"We Don't Eat" as written by and James Mcmorrow....
If this is redemption, why do I bother at all
There's nothing to mention, and nothing has changed
Still I'd rather be working at something, than praying for the rain
So I wander on, till someone else is saved

I moved to the coast, under a mountain
Swam in the ocean, slept on my own
At dawn I would watch the sun cut ribbons through the bay
I'd remember all the things my mother wrote

That we don't eat until your father's at the table
We don't drink until the devil's turned to dust
Never once has any man I've met been able to love
So if I were you, I'd have a little trust

Two thousand years, I've been in that water
Two thousand years, sunk like a stone
Desperately reaching for nets
That the fishermen have thrown
Trying to find, a little bit of hope

Me I was holding, all of my secrets soft and hid
Pages were folded, then there was nothing at all
So if in the future I might need myself a savior
I'll remember what was written on that wall

That we don't eat until your father's at the table
We don't drink until the devil's turned to dust
Never once has any man I've met been able to love
So if I were you, I'd have a little trust

Am I an honest man and true
Have I been good to you at all
Oh I'm so tired of playing these games
We'd just be running down
The same old lines, the same old stories of
Breathless trains and, worn down glories
Houses burning, worlds that turn on their own

So we don't eat until your father's at the table
We don't drink until the devil's turned to dust
Never once has any man I've met been able to love
So if I were you my friend, I'd learn to have just a little bit of trust


Lyrics submitted by kariboetje, edited by Sinako

"We Don't Eat" as written by James Mcmorrow

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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We Don't Eat song meanings
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  • +10
    My InterpretationI think the song is about a guy stepping away from the traditional beliefs of his family as well as his lingering struggles with the concepts of those beliefs.
    It starts out with the start of his doubts, the disappointment and dryness of this belief system and how he was just going about the actions of it, possibility telling others about it as part of his belief “saving them”.

    “If this is redemption, why do I bother at all?
    There's nothing to mention, and nothing has changed
    Still I'd rather be working at something, than praying for the rain
    So I wander on, until someone else is saved”

    The next verse is about him breaking away, he’s left, seemingly on a journey of self discovery. And in his pensive mood he reflects on what his mother wrote to him.

    “moved to the coast, under a mountain
    Swam in the ocean, slept on my own
    At dawn I would watch the sun cut ribbons through the bay
    I'd remember all the things my mother wrote”

    The chorus is what she writes. It paints a picture of his traditional family. They say grace, as in Father (God) is at the table, they don’t consume alchohol. Im a bit unsure about the “never once has any man I’ve met been able to love” Perhaps shes says that dispite the things that they suppose to do she has never met a man who able to do them all the time (giving his grace telling him no ones perfect). The “love” i think is what she calls him. Like “no one can, love”. The way he sings it matches with that meaning of “love”.

    “That we don't eat until your father's at the table
    We don't drink until the devil's turned to dust
    Never once has any man I've met been able to love
    So if I were you, I'd have a little trust”

    The two thousand years verse seems to clarify the reference to Christianity (or a something like Mormons or Jehovah’s witnesses) and his struggle with belief and his hope and desperation in trying to believe as he listens to people trying to convince him (fishermen is a biblical reference to “fishers of men” spreading the word of God).

    "Two thousand years, I've been in that water
    Two thousand years, sunk like a stone
    Desperately reaching for nets
    That the fishermen have thrown
    Trying to find, a little bit of hope"

    The next verse is a confession of secrets he held (possibly sin) which he has softened the truth off to himself and hid from others. He then turns a page on this belief and the sin was no longer a sin. He goes on to say that he knows if he does ever need a saving grace he can always go back to the belief and his family, and the thing that reminds him of this is what his mother wrote... The thing that was written on that wall is the chorus

    "Me, I was holding all of my secrets soft and hid
    Pages were folded, then there was nothing at all
    So if in the future I might need myself a savior
    I'll remember what was written on that wall"

    (notice the “That” at the start of the chorus which links it with the previous verse)

    "That we don't eat until your father's at the table
    We don't drink until the devil's turned to dust
    Never once has any man I've met been able to love
    So if I were you, I'd have a little trust"

    The last verse seems to me as if it’s a brother/friend who he has discussed his struggles with. The brother/friend is saying that he is tired of going around in circles with the things they argue about, covering various topics such as human progress, war, science etc.

    "Am I an honest man and true?
    Have I been good to you at all?
    Oh I'm so tired of playing these games
    We'd just be running down
    The same old lines, the same old stories of
    Breathless trains and, worn down glories
    Houses burning, worlds that turn on their own"

    And the brother/friend finishes with the last chorus being the same sentiment as the mother. I guess seeking reconciliation and asking him to come back. (notice the use of the word “so” to link it again with the previous verse and the use of “friend” which is why I think this is from someone other than his mother or himself)

    "So we don't eat until your father's at the table
    We don't drink until the devil's turned to dust
    Never once has any man I've met been able to love
    So if I were you my friend, I'd learn to have just a little bit of trust"

    It’s a beautiful song and the enigmatic lyrics that find a place to sit in each person’s heart individually. I’d love to hear what others think about my interpretation and if you can add anything.
    Enjoy the song!

    Ryconon December 04, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI'm surprised no one else has commented on this song yet. I think it's just awesome. To me, it's about someone whose been searching for faith in God throughout their life and then goes on to talk about humanity searching for the last 2000 years for God. I think the statements about "We don't eat until your father's at the table, We don't drink until the devil's turned to dust" is about doing things with faith/trust even though we don't entirely understand it. Anyone else have ideas about this song?
    warthog3on November 12, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationThis song is fantastically beautiful. Someone earlier mentioned that they didn't understand the line:

    "Never once has any man I've met been able to love, so if I were you I'd have a little trust".

    This is a very eloquent way of saying that humans will always let us down. We are not perfect, and we are not capable of loving the way God does. So, it's important to trust the Lord who loves us unconditionally and will never let us down.
    *MadeForThis*on May 02, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI hear a man or woman who was brought up to believe/live one way and has hope to break free from all that he learned about himself from his family. He is asking others to trust that he can make the break...i.e. change what appears as a predestination of sorts. Seriously, though, I have no clue as this song doesn't seem easy to comprehend.
    TurnMeOnon November 05, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI think that this song is from the perspective of somebody that had a Christian upbringing, but fell away as he got older. As he began to become less naive to the suffering and troubles of the world, he started to question the plausibility of religion. Yet despite this, he is drawn back.

    "If this is redemption, why do I bother at all
    There's nothing to mention, and nothing has changed
    Still I'd rather be working at something, than praying for the rain
    So I wander on, till someone else is saved"

    He feels as though worship is empty, without meaning. He has nothing to 'mention' to God in prayer and sees no result from his attempts at it. He'd rather try to make his way in life by his own effort (wander on), and won't trust in God unless he sees some grand miracle or effect in some other religious person (someone else is saved).

    "I moved to the coast, under a mountain
    Swam in the ocean, slept on my own
    At dawn I would watch the sun cut ribbons through the bay
    I'd remember all the things my mother wrote"

    He isolates himself by going out to nature in order to clear his head and think, without all of modern life's distractions. The religious upbringing from his mother starts to come back to him as he is struck by the beauty of nature. Hans urs Van Balthasar comes to mind here (a theologian). He wrote about how man can come to God through Beauty first, and then to the True and the Good hopefully (these are the three transcendentals of being).

    "That we don't eat until your father's at the table
    We don't drink until the devil's turned to dust
    Never once has any man I've met been able to love
    So if I were you, I'd have a little trust"

    The chorus has beautiful imagery. Eating is one of the most basic ways people sustain themselves. But even this is not possible without our God ("father at the table"). In traditional monotheism, God is the first cause in an essentially ordered series - that is, the entire universe is sustained by him here and now. Drinking, particularly alcohol, is a symbol of celebration, of joy and pleasure. Until one has "turned the devil to dust" - has overcome their temptations and sins, and placed their life with God - they cannot be joyful. Finally, no human is capable of pure love, as love is of the divine. A love that seeks only the good of other cannot be achieved by humans, whose intentions are always mixed with some self-interest. Yet, we see in our lives moments of love, however broken, that point us towards a pure love. Despite all of the ills of the world that make religion so difficult to come to, he is finding there is no other satisfying explanation for the strands beauty and love in the world. So he has trust, despite the things that don't make sense - in a way, he throws up his hands, unable to understand God's inscrutable will, but unable to abandon God.

    "Two thousand years, I've been in that water
    Two thousand years, sunk like a stone
    Desperately reaching for nets
    That the fishermen have thrown
    Trying to find, a little bit of hope"

    Strong biblical allusions here. In the Gospel (Matt 14:25-33), Jesus walks on the water and calls to Peter and the disciples who are on a boat. Peter initially is able to walk on water towards Jesus, until he sees the wind and becomes afraid, starting to sink before Jesus catches him. The narrator feels as though in his own spiritual life he sank into the water, but was not rescued, falling to the very bottom.

    "Am I an honest man and true
    Have I been good to you at all
    Oh I'm so tired of playing these games
    We'd just be running down
    The same old lines, the same old stories of
    Breathless trains and, worn down glories
    Houses burning, worlds that turn on their own"

    He wonders here why he has not been 'pulled up from the water' by Christ, so to say, questioning why he is is unhappy or why the circumstances of his life have come about. Has he been a bad person? Has he offended God somehow? He can't reconcile his troubles, and others' suffering as well, with a God who is supposed to be all-powerful and loving.

    The final chorus repeats the main message: We don't really have another option but to trust in God despite our inability to understand. To expand from the song a bit; we are led to God in many ways: metaphysical arguments, beauty and love in the world, existential considerations. When something devastating happens (a school shooting, a loved one dying of cancer, prolonged depression) these can seem like little support. We question God, and finding his response absent or inadequate, may leave behind religion as merely wishful thinking, something we can no longer believe now that our eyes have been opened to tragedy. Yet, the best we can do as humans is to continue to trust in God, for He is the very ground of our being.
    DgDeBxon November 21, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAbsolutely gorgeous.
    jdurhamon April 28, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think its about loosing faith or loosing your religion. the impermanence of all things and leaving something behind to begin anew. its bittersweet.
    whedonist21on November 05, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about the presence of God in all things, and that when we are willing to take the time to look we realize His presence. I think this song also discusses the doubt that we all face in our spiritual lives, but God is always there to embrace us and to bring us back to him!
    Godsaveson February 23, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentStill no additional comments? This song is gorgeous. It's such a special song.
    spinachsaladon December 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSimply an incredible piece in lyrics; vocals; delivery; etc. Very impressed w/ this song!
    wholelottawomanon December 04, 2011   Link

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