"Shadow People" as written by and Frank Mcelroy Toby Leaman....
The rain is falling, it's after dark
The streets are swimming with the sharks
It's the right night for the wrong company
And there ain't nothing 'round here to look at
Move along, move along

The neon lights on Baltimore
Every shadow's getting famous
In some backyard, in some plastic chair
Hoping these cigarettes will save us
Here we go again
Here we go again

You got rings in your ears
And you got kicked around and made up
Looking high, looking low
Where did all the shadow people go?
Where did all the shadow people go?
I wanna know (Whoa!)
Where the shadow people go

I stole a bike from the 2ndd Mile
Saw a band play in the basement
I crossed the path of a friend of mine
And I know what that look upon her face meant
Something's gone from her eye
Something's gone wrong

You could be a woman or you could be a man
Wear the glove on the other hand
Or you could be twisted
Or you could be insane
Pushing the envelope against the grain
Just playing along
Just playing along

And I got something on my mind
And I got voices on the other line
Saying hi, saying hello
Where did all the shadow people go?
Where did all the shadow people go?
I wanna know where the shadow people go

Where the shadow people go
(Where did all the shadow people go?)
Where the shadow people go
(Where did all the shadow people go?)

Lyrics submitted by mattwood24

"Shadow People" as written by Frank Mcelroy Daniel Auerbach


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Shadow People song meanings
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  • +1
    Song Meaningmy interpretation of this song is about the music scene in west philadelphia. apparently he wrote this while looking out of the window from their hometown in philly..according to bottlerocket. the shadow people could be those that became famous, got somewhere, left the depressive routine. throughout the song he's asking where all of the shadow people went, because he doesn't know what it takes to reach his dreams...to cure the drought. there is a sort of depressive, negative tone throughout the whole song and the shadow people seem to be put up on a pedestal, they are identified as shadows because they aren't easily identifiable. "Hoping these cigarettes will save us" "There ain't nothin round here to look at" I can definitely relate to these lines, being that i'm from a small town wanting to get out. i dream of a time that i can "break free," if you will. i don't know, this is just my interpretation
    char1son May 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI so adore this song. I think it is about being yourself and trying not to be something you're not. Whatever the correct interpretaton is, I love it.
    splendidisolationon February 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentjust getting in to Dr. Dog but I read somewhere this is the songwriter's view from his West Philly apartment window. Most likely discussing the "wrong people" or drug dealers, etc. Love the upbeat piano it's almost ironic.

    This is my first Dr. Dog cd thought I would check them out since theyre from Philly and are described as psychedelic.

    bottlerocket88on April 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think it's safe to interpret this song is about death.. a dying world with people who are damaged from dying in it. what happens to all those dead? where do all the shadow people go?
    jessica0wnsy0uon May 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is definitely about growing up and living in West Philly, but it does suggest themes of "gentrification", the dreaded word.

    The Shadow People can most likely be understood as those who are not fit for society; the homeless, the drug addicts, that one creepy dude on the bus at 2:am. And Dr. Dog grew up around these kinds of people. They accepted it; it was a part of their hometown. Now, it seems that as "gentrification" begins to happen, as the overly-concerned middle class begin to completely take over, and as the neighborhood gets "cleaned up", there aren't as many shadow people, they're not around. And the singer is lamenting this change, he "wants to know where the shadow people go". The town which he loved is no longer the same without these shadow people. Where did they go?!

    This is certainly one of my favorite Dr. Dog songs, both musically and lyrically.
    jerthjjrtghkkwergkon June 04, 2015   Link

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