has the mouth of a pelican" haha
    -The shins lover
    janieblanieon February 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis seems to me like the Shins' most overtly political song.

    And yet, it seems almost... anti-political. Allow me to explain...

    The opening line "Your silver tongue laughs at the clowns of our age" seems to refer to an above-the-influence sort of fiction deity that sees through the propaganda of modern politics (the baised politicians being the "clowns"). These are the same "devils" spoken of later in the song.

    The youth of today tend to believe whatever they're told, and so have "open shutters," and are taken by any "slide of hand" that is attempted toward them. They "give way to another": The dominoe effect.

    Oh yes, and one last point... "production line of cheap-shots on both sides" obviously refers to the political animosity and slander coming from political parties.

    Basically... every line in this song has a not-too-subtle reference to today's politics.
    Shin-iteon June 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn the same way this situation could be talking about politics, I think it may be more closely related to a friend or 'girlfriend' speaking slanderous things about the author. More specifically:

    The first line is about a person who thinks they are above other people so they talk down on them...laugh at them. And so describes the next few lines until the last of the first stanza where he admits he was the last to know of these hurtful words being said, probably about the author. The second stanza seems to be a mixture of saying there are more important things to talk of than negative criticisms, and also that the author has fallen victim to saying negative things too, although he is not proud of it. The third stanza seems to say that like the author and the other person, everyone falls victim to saying these kinds of negative remarks. And the last stanza seems to be blaming the trend to say these bad things on someone, and sugest that just saying these bad things is the tip of the iceberg, and we do bad things as well...there is a larger picture than a few dirty remarks.

    that may not have made any sense...if so, I hope it wasnt a waste.
    Alexander Coeon April 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about growing up and losing your innocence and sense of fun; Mercer is saying that it doesn't have to happen that way and it isn't meant for that to happen to us.

    "Your silver tongue", "A spoiled tomato", etc, this is about how older, "more mature" people look down on the young who are carefree and they're kinda doing it out of a bitterness that they feel like they can longer live like that themselves. I think the point that Mercer is trying to get through in this song is that we don't have to give in to this rotten view of life; we should try to remain the free spirits that we are in our youth and not give in to what we think we are supposed to become as we get older. This is a common theme among many of The Shins' songs, perhaps most notably in Australia.
    musiclover2223on April 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really have no idea, but this is definitly a very good fun song with a more puzzling meaning
    annaSon July 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis seems to me to be a coming of age song, where Mercer begins to lose his innocence as he comes to discover all the lies he was told when he was young (the "rotten tomatoes" that lie in what many people say). Partly, Mercer wishes he never found out about these things ("these weren't meant for us to know"). At the same time, however, he recognizes that this ignorance is what gives bad people the power to do bad things ("we've all got our own knives, sold to the worst of the devils we know"). By believing the lies of what people tell us, we hand over our power to do something good to these "devils". Mercer wishes that he could live an innocent life like he did as a child, but he is torn because he also realizes that this innocence is exploited by bad people.
    nowhereman1980on May 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti thought i knew all of the shins songs but for some reason i had missed this one. found it yesterday and predicibly i am once again in love with a shins song. i haven't had long to think about what it means (i usually only write these comments after a month or two) but i would still have to agree with the last comment- thats its a reference to growing out of the innocence of childhood whether you want to or not. however, i don't think he's being notstalgic even though he refers to being sentimental, the tone of the song is more ... resentful, maybe. Anyway i love how so many people can have different interpretatioins of the shins songs, and all the interpretations could (usually) make sence.
    lucyramaon January 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentpower pop new slang. great song
    apyon October 25, 2010   Link

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