"Sleep Through the Static" as written by and Jack Hody Johnson....
Trouble travels fast
When you're specially designed for crash testing
Or wearing wool sunglasses in the afternoon
Come on and tell us what you're trying to prove

'Cause it's a battle when you dabble in war
You store it up, unleash it, then you piece it together
Whether the storm drain running rampant just stamp it
And send it to somebody who's pretending to care

Just cash in your blanks for little toy tanks
Learn how to use them, then abuse them and choose them
Over conversations relationships are overrated
I hated everyone said the sun

And so I will cook all your books
You're too good looking and mistooken
You could watch it instead
From the comfort of your burning beds
Or you can sleep through the static

Who needs sleep when we've got love?
Who needs keys when we've got clubs?
Who needs please when we've got guns?
Who needs peace when we've gone above
But beyond where we should have gone?
We went beyond where we should have gone

Stuck between channels my thoughts all quit
I thought about them too much, allowed them to touch
The feelings that rained down on the plains all dried and cracked
Waiting for things that never came

Shock and awful thing to make somebody think
That they have to choose pushing for peace supporting the troops
And either you're weak or you'll use brut force-feed the truth
The truth is we say not as we do

We say anytime, anywhere, just show your teeth and strike the fear
Of god wears camouflage, cries at night and drives a dodge
Pick up the beat and stop hogging the feast
That's no way to treat an enemy

Well mighty mighty appetite
We just eat 'em up and keep on driving
Freedom can be freezing take a picture from the pretty side
Mind your manners wave your banners
What a wonderful world that this angle can see

But who needs to see what we've done?
Who needs please when we've got guns?
Who needs keys when we've got clubs?
Who needs peace when we've gone above
But beyond where we should have gone?
Beyond where we should have gone
We went beyond where we should have gone
Beyond where we should have gone


Lyrics submitted by bobbyg1124

"Sleep Through the Static" as written by Jack Hody Johnson

Lyrics © REACH MUSIC PUBLISHING

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Sleep Through the Static song meanings
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  • +1
    General Comment"We say anytime, anywhere, just show your teeth and strike the fear
    Of god wears camouflage, cries at night and drives a dodge"

    That is the most amazing line I've ever heard in my life. Really shows the humanity of the troops, and the way we view ourselves//other view us. Not to say other countries view us as good, but our presence is everywhere in the world now, and we're so liberal with using our army now it's almost as if we're unleashing the wrath of god on anybody who opposes the U.S.
    The_Rogenatoron August 24, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJust listened to this song closely the other day and was amazed by the wit of Jack's songwriting. The song is definitely about the US invasion/liberation (depending who you talk to) of Iraq. Song starts with accordian

    "Trouble travels fast" - You can quickly start a war
    "When you're specially designed for crash testing" - When you spend a lot of money on weapons and military (Military-Industrial Complex)
    "Or wearing wool sunglasses in the afternoon" - Or when we have the wool over our eyes, blind to what's really going on.
    "Come on and tell us what you're trying to prove" - To the US Govt; what are you really trying to do

    "Because it's a battle when you dabble in war" - Saying the war was not made with a serious decision, almost like a hobby
    "You store it up, unleash it, then you piece it together" - You prepare for the war, execute it, when it hasn't gone as you intended you try to figure out a way to resolve it and package it for the media
    "Whether the storm drain running rampant just stamp it" - Regardless of the outcome, say we've won
    "And send it to somebody who's pretending to care" - And tell all the world that we did, yet nobody cares

    "Just cash in your blanks for little toy tanks" - Blanks could be diplomacy
    "Learn how to use them, then abuse them and choose them"
    "Over conversations relationships are overrated" - Definitely military force over diplomacy
    ""I hated everyone" said the sun" - no clue

    "And so I will cook all your books" - False documentation on weapons of mass destruction
    "You're too good looking and mistooken" - American's didn't search for truth
    "You could watch it instead, From the comfort of your burning beds" - American's didn't get involved, just watched on TV
    "Or you can sleep through the static" - Or didn't pay attention at all

    Who needs sleep when we've got love? - We should care about what's going on and do something
    "Who needs keys when we've got clubs?" - 2 ways of opening doors
    "Who needs please when we've got guns?" - 2 ways of getting what you want
    "Who needs peace when we've gone above" - We are already at war
    "But beyond where we should have gone? We went beyond where we should have gone" - We shouldn't have gone to war

    "Stuck between channels my thoughts all quit, I thought about them too much, allowed them to touch, The feelings that rained down on the plains all dried and cracked" - With all the news of the war, he stopped thinking about the details and his heart started feeling what those in Iraq might feel, making to the reference to the weapons raining down on Iraq's dry and cracked plains
    "Waiting for things that never came" - Waiting for the end that didn't come

    "Shock and awful thing to make somebody think" - Reference to the shock and awe strategy
    "That they have to choose pushing for peace supporting the troops" - Made to feel you are against US troops if you support peace
    "And either you're weak or you'll use brut force-feed the truth" - people made to think that diplomacy shows weakness, military shows might
    "The truth is we say not as we do" - We go against our American ideals and values

    "We say anytime, anywhere, just show your teeth and strike the fear
    Of god" - demonstrate US military force whenever we want
    "wears camouflage, cries at night and drives a dodge" - with soldiers who are regular people

    "Well mighty mighty appetite, we just eat 'em up and keep on driving" - appetite for conquest; take one country, keep on going
    "Freedom can be freezing take a picture from the pretty side" - the freedom we bring isn't freedom, but the US Govt focuses on what looks good
    "Mind your manners wave your banners" - told to support the country and war
    "What a wonderful world that this angle can see" - from our TVs it all looks good
    bcpolandon April 18, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationMy interpretation of the chorus - this song being about how people are happily lulled into not thinking about the unpleasant truth about war by willfully ignoring what is really happening and being satisfied with what the media tells them...

    "Who needs sleep when we've got love?"
    (why ignore the media when they make you feel important and of course, everybody loves America, right?)
    "Who needs keys when we've got clubs?"
    (why try to unlock doors like everyone else when we can just bust them down with force)
    "Who needs please when we've got guns?"
    (why ask when we have the power to just take things)
    "Who needs peace when we've gone above?"
    (why should we care about world peace when heaven is our final destination)
    "But beyond where we should have gone?"
    (when really we should go to hell for what we've been doing)
    "We went beyond where we should have gone"
    (we have overstretched ourselves by fighting on two fronts)
    ImaniOUon February 27, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy comments are in parentheses... I copied and pasted the song to make it easier to show individual line comments. The song is about war and people's complacency to go along with whatever the media feeds them which is whatever the government, in turn, feeds them and how America has gone into this whole bifurcation of American/un-American.

    Trouble travels fast
    When you're specially designed for crash testing
    Or wearing wool sunglasses in the afternoon
    (basically, it comes fast for dummies - who are designed for crash testing, and people who not only have the wool pulled over their eyes, but do so to keep them from the glaring truth)

    Come on and tell us what you're trying to prove

    Because it's a battle when you dabble in war
    You store it up, unleash it, then you piece it together
    (America is dabbling in war, some troops in Afghanistan, some in Iraq, we sprinkle soldiers all over the world to fight wars)
    Whether (should be "weather")the storm (might be a tongue-in-cheek reference to "Operation: Desert Storm" our first all-out war in Iraq) drain running rampant just stamp it
    And send it to somebody who's pretending to care (again, government sends pre-approved reports to the media who pretend that they care about the people dying - see JJ's song "The News" if you want to really see his disdain for new reporters stoicism when reporting even the most heart-wrenching horrors of the world)

    Just cash in your blanks for little toy tanks (war bonds)
    Learn how to use them, then abuse them and choose them
    Over conversations (instead of talking, we fight) relationships are overrated (our relationships with the rest of the world who turned their backs on us with the pre-emptive wars we started)
    "I hated everyone" said the sun (should be the "son", as in Dubya in not caring about the other countries' opinions in the first place)

    And so I will cook all your books (Bush's and Cheney's involvement with Enron or the burning of books for censorship)
    You're too good looking and mistooken (media feeding us what we want to hear -including compliments like "Because you deserve the best" rather than the truth)
    You could watch it instead
    From the comfort of your burning beds (we make the beds we sleep on and most people choose to get their information only from TV rather than researching it for themselves to get a less biased perspective because that takes more work than just plopping in front of Fox News or CNN and letting them do all the thinking for you)
    �Or you can sleep through the static (ignore the media, an option few choose)

    Who needs sleep when we've got love? (why ignore the media when they make you feel important)
    Who needs keys when we've got clubs? (why try to unlock doors when we can just bust them down)
    Who needs please when we've got guns? (why be polite when we have power)
    Who needs peace when we've gone above (why should we care about world peace when heaven is our final destination)
    But beyond where we should have gone? (when really we should go to hell for what we've been doing)
    We went beyond where we should have gone (we have overstretched ourselves by fighting on two fronts)

    Stuck between channels my thoughts all quit (can't decide who is right - the liberal media or the conservative media)
    I thought about them too much, allowed them to touch
    The feelings that rained down on the plains all dried and cracked
    Waiting for things that never came (his feelings of hope for peace or resolution of 9/11 falling onto despair - dried and cracked)

    Shock and aw(the term that Bush liked to toss around for his pre-emptive war that outlasted his presidency)ful thing to make somebody think
    That they have to choose pushing for peace supporting the troops (people being told they are not supporting their troops for wanting the war to end when really the truth is, people who support war also support troops being killed)
    And either you're weak or you'll use brut(e - "brut" is a cologne) force(limp-wristed treehuggers versus the real Americans)-feed the truth
    is we say not as we do (I love how he links up four collocations - brute force-force feed-feed someone the truth-the truth is... okay, the media forces their truth down our throats - the whole "Mission Accomplished" b.s. and not showing the bodies of soldiers coming home and the truth is even though we claim freedom and justice for all, our actions for the last nine years have been anything but)

    (another favorite linking verse...)
    We say anytime, anywhere, just show your teeth and strike the fear
    Of god wears camouflage, cries at night and drives a dodge (what "real Americans" do. They are Christian, ready to make their enemies fear for eternal damnation, using their teeth to intimidate them. The real American is a soldier and drives not just an American car, but a...)
    Pick up the beat (march in time, soldier... follow everyone else, Americans and stop marching to the beat of a different drummer) and stop hogging the feast
    That's no way to treat an enemy (the greedy opportunistic companies guarding the oil wells which happen to be plentiful in the countries we've attacked, keeping the locals from accessing them)

    Well mighty mighty appetite
    we just eat 'em up and keep on driving (after draining their resources, we'll just move on to another country like, oh say Iran...)
    Freedom can be freezing (giving up protection?) take a picture from the pretty side (don't look at the ugly side of what's happening)
    Mind your manners wave your banners (don't question what's happening, just be patriotic)
    What a wonderful world that this angle can see (everything looks good when you only pay attention to what the media wants you to see)

    But who needs to see what we've done? (All the atrocities, including reneging on the Geneva Conventions in order to torture prisoners and hold them indefinitely without trial, that the Bush administration tried to sweep under the rug)

    (rest of chorus repeats)
    ImaniOUon February 27, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm sure this song will be popular.
    MTribbeyon December 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYa I got these lyrics off of his myspace page, so I'm assuming they are correct. Anyways, I can't wait until this CD comes out, its been to long for JJ.
    bobbyg1124on December 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe this song is talking of the complacency and violence of our society. The repetition of the line "we went beyond where we should have gone" seems to reinforce this.

    Great song by the wonderful Jack. Doesn't seem as catchy as some of his earlier works, but again lyrically wonderful and sweet as ever. Can't wait for the 5th of Febuary!
    crumbson January 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with MTribbey, I can almost guarantee this song will be a bigger hit than he's ever encountered in his already phenomenal career. Rock on Jack!
    Eric12682on January 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow.
    So the 5th of February is going t obe the best day of my life.
    Across the Universe is out on DVD and Jack's new cd comes out
    xxblowupon January 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just heard this song for the first time and fell right in love with it. I can not wait for the new CD. If the rest is like the first two songs that have come out then we are all in for an amazing CD.

    What a wonderful world that this angle can see
    Bluestarson January 29, 2008   Link

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