Is there any hope for us, or are the rumors true?
Are we just the mulch and kindling that accrues?
Can we recover from this?

I've seen expressions in department stores
I've smelled regression wafting up from these shores
This is not a celebration of slipping through some crack
This is sloth and devastation and we're the resulting trash

Count on your fingers tonight
Count on your fingers tonight
And believe what you find
I'm sick of making small talk in this rotting chowline

Can we recover, recover recover?
Can we recover, recover recover?
We cover our heads and run for the gutter

Toby Keith's horses and Toby Keith's men
Finally put us all in our place
It's a wonderful hug when there's so much more to love
When there's steaks and hearts jammed in your face

This is the fucking slop line
And we're scratching with our hooves
How much of evolution
Must we finally disprove?

Count on your fingers tonight
Count on your fingers tonight
And believe what you find
I don't believe what we find

Can we recover, recover recover?
Can we recover, recover recover?
We cover our heads and run for the gutter

Dear Mother, I'm sorry
There was nowhere left to run
We fought and we fought until our bullets ran out
And they took us one by one

Dear Mother, I'm sorry
We had just barely begun
This will be the last letter from your only son
Your only son

Yeah I do not believe
Recover as one


Lyrics submitted by punkpirate

Recovering The Opposable Thumb song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI think that this song is surprisely round about, which is great. The idea of the song, I think, is how we are humans and yet we refuse to act like it. The line about Toby Keith is obviously a reference to his stances on war, specifically that stupid song he wrote right after 9/11. I think that the line "How much evolution must we disprove" is actually questioning our actions, because they reflect those of animals rather than of enlightened human beings...of course this is just one interpretation...i think the best supporting evidence of it though is the last two verses, the dear mother lines are clearly talking about a war of some sort- I, of course, assume the actual war- which is such a primal and animalistic reaction to how to deal with each other.

    Just a personal interpretation: "It's a wonderful hug when there's so much more to love
    When there's steaks and hearts jammed in your face" I think is talking about veganism/vegetarianism
    babyevilchild999on July 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is an anti-war song. Toby Keith, the country music star, was given the Johnny Michael Spann award after writing "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue". Mike Spann was the first US casualty in Afghanistan, a US Marine Captain who was killed in a riot in Mazar-e-Shariff while performing interrogation duties for the CIA.

    He was killed by a mob of prisoners after shooting them 'until his bullets ran out' and he was overcome by the mob.

    I believe this song is an expression of outspoken anger at all of us as Americans allowing this war to start. Here we are acting like pigs in the slop line, taking the scraps of offal that this civilization allows us. Some of us, like Toby Keith, take it as a celebration that we've slipped through a crack and survived and evolved into humanity. But others, like TLA (and me) take it as if we are surrounded by sloth and devastation that allows such horror to occur while the soft fat white underbelly of america cheers it on painting everything in red white and blue.

    And the real horror of it is that in a war like this, men like Mike Spann give their lives and die horrible deaths fighting for something they believe in. While Toby Keith's horses and men cheer it on, He has died as the mulch and kindling that accrue. He's a real man who suffered and died and left a family behind to fight a sickening war.

    The imagery in the song is about livestock, cattle scratching to get the offal of the slopline, getting fat eating this trash, then dying inglorious deaths.

    Where's the evolution? Have we evolved beyond being these cattle? Can we as a species recover and take the title of human back? Have we regressed so far that we are no longer human?
    nishgriffon May 25, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think its "we cover our heads as we run for the gunner"
    maybe? i don't have a lyric sheet though, so im not sure.
    sentimentalfoolon March 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit says gutter in the album booklet, the intro sounds heaps like a typical against me song
    josh can flyon March 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about how the lawrence arms are going against all musical trends, and selling their records while doing it. Toby Keith, who I presume is a popular country singer, is used to show what's in right now as far as the mass public as he "puts them in their place".

    How much of evolution
    Must we finally disprove?

    is the key line in this song I think. And the opening where he says, "This is not a celebration of slipping through some crack", i think he's trying to say that their accomplishment is nothing small.
    antiviruson March 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah... i got the 'gutter' part when the album came out and i got the liner notes. i think i still like it if it was 'gunner' better.
    sentimentalfoolon June 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the "Dear Mother" verses are about how they are fighting a losing battle against what's described in the "Toby Keith" verse, and how eventually that conformity will quell all resistance and swallow everyone. It's a depressing prediction really.
    SicK*of*it*Allon June 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust a thought...

    songs called recovering the opposable thumb....
    the opposable thumb an amazing evolution event....

    hey look "how much of evolution/ must we finally disprove?"

    hmmm... humans worse than dogs... yes...

    tody keith miserable musician and probably less human than most chimps....

    i see a pattern....
    RainFellWithOutRageon June 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDont even mention Against Me! in a lawrence arms thread, they're fucking rubbish compared to Lawrence regardless if the intro is arpeggio chords like that fucking piece of shit song Miami.

    The song is back-and-forth sarcasm about evolution. "This is not a celebration of slipping through some crack." As in, by evolutionary chance, humans evolved to what we are today. Contrastly, no matter how much we think that evolutionary chance was a good thing, humans are the "resulting trash" because that evolutionary chance ultimately is causing the planets destruction.

    Toby Keith's horses and Toby Keith's men finally put us all in our place because he's making his money blissfully unaware of the destruction of earthkind going on around us, yet has a massive fanbase while he writes bullshit songs about tractors. TLA however has a message and a meaning yet still drives in shitty fans and lives the punk-band life (which is described by the "this is the fucking slop line/chowline lyric. They're all living destitute while Toby Keith is on top of the world.) I personally think thats the best "FUCK YOU!" line i've ever heard in a song.

    The "its a wonderful hug when there is so much more to love...when theres steaks and hearts jammed in your face." line is necessarily about veganism, but more about the sloth/glutton phenomenon that is American lifestyle. American citizens are among the most overweight in the world, etc.
    mediaon March 28, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is a response to Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" and how it was a call to arms for war at the time. Here's the song. How retarded and redneck are these lyrics:

    American girls and American guys will always stand up and salute;
    Will always recognize
    When we see ol' glory flying,
    There's a lot of men dead,
    So we can sleep in peace at night when we lay down our head.

    My daddy served in the army,
    Where he lost his right eye.
    But he flew a flag out in our yard 'til the day that he died.
    He wanted my mother, my brother, my sister and me
    To grow up and live happy in the land of the free.

    Now this nation that I love has fallen under attack.
    A mighty sucker punch came flying in from somewhere in the back.
    Soon as we could see clearly through our big black eye,
    Man we lit up your world like the Fourth of July.

    Hey Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list,
    And the Statue of Liberty started shaking her fist.
    And the eagle will fly,
    And there's gonna be Hell,
    When you hear Mother Freedom start ringing her bell!
    It's gonna feel like the whole wide world is raining down on you...
    Brought to you courtesy of the Red, White and Blue!

    Oh, Justice will be served and the battle will rage.
    This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage
    You'll be sorry that you messed with the US of A
    'Cuz we'll put a boot in your ass
    It's the American way.

    Hey Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list,
    And the Statue of Liberty started shaking her fist.
    And the eagle will fly,
    And there's gonna be Hell,
    When you hear Mother Freedom start ringing her bell!
    And it'll feel like the whole wide world is raining down on you...
    Brought to you courtesy of the Red, White and Blue!

    Of the Red, White and Blue..
    Of my Red, White and Blue...
    ikickedagirlon December 14, 2009   Link

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