Why is it every time I think about you
Something that you have said or implied makes me doubt you
Then I look into your cynical eyes and I know it
As if it never meant anything to me

Parallel lines on a slow decline - tractor rape chain
Better yet, let's all get wet on the tractor rape chain
Speed up, slow down, go all around in the end

In the first place it's probably just paranoia
But there's a ghost in my room and he says I better run
It's a thing I know - It's a thing I believe in
Won't you tell it to go away?

Parallel lines on a slow decline - tractor rape chain
Better yet, let's all get wet on the tractor rape chain
Speed up, slow down, go all around in the end
Speed up, slow down, go all around in the end

Lyrics submitted by CrookedRain

Tractor Rape Chain (Clean It Up) song meanings
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  • +6
    Song Meaning"Tractor Rape Chain" I think refers to the parallel lines left in a rapeseed field by a tractor. These are often very striking, because rapeseed fields are bright yellow.

    The metaphor in the song is fairly transparent: the parallel lines indicate a couple in a relationship and the path they take, permanently connected but always the same distance apart, around the rapeseed field of life.

    Sadly, these parallel lines are "on a slow decline". I think this is sung from the perspective of a man actually still in a relationship, but struggling to believe that the relationship will last. There is a note of help in the plea, "won't you tell it to go away?"

    We can all relate to a feeling of doubt in a relationship that begins as paranoia, but eventually proves to be valid.
    andythehorribleon April 26, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI agree that it is about a failing relationship, but the details, as I interpret them, are different. The narrator is doubting his/her partner in the first verse: "Something that you have said or implied makes me doubt you" This is happening more and more frequently: "Why is it every time I think about you"

    I think the 2nd verse relates to the first. The singer's doubt of his/her partner might just be paranoia but the ghost (probably of an ex that was unfaithful or untrustable) is something that the singer believes in anyway and wishes that he/she could get rid of, but needs the help of the other to disprove it's existence.
    plataon August 06, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou're not alone--this is my favorite song from my favorite album of theirs.
    Spacecowon December 31, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Better yet, let's all get wet" - all I know is that's the time I would always spill my beer all over the crowd.
    rob1020921on March 16, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am definitely alone in this, but this is my favourite song by GBV.
    A guess as to this song's meaning? A failing relationship, a girl who does not love him, and an ex-boyfriend (ghost) in the picture. Despite this, it does 'mean something to him' (paraphrasing). This is why he is telling her this, hoping she'll 'tell it to go away'.
    The mish-mash of words for the title track is something often used in alternative rock: you put three associative words together in an often semi-conscious thought process, in order to create several layers of meaning. While these aren't necessarily there, one can read:
    -Tractor-rape: Sexual exploitation becoming mechanical (their 'cynical' relationship)
    -Tractor-chain: The machine-like inevitability of fate (parallel lines coming to an end; whether you speed it up or slow it down, there's no difference)
    -Rape-chain: Presumably, one act of sexual exploitation followed by another, hence her ex-boyfriend.

    If you read it like this, the rest of the song is self-explanatory.
    sammy_mendelon September 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMY favourite GBV song too, you are not alone in it. Probably the most un cryptic GBV song despite the title and chorus.
    ZEROpumpkinson June 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is probably my favorite as well. When I first listened to Bee thousand i was reading the grapes of wrath, so i always associate this song with the tractor take over in oklahoma during the depression. It's probably wrong but it kind of makes sense because you can see tractor rape chain meaning the chain of opression in the loss of jobs and stuff
    spoonman7on July 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIts my favorite also
    IanMattsonon April 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPossibly the greatest song ever written. The way the two guitars harmonize after a few bars is genius.
    Jestoon425on March 29, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Commenta cynical song accusing someone of being cynical. parallel lines indeed.
    brandonedgeon March 10, 2017   Link

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