Wake up
Put on my riot gear
But in the study of my house
I've got a smoking jacket passed to me from Grand Daddy
It's made of bow and arrow meat

Do do do do do do
Do do do do do do

Come home
Take off my riot gear
Put on my smoke jacket
But in the library of my house I have a laugh
Medieval jokes are just as funny now
If you've got a degree

Heaven help the ones who know
What makes the world go slow

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock

The night comes
Time to go on the town
And in my best
Sashimi dress
And marble arch supporting shoes
I am a vision in my horse-drawn tank

Da da da da da da
Da da da da da da

Stay out
Drinking into the night
And they are saying those same things
And I'm like "Ha, ha, ha, hee, hee, hee"
'Til half-past three
And then it's time for me to go

Heaven help the ones who know
What makes the world go slow
What makes the world go slow

Come home
Take off my tuna dress
Put on my collard greens
And in my sleep
What dreams may come
Before I'm woken by alarms
Put on my riot gear



Lyrics submitted by incurable_humanist

Riot Gear song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment"...for in that sleep of death what dreams may come..."

    act III, scene I, of Shakespeare's "Hamlet"
    (from the "To be or not to be" part!)

    I wonder if she got her line from that?
    :)
    Wild Childon July 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy guess with the food product outfits is that they are descriptors. each contains a certain connotation that describes the outfit.
    "Bow and arrow meat" is not a common contemporary snack. if someone were to serve bow and arrow meat now, it would be seen as archaic and snobbish-- hunting not because one has to, but for sport. subsequently, her smoking jacket, like bow and arrow meat, is rustic, outdated, elitist
    "Sashimi" is a japanese dish. it’s thinly sliced raw fish. it is an acquired taste and is not the snack of the "everyday man.” thus, it is supposed to imply that the dress is pretentious, flashy, like the snob who orders sashimi to show how cultured she is
    the "marble arch supporting shoes" are not food products, but they do contain ironic juxtaposition. "arch supporting" implying comfort, yet marble is a very hard rock. also, it can be an allusion to ancient architecture, again asserting her pretension
    "tuna dress" is the previously mentioned sashimi
    and finally "collard greens". the “collard greens” are a sharp contrast to the flashy clothing (perhaps symbolic of her showy, haughty facade) she wears outside. collard greens are a staple in down-home southern cooking, made of cooked leafy stuff (like kale) with pieces of smoked meat mixed in. it’s not the kind of food one would order to impress someone at a fancy restaurant. it is more like food one’s mother would make. subsequently, when she’s home and in bed where no one can see her, she changes out of her pretentious facade and into the person she is comfortable being, her true self. “comfort food”, like the nightgown, is not intended to impress anyone. it is just nice. so when she sleeps is when she is at peace, allowing herself to be who she really is, instead of putting on a front for others.
    And of course the final outfit one must contemplate is the “riot gear” itself.
    ja.
    snailsandacokeon August 17, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that this song may be a portrait of power, a perspective on the lives of those who uphold the establishment.

    Eating exotic food (game killed with an arrow, tuna sashimi, staying out drinking with friends until half past three, being a vision in a horse drawn tank, and enjoying a Medieval joke in an family heirloom smoking jacket, thanks to an advanced degree. This is life at its elite, the inner circles of power. And the days consist of putting on the riot gear to maintain it.

    That brings me to the lines I haven't seen anyone mention, those that are central to the song: "Heaven help the ones who know/ What makes the world go slow" followed by the "tick tock" lines. To me, this is Regina extending her sympathies (or maybe cursing) those in power. They keep things orderly, moving apace through their painstaking routines. Tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock.

    And she throws in a Medieval joke in the end, by quoting Shakespeare, "what dreams may come."
    ljsenseon May 17, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlove this song sooo much :D
    not quite sure about the meaning yet though :S
    jo_taylor_joeon June 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm pretty sure it's "horse drawn tank", like a funny way of saying an SUV with horse power.

    This song just makes me think of fraternities or something. When I was half asleep I had a really random thought, I was thinking if maybe it's a sort of Paris Hilton type of person who leads a double life as a pretentious scholar.

    I have no clue I do know that love this song, though.
    HaverchuckTheStudon June 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's "I have a book" not laugh?
    julissaolion June 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about being a different person around different people/in different situations, hence all her outfits. She feels like she has to blend in, e.g. being amused by the guys who are saying 'those same things', and hides her true personality, which, I'm assuming, is the one in the library laughing at medieval jokes. I think part of it is about the devaluation of intelligence, 'if you've got a degree', and 'heaven help those who know what makes the world go slow'. Isn't it commonly said that unintelligent people are what makes the world go slow?

    But I could be wrong about all this.
    mister care-too-muchon June 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti get the pretentious feeling from this whole song as well, especially at the party, where she seems to laugh in such a perfect, cordial manner. the part that's stumping me is all the mention of food as clothing. a smoking jacket "made of bow and arrow meat", "sashimi (tuna) dress" and "collard greens"?

    also, what does she mean by riot gear? does she mean things one would wear to a riot, or is this some kind of fancy outfit i haven't heard of? :P
    raepheon June 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow. maybe i'm way off, but i got the impression that this was another futuristic song, like Machine and Consequence of Sounds.
    the sound of this song is happy, but the lyrics aren't. The narrator can't even leave the house without armor!

    in these lines:
    "But in the library of my house I have a laugh
    Medieval jokes are just as funny now
    If you've got a degree"
    nothing's allowed to be funny unless you have an education to explain why it's entertaining. Either that, or everything is over-analyzed. Even timeless jokes like "why did the chicken cross the road?" require a degree in order to be justified as funny.

    "The night comes
    Time to go on the town
    And in my best
    Sashimi dress
    And marble arch supporting shoes
    I am a vision in my horse-drawn tank"

    Everything is so calculated. Once it's night, the narrator knows it's "time to go" out to have a good time. She puts on her best dress (that sounds like some sort of sushi, though i don't know what Sashimi really is.)
    and the last line here is ironic, illustrating how there's no point to paying attention to your appearance when you can't even leave the house without entering armor and an army tank.
    there is also a comparison of the past, and the assumed future (or the present, in the case of this song).
    Rather than an old-fashioned horse and buggy, people need to travel in tanks. Regina spends a substantial amount of interview time on this subject: everyone's scared, nothing's safe, and the world is trying very hard to, well, suck. Ghost of Corporate Future, Consequence of Sounds, Machine, and arguably Pavlov's Daughter all support this.

    "Stay out
    Drinking into the night
    And they are saying those same things
    And I'm like "Ha, ha, ha, hee, hee, hee"
    'Til half-past three
    And then it's time for me to go"

    clearly, this good time isn't s enjoyable. the woman is just going through the motions, creating the image of someone enjoying their time in the bar (or wherever). The speaker isn't the only one faking a good time-she's hearing the same old jokes from more than one other party. This passage is ironic, too, because most people don't plan from early on in the day to stay out until 3:30 am. this is the result of having so much fun that you forget the time, not a calculated item on a strict schedule.

    "Heaven help the ones who know
    What makes the world go slow
    What makes the world go slow"

    i'm still working this out, but i think this person is basically calling attention to the fact that they're oblivious to why they're unhappy. time moves rather quickly when you're having fun, when you're passionate about what you're doing. Time moves slowly when you're waiting, when you're bored, and when you're not stimulated. It is implied in this passage that time is moving slowly for a vast majority. But "the ones who know" are those who are, presumably, on the "outside"--those who can see what the problem is with leading this shell of a life.

    "Come home
    Take off my tuna dress
    Put on my collard greens
    And in my sleep
    What dreams may come
    Before I'm woken by alarms
    Put on my riot gear"

    This final stanza shows that this is a cycle. Day in and day out, this woman lives the same meaningless, impersonal life.

    NOTE: Just re-read, and noticed a couple of overlooked lines:
    "what dreams way come
    before i'm woken by alarms"

    These lines say that people aren't meant to be this way. their brains seek out stimulation in the only way they can: dreams. everything is structured: sense of humor, literature, entertainment, travel, work. Even human interaction is staged and shallow. But the highlight of the day (or night) is during sleep. The only interest the narrator shows in her own life is her wondering about her dreams.

    That's my take on it, and comparing it to what others have already said, i guess i wasn't completely off the mark: While i think this song has a futuristic, bleak vibe, rather than being about a certain social set in today's society, they /are/ rather comparable. Maybe the year is 2559 A.D., and maybe it's not, but the message is the same: wake up, be you, and enjoy your life.

    Oh, and i just thought i'd add: FAR(T) ROCKS MY SOCKS!
    jazzy06792on June 30, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about the armor people put on everyday to protect themselves from others. Emotional, not physical.
    JustinPMon August 26, 2009   Link

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