"Bear" as written by and Peter Joseph Silberman....
There's a bear inside your stomach
The cub's been kicking from within
He's loud, though without vocal chords
We'll put an end to him
We'll make all the right appointments
No one ever has to know
And then tomorrow I'll turn 21
We'll script another show
We'll play charades up in the Chelsea
Drink champagne although you shouldn't be
We'll be blind and dumb until we fall asleep
None of our friends will come
They dodge our calls
And they have for quite a while now
It's not a shock
You don't seem to mind and I just can't see how

We're too old
We're not old, old at all
Just too old
We're not old, old at all

There's a bear inside your stomach
The cub's been kicking you for weeks
And if this isn't all a dream
Well then we'll cut him from beneath
Well we're not scared of making caves
Or finding food for him to eat
We're terrified of one another
And terrified of what that means
But we'll make only quick decisions
And you'll just keep my in the waiting room
And all the while I'll know we're fucked
And not getting unfucked soon
When we get home we're bigger strangers than we've ever been before
You sit in front of snowy television, suitcase on the floor

We're too old
We're not old, old at all
Just too old
We're not old, old at all
Just too old
We're not old, old at all
Just too old
We're not old, old at all
Just too old
We're not old, old at all
Just too old
We're not old, old, old, old at all

Lyrics submitted by Normaljeansxxx

"Bear" as written by Peter Joseph Silberman

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Bear song meanings
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  • +5
    My InterpretationThis is just my personal interpretation, because I honestly think just saying "Bear is about abortion" throws the entire album out of whack. There's more to this song than first meets the eye.

    When you listen to Hospice, it's important to remember that there are two parallel stories being told. The first and most obvious is the story of the caretaker (the narrator) and the cancer patient (for simplicity's sake, lets call her "Sylvia"). This is used as an allegory to describe the complexities and eventual death of a relationship that Peter Silberman was in.

    While the lyrics to this song indicate an abortion, it would be quite irrelevant to the rest of the narrative to put a random abortion song smack-dab in the middle of the album. Perhaps, as previous commentors have speculated, it was an abortion that was necessary to undergo cancer treatment, but let's not label this song "Abortion, abortion, abortion!" and move on, there's a bigger, more important picture here.

    How does an abortion tie in to the real-life story of Silberman's relationship? You could say that He and his girlfriend had an abortion, but that's far too simple, and certainly not information normal people flaunt to the public. It makes more sense that the abortion (just like the other events in the doctor/sylvia narrative) is simply an allegory for another event in the relationship.

    The rest of Hospice indicates that the real life Sylvia's mental/emotional problems (the cancer) and Silberman's inability to help her deal with them ("Cure her") is what tears apart their relationship. In the narrative, we have an abortion, and this strains the doctor/patient relationship (When we get home we're bigger strangers than we've ever been before/You sit in front of snowy television, suitcase on the floor)Think of it this way: An abortion is snuffing out life from inside a woman, something inside of her dying. Something inside of our real-life Sylvia has died, perhaps the last thing left that made Peter love her, now all that remains is negativity.
    amobishoprodenon June 30, 2012   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningI agree with evasinclair- the song's definately about abortion.

    I think the chorus "Just too old. We're not old, old at all." might have to do with the paradoxical relationship between the couple's sexual and emotional maturity.
    bigfatguy0254on April 07, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"Well we're not scared of making caves.
    Or finding food for him to eat.
    We're terrified of one another.
    And terrified of what that means."

    I find it hard to express in words how powerful those 4 lines are.
    Mole121on April 30, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFurthered Translation:

    First Verse:

    The bear is obviously a newly conceived fetus. Evidence stems from the "kicking" and "we'll put an end to him." This sort of mutual decision that the couple will be getting an abortion. This can be supported by "we'll make all the right appointments no one ever has to know."

    The next deals with the sort of social ramifications of being young parents. They are "scripting another show" because they are both worried about what is going on, but at the same time they have to keep composure. "Turning 21" reveals that the narrator is a young father and "drink champagne although you shouldn't be" adds further foundation that the significant other is indeed carrying a child.

    Their friends are avoiding them simply out of social context and wanting to distance themselves from people who have made poor decisions.


    The narrator becomes very duplicitous at this point. You can look at the idea of that being 21 is a responsible age to have a child, that the couple is coping out for strictly social reasons.

    Second Verse:

    Without being mundane, "cutting a bear from underneath" can only mean one thing. My explanation of the chorus can further be supported by the line, "we're not scared of making caves or finding food for him to eat, we're terrified of one another and terrified of what that means."

    I have had a bit of a revelation that in the end the procedure never happens. The line "I'll know we're fucked and not getting unfucked soon" can be taken that to be "fucked" means to be pregnant and if they aren't getting "unfucked soon" maybe it was her quick decision that changed the plan.l

    wyliekyleon July 26, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song confuses me so much. If it were taken out of the context of Hospice, it would almost undeniably be about a couple getting an abortion. But with Hospice in particular, I think the themes and concepts of the album as a whole are more important than the individual lyrics and what you can draw from them. I feel like this song isn't meant to be taken literally, although if you do, it could really easily be about getting an abortion.

    The opening notes sound like 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star', the most common child's lullaby - even if it's not supposed to be about an actual abortion, the allusion to such a famous ode to childhood is kind of brilliant.

    Hospice is beautiful and hearbreaking; I really only listen to it as a whole, and I think that's the way it works the best.
    girschwinon February 19, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't know why people think this song is about cancer. It's clearly about an abortion.

    ChopperDave13on July 28, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's not so deep... It's beautiful but the meaning is an easy one. Abortion.
    sittingprittyon December 06, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm pretty sure this is more of a flashback to perhaps before his wife (everyone calls her his wife) got cancer. It's obviously about abortion, and it wouldn't make sense any other way than for it to be some sort of memory.
    JustThinkOfUson January 07, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe this song is about a simple unplanned birth.
    The bear represents a baby that neither of them wanted, but either they're families moral values were against getting an abortion. And now that they come home with a baby, they are forever inseparable.
    Also, he is still only 21, and that makes them too young to be regular parents in the typical american standards. And, with the addition of the bear, they appear to be too old to their old in their friends' eyes.
    kgibbson May 08, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEven though Bear seems out of context with the rest of the album, I still think it's about abortion rather than cancer. Hospice isn't just about cancer anyways, its about a couple's desendence into turmoil, which revolves mainly around the girl's "cancer" (who knows it its real or just a metaphor)but maybe abortion could be another problem they were faced with at somepoint. At first the couple continues to live irresponsibly and dismisses the problem of pregnancy by deciding to get rid of it ("we'll put an end to him")but after it's done they are hit with the consequences of their rash decision ("When we get home we're bigger strangers than we've ever been before"). Very interesting to hear it from a guy's perspective. It seems like he can grasp the situation better than the girl can and knows what they are in for desite acting irresponsibly along with his girlfriend. The chorus confuses me a little but maybe it has something to do with the alternate title "children become their parents become their children." They are in a situation where they will have to grow up and become caretakers if they have the baby, but at the same time they are just too immature.
    xchelsx3on May 31, 2011   Link

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