The president's dead, the radio said,
Dear friends, is it not so horrible?
A shot through my heart, like a knife right through bread,
The newspaper said the president's dead.

The sea doesn't dry and the sky doesn't split,
But friends it just seems so wrong, don't it?
A shot from the crowd, and a shot in the head,
The president's lying on the tarmac dead.

He's lying face down with his black-dressed agents
Guns drawn running around and the early Obit's
Say he was a good man, you can't argue with that
Not today you can't, not now you can't.

In the media tent where they spin and they slant,
They just foam the mouth and they champ at the bit,
Those bloodsuckers can wait until those vulture's cool in,
The newscaster said, "The President's dead."

Let's imagine the way, let's say 30 years in,
How somebody will say, "What you were doing when...?"
On a beautiful day, I was waking up and
I was lying in bed with my girlfriend
And the eggs on the plate, and the bacon hissin'
And the coffee was great, there was spring on the wind.

If you don't live through a day for the littlest things,
And the littlest ways made you feel you were blessed
If you died right then, well you know you'd be missed,
But there's no better state to cease to exist
And you wouldn't feel sad, and you wouldn't resist
Cause you knew what you had, and were thankful for it

In your own little way, I'm a small quiet man
I've got no wars to win, I don't have a big plan
But I love my new place, and I love my old friends
And I scrimp and save, and one day I'll have kids.

I can truthfully say that my day was like that,
'Til the radio playing on the stand by the bed
Fired out this report and in 3 words they said,
Like 3 shots to my head,
The President's Dead.


Lyrics submitted by Way_AE

The President's Dead song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThis song is amazingly written.

    It's meaning is self explanatory, about how when a President dies (any president - not necessarily the current one) everyone is greatly impacted. Everyone remembers what they're doing, everyone looks back on their own mortality, everyone puts the victim on a pedastel and makes them seem like they were better than they might have actually been.

    Very non political
    Way_AEon September 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the three snare hits when he says "Like 3 shots to my head." It's a very cool song, and I agree that it isn't political.
    Tom Selleckon September 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentabsolutely gorgeous. way_ae's got it right -- non political. it's about reflecting on everyday and taking the little things and relishing in them.
    master_debateron September 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor some reason, the Jagjaguwar site specifically calls the narrator a young republican, but i can't identify any reason why...the song seems a-political. Anyway, i agree....it's about the unforgettable moments in life.

    My day just brightened with this new Okk River song...
    McWatton October 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think when Jagjaguwar refers to the narrator as a young republican (this is assuming they spell republican with a lowercase r), they mean this (from Wikipedia): In political science, a republican (lowercase r) is a person who advocates the establishment of a republic as a form of government, in contrast to a monarchist and focused more on republican ideals than democratic.

    The values expressed in the song are very American. Will creates an image of a happy couple in a house or apartment of their own, young, working hard to one day have a family. Respect is shown for the fallen President -- even if he wasn't a good man, that's ignored for the time being.

    Ultimately, I think it is a-political -- this isn't about our current President, or any specific President; and it's less about the President himself or the current state of affairs than it is about the impact it has on the narrator or society. I think it's an amazing song.

    Will really managed to write a song that is easy to relate to and empathize with despite a person's political believes. When it comes down to it, I think most people respect the old American values that are expressed in this song, and these lyrics appear to recollect a "simpler" time in American society, when these values held more weight.
    shake_it_looseon January 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I’m personally not into protest songs. For every one half-decent protest song, there are 500 unbelievably boring, embarrassing, tedious ones. I don’t consider 'The President’s Dead' a protest song. For one thing, it’s written from the point of view of a young Republican who is horrified at the assassination described in the song. I tried to write 'The President’s Dead' as a song whose narrative and musical accompaniment feints in one direction and then goes somewhere else."

    cokemachineglow.com/feature/interview/…
    bootuon March 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree that it is a-political, and a beautiful and moving song.

    i do, however, disagree and say that the line "i've got no wars to win, i don't have a big plan."
    points to bush's 'big plan'.
    it doesn't really change the meaning of anything, just sets it into a time period, but it's also a very timeless song. just a thought.
    thehandclapon April 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"chant at the bit"= "champ at the bit" i think. makes more sense that way
    pandora_ash_avalieon April 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"chant at the bit"= "champ at the bit" i think. makes more sense that way
    pandora_ash_avalieon April 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti like to think that this song is from the perspective of the dying president. a stretch possibly, but it works if you think about it.
    pulselikesonaron July 09, 2007   Link

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