chorus:
we don't need no walkie-talkies, nope no walkie talkies, we don't need your coughing when offing the morning coffee, no, we don't need no walkie-talkies, nope no walkie-talkies we just want our hermitry to stay and our coffee to go

and the last shall be, first to immerse in the pass out heat, face in the mud where the moxie melt 'til he woke up drowning in tsatke hell, more in a cave with a torch on the wall than a window arrangement of porcelain dolls on a brand new day, saw what he saw, property owners who crawl to the mall, with a bad toupee and a face like he author the law, pace like he mourning a loss, right hand on a can of worms, left full of gold he will trade for turf, i mean thats o.k., you got to answer to you at the end of the volatile day, but a model of mercy and might? no way, marionette who will clap and obey, dude, look, all that noise? call that flight of the water boys, meet and greet and they all slap five, cheek to cheek when they colonize, and a grown ass man shall abide as he wish, walk that path with a dime and a stick, walk that path with a diamond and wine, walk that path to the firing line, just walk, pay no mind to the new recruit with the play-doh spine, let's be friends from opposite ends, wave to the kid don't hop on the fence, play to the radius far and away, orbit wide don't park in his space, one little martyr who talk in his face make one little weathermen sharpen the blades.

chorus

and the last shall be, first to the curb with the mad cow meat, face in the bars of a regular cell when he woke up high in collectible hell, boom town kid who was taught by the binge that a man who expire with the most shit win, that's warpy american nonsense penned by the rich, not a routine friend in a pinch, still not used to the stench, how it throws off otherwise lucid events, in the case the afraid observe i got a pro-keds box full of layman's terms, it goes hey, peace, pray for the plagued, major relief and capacious rains, but just cuz i don't want to war with you, it don't mean go warm up the barbecue, i'm like pardon you, sawed off limit, my high noon is a quick little minute, i don't wanna spend it sitting with a critic, who simply isn't going to ever really get it, this HQ is alive and alone, no driveway no sign of a home, no dial tone, no line for the phone, no world's tiniest violin song, and i might just lie to them all, lie in the morgue with a deep breath hiding and bored, fighting a smile, highly annoyed, when the timing is right i will rise and record, cal for the monster beats and blockhead got animal drums like he's doctor teeth, it goes red light green light 1 2 3, one large coffee, fuck you, peace.

j.d. - i crawled down to the basement when the weather got cold, like a lost lamb returning to the fold, and when the outside world recedes from view, it's just a year's supply of make-up and memories of you, 1967 colt 45, holding back the vampires, keeping me alive, there's an envelope with some cash in it out by the front door, this is what they make you take the medication for


Lyrics submitted by mrdorman

Coffee (feat. John Darnielle) song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentHi, I'm searching for an elucidation...what's the meaning of "tsatke"?!?!?!?!?!
    Zennon January 24, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commentheres my opinion:
    the chorus is referring to the useless "how are you today?" banter we get from everyone, specifically coffee vendors. hence walkie talkie. the man with the prickly outer shell doesn't like to be bothered, i guess.

    i think the end of the first verse is talking about how the promise of riches leads men off to war. he starts out abiding as he wishes, then walks with a dime, then a diamond, then off to the firing line, at that point hes brainwashed and told to just walk, play no mind to weaker.

    the second verse is a little clearer to read, aes wakes up in this materialistic society where the guy with the most shit wins right? so he says thats nonsense cooked up buy the rich to keep us striving for stupid shit.
    then with regard to the govt- aes is like lets have peace, you guys pray do your thing, help others, but just because we don't support that war don't bring beef (barbecue) and ostracize us.
    finally he brings it back around to his nature as he describes hating to do jackass interviews at the peak of his career with people who don't seem to understand his work. He would rather go into hiding and quit, but only to rise again to record some more bomb shit like it was riding a bike, hehe.
    a few shoutouts then fuck you peace.

    there's probably a few layers i'm missing, whatever it still jams!
    Grasschoppaon February 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe Mountain Goats meet Aseop Rock and it works flawlessly! Who saw that one coming?
    saison September 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI never saw it coming but I'll hear it over and over.
    Cool Cozon September 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningHey all, I think this song is actually fairly straight forward if you follow Aesop's work. It's kind of like thoughts from someone in a social coma navigating the American Dream, which to him is more like the American Nightmare.

    It's not very political, it's more of like a subjective viewpoint. Consumerism is explored along with the whole package, the 9-to-5 job, sacrificing individual sanity for group insanity...

    "We don't need no walkie talking, nope, no walkie talkies - we don't need your coughing when offing the morning coffee no - we just want our hermitry to stay and our coffee to go."

    Not really interesting in what you brainwashed "walkie-talkies" are into.. we just want to keep to ourselves... The bit about wanting our coffee to go... kind of brings me back to 9 to 5ers anthem "poor myself a cup of ambition" which was a Dolly Parton lyric orginally. Caffeine is the stimulant we need to get up and face the monotony of our job/"high noon" - see Getaway Car.

    He then proceeds to deliver a scathing commentary on those that buy into and perpetuate the mass insanity. But also, implies that he's cool with it... like that's your choice, but I don't want anything to do with it myself. He even says we should "pray for the plagued."

    I'd really like to go and interpret each line one by one, but this is pretty much the story that each of my interpretations of these lines fit into, but I'll interpret the individual lines 3rdEyeVision prings up:

    * "You got to answer to you at the end of the volatile day, but a model of mercy and might? no way, marionette who will clap and obey."

    Starts off with a disclaimer like, hey I don't mean to be judgmental or anything, obviously you have to answer to you, not me in your spiritiual quest.. but let's face it you're kidding yourself if you think you're some model of virtue, you're really just a marionette/puppet willing to jump for the higher powers which control you. And social standing you have right now is because you conformed not because you created it yourself.

    * "dude, look, all that noise? call that flight of the water boys"

    Water is a metaphor that Aesop uses throughout his work. It's like the metaphor for the counter-culture, real hip-hop culture, art culture, truth, independence etc... Basically this line is just like "we're not having any of that ourselves, see ya"

    * "and the last shall be, first to immerse in the pass out heat"

    I again see the water metaphor coming into play here. The pass out heat is relevant for its dehydrating implications.

    * ", face in the mud where the moxie melt"

    Mud, impure dirty water.. moxie can mean courage.. the water gets muddy from melted courage...

    * "'til he woke up drowning in tsatke hell"

    Most of us do eventually wake up... perhaps only after we've arrived at success - only to discover that we've just been chasing after the wrong things - meaningless junk.

    * "more in a cave with a torch on the wall than a window arrangement of porcelain dolls"

    There's a lot of room for interpretation here. I myself can't help but think of plato's cave with this line. So it just seems like another attack or expression of sympathy towards the unenlightened man.

    * "one little martyr who talk in his face make one little weathermen sharpen the blades"

    weathermen is aesop's crew. It's also a reference to the weather underground of the 60's i think? Homegrown terrorists who believed in the violent overthrow of the US government. So it's like, again, the imagery is thick here with the American brainwashed in conflict with the willfully disenfranchised.
    tacobanditon January 06, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI would agree that the main theme is American Consumerism/Dream and how it is sold to the populace, forcing them to conform.

    "call that flight of the water boys, meet and greet and they all slap five, cheek to cheek when they colonize, and a grown ass man shall abide as he wish, walk that path with a dime and a stick, walk that path with a diamond and wine, walk that path to the firing line, just walk"

    I interpreted "water boys" to mean office workers talking around the water cooler. They are the people who have bought into this idea and are now working together to sell it to the rest of society, "cheek to cheek when they colonize". The next line I think is the saying, "we don't care what you have wether its a dime and a stick meaning you are poor or diamond and wine meaning rich you must conform and seek the same thing and it doesn't matter what "that thing" is, what matters is you listen to us.

    Also to support this idea about american consumerism being the theme of the song is the video, in which he portrays the world being taking over by zombies, vampires, and werewolves. After the first verse it shows a group called "the Rebellion" subtitled as "Earths last chance", the group is made up of children. It says that the the Rebellion was quickly defeated. I took this as aesop saying that children are immune to this culture giving us hope but they are quickly turned into conforming brand loyal zombies themselves. Anyway just some of my thoughts. Love the song though, having just found Aesop Rock (itunes finally suggested something I liked for a change) I really am enjoying his artistic style.
    igoyardon July 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningAfter listening for a few hours (I know..I know) I began to see what the song might mean.
    The chorus is the easiest to understand it is a reference to war, but it could be an exchange between a coffee vender and the narrator. For instance when he says, "We don't need no walkie talkie, nope, no walkie talkies we just want our hemitry to stay and our coffee to go." The narrator doesn't want this useless chit-chat, he wants to remain a hermit and keep to himself.

    The first verse is kind of cryptic, but after careful looking at it one can say that it is talking about materialism, and is using war as a side metaphor. In the end we can say it has two layers: war and materialism. When he calls a huge amount of things in his possession as hell, and when he talks about property owners it is clear that he is pointing out what is wrong in society. When he mentions that property owners walk around like they "author the law" or make the laws is a huge statement about our society. When he says, "i mean thats o.k., you got to answer to you at the end of the volatile day" He is referring to these people's conscious. The last portion might be me reaching, BUT he might be distinguishing between the poor and rich. How many poor people end up in war if they want to have any kind of material gain, and how the rich don't, and so it says "opposite ends" and the last part describes a martyr (could be the poor) and a weatherman (could be the rich?)

    The second verse is a little easier. He talks about "warpy american" ideals about fame, and monetary, or materialistic gain. The first portion is him going off about how we need to have a lot of things to be happy, but in reality we are just in hell. He then talks about not having time for critics who just don't get his stuff. He then says "no dial tone, no line for the phone, no world's tiniest violin song," which could mean that although he does not have riches he is not saddened by it, the whole "small violin" line. He even contemplates faking his death to rid himself of all these annoyances. The last part is funny because it might make you realize that he hasn't gotten his coffee and hasn't left the coffee shop, and thus is still talking to the coffee vendor? And he says, " one large coffee, fuck you, peace." He grabs his coffee and says, "fuck you" followed by "peace".

    J.D.'s verse is weird because it was a bit out of place at first, but then i saw parallels and it could refer to these American ideals about how we need people to like us, or we need people's acceptance. "i crawled down to the basement" once again we see that hermit like behavior. "when the outside world recedes from view, it's just a year's supply of make-up and memories of you, 1967 colt 45, holding back the vampires, keeping me alive, there's an envelope with some cash in it out by the front door, this is what they make you take the medication for" this might refer to the world imploding on itself from all these shitty ideals, and when that happens only the material will remain, "make-up"? The year could be a reference to H.P. Lovecraft, or some birth or tragedy? Not sure yet, Colt 45...i have no idea, the drink? Or the gun? The vampires are his so-called friends or corporations that suck him dry, but he needs them, their acceptance. Cash outside so he can keep his mouth shut about what he knows? It is hard to stay sane when all this is going on, or materialism is a drug that makes them forget or be happy for a little while?

    The video could possibly reflect this anti-materialism idea because it makes everyone like zombies?

    That was my take on this song...it could be wrong, but there it is.
    Zomviion September 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwe don't need no walkie-talkies, nope no walkie talkies,
    We don't need society giving you those fake smiles cooprtae pays, and how their payed to be super nice to get you to buy products.

    we don't need your coughing when offing the morning coffee, no,
    Don't need the bullshit small talk, and trying to make us infected to society.

    we just want our hermitry to stay and our coffee to go
    Just leave him be and don't worry about what the fuck he's doing. As in sell me the shit that i need so i can get away from you product industry hungry zombies.


    ehh.
    cackedfaceon March 24, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think that this song is about how American society is defined today. Things are what define society today. Making, buying, selling, etc. In first world countries life is all about working for someone in order to make a living. This is not what life is all about though. The citizens of these nations are bred from a young age to be the corporations "work horses". Developing nations know far better than we do what life is about. They work and provide for themselves and their own families rather than an employer. Coffee is a stimulant designed to make the workers (slaves to corporations really) work at their peak performance. Aesop sees past these things and observes as society is unknowing used by corporations and administered coffee in order to do their will.
    Rapenstienon January 14, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentStraight for Aesop Rock himself.

    Crazy ass song. My favorite beat of None Shall Pass.
    mrdormanon September 06, 2007   Link

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