The grass and the daisies
Think a lot more of the days than you
And you're you

The walls of the maze
Know the will more than the way than you
And you're just you

The buttons on my phone
Know I hate to be alone
When I dial, I'm in denial

But now at least I know
Where it is I have to go
I need supplies before I arrive

"You're running down my thigh," she said
"He's such a wonderful guy," she said
"There's pride in wanting to die,
I think I'll give it a try," she said
"I can't make it on my own
And it's so hard to be alone
When I die
I'll be alright"
And now at least she knows
Where it is she has to go
She'll need supplies before she arrives

We're not gonna die like this (oh no)
We're not gonna die like this (oh no)
Sing it with me, it goes like this
We're not gonna die like this

HUM-MING-BIRD

Fly away little hummingbird!


Lyrics submitted by _mycritique

Hummingbird song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +4
    General Commentsounds like the coolest band ever
    mjgoods07on February 08, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAgree with MostlyGhostly... Vampire Weekend is kind of light in the loafers compared to these guys. I hear the same Vampire stuff about Surfer Blood, and think its even further off with them. I like the Ruffians' more ragged edges... while at the same time some of their hyper-tight bass and drum bits make me think of (hyper-clean) Rush... but I better stop talking about the music before the "song meanings" people come after me.

    Maybe I'm way off, but i thought the singer was describing some girl on a downward spiral... needing "supplies," talking romantically about her own death.... and reacting against it by singing (in a totally awesome section), "sing it wIth me it goes like this 'we’re not gonna die lIke this.'"

    Before I heard or thought much about the rest of the lyrics, that section is what got me replaying the song over and over. Just by itself it reminded me of "we're not gonna take it," or SB's "I'm too young to be defeated." As in, "choose your own poison, if that's what you want to do, but I'm not touching that shit."
    dcbaon July 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLove the dialogue. Trying to free herself from her relationship but also deluding herself of how good it is.
    chickenflickeron May 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song kicks so much ass. This BAND kicks so much ass.
    Christa426on December 30, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI don't really see the VPW comparisons -- although BR and VPW employ many of the same musical techniques (call and response, scalar riffs, "perfectly off-pitch" harmonies) that doesn't mean they sound alike. If anything those are just trappings of the indie-pop genre, and both wield them in a signature way: BR certainly have a "dirtier" sound, much more down-to-earth and stripped of pretension. No mentions of middle-eastern apparel or obscure baseball players here--just pure, focused lyrics. Also, the instrumentation is not nearly as eclectically effete as VPW -- which I like.

    Besides, I think the entire VPW lineup would blush if they ever uttered the lyric "You're running down my thigh". This song kicks it.
    Hamderbeekon November 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI know this thread is becoming overrun with talking about VPW and not this songbut I just have one more observation: The name 'Born Ruffians' actually means something ie they are rugged and no bullshit (I think). But what the hell is a 'Vampire Weekend' ? Even if that does have a meaning its probably just an attempt at being profound that comes off as pretentious and stupid in my opinion. O well lets get back to the song, shall we?
    rebellumberjackon October 25, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think I might be taking the whole song way too literally. Has anyone formulated an explanation for the first two stanzas? I suppose the first one could be talking about under-appreciating life...but then maybe there is a relation to the phrase "pushing up daisies" which is death, and makes sense too. Then the second stanza I'm just clueless about. The "I need supplies before I arrive" is obviously relevant with all of its repetition, but I don't get that either. The last thing I don't understand is the line "he's running down my thigh." How literal is that? On the rest I've drawn my own loose conclusions, but if anyone has an opinion on all of that, I'd love to hear it :)

    Also, this band is absolutely more bad ass than Vampire Weekend. Bare and awesome.
    rainiacon June 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis is about a girl coming to the conclusion that suicide is the only way to make sense of her life.

    "The grass and the daisies
    Think a lot more of the days than you
    And you're you"

    The world around you finds you insignificant.

    "The walls of the maze
    Know the will more than the way than you
    And you're just you"

    Play off the phrase, "where there's a will, there's a way." The maze of the world seems to drain her of all her will to keep going.

    "The buttons on my phone
    Know I hate to be alone
    When I dial, I'm in denial"

    Self explanatory, mostly, but the last line -- in denial that she's fated to be alone, forever. Disconnected, forever.

    "But now at least I know
    Where it is I have to go
    I need supplies before I arrive"

    "Where it is I have to go" is the first allusion to death in an indirect way -- the place being the afterlife. The supplies, supplies to commit suicide (gun, pills, etc.).

    ""You're running down my thigh," she said
    "He's such a wonderful guy," she said
    "There's pride in wanting to die,
    I think I'll give it a try," she said"

    The shift in tone between these for lines almost always causes me to tear up -- it really hits home for me, but I digress: She's just had sex, and is using the most vuglar and unromantic possible way to describe their time together. The next line about him being wonderful sounds utterly hollow after being introduced by the first -- a feeling further reinforced by the next two lines. "Pride," being a particular sticking point because it's very obvious that her dignity was just tossed out the window being that she feels utterly used for sex.

    ""I can't make it on my own
    And it's so hard to be alone
    When I die
    I'll be alright""

    She tried connecting with another human, the boy, and found it hollow. The theme of loneliness comes up again, and she feels utterly helpless to face the "maze" of the world by herself, and being unloved and alone is too hard for her to endure, suicide is finally talked about plainly as the only option.

    "And now at least she knows
    Where it is she has to go
    She'll need supplies before she arrives"

    And given the context at this point, reinforces the earlier interpretation.

    It's funny, the acoustic version of the song ends here (off the EP I Need a Life). And obviously, has a far more depressing tone to the song. The version from Red, Yellow, & Blue seems to indicate that the song is about two people, the singer, and the girl he also sings about, because after telling the tale of the girl, he rallies himself and sings:

    "We're not gonna die like this (oh no)
    We're not gonna die like this (oh no)
    Sing it with me, it goes like this
    We're not gonna die like this

    HUM-MING-BIRD

    Fly away little hummingbird!"

    He encourages her to get away from the life that's causing her to feel utterly hopeless.

    I'm not sure if hummingbird is a tie-in to the first stanza, a pointed rejection by the very things a hummingbird needs to survive. Or if it's simply that a hummingbird is small, fragile, and has such special dietary needs and such a high metabolism, it's pretty easy for them to waste away. It could be something completely different.

    But yeah. Great song. Very sad, sad song. I do prefer the acoustic version, if you can get a hold of it you should listen to it. Obviously, didn't fit in with the almost manically upbeat feel of Red, Yellow, & Blue.
    NaomiBozon March 24, 2014   Link
  • -2
    General Commentagain, sounds like vampire weekend
    christyx_ohon December 15, 2008   Link

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