As soon as I got on the horse, I forgot about the math.
Forgot about the odds against an adolescent standing up to all of Owen's wrath.
The heat of prairie summer, impossible to take.
I grab the hem and lift the fabric over my sweet head.
I know what you're looking for, and I'm never gonna give it to you.
I'm never gonna give it to you.
I'm never gonna give it to you.

Government rule established by a dazzling light show.
A hegemony armoured with a thousand-watt head and seven inches of echo.
I keep up my velocity, my spurs are in her sides.
I don't know what I'm doing, and it is the only way.
Toward the range I'll ride, singing, I'm never gonna give it to you.
I'm never gonna give it to you.
I'm never gonna give it to you.

"I am overrated," said the sculptress to the sea.
"I've been praised for all the ways the marble leaves the man, and I was wrong to try and free him."
And as for me, I am a vector, I am muscle, I am bone.
The sun upon my shoulders and the horse between my legs,
This is all I know.

My senses are bedazzled by the parallax of the road.
I concentrate to keep contained the overflow.
My knuckles grip so tightly, my fingers start to bleed.
If what I have is what you need,

I'm never gonna give it to you.
I'm never gonna give it to you.
I'm never gonna give it to you.

I'm never gonna give it to you.
I'm never gonna give it to you.
I'm never gonna give it to you.

I'm never gonna give it to you.
I'm never gonna give it to you.
I'm never gonna give it to you.

I'm never gonna give it to you.
I'm never gonna give it to you.
I'm never gonna give it to you.


Lyrics submitted by Cheshired

Lewis Takes Off His Shirt song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentIf there was ever greatness put into one song.....this is that song. Seeing him perform this live was truelly an enlightening experience. Thank You Owen Pallett
    ATDIadherenton November 23, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentJUST SAYING. Best video ever: youtube.com/…
    batesjc1on December 06, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthis performance live in Qtv with his violin and a guy named Taylor nailed it for me.awesomeness!
    awindofsuchviolenceon June 12, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGuys, I think the line "A hegemony armored with a thousand watt head and seven inches of echo" is about a penis.

    Owen is openly gay, after all, so it makes sense.

    Hegemony (“leadership”, “rule”) is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon (leader state) rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than by direct military force – by intervention and occupation.

    He uses this word metaphorically to enlighten the listener to the dominant nature of this particular encounter.

    "Armored with a thousand-watt head"

    The sensation he feels on the receiving end of this penis is 'electrifying', so to speak.

    "and seven inches of echo"

    The remaining length of the penis, or the 'echo'.

    This particular line always baffled me, and this just dawned on me the other day while pondering it.

    Thoughts?
    symphonyofcolorson June 05, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationWhen i listen to this song I well up every time. I'm not sure why but the lyrics and music fill me with overwhelming emotion I'm talking big manly tears. To me its about his passions and goals and pride in himself and who he truly is. He strives to be like the humble sculptress but he has doubts in himself, because after all he's only human. he doesn't know what he's doing, but he cant imagine being anyone but who he is. His ambition to stay true to himself keeps him going though. he won't submit to ego, he won't submit to even himself (owen's wrath meaning that he is incredibly hard on himself) The little beauties on his journey keep his spirits high but in a world that want's him to be someone else he must maintain who he is and what he wants. The world wants a different person, but he's never going to give it to them.

    This is one of many ways to look at it though. Many many other ways to think about it. Owen's writing is so profound and layered with meanings. I love it. He is truly a genius.
    Eludiacon February 01, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favorite from Heartland. 'The Great Elsewhere' comes very close though to being my favorite though.
    littleghost3on December 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is fantastic. My favorite from Heartland.
    littleghost3on January 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a word which is massively overused but this album is so epic, it's like a fantastic heartfelt film score with wonderful lyrics to boot.
    choggspacedon May 29, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThe line "I've been praised for all the ways the marble leaves the man, and I was wrong to try and free him." brings Michelangelo to mind. He once said that he didn't sculpt, but that he simply removed the parts of the stone which were not of the shape already embedded in the rock. I wonder if he chose this reference for a particular purpose. In my mind, Lewis is a character he created in a story or through a roleplaying session of some kind, who is a part of himself and yet unreachable.
    jblovlosson January 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Government rule established by a dazzling light show.
    A hegemony armoured with a thousand-watt head and seven inches of echo."

    To me this sounds like a performance that isn't really reaching anyone in a meaningful way–it's "dazzling," but it has "seven inches of echo," and creates this self-absorbed persona. If that's what he meant, I'm glad he doesn't want that.
    chrisb140on July 21, 2013   Link

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