I was down in Georgia
nothing was as real
as the street beneath my feet
descending into air

The cauldron was a-bubbling
the flesh was lean
and the women moved forward
like piranhas in a stream
they spread themselves before me
an offering so sweet
and they beckoned and they beckoned
come on darling eat

Eat the summer cannibals
eat eat eat
you eat the summer cannibals
eat eat eat

They circled around me
natives in a ring
and I saw their souls a-withering
like snakes in chains
and they wrapped themselves around me
ummm what a treat
and they rattled their tales hissin'
come on let's eat

Eat the summer cannibals
eat eat eat
you eat the summer cannibals
eat eat eat

I felt a rising in my throat
the girls a-saying grace
and the air the viscous air
pressed against my face
and it all got too damn much for me
just got too damn rough
and I pushed away my plate
and said boys I've had enough
and I laid upon the table
another piece of meat
and I opened up my veins to them
and said come on eat

Eat the summer cannibals
eat eat eat
you eat the summer cannibals
eat eat eat
you eat the summer cannibals
eat eat eat
you eat the summer cannibals
eat eat eat

Cause I was down in Georgia
nothing was as real
as the street beneath my feet
descending into hell

So eat eat eat
you eat eat eat
you eat eat eat
eat eat eat


Lyrics submitted by Maraja

Summer Cannibals song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI don't have any grand insight on this, but I don't see the lesbian sex thing. It seems too simple and crude for Patti. I thought perhaps the title referenced the Ballard story, and didn't take the eating to be a literal thing. But hey, maybe after being away from making music, raising kids, and having her husband and others close to her die, she decided to write a cheap metaphor for cunnilingus.
    dotdashon July 28, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is definitely about lesbian activities and the conservative South.
    Grimmstoneon November 16, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI would say cannibalism works as a metophor for social relationship or capitalism. First, one is lured but then figures out the rotten side.
    william148on June 06, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAgree with grimmstone. Eating the cannibals, and being eaten in turn but telling the boys you've had enough points to one meaning! Very provocative and funny song.
    neilmcon October 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs I recall, this was more a song by her husband, Fred "Sonic" Smith, which Patti finished after he died. I have the impression it is a song of ambivalence, to say the least, towards the rock music industry which tempts its artists and consumes them.

    Of course, I doubt Patti minds the sexual overtones. Her first big hit, "Gloria," was drew on lesbian imagery.

    Not sure what Georgia has to do with it, unless it happened to be the backdrop of Fred's demonic vision.
    LuckyTownon November 28, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPatti Smith is a poet and a goddess, I would never be so obtuse to claim that I knew exactly what she means in any of her song and can only say what they mean to me. I got Gone Again in 1996 when I was 15 and this song was my favorite on the album. The images I got listening to it were like something from a Flannery O'Connor story. I pictured in my mind a radical southern-style tent revival compleate with snakes, speaking in tongues, full-on charasmatic pentecostal imagry and the singer was a sinner or a lost soul who wandered in not knowing what to expect but being overtaken by fear at the sight and finally giving in to the madness. It is likely that my upbringing in the Bible belt had something to do with it. No matter what the song is actually about, or if it was Patti or Sonic's vision, it is an amazing song thats brilliance is overlooked.
    rapeandhoneyon January 05, 2014   Link

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