i closed the door and stepped into the city
the city stepped right back to me
there's cracks on every sidewalk of this city
like licking lips to swallow me

this is a sea of cars on the road
lined up like bottles, shook up, ready to explode
with feathers and string and wax I made wings
i climbed up a building, crossed my heart, and took a leap

one single voice makes a deafening sound
you can be anything this time around

i flew across the sea and to an island
i wrestled down an old king kong
i rescued maidens captive on that island
hero in a uniform

my conscience was clean and taking control
a model american just doing what he's told
and dusty old crates, and my father's tapes
but timothy leary said the words which led the way

i won't go quietly this time around


Lyrics submitted by AllStarMe

Timothy Leary song meanings
Add your thoughts

7 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentMy new favorite Guster song! I think it has something to do with someone struggling to find his purpose in the world. He wants to understand the world, but he can't. Also it may have a different meaning of not being afraid to take the lead and take risks. Kind of in the same sense as Come Downstairs and Say Hello.
    supernukeon May 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti personally think it is about the seventies, my main reasoning is the mention of timothy leary
    im thinkin along the lines of how the baby boomer generation struggled to find an identity then with the intervention of timothy leary it became one of the most memorable and history changing decades in american history
    TheStranger5250on May 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really think this is about LSD (the title of the song gives it away for me)...and I hate to read drugs into songs.
    arrstaron May 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso, I believe the last verse is speaking of the "Turn on, tune in, drop out" theory.
    arrstaron May 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is about Learys influence on the counterculture of the 60s. His "one single voice [made] a deafening sound," in their culture. He's basically the one who turned on all the artists and consequently, their fans, to acid. He thought acid could change people's lives and thought it was important for famous people to get a hold of it. When artists were on acid, they felt like they were having some kind of deeper understanding of life, and therefore wrote incredible things. Yes, sometimes artists on acid wrote songs that made absolutley no sense, but others wrote some that were incredible. Anyway, I think Guster is crediting Leary with influencing some of the greatest artists of all time.

    "but timothy leary said the words which led the way
    i won't go quietly this time around"
    These lines, I think, are talking about how Leary had such a BIG influence, and he wasn't going to "go quietly" through life, but rather make a big splash. It's probably also refering to "turn on, tune in, and drop out," which was Leary's philosophy on how acid could help people. He was basically saying Become aware of the different levels of consciousness through LSD (tune in), interact with the world, and express your internal perspectives (turn on), and detach yourself from societal conventions, and create your own identity, committed to change (drop out).

    "with feathers and string and wax I made wings
    i climbed up a building, crossed my heart, and took a leap"
    This could be about how Leary took a big chance with the whole acid thing, because he knew that the drug would soon be illegal, but he decided to perform expirements with it anyway. He knew the whole thing was a risk, but took it anyway because he truly believed that acid could better man kind.

    As for the imagry in this song, such as "there's cracks on every sidewalk of this city
    like licking lips to swallow me" and
    "i flew across the sea and to an island
    i wrestled down an old king kong
    i rescued maidens captive on that island
    hero in a uniform," i think that these are sort of the description of someone on an acid trip. I mean, it could be more than that, but sidewalks with licking lips is kinda psychadelic.

    So, thats my 2 cents.
    eating_for_youon November 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's got to be about LSD. It's about the LSD revolution of the 70s, "You can be anything this time around." Remember what Timothy Leary said regarding LSD. I wish I could recall it right now, but it was something along the lines of opening another realm.
    iambjesuson January 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinitely about an LSD trip. The title gives it away. Every line goes with that description. Pretending to be a hero, seeing cracks in the sidewalks like lips, audial hallucinations "one single voice made a deafening sound"
    mfieglon May 03, 2011   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