"Trout Heart Replica" as written by and Amanda Palmer....
They've been circling, they've been circling
Since the day they were born
It's disturbing, how they're circling
Fifty feet from the pond

Pretty often, pretty often
I don't want to be told
It's problem, it's a problem
It's a problem I know

And I won't keep what I can't catch
in my bare hands without a net
It's hard enough to walk on grass
So conscious of the consequences

And they've been jerking, and they've been jerking
In a pail by the dock
I know that oxygen might make them blossom and die
But I'm not gonna talk

Feed them details, feed them e-mails
They'll eventually grow
But it's not working, it's not working
Not as far as I know

And killing things is not so hard
It's hurting that's the hardest part
And when the wizard gets to me
I'm asking for a smaller heart

And I got you, I thought that I caught you
Now I'll ruin it all
Feeling helpless, acting selfish
Being human at all

And they're jumping, and they're jumping
But they'll never get out
Just keep touring, just keep on ignoring
Be a good little trout

And the butcher stops and winds his watch
And lays their lives down on the block
He raises up his hatchet and
The big hand strikes a compromise

Wait! We'll trade you, wait
Please just one more day
And then we'll go with
No complaining
No complaining
No complaining
Stop
Come

And they're cutting, and they're cutting
And I think that I know
And they're gutting, and they're gutting
And I think that I know
And it's beating, look it's beating
And I don't want to know
And it's beating, look it's still beating
God I don't want to know

Killing things is not so hard
It's hurting that's the hardest part
And when the wizard gets to me
I'm asking for a smaller heart

And if he tells me no
I'll hold my breath until I hit the floor
Eventually I know I'm doomed
To get what I am asking for

Now my heart is exactly the size
Of a six-sided die cut in half
Made of ruby red stained glass
Can I knock you unconscious
As long as I promise
I'll love you and I'll make you laugh

Now my heart is exactly the size
Of a six-sided die cut in half
Made of ruby red stained glass
Can I knock you unconscious
As long as I promise
I'll love you and I'll make you laugh


Lyrics submitted by Fallen1617, edited by amarasays, Taffine, gifoverit

Trout Heart Replica song meanings
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32 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentOh my lord can we all just chill the fuck out for a second? This is why vegetarians get such a bad reputation. Obviously there is the pro-vego message in here, but we don't have to jump down each other's throats every time a contrasting opinion is voiced.

    I'm surprised no one has made the comparison between this song and "Have To Drive" - she's using the death of an animal (something that, for many reasons, moved her deeply) as a starting point for a discussion of her mental and emotional state. Her experience at the trout farm triggered reflections not only on the omnivorous lifestyle but on life itself.

    It seems like she's employing the way some omnivores (including herself) keep eating meat even when they deep down know they don't feel right about it as a metaphor for how she's living her life;
    "just keep touring/keep on ignoring/be a good little trout"
    Something feels so fundamentally wrong but she is too scared to face what she knows she feels.

    What really consolidates that interpretation for me is the shift from asking for a smaller heart to the end result of that request. Her heart is "the size of a 6 sided die cut in half" - that's what happens when you keep ignoring what you feel, what you know, what you want. Much like how the butcher can nonchalantly toss aside the still beating heart of a dead animal simply by not thinking about the reality of the situation, if you refuse to let yourself acknowledge your emotions, there comes a point where either you hold your breath until you hit the floor, or you lose your ability to feel full stop. You don't think about what's on your plate for your entire life, it's near impossible to view it from a different perspective. You don't think about the reality of what's in your mind, you lose touch with yourself to the extent that you lose who you are, perhaps even your ability to love, and slide into numbness.
    EmotionSickness13on April 16, 2012   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningI saw Amanda last night, and she told the story behind this song. Basically, she went to a trout farm where you pick out a trout and then you watch it get butchered. And there was this building with all these different tanks lined up, getting bigger and bigger as they went along, and each one had different sized trout in it. So they picked out some trout and they went into the butchering room, and Amanda decided to stay because she was reading The Omnivore's Dilemma. When the butcher killed the trout, he pulled out a heart that was still beating, and just kind of put it off to the side nonchalantly, and it just sat there beating. Amanda felt like that was a metaphor for where she was in her life, and she started crying. Andd then she wrote this song.

    So basically, this song is about the dilemma we run into with not wanting to know where our food really comes from, and not wanting to think about the consequences of our actions. But at the same time, it's about Amanda's life, and her relationships falling apart, and feeling trapped.

    This song live is incredibly heartbreaking.
    sophiemaiaon June 15, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI get the impression it's about committing suicide. But then I think that maybe it's about the stress of touring and not being able to find yourself. Always moving and never getting the chance to think and stay neutral. I Don't know but it's a rather interesting song.
    addnamehereon December 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe lyrics I heard were slightly different:

    They've been circling, they've been circling
    Since the day they were born
    It's disturbing, how they're circling
    Fifty feet from the pond
    Pretty often, pretty often
    I don't wanna be told
    It's a problem, it's a problem
    It's a problem, I know

    And I won't keep what I can't catch
    In my bare hands without a net
    It's hard enough to walk on grass
    So conscious of the consequences

    They've been jerking, they've been jerking
    In a pail by the dock
    I know that oxygen
    Might make them blossom and die
    But I'm not gonna talk
    Feed them details, feed them e-mails
    They'll eventually grow
    It's not working, it's not working
    Not as far as I know

    And killing things is not so hard
    It's hurting that's the hardest part
    And when the wizard gets to me
    I'm asking for a smaller heart

    And I got you, and I got you
    Now I'll ruin it all
    Feeling helpless, acting selfish
    Being human and all
    And they're jumping, and they're jumping
    But they'll never get out
    Just keep touring, keep ignoring
    Be a good little trout

    And the butcher stops and winds the clock
    And lays their lives down on the block
    He raises up his hatchet and the
    Big hand strikes a compromise

    Wait, we'll trade you, wait
    Please, just one more day
    Then we'll go with no complaining
    No complaining, no complaining
    Stop

    And they're killing, and they're cutting
    And I think that I know
    And they're gutting, and they're gutting
    And I think that I know
    And it's beating, it's still beating
    And I think that I know
    And it's beating, look it's still beating
    But I don't wanna know

    And killing things is not so hard
    It's hurting that's the hardest part
    And when the wizard gets to me
    I'm asking for a smaller heart
    And if he tells me no
    I'll hold my breath until I hit the floor
    Eventually I know I'm doomed
    To get what I am asking for

    Now my heart is exactly the size
    Of a six sided die cut in half
    Made of ruby red stained glass
    Can I knock you unconscious
    As long as I promise
    I'll love you and I'll make you laugh
    And my heart is exactly the size
    Of a six sided die cut in half
    Made of ruby red stained glass
    Can I knock you unconscious
    As long as I promise
    I'll love you and I'll make you laugh
    muskyisdeadon December 23, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentKilling animals is a big deal. The song is profound enough without looking for it's metaphors.
    muskyisdeadon December 28, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't need to argue with someone as ignorant and stubborn as you.

    I never said that this song doesn't have a double meaning. I'm just saying it's no reason to discard the literal interpretation.
    muskyisdeadon July 08, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe song tells a story. that story is valid but it also has a deeper meaning. it's all real.

    also, why submit lyrics to a song if you don't know what they are? so that you can have your name up and people will think you had it first? wtf.
    iggy1110on July 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti thought this was about feeling pain when watching trouts get killed, and wishing you could be more heartless. this is a pretty obscure song though so I'm not sure if that's what it's about but that's the impression i got.
    tosachion December 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's pretty obvious what this song is about. We know that Amanda is a pescetarian, and she says she used to be vegan.

    Here's her blog about watching the trout getting killed: blog.myspace.com/…

    The narrator of this song represents the vast majority of people. We look for easy solutions, but we never think of changing ourselves. We'd sooner ask for smaller hearts, than decide that we need to stop hurting animals.
    muskyisdeadon December 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about watching yourself kill off all relationships with people, and hurting about it. you stop giving the trout oxygen, aka love, and it dies. so do relationships. it still jerks, for a while, but then it's over and you're left with just the hurt.
    ledhon December 26, 2008   Link

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