"Man Named Truth" as written by and Conor Oberst....
Don't ever buy nothin' from a man named truth
Don't ever buy nothin' from a man named truth
I'll tell you right now that it ain't no use
Don't ever buy nothin' from a man named truth

Pain was a-huntin' me down but I gave him the slip
I left the city through the tunnel and i headed for the sticks
With oregano oil and a morphine drip
Pain was hunting me down but I gave him the slip

then I fell in love with identical twins
They lived 34 summers between the two of them
I gave one my ego, I gave one my id
Yeah, I gotta get back to my pretty little twins

Don't ever buy nothin' from a man named truth
Don't ever buy nothin' from a man named truth
I'll tell you right now that it ain't no use
Don't ever buy nothin' from a man named truth

I was lost for a year in those almond trees
The sun was rising in south and setting in the east
I was half-awake, I was half-asleep
I thought I'd never get out of those almond trees

So don't think too slow in the syrupy sun
You get buried alive when you're caught up in the cold (?)
Tapping your time on a congo drum
Don't think too slow in the syrupy sun

I met a black-skinned man with a ice cream grin
and a blond afghan with that heroin
we moved to the mountains where the highway ends
and I got myself that ice cream grin

So don't search too long for that Aztec gold
Like gold Cortez, gonna lose your soul
turn an honest man into Diablo
Don't trade your soul for no Aztec gold

Don't ever buy nothin' from a man named truth
Never buy nothin' from a man named truth
Look in my eyes and you see the proof
Don't ever buy nothin' from a man named truth


Don't ever buy nothin' from a man named truth
Don't ever buy nothin' from a man named truth
Don't ever buy nothin' from a man named truth
Don't ever buy nothin' from a man named truth


Lyrics submitted by saltandpepper, edited by Shooby88

"Man Named Truth" as written by Conor M Oberst

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Man Named Truth song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentMorphine drip <3
    AliElGiganteon September 17, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI figured I'd repost this as a general comment because I don't know if people read the reply comments, so sorry if this feels like spam.



    Ever seen someone use h? When they're nodding off there's this kind of "ice cream grin" going on, like a mouth fit for an ice cream cone. Go to youtube, I'm sure there's a video of someone nodding off. This whole song is about heroin in my opinion. I'm not just drawing from the obvious "met a blonde afghan with that heroin" but there's so much more to it.

    expressnightout.com/content/2009/09/…

    that has an amazing interview talking about each and every song by Mike Mogis. He says:

    That was one we actually did play as Bright Eyes a couple of times on our last tour. That was the first Monsters of Folk song that was ever written. We were playing "Morning Becomes Eclectic" [on KCRW] in California. We were on Bright Eyes Tour, M. Ward was opening and we said, "You should come play with us." On our way to there they stopped by - it was brutally early and Conor was hung-over – we stopped by this herbalist store, to try to get some sort of magical herb to make you feel good. The salesman, his name was Truth. We went back to KCRW and Conor was fucking around on guitar with Matt and they came up with that chord progression and refrain: "Never buy nothing from a man named truth," together as Matt and Conor, and we said right away: "That was going to be our first Monsters of Folk song." We tucked it away as a Monsters of Folk song, but Conor ended up finishing it. It was a collaborative effort for like the first two minutes of that song. This was two years before we got to recording anything for Monsters of Folk.

    I think the "herb" was actually opiates.. just my opinion though.
    NeedleInTheHay1990on October 08, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirst I'd like to say that this is an incredible song, and my clear favorite. But...
    I have no idea what an "ice cream grin" is. Anyone care to help?
    ACaricatureOfon September 28, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think this is about Osama bin Ladin, Afghanistan, and so forth. The "pretty little twins" are the twin towers. I think Osama is the narrator in this song, it has him moving to the mountains. I think he's comparing Afghanistan's riches (oil, opium poppies) to cortez' gold, and the US to Cortez. I assume The Man Named Truth is America. Truth, justice, and the American way, as they say.
    emueyeson October 08, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't think that this song has anything to do with Osama Bin Laden or America's trials against the middle east. I think a few terms were taken too literally.
    It's my belief that this song is based soley around drug addiction. Kind of breaking it down, it may make sense to go like this:
    Escaping pain and giving it the slip is refering to percription drug use.
    Ice cream grin is refering to a state of crack-cocaine drug use. Ice and ice cream are both slang for crack-cocaine.
    Blonde afghan is not related to a person in Afghanistan, it is refering to hash most commonly made there. Hash or hashish is categorized as blonde, brown or black. Think they're suggesting its laced with heroin...would also make sense since Afghanistan is one of the top producers of heroin if not the number one.
    Also I don't know the significance of almond trees but they are mainly grown in the US and came from asia...kind of doesn't make sense for the Osama theory...
    Syrupy sun to me would be the use of nyquil, to avoid a cold...but for some people, another source of a high.
    I think the Aztec gold part is refering to the search of the ultimate high and all you lose in the process of that and what you become.
    Looking in someone's eyes to see the proof goes well with drug use too because its usually a dead give away if they're blood shot or dialated.

    It wouldn't surprise me if I'm way off here, but I think I got atleast a few of the lines pegged down. Hope this helps!

    On another note, M.O.F. has become one of my all time favorite bands, great music from some great guys. Don't have enough good things to say about their music.
    JesBootson May 11, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDef about H! "Fell in love with identical twins" leads me to believe this, in combination with most of the lyrics in the song BC heroin is both morphine and codeine where as opioids/ates are either morphine OR codeine based. Half awake/half asleep is common of an opiate nod, especially dope!
    specialkatywon September 21, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with emueyes.

    After some short research, each tower of the World Trade center lived through exactly 34 summers so that just makes me believe it's about Bin Laden even more.
    kenyardon December 31, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthese lyrics are off by a landslide, here I'll correct a few.

    Pain was a-huntin' me down but I gave him the slip
    I left the city through the tunnel and I headed for the sticks


    Then I fell in love with identical twins
    They lived 34 summers between the two of them
    I gave one my ego, I gave one my id

    I was lost for a year in those almond trees
    The sun was rising in south and setting in the east

    We moved to the mountains where the highway ends
    and I got myself that ice cream grin
    bluetulipon September 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthese lyrics are correct! all the other versions of these lyrics have so many mistakes in them lol
    gazsafaon September 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Memory"You get buried alive when the caterpillar come"
    spiraler9on October 12, 2009   Link

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