"Wash the Day" as written by and Jaleel Bunton Gerard A Smith....
Little flightless metal birds
High above in limbless tree
Ring out into the atmosphere
Creating beauty inadvertently

It was a technological feat

This little bird

Wading through the market's waste
We locked eyes felt our lonliness abate
True desire showed its face, but only momentarily

Grey cascades in foreign waves
Wash the day away

I bought you from the dying woods of Brazil
This little bird
While the kids burned down the greenhouse pushed the
Charred frame into the landfill
Put his beak to the world
We bought new bodies we bought diamond encrusted guns
So who the hell are you?
Making out so high in the backseat of a car-bomb under carcinogenic sun

Grey cascades in foreign waves
Wash the day away
Grey cascades in foreign waves

We did believe in magic we did believe
We let our souls act as canaries
Our hearts gilded cages be

Watched a million dimming lanterns float out to sea
Lay your malady at the mouth of the death machine

Aeroplane odabo
Ba mi ki won lo Odabo
Eko meji, o yo mi
O yo mi
O yo mi

Grey cascades in foreign waves
Wash the day away
Grey cascades in foreign waves


Lyrics submitted by prayingmantis84

"Wash the Day" as written by David Sitek Babatunde O Adebimpe

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Wash the Day song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment"Little flightless metal birds
    High above in limbless tree"

    - The metal birds are probably the planes, and "limbless tree" is an obvious reference to a high-rise building.


    "Echoes from their tiny box
    Ring out into the atmosphere
    Creating beauty inadvertently"

    - The events were shown on "tiny boxes" (i.e. TV's) all over the world. The attacks were supposed to destroy us, but they "inadvertently" made us stronger... for a while anyway.


    "It was a technological feat"

    - The Trade Center buildings were a considered a "technological feat" when they were finished in the 70's. The twin towers were the worlds tallest buildings between 1972 - 73, and were thought to be virtually indestructible.


    "Wading through the markets waste"

    - After all was said and done, we saw the aftermath. The chilling pile of concrete powder and twisted steel of the "market" that once was.


    "We locked eyes felt our loneliness abate
    True desire showed its face, but only momentarily"

    - This describes the collective feeling that all Americans shared during that time. We all felt that we were equals, because this wasn't an attack on any specific group of people, it was an attack on our precious freedom that we had taken for granted for so many years. Our "true desire" being that we've always wanted to throw all of our differences out the window and join together as a nation, and we did that, but it didn't last very long, did it?


    "Grey cascades in foreign waves
    Wash the day away"

    - That morning was one of the most beautiful, clear and comfortable mornings I've ever seen in my life. Unfortunately, only an hour or so after getting out of bed, it was "washed away" by the "foreign waves". I guess the "foreign waves" would be each separate attack. It happened over and over again like waves crashing on a beach, rather than one single attack. It didn't seem like it would ever end.


    "I bought you flowers from the dying woods of brazil"

    - The CIA supplied the enemy with money, weapons and other resources over the past several decades.


    "While the kids burned down the greenhouse"

    - The greenhouse would be the Trade Center buildings. There was a lot of money (i.e. "green") stored and dealt with in those buildings.


    "Pushed the charred frame into the landfill"

    - I don't think this line needs any description.


    "We bought new bodies we bought diamond encrusted guns"

    - This seems like it could be about the military spending billions on the war that would soon follow.


    "Making out so high in the back seat of a car-bomb
    Under carcinogenic sun"

    - This line is probably about sending young high school-age kids to Iraq.


    "We did believe in magic we did believe"

    - Our leaders offered us a "solution", a magic potion that would solve all of our problems, and we believed in it.


    "We let our souls act as canaries
    Our hearts gilded cages be"

    - Similar to a bird, we didn't really think, we just did. We agreed to the "magic solution" without thinking ahead.


    "Watched a million dimming lanterns float out to sea"

    - Watched our children go off to war. The "dimming" of the "lanterns" being that most of the people who left for war only had a short time before their "fire was blown out" prematurely.


    "Lay your malady at the mouth of the death machine"

    - We had a problem, and we asked the "death machine" (i.e. the government, military, etc.) to solve it for us. We did indeed "lay our malady" and the "mouth of the death machine".


    "Aeroplane odabo
    ba mi ki won lo Odabo
    Eko meji, o yo mi
    O yo mi
    O yo mi"

    - I'm not 100% sure as to what this means as I don't speak this language, but I do know that "Odabo" is a parting phrase used by the Lukumi people of Nigeria. It sounds to me as-if he's saying "Goodbye Airplane", basically. If someone could translate that it would be very helpful for the rest of us.
    effigyfilthon September 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    TranslationThe lyrics in a foreign language (its not "made up!") might be important for context. Google thinks they are Yoruba, except for parts of it which it can't translate which googling seems to indicate are Nauruan and Nigerian English slang. Nauruan is oceanic which is confusing because the rest of it is supposed to be Nigerian/Nigerian english, so that might be a fluke (maybe no Nauruan). I don't know if there are possible transcription errors in the lyrics or whether Google just doesn't know Yoruba very well. Combing through a list of common Yoruba words and phrases, a more likely transcription is:


    Aeroplane odabo (o da abọ)
    Ba mi ki won lo odabo (o da abọ)
    Ẹ ku meji, o yo mi
    O yo mi
    O yo mi


    So, cobbling something together using Google translate's notoriously bad guesses:

    Goodbye Aeroplane,
    if they use goodbye.
    She died twice, my (yo?? -- no luck translating here)
    Remove me (Don't bother me?)
    Remove me (Don't bother me?)
    mruleon December 08, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHigh above in limbless tree
    *echo from their tiny box*
    Ring out into the atmosphere

    * should be there

    Great song also
    Pie_floateron August 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is great.. i love the way it kind of slowly fades out, like it was washing the day away
    SixStringSoulon January 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is, to put it simply, about our species-wide loss of innocence.

    When Adebimpe sings that the "kids burned down the greenhouse" he is talking about our willingness to strip-mine not only "the dying woods of Brazil," but our whole identity as living, breathing creatures who depend upon this Earth for survival. We now care more about "new bodies" and "diamond encrusted guns" than we do about the well-being of our fellow man, and the myriad lifeforms that made all of this possible.

    One day we will realize that we've hit a wall, that we've taken more in our time than nature has been able to give. It is a troubling issue, and Wash the Day is a worthy attempt by a few concerned citizens to voice their opinions in the best way they know how.
    espanyson January 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is so amazing
    g0wthefl0won March 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm sorry, I forgot to start off by saying that I believe this song is about 9/11 and the events that followed.
    effigyfilthon September 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentextremely abstract.. the song starts out and i imagine myself in the halls of my high school watching all the children head to their next class, not ever thinking of their future. some of them never see past these hallways, reality is nonexistent. then he sees her..... eyes connect but each of them know it cant mean anything in this prison.

    "Grey cascades in foreign waves
    Wash the day away"
    sadness, it never changes.. wash the day away

    the verse about kids burning down the green house, charred frame into the landfill reminds me of the movie DONNIE DARKO!


    "We did believe in magic we did believe
    We let our souls act as canaries
    Our hearts gilded cages be

    Watched a million dimming lanterns float out to sea
    Lay your malady at the mouth of the death machine"
    my absolute favorite verse, the pattern of the words and the way Tunde Adebimpe sings is so great. i really get into the song... I AM THE DEATH MACHINEEEEEEEE!!!

    then some made up language *thumbs up*


    sadness always stays, wash the day away

    krollisasexyhoeon January 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'Diamond encrusted guns'...glamorized violence in today's society?
    Willboeon November 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis sounds like a coda for the 2000s and a sort of snapshot description of the current state of modern humanity. We suffer heinous attacks and wage wars over our desire to consume while simultaneously that consumption is killing us by harming our environment. Gorgeous and brilliant.
    tradecrafton January 09, 2013   Link

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