When all this mess will get me down I will depart from Chinatown
Weaving in and out of line, the sidewalk's full of merchandise
My nervous tic has got to quit, my cheeks are chewed down to the bit
Up on the roof they're still around the hustling crowds still reach down
I go up there and light a leaf and wish our turn was not so brief
I'm paler than a summer blouse that's packed inside a haunted house
I pack my bags and feel the family here is cropped by many hands
That dig and plant me for the spring, come dig me out my lucid brain

this wilderness up in my head,
this rhythm that's up in my head,
this rhythm it needs to get right out of my clothes and get into my bedroom.

Is there no reason it can't be the way it was, music and me?
My three best friends so casually just letting go so joyfully
But if I let my wrist get tired, but if I let my spirit cry out
There'll always be that fear of dying or is it just trying to divide?
It makes me think my dearest things are not what they're supposed to be
I trick myself when it is hard, I've got to keep up, oh my god
And hope that I will not be wrong and keep my faith inside a song
And we'll make up 'morrow, which reminds me not to leave them back inside

this rhythm that's up in my head,
this wilderness up in my head,
this rhythm it needs to get right out of my clothes and get into my bedroom.

lion in a coma, lion in a coma
lion in a coma, lion in a coma

sometimes the sun will shine, yes I am just doin fine.
sometimes i'm not aware where I am or what I care
sometimes i'm well-to-do but I don't know what to do
sometimes I don't agree with my thoughts on being free

please don't leave me
things that feel good,
I've been lucky
trying to feel good

sometimes the sun will shine, yes I am just doin' fine.
sometimes i'm not aware where I am or what i care
sometimes i'm well-to-do but I don't know what to do
sometimes i don't agree with my thoughts on being free.

please don't leave me
things that feel good,
I've been lucky
trying to feel good

lion in a coma, lion in a coma
who wants to smell the fine aroma,
lion in a coma, lion in a coma
who wants to run but cannot roam
a lion in a coma, lion in a coma
who wants to use his aching bones
a lion in a coma, lion in a coma
don't keep a lion in a coma

lion in a coma, lion in a coma
who wants to smell the fine aroma,
lion in a coma, lion in a coma
who wants to use his aching bones
a lion in a coma, lion in a coma
who wants to run but cannot roam
a lion in a coma, lion in a coma
don't keep a lion in a coma


Lyrics submitted by equivalence, edited by cjlindman, mudswipe

Lion in a Coma song meanings
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  • +7
    General Commenti think this song is about someone that has an image of themselves in their head but cannot fully express it to others for whatever reason, possibly lack of self-confidence - possibly due to being hypercritical of what others might think of them and also because of the fact that they had a shielded childhood in which the vital components of their personality weren't able to be expressed.

    the title "lion in a coma" - says to me that the person (most likely author, unless he's writing about someone else) is the lion, which should be graceful and majestic, however he/she is said to be in a coma, which brings forth a somberness and piteous attitude towards the lion.

    the lyric "i pack my bags and feel the family here is cropped by many hands that dig and plant me for the spring" speaks to me of emancipation and being released unto the world, but with an attitude to life and personality as a whole if you will that has been planted by parents/mentors.

    the lyric "come dig me out my lucid brain" is a reproach to this, saying that they should have rather fostered the personality that was already there rather than imposing their own personalities/beliefs on him/her.

    "i go up there and light a leaf and wish our turn was not so brief, i'm paler than a summer blouse that's packed inside a haunted house" re-affirms this, as the author implies that the a fair share of the lion's time has been wasted to a degree, and he/she doesn't feel happy/comfortable with the body and mind that has been created for him/her for the next journey in life.

    there is also sexual innuendo, which i'll leave you to figure out. there is so much more to this song, but i'm bored of writing now and have other shit to do.

    does anyone agree?
    makepeaceon July 09, 2012   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationI DEFINITELY don't think this is about a person in an actual coma....

    i personally think the "lion in a coma" is some sort of destructive/powerful/aggressive, lion-like force that the singer tries to suppress within himself. the suppression of the "lion" in himself makes him anxious like when a person with ADD tries to sit still: "my nervous tick has capped a lip, my cheeks are chewed down to the bit."
    this pent-up aggression, also referred to as "wilderness," is "up in [his] head" and could be released sexually by "taking the wilderness out of [his] clothes and into [his] bedroom."
    it almost sounds like a bipolar disorder that the singer is trying to keep under control, as expressed in that WHOLE unsure stanza where the singer sounds like he's fighting with himself and "feels fine" only "sometimes [when] the sun will shine." the entire stanza sounds like fighting with oneself over a possible bipolarity:
    "sometimes the sun will shine
    yes i am just feelin' fine
    sometimes i'm not aware
    where I am or what i care
    sometimes i'm well-to-do
    but I don't know what to do
    sometimes i don't agree
    with my thoughts on being free"
    though bipolar, the singer desperately wants his very unstable good feelings to stay with him ("please don't leave me things that feel good")
    the agression in him, the "lion in a coma" wants to be expressed and is fighting to get out and "use his aching bones."
    MechaFrighton February 04, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis album has become my favorite thing to listen to when i'm on psychedelics. Through my trips i've created these surreal realities that I literally appear in every time I listen to a song, very visual and colorful, they feel so surreal yet more real than life. I kind of want to share what this song feels like to me.

    Here's what I think, the title 'lion in a coma' is pretty much there to create dual meanings for the lyrics. I see this song in a 'lying in a coma' kind of way, but that's just me.
    Everytime I hear this song I think of this psychotic-like state people find themselves in, when you've been alone for so long that you think you're going crazy, when your line of thought doesn't make sense to you, when you hear songs play in your mind, when you're on a psychedelic. when you're in a coma.

    I think this song is about a man's amazing near-death experience while he's in a coma, choosing life over death.
    I see this man lying in a coma, completely aware of himself but unable to move or even think properly, talking to himself in his mind while being in this psychedelic, near death coma world. The first verse is totally random and can be viewed as random thoughts that pop in his mind, these quick image flashes may be life flashing before his eyes. And all that goes through his mind is "what the fuck am i thinking?! It's wild in my head!" (this wilderness up in my head)
    He might even have an old tune run through his mind during his thought shitstorm (this rhythm that's up in my head)

    Then, at some point this man's thought slows down and he understands where he is. He is in a coma. But it's okay, his mind works, he's not crazy. Now it's just a matter of time until he gets better and is able to move again. But he wants to go home so bad, to get out of these hospital clothes and go back to his BEDROOM! But this moment seems to last forever, so long that he starts freaking out. Repeating things to himself to calm down, "i'm just lying in a coma, i'm just lying in a coma, ta tara tara tara ta ta..." humming a little melody to make time go by faster. "i'm just lying in a coma, i'm just lying in a coma, dun dum dum drum"

    then all of a sudden MINDSHIFT (you know, like when you don't want to think about something and your mind is clear for a while - and then this freaking thought just jumps in your mind and starts a whole cycle of thinking about whatever) that's what it sounds like to me when these lyrics start
    "Sometiiiiiimes the sun will shine, yes I am just doin fine. Sometimes i'm not aware where I am or what I care" (reflecting on his life perhaps)

    So this man drifts back into his near death psychedelic coma state, the mind starts racing again, he's going deep into this other world
    "PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE DON'T LEAAAVE ME" (realizes that he might not come out of the coma and just die, realizes he doesn't want to die, wants his mind (or spirit) to come back from the death)
    "things that feel good, i've been lucky to feel good" (feeling good may refer to being alive, not worrying about death, this man starts appreciating life)

    Then he sets his mind straight again realizes he's just in a coma, repeating it
    Lying in a coma, lying in a coma, *having brief quick thoughts of some things* (like the fine aroma) but he keeps them out by repeating to himself that he's just in a coma, lying in a coma lying in a coma, he's afraid of going into the realm of death, he can't let his mind drift (reminds me a little of trying to stay out of a bad trip on acid)
    so he goes on... repeating it to himself, hoping to stay alive, lying in a coma lying in a coma, lion in a coma, lying in a coma, lying in a coma, lying in a coma, lion in a coma, lion in a coma, lion in a coma?

    don't keep a lion in a coma.


    It's a pretty sad ending I think, because we don't know if this man got out of his coma. For all we know he's now a vegetable, with his mind trapped in his body set on this endless loop of thought. Lion in a coma.

    listen to the song thinking the same way, tell me what you think
    Ronz0ron May 02, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentwaitin for liner notes for this one. great song though. odd that this song has been getting a lot of hate...i mean folks seems to think that this is the weakest track on the album i love it! it reminds me of spirit-era AC
    funyanxon December 30, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commentobviously a song about a man named Lion N. Uhcoma lying in a coma.
    TehMadCowon January 07, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentit's definitely about having a lot of feelings, ideas, aggressions, thoughts stuck inside yourself and just wanting to let loose. "light a leaf" describes one way to let your lion our of its coma (drugs), it talks about music (is there no reason it can be the way it was musically, my three best friends so casually just letting go so joyfully) and sex (this wilderness needs to get out of my clothes and get into my bedroom) as other ways of letting loose and releasing whatever pent-up emotions you may have.
    holycrapoctopuson February 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationoh i also forgot to mention that it sounds like music is the singer's release of this lion, as music is often cathartic:
    "is there no reason it can't be
    the way it was musically
    my three best friends so casually
    just letting go so joyfully?"



    my boyfriend is very bipolar and very aggressive and he fights himself constantly to try to stay in control and stay stable, and suppressing that part of him makes him really anxious because its so much energy that he's trying to deny in himself. sometimes he can't get a handle of it and he gets really violent. downers and sex help him release his destructive tension, and making music also helps him stay in control, any type of release like that. I know my boyfriend feels oppressed by himself for keeping his own lion in a coma
    MechaFrighton February 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Lion in a coma" is also a play on words of "lying in a coma"
    LunaFlyon June 17, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNot going to pick apart the song line for line or anything, but what I get from it is that the Lion in a Coma is sort of a metaphor for a libido or some sort of desire...whether it's negative or positive to me doesn't really matter but it seems more positive to me. Avey's talking about just letting go and letting all of his energy out...maybe.
    TomPowers724on June 20, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song seems to about the frustrating and morally questionable life of a musician. The first verse is a narrative about waiting for the band's turn to perform (in Chinatown, presumably), and the writier wishing it were "not so brief." The leaf he burns might be marijuana, but I'm guessing sage or something like that, which he uses to alieviate the sickly state he is in. The wilderness in the speaker's head is likely a slew of chaotic thoughts, dream-like in their sequence and cadence, which he recognizes are a product of his lack of sleep. He wants to put them to rest, but such is the life of a performer, that he must trudge forward.
    In the second verse the writer is doubting his current feelings about his life. He admits that music and his band have gotten complicated, and wonders why it stopped being so fun. He considers that his "dearest dreams" are not much in the way of dreams, but recognizes that he must remember his roots and keep faith in his gift and love of music.
    The line "lion in a choma" probably means that the writer feels as though he is "lyin' in a coma" (Animal Collective play with words like that. Eg: Sports brother/ support your brother), able to observe but unable to participate. A performer is beholden to so many people that it can feel as though you have no control over your life, and I think the writer is trying to shake this feeling, and to feel good about his station in the world again.
    I think.
    10ofalltradeson December 06, 2009   Link

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