"Ten Percenter" as written by and Charles Thompson....
I'm just another ten percenter
My mind is like an ocean
My mind is like an ocean
I'm hanging in the harbor

I'm just drifting letting out the line
I'm letting out the drifting line
I'm just tyring to a guy
who's hailing from Ann Arbor

Making jerk
And its good
Getting perk
Yeah, I would

I'm a jerk
If get'n cotton mouth
You better have some water
Sucking syrup and soda

you're goin' to just get hotter
But if you want to wile awhile
But if you want to wile awhile
Oh suck a syrup and soda

Oh dance oh sons and daughters
Making jerk
And its good
Getting perk

Yeah, I would
Making jerk
If you got cotton mouth

My mind is like an ocean
My mind is like an ocean
My mind is like an ocean

I'm a jerk
Making jerk
Soda jerk
And its good

Jerk
Jerk
Jerk
Jerk
Jerk


Lyrics submitted by voltabolta

"Ten Percenter" as written by Charles Thompson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Ten Percenter song meanings
Add your thoughts

9 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentI can decipher the title and mind ocean part-its based on the myth that people only use 10% of their brain power. Too tired to think about the rest. Love this song =]
    HallelujahWinkon April 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Iggy Pop is from Ann Arbor
    jimmycocoapopson August 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wonder if the cotton mouth is a weed reference, and if getting perk is literally getting that drug or if the whole song is about getting high, or maybe that we are all like stoners because we only use 10% of our brains?
    ritecoastsurferon April 30, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Makin' jerk?" Are you people ignoring this line? This song is about doing it.
    With yourself.
    Good ol' Frank.
    Willboeon September 28, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBasically he's talking about an idiot, or something adolescent, juvenile...

    He uses 10% of his brain, his mind is like an ocean (meaning it "floats around", no actual use), just eating and having some kind of sex (it could be masturbating, simple sex... anything).

    One of my favorite FB songs indeed, with the distorted beginning, that alien riff and his vocal jump "but if you wanna wile AWHIIIIIIIIIIIIIILE!"
    Santiagofon February 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe lyrics aren't totally correct.

    A "ten percenter" is someone who doesn't give 100% to a task. It doesn't refer to using 10% of your brain (a pseudo scientific myth by the way). The character in the song is a soda jerk. The person who hand pulls soda (carbonated beverage) from the storage container into your glass. This is often where you'd get ice cream or a float as well.

    "Cotton mouth" is when your mouth is dry or you're thirsty. It's reference is to being thirsty after you "suck a syrup and soda".

    "Soda jerks, Iggy Pop, and me."
    - Frank, from the Frank Black album press kit
    bshirleyon February 25, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it is about beer. I just drank a ten percenter (barleywine) and my mind is like an ocean.
    manray57on March 02, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI disagree with bshirley. I think Francis is referring to the 10% brain myth. At least the surrounding lyrics seem to indicate that.

    I'm just another ten percenter
    My mind is like an ocean
    My mind is like an ocean
    I'm hanging in the harbor

    He saying he's just another person that only uses 10 percent of his brain. While that might be a myth, there's certainly people that don't use their full intelligence.

    While his mind has unlimited capabilities/space (like an ocean) he's only using a portion of it (hanging in the harbor).

    I think Frank is writing from the viewpoint of a character (perhaps autobiographical) that idolizes Iggy Pop.

    I'm just trying to a guy
    Who's hailing from Ann Arbor

    So, the character is trying to be a genius like Iggy Pop, but for the time being, he's slaving away as a soda jerk -- like Iggy Pop (according to Frank at least).
    hornytheclownon August 26, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about how shitty a lot of talent agents are. Agents are often called ten percenters because they take 10% of a performer's paycheck.

    They try to make you think they're really smart about the business and deep thinkers who know about artistic integrity (mind is like an ocean) but really it's an act because most of them are pretty shallow (hanging in the harbor). They scout out new talent (letting out line) and try to land someone new and naive to the business (a guy from Ann Arbor) as a client.

    Basically they act like jerks when they're cutting deals (making jerk) and they're living pretty cushy lives without really doing anything themselves (getting perks).

    Sucking syrup and soda could refer to the rampant use of cocaine in the entertainment industry (syrup and soda -->Coca-Cola --> Coke--> cocaine).

    They tell their clients how great they are and how big they're gonna be (you're going to just get hotter) but the reality for most people trying to make it is they sit around waiting for calls from the agent that aren't coming and they have to take a day job (but if you want to while awhile). And a lot of times people on the fringes of making it end up with a drug problem of their own (suck a syrup and soda). The "Soda Jerk" at the end could be a reference to the fact the agents sometimes supply potential clients with their first taste of cocaine and get them hooked on it.

    And the agents remain jerks and stay on top while their clients struggle and fade. Eventually the agent drops them as a client and the cycle begins again because parents encourage their children to chase their dreams of being a star (oh dance oh sons and daughters).

    At least, that's what I got out of the song.
    hitchfoxon February 09, 2016   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain