"Beginner's Mind" as written by and Conor Oberst....
Hold on tight beginners mind
The wheel is spinning too
Fast to make your move
The worst must be assumed
Oh how they'll try to pull and pry
Away what you know now
Beat and beat it out
Leave a drum that makes no sound

A snuff film on a jumbotron
For all the world to see

A cocktail napkin epitaph
Some psycho babel telegram
Message written in the sand
The tide rolls in

Swear you'll do the opposite
Of all those tangled hypocrites
Who say that the experiment has failed
Don't go there
You're getting nowhere
You're getting nowhere

Stay a while my inner child
I'd like to learn your tricks
To know what makes you tick
To nurse you when you're sick
Oh, how you've grown so cynical
Hard lines carved in your face
The sunshine's so cliche
Just like love and pain

You tried your best on the Rorschach test
But there's just nothing to see

Heard terabytes of a perfect pitch
Some universal elegance
Stack the seventh and the fifth
Along the grid

Swear you'll be the opposite
Of all the stilted hypocrites
You know what made you infamous to them, don't you
You keep starting over
You keep starting over
You keep starting over
You keep starting over
You keep starting over
You keep starting over

Hold on tight beginner's mind
The currents far too strong
It'll carry you along
'Til you're just like everyone

Stay a while my inner child
I'd like to learn your trick
To know what makes you tick
To nurse you when you're sick


Lyrics submitted by gazsafa

"Beginner's Mind" as written by Conor M Oberst

Lyrics © SONGS MUSIC PUBLISHING

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Beginner's Mind song meanings
Add your thoughts

14 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionHold on tight Beginner’s Mind
    The wheel is spinning too
    Fast to make your move
    The worst must be assumed
    Oh how they will try
    To pull and to pry
    Away what you know now
    Beat and beat it out
    Leave a drum that makes no sound

    A snuff film on a JumboTron for all the world to see

    A cocktail napkin epitaph
    A psychobabble telegram
    Message written in the sand
    The tide rolls in

    Swear you’ll do the opposite
    Of all those tangled hypocrites
    Who say that the experiment has failed
    Don’t go there
    You’re getting nowhere
    You’re getting nowhere

    Stay awhile my Inner Child
    I’d like to learn your trick
    To know what makes you tick
    To nurse you when you’re sick
    Oh how you’ve grown so cynical
    Hard lines carved in your face
    The sunshine is so cliché
    Just like love and pain

    You tried your best on the Rorschach test
    but there is just nothing to see

    Heard terabytes of perfect pitch
    Some universal elegance
    Stack the seventh and the fifth
    Along the grid

    Swear you’ll be the opposite
    Of all those stilted hypocrites
    You know what made you infamous to them, don’t you?
    You keep starting over
    You keep starting over
    You keep starting over
    You keep starting over

    Hold on tight Beginner’s Mind
    The current is far too strong
    It will carry you along
    Till you’re just like everyone
    Stay awhile my Inner Child
    I’d like to learn your trick
    To know what makes you tick
    To nurse you when you’re sick
    ThatGouletKidon February 02, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI find it amazing and beautiful just how simple and powerful this song is. The title says it all. Beginner's mind is Zen practice in action. It's taking on things as a beginner, as a child, as an open mind. It's a brilliant and amazing song, to be honest. I love it so much! It really is my anthem for life! It's works so well in my field of work which is philosophy. Be humble. Be open. Stay awhile, beginner's mind. LOVE.
    BrightEyesAtheiston February 09, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIt's not that spiritual experiences are hard to come by, it's just that we have mental habits and conditioning that tends to come back to rule our thinking and behavior. The zen practice of the same name mentioned earlier is practiced to achieve a state of mind free from conditioning and habits, thus experiencing divine clarity.
    This is written from the point of view of someone experiencing, once again, this clarity. He pleads, or prays, "Hold on tight, beginner's mind... Stay a while my inner child, I'd like to know your trick" grasping with the intellect, for some thought that will bring him back to the state of clarity he is experiencing now.

    He knows from experience, though, what often follows this experience of spiritual clarity, shown by the lines, "hold on tight beginner's mind/ the currents far too strong/ It’ll carry you along/ Till you’re just like everyone." So, he expects that the old, stale way of thinking and experiencing the world will come back, though he pleads with this new feeling to stay.

    "Oh how they will try/ to pull and pry/ away what you know now." This is an ironic line, implying that the beginner's mind is actually more informed than the experienced. This paints conditioning as a bad thing, a weakness, which is contrary to the way it usually works. So many activities are skill based- the longer you've been doing them, the better you are. Here he points out that this is not the rule for spiritual evolution, where our conditioning and preconceived notions only hold us back from our goal.
    maraculouson June 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correctionhold on tight beginners mind
    the wheel is spinning too
    fast to make your move
    the worst must be assumed
    oh how they'll try to pull and pry
    away what you know now
    beat and beat it out
    leave a drum that makes no sound
    a snuff film on a jumbotron
    for all the world to see

    a cocktail napkin epitaph
    some psycho babel telegram
    message written in the sand
    the tide rolls in
    swear you'll do the opposite
    of all those tangled hypocrites
    who say that the experiment has failed
    don't go there
    you're getting nowhere
    you're getting nowhere

    stay a while my inner child
    i'd like to learn your tricks
    know what makes you tick
    nurse you when you're sick
    oh how you've grown so cynical
    hard lines carved in your face
    the sunshine's so cliche
    just like love and pain
    you tried your best the rorschach test
    but there's just nothing to see

    ? hope terabytes the perfect pitch?
    some universal elegance
    ? stack the sound and then the fifth?
    along the bridge

    swear you'll be the opposite
    of all the stilted hypocrites
    you know what made you infamous to them
    don't you
    you keep starting over
    keep starting over

    hold on tight beginner's mind
    the currents far too strong
    It’ll carry you along
    Till you’re just like everyone

    stay a while my inner child
    i’d like to learn your trick
    to know what make you tick
    to nurse you when you’re sick
    someaholeon January 31, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom the digital lyric booklet:

    "The wheel is spinning too"
    "Heard terabytes of a perfect pitch"
    "Stack the seventh and the fifth
    Along the grid"
    flyingxponyon February 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt has a wider meaning that just a "beginners approach to things" the whole albums speaks of ending life as we know it now and starting over again.
    Cyberghoston February 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis seems to me almost like Oberst addressing his former self, the innocent child we all once were and reflecting on how the world changes us, and how he would have changed the way he's lives and grown up. It's like encouraging the young not to get wearied and sullied by the cynics and drudgery of life.
    verandahlion February 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't help but think this chorus and "Messenger bird song"s chorus sound remarkably similar. Don't get me wrong, both songs are fantastic. It's just a little odd.
    opineyunson February 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI saw him perform this song live last night and he said that this song was about trying to keep your inner child and not letting the world drag you down in to this miserable, cynical person that everyone else is but rather look at everything the way you did when you were an innocent child. This song is beautiful when you look at it that way. Conor is an amazing musician.
    hawkzon March 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningDoes anyone know what "A snuff film on a jumbotron For all the world to see," means.

    stoner4lifeon May 18, 2011   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain