The leafless tree looked like a brain
The birds within were all the thoughts and desires within me
Hoppin' around from branch to branch
Or snug in their nests listenin' in

An eagle came over the horizon
And shook the branches with its sight
The softer thoughts: starlings, finches, and wrens
The softer thoughts, they all took flight

The eagle looked clear through the brain tree
Emptying thoughts saved for me
Maybe I'll make this one my home, consolidate the nests of the tiny
Raise a family of might like me

Then something struck him, wings of bone
Sweet desires and soft thoughts were all gone
The eagle shrieked,
"I'm alone"

Well it was time to flee the tree
The eagle snuck up on the wind one talon at a time
Being Sky King of the sky
What did he have to fear?

All thoughts are prey to some beast
All thoughts are prey to some beast
All thoughts are prey to some beast
All thoughts are prey to some beast
All thoughts are prey to some beast
All thoughts are prey to some beast

Sweet desire and soft thoughts, return to me
Sweet desire and soft thoughts, return to me
Sweet desire and soft thoughts, return to me
Sweet desire and soft thoughts, return to me

Sweet desire and soft thoughts, return to me
Sweet desire and soft thoughts, return to me
Sweet desire and soft thoughts, return to me
Sweet desire and soft thoughts, return to me


Lyrics submitted by askforgiveness, edited by smallwonderrobot

All Thoughts Are Prey to Some Beast song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI think the beast is dependent on the thought. The wind is the beast to the eagle. The eagle could be depression, or perhaps existential angst, and how it drives away the sweet thoughts shows how it can consume a person. Deep stuff, this Bill Callahan ...
    Aoshieon December 24, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentC'mon guys. This is just like a lot of his other songs. The whole thing is a metaphor for the feelings one experiences in a relationship. This is the very same premise he covers in No Dancing. At first he's warm and happy with his soft thoughts until the Eagle (infidelity, jealousy and the need to be free) comes in and takes over the soft feelings.

    Bill breaks horses, he doesn't tend to them,
    figuranton August 19, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song makes me think of depression, and how it can eliminate all thoughts of happinness, or become so overbearing that you forget about everything, and it's a call for it to leave and everything else to come back. Love this album.
    wherestherealskyon September 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwho's the beast?
    TheWrongGirlon December 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe eagle is the king of the sky, means the lord of the place, but is alone.
    hi6ueraon April 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correction'Emptying thoughts saved for me' should be "Empty" he thought "save for me"

    I don't think there's a specific beast. There's that idea in the animal kingdom all predators are prey to something. So the thought/desire/ideal which is as dominating to 'lesser' thoughts [lesser in what way?] As an Eagle is to a wren is not infallible. This could be interpreted any number of ways. No thoughts are ultimately dominant, it's easy to be distracted regardless of intent, an external psychological item deemed to be of the utmost importance may not be to some minds, concentrating solely on one thing can cause the other inhabitants. Of you mind to give way...
    hushlittlenightmareon July 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment...Sweet desires and soft thoughts, all gone...

    The death of hope in 7 words; wonderful
    voltianon December 16, 2015   Link

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