When I was just a little boy
I threw away all of my action toys
While I became obsessed with Operation

With hearts and minds and certain glands
You gotta learn to keep a steady hand
And thus began my morbid fascination

Tore the spines from out of all of these self-help books
Made myself a gun that not only shoots but looks
So real
Yeah it shoots through steel
With rays of darkmatter
Rays of darkmatter

Do you wonder where the self resides
Is it in the head or between your sides
And who would be the one who will decide
Its true location

And does the thought of all this red and black
Thought of tongues that taste you back
Fill you with the nausea of elation

The noose is loosed around our necks made of DNA
And every day it's growing tighter, no matter what they do or say
Well, you can shoot right through with rays of darkmatter
Just before they kick out
They kick out the ladder
With rays of dark matter

Do you wonder where the self resides
Is it in the head or between your sides
And who would be the one who will decide
Its true location


Lyrics submitted by bobwronski, edited by AnytimeAnyhow

Darkmatter song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentdoes anyone see dark matter as perhaps a form of medical technology, like xray's or CAT scans, that we use to stave off inevitable death.
    to me, that sort of idea fits in with the song's juxtaposition of our tangible, bodily existence and our personalities and souls held within.
    just a thought.
    mbrittenon April 10, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNow that you mention it, that makes perfect sense. However, the end - shooting through the noose with dark matter - still implies a victory, not a postponement. (Or if you take it literally as shooting x-rays or scans, it's actually ineffective, just informative.) I'm never sure if this song should be taken as a fantasy of power/wish-fulfillment, as a sincere belief in some non-material existence, or as (what I think it is) an open-ended dramatization of the questions of identity and bodily existence. The album version sounds so triumphant.

    "The thought of tongues that taste you back" has forever changed my attitude towards kissing.
    Quisquillosoon April 11, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOn second or third thought, mbritten's point is pretty spot-on in this age of scientific aspirations to immortality, and it still maintains the mysterious nature of who/what we are at the bottom of it all. Good thought.
    Quisquillosoon April 13, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think hes saying 'its true location', not its two locations, but i could be wrong...
    booksmartdevilon September 08, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI already posted this on the Sweetbreads page, but no one seems to look there anymore (which is sad because it's an amazing song).
    "At the concert in Boston that I went to, he was describing where this song came from. He said he had a dream of flipping through a French cookbook, and then he came upon a page entitled 'Sweetbreads', and in parenthesis it said 'Thoughts'. Then he goes on to say how it might be possible to eat the brain to find out what something is about.
    It's a lovely song and the explanation he gave was really cute - I have the video of him talking about it if anybody wants to watch it."
    Jykoneon June 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Thought of tongues that taste you back"
    never have i ever though of kissing in this context.
    MaggieCareyon October 29, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that contrary to popular belief on this website, the act of shooting through the noose of dna with rays of darkmatter does not suggest escaping death, but rather, the opposite. I think it shows that death is inevitable. The noose of dna around our necks alludes to the natural life cycle that is encoded in human genes ending in death. By saying that you can shoot through this noose with rays of darkmatter says that that it is impossible to esacape death because darkmatter is representative of the unknown, the hypothetical, and the undetectable.
    hejames12on August 03, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwfmu.org/playlists/shows/…

    I found this song here^, among some other unreleased stuff (it's also linked to it on his website, but you have to navigate a bit to get to it). I you want to just here Bird's stuff, skip ahead to about 1 hr 10 minutes in... I know the lyrics aren't perfect, and I wasn't so sure about the "nausea-ausea-ausea-alation" part, heh, but that's what it sounds like to me (and I like it), but if anyone know the "real" lyrics please, fix them haha.
    Man this song is so good though. It's so haunting and beautiful. I can honestly say that I feel Andrew Bird is THE greatest musician ever.
    bobwronskion September 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso, though most of the lyrics to this song originally made up "Sweetbreads," the songs are really, really different.

    Sweetbreads is something of a disturbing song about eating animals, while I'd call Dark Matter a gentle philosophical questioning, maybe. I wouldn't say Sweetbreads is accusatory, but it definitely can make you feel dead guilty, even in its politeness. Dark Matter is sort of the opposite in that instead of trying to convince you to agree with one idea, it tries to open up your mind and explore lots of different ideas, and any idea or all ideas could possibly be "correct." -What defines "self?" Is it your identity, what you think? Is it what's in your heart, maybe your soul? Both? Are we mapped out in our DNA, and no matter what we do, that's who we are?

    Maybe we can't know the answers to these questions, and maybe we shouldn't, but it is worthwhile to ask them anyway. Beautiful song.
    bobwronskion April 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAndrew played this song almost two years ago on the radio, yet he had not written most of the lyrics that are in this version of the song. Here are the lyrics to that version:

    Tore all the spines out from all of my self-help books
    Made myself a gun that not only shoots
    but looks real
    Yeah it shoots through steel with rays of dark matter
    Someone's catching fire
    Rays of dark matter

    Noose is loosed around my neck made of DNA
    And every day
    It grows tighter no matter what you do or say
    But you can shoot right through it with rays of dark matter
    Just before they kick out, kick out the ladder
    And take to running
    Like something's catching fire
    And you take to running
    Oh, no, oh, no
    icemeiseron January 21, 2007   Link

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