And the warblers sing: deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet!
And the sparrows sing: deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet!
Through the wheels, through the wheels on the interstate,
And hear no refrain.

And the beetles creep (deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet!)
On the crippled trees, (deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet!)
And they look down to where the soil must have been, wondering.

And no, you're not alone. No, my cousins, you're not alone.
You're in our talons now, and we're never letting go.

And the branches bend (deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet!)
To the growing sea. (deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet!)
And they ask, and they ask it to spread their seeds,
For they know they're drowning.

And no, you're not alone. No, my cousins, you're not alone.
You're in our talons now, and we're never letting go.
You're in our headlights, frozen, and no, we're not stopping.
You may not believe, but even we were scared at first.
It takes a lot of nerve to destroy this wondrous earth.
We're only human; this at least we've learned.


Lyrics submitted by solvent_d

In Our Talons song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentI think it *is* about hippies. That is, about ecological crisis etc. I think it's kind of meant to be a bit ironic/cynical, about how humanity has finally woken up to what we've done to this place, and remembered that we're part of nature and not just in it, but despite giving lip-service to these ideas and getting terribly upset about it, most of us have no intention of doing anything different ('you're in our headlights, frozen, and no, we're not stopping'). We talk sentimentally as if we give a damn about the rest of the world, calling the birds and the bugs our 'cousins', and as if having them 'in our talons (i.e. control)' is meant to be a good thing for everyone, but I feel that the implication is that we still want dominance ('talons' is a loaded word - has negative connotations, I think). The whole last verse I take to mean something like 'don't worry, world, we still know what's best for you. Sorry it hurts so bad but at least we understand, right?' i.e. pretty patronising and arrogant. So the song is implicitly criticizing that attitude.

    Something like that :) Just my opinion.
    meudwenon June 24, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think it's more complicated than y'all're making it. Consider the metaphor of "in our talons": that is, humans are like birds of prey and the rest of the world is our quarry. But the irony is that there's nothing unnatural about what birds of prey do, and there's nothing unnatural about the way humans are treating their environment, either. What's unnatural, in fact, is the figurative imposition of human thoughts and emotions ("wondering," "they know they're drowning") on non-human species. But that's the rub: being "only human" means behaving like every other species on earth (working only for itself, without concern for others). It would actually be better if we were to be more than human (i.e., more than natural), and hold ourselves to some kind of environmental ethics. So, paradoxically, what "takes a lot of nerve" is to accept that the human takeover of the earth is just nature being nature after all.
    kagion July 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm a hippie, you're a hippie, save this green earth
    milk_and_honeyon August 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti dont think its about being a hippy and saving the earth. i think that it goes much deeper then that.
    i think its about not living in fear and being able to observe the world as if you were a bug or a tree...just a normal part of it.

    "you're in our talons now and we're never letting go"

    i think that is so beautiful.
    Bloofishon May 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think its about being scared and alone but they're reassuring us that even they we're scared but to know we aren't alone. Its an amazing song. Thats just my take on it.
    kayyislovelyon June 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with kaqi
    chuckles1992on September 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'd agree with the "hippie" theory but that definitely seems to throw away the undeniable beauty of the lyrics. I think it's based on how man has conquered the Earth too fast for them to correct their own mistakes and now nature is forced to be the lonesome victim... a very elegant hippie song.

    (how does the guitarist not get carpal tunnel syndrome while playing this?)
    bagodoucheson September 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think kaqi's interpretation is interesting, and i like it for the most part... but regarding the statement, "It would actually be better if we were to be more than human (i.e., more than natural), and hold ourselves to some kind of environmental ethics"... i think we already do this. a lot of our societal notions, and the imposition of human ideas and language/thoughts on the natural world is preventative when it comes to anyone having the nerve to accept what it means (or DOESN'T MEAN) to be "only human" and human nature as it really is.


    TheWrongGirlon December 15, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat if it is about "Watership Down" and the bunnies there? Probably not but somehow it reminded me of the book and of their adventures through nature.
    brokenbiscuiton February 18, 2016   Link
  • -1
    General CommentApostrophes.

    Say it with me.

    A-post-ro-phes.
    ClickForthon February 12, 2008   Link

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