"Paperback Head" as written by and Sara Keirsten Quin Tegan Rain Quin....
You have to become what you fancy.
Paperback head, you get carried away.
Stitch up your spine to
Keep the suitors away.

Must draw your own aid.
Must sift your affairs.
Must frame up a material girl.

Wild fires, you must remit.
Can't stand the smoke, pull
The sheets down low,
Rope up your mind, keep
The suitors in line.

Must draw your own aid.
Must sift your affairs.
Must frame up a material girl.
A material girl.

I gasp, like sugar and spice
I gasp, like sugar and spice
Who better than you?
Better than you?
Who better than you?
Better than you?
Who better than you?
Better than you?
Who better than you?

Paperback head, you got carried away.
Stitch up your spine to
Keep the suitors away.
Can't stand the smoke, pull
The sheets down low,
Rope up your mind, keep
The suitors in line

Must draw your own aid.
Must sift your affairs.
Must frame up a material girl.
A material girl.
A material girl.
A material girl.


Lyrics submitted by srsizzy

"Paperback Head" as written by Sara Quin Tegan Quin

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Paperback Head song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI don't know about anyone else but I hear, "Must frame UP a material girl."
    jasonchriston October 25, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthere is exactly what's in the cd booklet:

    You have to become what you fancy. Paperback head, you get carried away. Stitch up your spine to keep the suitors away. Must draw your own aid. Must sift your affairs. Must frame up a material girl. Wild fires, you must remit. Can’t stand the smoke, pull the sheets down low, rope up your mind, keep the suitors in line. I gasp, like sugar and spice, who better than you?
    TheWrongGirlon November 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI interpret this song to be about being/becoming/staying a role model. Like; not making an ass of yourself when stuff goes bad - particularly in front of people you're not really close too- and trying to deal with things in a more "appropriate matter" than what seems natural to you. And also having a hard time with being a role model.

    Also it's also got, with 'material girl', well - it's like they're saying it's unrealistic (to be a perfect person/material girl") and also that it's not necessarily the "right" thing to do- it's what the standard or cultural ideal is. Because material is what's also thought of as fake, not meaningful.

    But that's if it's about their point of view (I think someone said Sara wrote it, but I've also heard they both wrote it too - so I've said they).
    Chickenzeeon March 19, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think the key to understand this song is: a paperback head that has to frame up a material girl. Paperbacks are cheap version of books compared to a hard cover book.
    (Paperback editions of books are issued when a publisher decides to release a book in a low-cost format. Cheaper paper, glued bindings, and the lack of a hard cover contribute to the lower cost of paperbacks. Paperbacks can be the preferred medium when a book is not expected to be a major seller or where the publisher wishes to release a book without putting forth a large investment. Examples include many novels, and newer editions or reprintings of older books.)
    I think this song is about having a paperback head / mindset but having the needs of a material girl.
    Then this song could mean two things:
    1) You/ (the singer itself) are yourself a material girl. A paperback head but the body/ needs of a material girl.
    2) You want to be in a relationship with a material girl So you need to “frame up a material girl”. This could fit with the song referencing to material girl of Madonna. Which is basically a song about how a material girl only dates “material” boys.
    Indications for these interpretation are also you have to become what you fancy. The album is also Sainthood where you try to work/ devote yourself to change/ to be better.
    - I gasp like sugar and spine might be about the difficulty to resists the actual needs of being a material girl and to ask who is better at resisting this needs of being a material girl.
    - I gasp in my needs ,who is better than you paperback head  who is better than me as a partner?
    - Paperback head you got carried away, paperback head you spend too much
    - Paperback head you got carried away: paperback mind set you had it wrong
    - Stitch up your spine to: means become a hardcover book to keep the suitors ( the love rivals) away
    - Stich up your spine to keep the suitors away in combination with draw your own aid might also mean you have to become a hard cover in order to not have to rely on others financially (suitors).
    Clean Alligatoron June 01, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou're a book to other people, a paperback head.

    you've got to "stitch up your spine" -- get some backbone, don't let the others take advantage of you

    it's about learning/growing independence from others, and becoming yourself. if that means singling yourself out from the rest of society, then so be it -- "pull the sheets down low"
    AlecsPenon December 30, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"You must draw your own day, must sift your offense (?)"

    ^ this line is definitely wrong. thought maybe "draw your own name," but it's not name. I don't know.
    srsizzyon October 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOpening line:
    "You have to become what your fans see"


    Think this might've been one of Sara's Britney-influenced writing sessions.
    cmano13on October 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdefinitely saying "you must draw your own name", I hear the m sound pretty clearly some of the times.
    and possibly "you must sift your affairs"?
    flyingxponyon October 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"you have to become what you fancy" ?
    Hambaharion October 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmust draw your own aid

    and must frame UP a material girl
    auntiemoweenon October 29, 2009   Link

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