Joke about nothing and you'll be forgiven
the laughs are just dying out one by one
the lonelies are coming to gather their forces
left on a string, the emptiness forges us on and on
on and on

a weakness so strong you could wrap your arms around it
smother cheeks and smothered arms
sad but it's not maybe just for a moment
why won't you hold me?
why won't you carry me on and on?

No more patient
on and on
no more patient

simple you might think but wary of reason
you give up on what you think's dying out
your words aren't funny your poetry's false
maybe they'll like it, maybe they won't
you can face them on
no more patient
face them on
no more patient
face them on
no more patient
face them on
no more patient

hey there young man come understand
the ways you need to heal
I see your stress come take our test
come on this shit is real

you need help (x8)

I went downtown to look around
and see how people feel
this lady beckons me to come
"Hey son, why don't ya kneel?"

you need help (x8)

We let you in we see your face
and then we slap you on the wrist
and when you try to leave it's much too late
cause we've got you on our motherfucking list

you need help (x8)


Lyrics submitted by philaster, edited by freggay

Joe's Waltz song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI'm surprised at how few comments there are on this, it's a great song. (Although I guess The Dodos aren't amazing popular yet.) To me it doesn't speak of religion, but perceived mental illness. The beginning seems to be talking about how everyone is weak and feels alone, that it's just the way humans are, reaching out to others for something to lean on. The line "No more patient" puzzles me; other than the fact that it's not really grammatically correct, it seems that it could be interpreted as either a literal hospital patient or as a "patient person". The former emphasizes my original idea, that it's about someone who's just as weak as everyone else but is told that he needs help. The lines "Hey there young man come understand/The ways you need to heal/I see your stress come take our test/come on this shit is real" definitely sounds like psychological tests, a doctor telling someone to come to the ward, along with the "you need help" lines. I admit that the last two lines smack of religion (a really pessimistic view of it, but...), but this didn't really occur to me the first time I heard it. (Silly of me, especially with the "why don't you kneel" like.) But the first thing that struck me when I heard it was that it could almost be the theme song to "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." If you've read it, keep that in mind and listen to the song again. I think you'll see what I mean.
    Quazalleon March 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat is this about? I really don't know.

    So the only thing I can think of is that there is some religious imagery: "forgiven," etc. It sounds like a religious person trying to convince someone on the street. Losing patience. "Maybe they'll like it maybe they won't."

    "Simple you might think, but wary of reason." Sounds like how religion oversimplifies things and throws reason out the window.

    "Hey there young man come understand the ways you need to heal." The religious person trying to get someone to listen.

    The last stanza. The religious person chastises the listener. Then they leave. But you're on the phone list by that point and you'll never stop getting calls from them to tell you that "you need help."

    Then the title of the song: Joe's Waltz. Maybe he is referring to Joseph Smith and Mormonism.

    Maybe that is way off, but I don't see anyone else trying.
    HilbertThm90on December 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThe religious theme is very upfront. I think that the missing link here is homosexuality, as the Dodos are from San Fran.

    Primarily it's about the religious bigotry against homosexuality.
    Religious forces condescend to gays and are always trying to convince them that they can be "healed"
    "this lady beckons me to come
    "Hey son, why don't ya kneel?"
    "you need help"

    parts of the song are virtually a call to arms, and a pledge that homosexuals are not going to ever stop fighting for their rights and equality, either in California or other states.
    "the lonelies are coming to gather their forces
    left on a string, the emptiness forges us on and on"

    "face them on.
    no more patient"
    I would take this as saying that they won't be considered a patient who has something wrong with them. i.e. "come on this shit is real!"


    This song was written before Prop 8 campaigns, but I get a sense that it was in response to the very large movement by many religious organizations to oppose gay rights, particularly marriage.
    In a sense you could say it foreshadowed what happened later in the year with all the fighting between sides.

    The Joseph Smith mention by another user is probably a longshot, but would actually be consistent with what I'm suggesting.
    Notably, Mormonism was the primary force of funding behind the opposition to gay rights and prop 8.
    I think this would have been evident if you lived in SF well before Prop 8 was proposed.


    "We let you in we see your face
    and then we slap you on the wrist
    and when you try to leave it's much too late
    cause we've got you on our fucking list"
    This last verse could refer to the fundamentalist religious community trying to identify and blacklist (in terms of employment perhaps) the more ardent protesters and advocates for gay rights.

    I have no inside information, and don't know much about the band personally.
    This is what I read from the song..

    Amazing work
    NewFoundlandon November 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just figured it was about Scientology and dianetics–what with the stress tests and all the emphasis on the dude needing help…

    And I think it's "our motherfucking list (or perhaps lists)," as opposed to simply "our fucking list."
    scottithon December 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTo me personally I feel Its about phycological dissorders and the strugle and philociphy that insanity is real or not. How a mentally ill person feels he/she is lonley or lost,or weaker compaired to everybody else. While the person believes that its not real, Thats its a normal way of life(Which i believe it is) Quazalle is very much so right in my opinion. Although i believe its about 1 persons opinion instead a groups. People look down on this person, Influence him to get help, he feels pressured, not sure what to do. He goes and gets help. But then anxiety kicks in, Starts having break downs and Now everything surounding him figurativly. He feels trapped by the Mental health organization. The pills hes been taken. I think it somewhat relates to Paranoid Schizophrenia. I find it relates to me that way. Ive felt all of this. and Now ive come to the realization that there is no such thing as insanity, For insanity is a word mearly discribing the mental limitations of knowledge. Once exceeded certain areas of knowledge in the mind and in the sub concious, you tend to go a little Looney. BIG chance im wrong so dont dis me. I am just stating how it relates to me and how i see the song.
    ChristopherRobin94on January 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningTo me this song is about people thinking your weird or borderline mentally ill. And being secluded because of that common opinion.
    plombardo421on February 06, 2011   Link

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