the tiny goat wanted a birthday party
and sent out invitations to its friends
but when the day came
none of them remembered
so it gouged out its eyes
with fountain pens
the world is cruel and the moon remote
suicide was not an option for the tiny goat

the tiny goat was very, very ugly
and like all ugly things, it fell in love
when twenty years of waiting turned to nothing
it swallowed lye and laid down on the stove
when the world bites, there's no antidote
who would want to spend forever with a tiny goat?

the world's a leech crawling down one's throat
one would rather be a tick than be a tiny goat

Lyrics submitted by delial

The Tiny Goat song meanings
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    General CommentHmm...this song is really weird, musically and lyrically, even for the Gothic Archies. I usually don't interpret lyrics, but since no one's said anything about it, I suppose I'll take it upon myself to do so.

    I don't think the song is literally about a goat. I think the goat represents a person, sort of the ugly loner type, if you get what I mean. The first part may be about this guy as a kid; he knows several other kids from school or something (I don't know), and he's going to have a birthday party, so he gives the other kids invitations. But, as it sometimes happens, none of the other kids thought his birthday was important enough to remember. I think that if we use this theory then this part represents his realization, from an early age, that people don't like him. He percieves himself as a "tiny goat" that no one wants.

    The second verse shows him as an adult. He falls in love (presumably with a woman, but Stephin Merritt IS gay, and given his songs with the Magnetic Fields, it could be with another man - I'm going to assume it's she for conveniency). She doesn't seem to want him, however, because he's a tiny goat (that is, social outcast with nothing going for him). He waits twenty years for her to tell him she loves him, but nothing happens. She doesn't want to spend the rest of her life with a tiny goat.

    I think that swallowing lye is actually him committing suicide by poisoning himself. It wasn't an option for him earlier because he was a kid, and kids usually wouldn't think of killing themselves. But now he's an adult and he knows suicide IS an option. So that's how his story ends.

    I actually thought the line "one would rather be a tick than be a tiny goat" was "I would rather be a tick". It doesn't really change much either way, though. I think that the end is someone who somehow knew the Tiny Goat, and deciding he would not want his life to end up that way. It also gives him a new view of the world; it's a nasty place, a leech crawling down one's throat.

    That's my two cents on the song.
    Pippin the Mercuryon June 09, 2009   Link

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