Oh look at me
That sweet boy's plea
His mother cried
"My child's tied his laces"
Why must we move on
From such happy lawns
Into nostalgia's palm
And feed on the traces

We all hop to the dance
Or embarrass the parents
Who should have knees
That go to sleep (?)

That blood in the dark
Will attract the sharks
Who are not violent
We all have hungry bellies

But I feel like I've got to duck
When you look at me with your brown eyes
When you look at me with your blue eyes
And you look at me with the inner eye

And all was tame
And all was daggers anyway
Stop crying like a child

And all was green
And all was aging anyway
Stop growing in the wild

But I feel like I've got to duck
When you look at me with your green eyes
When you look at me with your black eyes
And you look at me with your dead eyes

And I can understand
When holding her hand
So womanly
I have to go and kiss her

And what a surprise
To look in those eyes
And find suddenly
He is Jack the Ripper
Too suddenly, he was Jack the Ripper

Stop crying like a child
She stopped crying like a child
Jack the Ripper



Lyrics submitted by Jack_Strife

Unsolved Mysteries song meanings
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43 Comments

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  • +7
    General CommentOh look at me
    That sweet boy's plea
    His mother cried
    "My child's tied his laces"
    Why must we move on
    From such happy lawns
    Into nostalgia's palm
    And feed on the traces

    We all hop to the dance
    Or embarrass the parents
    Who should have knees
    That go to sleep worrying

    That blood in the dark
    Will attract the sharks
    Who are not violent
    We've all got hungry bellies

    But where are the still unborn
    who could look at me with the one eye?
    who could look at me with no eyes?
    who could look at me with me in their eyes?

    And oh, what's pain?
    And oh, what's sadness anyway?
    It's not crying like a child.

    And oh, what's graying?
    And oh, what's ageing anyway?
    It's not growing in the wild.

    I feel like I've just been born
    When you look at me with your brown eyes
    When you look at me with your blue eyes
    And you look at me with the inner eye

    And I can understand
    When holding her hand
    So womanly
    I have to go and kiss her

    And what a surprise
    To look in those eyes
    And find suddenly
    He is Jack the Ripper
    Too suddenly, he was Jack the Ripper

    Stop crying like a child
    She stopped crying like a child
    Jack the Ripper
    enjoyyourrootson October 23, 2008   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThe song, like most of the CD seems to get into the idea of transition from childhood to a more adult status. I believe that in some ways, the notion of "abortion" mentioned above are somewhat valid in that it's essentially an allusion to a loss of childlike quality.

    The song opens up with this sense being sweet, lovely, charming and cute. Our parents stand by us and even the most easy of tasks "tying laces", are seen as these fantastic accomplishments. The narrator of the song then ponders, "why must we move on, from such happy lawns into nostalgia's palm and feed on the traces". This is basically concerning the fact that we move forward in our lives and are left only to look back on the things we've done. The "unsolved mysteries" of life...so to speak...why do we grow up? why do we get old?

    The next section concerns the choices we make as we become older. Do we hop to the dance (conformity) or do we embarrass the parents (being ourselves). This is a choice in life that we all have to make and either way, we will "go to sleep worrying". Because whether we conform or not, to a degree it's still rather frightening.

    Keeping with this theme of growing up is the allusion to blood in the dark and that they're not violent, we all have hungry bellies. As we grow up we really do some terrible things to each other and it's not that we're violent/crazy/insane/egotistical, we really DO have hungry bellies. It's a kind of joke that I think he's making and it's really funny if you think about it. "I am not violent, I just have a hungry belly".

    Growing up is to "stop crying like a child" and I think in some ways, by no longer crying like a child we no longer see ourselves in the real way we actually are. We forget the "pain and sadness anyway", we forget who we are. That we're children, all of us, growing wildly. Inside each of us is that same hurt,scared, lovely child that is really trying to make it out of this world alive.

    The ending segment of the song is about how we enter relationships and we have people who look at us and we're struck by our general attraction....When they look into our eyes, we find that we've grown up old and more frighteningly we've grown up to be the same demons that we used to be afraid of. Yes, we might have "Stopped crying like a child" but now we're just Jack the Rippers. We're slaughtering other human beings, we're killing our inner selves, we're losing it and going crazy.
    hariko17on November 28, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commenton my speakers it sounds like he says,

    "but we'll all be cynical
    though you look at me with one eye,
    when you look at me with no eye,
    and you look at me with the inner eye"

    the first time through.
    ouchmyappendixon November 07, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthe song is called unsolved mysteries, and jack the ripper's identity is one of the biggest mysteries of all serial killer cases, but i believe it's a metaphor for someone ending a relationship.

    she's madly in love, or maybe he's in love for a while, but then when she looks at him eventually he is "jack the ripper" because he's ending things, therefore "ripping" things apart, and she starts crying like a child.

    i also think it has to do with growing up and being mature about things, so maybe it's deeper than just a relationship. maybe they get married and one day she finds out he never really loved her, but she doesn't cry this time, even though since he's loveless he is "jack the ripper". it's something along these lines anyway.
    sortileguson February 14, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think you can say that about most animal collective songs, precipitate
    but for me i think "the purple bottle" and "cuckoo cuckoo" are specifically songs that can be devastating or amazing

    "When you look at me with your brown eyes
    When you look at me with your blue eyes
    And you look at me with the inner eye"

    to me this shows how people can act differently (the different coloured eyes) and sometimes that can mean they are trying to understand you on a very high level (the inner eye).
    when you think about people seeing you differently, it's scary because they want to figure you out and maybe they don't have the right to.

    cluttered thoughts on this
    misterplumtreeon July 02, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenton some level, i think it's about jack the ripper

    -the many different eye colors of the different prostitutes he murdered
    -the "surprise" of the women when they find out that this man wasn't another patron, but a killer
    -the song title: "unsolved mysteries," as jack the ripper was never brought to justice.

    BUT! animal collective would never simply write a song about one particular person like that, so i'm sure everything sung about jack the ripper is symbolism on a higher order rather than what i said. plus, there are so many lines in the song that i can't attach to my JtR theory.
    alec-eiffelon July 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthere's a huge chunk that's incorrect.. after "we've all got hungry bellies" it goes:

    "But where are the still unborn
    who could look at me with the one eye?
    who could look at me with no eyes?
    who could look at me with me in their eyes?

    What's pain? What's sadness anyway? It's not crying like a child.

    What's graying? What's ageing anyway? It's not growing in the wild.

    I feel like I've just been born
    When you look at me with your green eyes..."
    savvyowlson October 28, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti dont think it has anything to do literally with jack the ripper... animal collective songs are full of metaphors... its all about your own interpretation
    slippion December 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhy must we move on
    From such happy lawns
    Into nostalgia's palm
    And feed on the traces

    this is my favorite part. its saying that people live out their childhoods so happily, either because one is naturally more happy as a child than an adult, or due to nostalgia people remember things happier than they were. so when people become adults they strive to become as happy as they were when they were kids, which can never happen because they weren't even as happy as they remember. its an illusion. so hes saying he wishes we could remain children forever.

    the second half reminds me of a bird or mouse in the hand of a man feeding on some grains, in this vulnerable position that shows how much power man has over a small animal. this is symbolic of the power time has over man. man is in nostalgia's palm feeding on the good memories always.

    as for the other 95% of the song im clueless
    pavement33on April 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment I think it is best to understand this song in context with Peacebone and Chores. Together they form a complete story, or chapter at least. The album opens with noise, and the tension to be resolved in the next three tracks is born here. A beat rises and I take this is the start of awareness or epiphany. Accompanying the breakthrough is a more enlightened perspective with tones of newness and freedom.

    In contrast, Unsolved Mysteries starts with the beat, and this is the best representation of the meaning of the song. It is the process of denial, desperation, and doubt that leads up to acceptance (some might argue that it is the process of acceptance, not its anticipation). It ends with a pure tone coming in through the beat, and then the beat disintegrates. This marks acceptance and the beginning of a more mature perspective. Chores begins again with Panda's mimic of the pure tone that ends Unsolved Mysteries. The mood of Chores is more resigned and maybe even imprisoned. It has a full awareness of the restrictions and limitations of life beyond idealism, and a final, revised definition of freedom and contentedness. Finally, the energy that began Peacebone begins to smooth out and fade into resolution.

    Considering all of this, I think the meaning of the various images presented in Unsolved Mysteries is much more clear. In many cases, it is referring back to the freshness of epiphany ("tied his laces") in Peacebone. Yet time has past and things are changing, and life does not present itself so simply ("who do I please?".

    There are glimmers too, of the acceptance to come. Awareness of inevitability ("blood in the dark will attract the sharks") and a brutality that is not-malicious ("who are not violent, we all have hungry bellies"). This ties in too with an acceptance of limitation. Eating from palms implies that this is the only source of nourishment, and it is to be doled out on the whim of some greater force, in too small doses.

    This force is equally represented by the woman in the song. He turns to her as the only source, that which can bring him back to that moment of epiphany and birth. He seeks to return ("where are the still unborn"). This return is experienced only through reflection, not directly ("me in their eyes"). The process of maturity has reached her first, and he can see it. He seems to understand intellectually, but be unable to emotionally accept. Everything is now experienced through others. He is avoiding maturity by looking to her to bring him along by the hand, or to return him to the unborn.

    Ultimately, he tries to grab again, through a kiss, this connection with her. He is Jack the Ripper, he would kill the moment to return to a past that does not exist. The dyadic dynamic between them is gone, and a sort of panic breaks through in full force, leading to the disintegration of the heart beat and the beginning of acceptance.

    -----------
    Here are the official lyrics from the dustcover of the LP:
    Oh look at me, that sweet boys plea. His mother cried my childs tied his laces. Why must we move on from such happy lawns into nostalgia palms to feed on the traces. Do you hop to the dance or embarrass the parents? Who should I please? I go to sleep worrying. That blood in the dark will attract the sharks who are not violent, we've all got hungry bellies. But where are the still unborn who could look at me with the one eye? Who could look at me with no eyes? Who could look at me with me in their eyes?

    What's pain? What's sadness anyway? It's not crying like a child.

    What's Graying? What's ageing anyway? It's not growing in the wild.

    I feel like I've just been born when you look at me with your green eyes. When you look at me with your black eyes. When you look at me with your dead eyes. And I can't understand when holding her hand. So womanly I have to go kiss her. And what a surprise to look in those eyes, to find suddenly, he is jack the ripper. So suddenly he was jack the ripper.

    It seems she stopped crying like a child.
    aliasofmikeon November 17, 2009   Link

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