"Van Occupanther" as written by Tim Smith, Paul Alexander, Eric Nichelson, Mckenzie Smith and Eric Pulido....
I must be careful now in my steps
Years of calculations and the stress
My science is waiting, nearly complete
One glass will last for nearly a week

Let me not get down if I'm walking with no one
And if I stumble from exhaustion
These buckets are heavy, I've filled them with water
I could ask these people, but I shouldn't bother

Oh no, I've stumbled, was I going too fast?
Some get angry and some of them laugh
They told me I wouldn't, but I found an answer
I'm Van Occupanther, I'm Van Occupanther

[Chorus x2:]
Let me not be too consumed with this world
Sometimes I want to go home
And stay out of sight for a long time


Lyrics submitted by stonechip

"Van Occupanther" as written by Eric Pulido Eric Nichelson

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Van Occupanther song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI totally found the Christ analogy very present as well. I think Jesus felt rejected or forsaken when he carried his own cross to his crucifixion, and they back it up with "and if i stumble from exhaustion". Great song that I thought shows the depth of the Christian faith, we are going down the right path if we feel exhausted or forsaken sometimes, this is how God can speak to humanity, through our hopelessness
    JaysonLaseron January 14, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThere's certainly room for a Christ analogy here in that you hear the lament of a heart struggling against all odds to claim their identity, their mission, their purpose. But then the song (like most biblical stories) can be a useful analogy for anyone with a mission whether it be a messiah headed for martyrdom or a nervous man at a crossroads (marriage, career, lost love, lost family, etc) who is starting to ignore all the voices and push forward confidently.

    Midlake creates such an incredible amount of emotion in that otherwise calm verse where the author declares he's found an answer in spite of the many votes of no-confidence from his peers and states his name. They retain the somber mood of the song but still communicate this overwhelming, triumphant feeling (at least this is how I feel when I hear it). I'm too used to my other favourite bands who would celebrate such a lyrical victory with either power chords or obscene amounts of distortion. I'd like to hear Yo La Tengo or Sonic Youth cover this song just to see what they'd do for Van Occupanther's self proclamation.

    Anyway, I can't help but be uplifted by hearing such a simple (to the point of being abstract) statement of identity and purpose. It's hard to nail that in a pop lyric. Truly inspiring to the right set of ears.

    In other words... great song.
    GravityPlanon October 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit doesn't get much deeper than this. this song singlehandedly helped me fall in love with Midlake. I'm touched.
    bombfishingon February 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm almost one hundred percent certain that this song is about someone who gets picked on or messed with at work/school. Most likely a lab tech of some sort.

    He starts off with intense concentration on some special thing he's working on and says that he MUSN'T stumble, he MUSN'T make a mistake, but he's so tense that he does stumble, he does mess up.

    Some are angry and upset by his mistake, while others laugh at him. These bullies tell him that he has no idea who he really is, that he's just a loser.

    But he knows who he is, he's found the answer. He's VAN OCCUPANTHER!

    They say the world "chews you up and spits you out", so I believe the last few lines are a play on this cliche. The singer wants to runaway from the pain of it all (stay out of sight for a long time)
    RTBRAND1on June 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of my favorite songs, off one of my favorite albums so i really feel like i NEED to find out where they got the name VAN OCCUPANTHER from....Maybe they completely made it up, but i just feel like its a reference. anyone know?
    mortigitempoon September 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf you listen to Midlake's interview at SoundOpinions.net they discuss how the band came up with the name Van Occupanther.

    Basically they all created names on the spot to be goofy when leaving a message etc for one another, and one of them was Van Occupanther.
    voltafan101on March 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think theres a bit of a christ theme here, especially his trials and walking with the cross etc.
    U4iaon April 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentU4ia, i agree. that's actually what drew my attention to the song while i was listening to it.
    especially this part:
    "Let me not be too consumed with this world
    Sometimes I want to go home
    and stay out of sight for a long time"
    yeah, i don't know if there was a deeper, christ-centered meaning to this song. but that's what i got from it.
    verticalstripes27on May 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI got the feeling he was brewing some kind of elixir that would turn him into a panther, or something, as some means of escapism. Wicked song either way.
    Doublewireon June 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI remember reading an interview a while back, and this song is about a soldier making is way back home.
    vanoccupantheron January 22, 2011   Link

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