"Bizness" as written by Merrill Martin Garbus and Nathaniel J Brenner....
If I represent the one that did this to you
Then can away the part that represents the thing that scarred you
I say, get up, stand up, get up, stand up, get on it
Yes sir, I am no longer who you thought this one would be
We end up around the mountain that I climb to lose you

I said, I said give me the business that business could work through
I say, ask me but all my wisdom departed
Tell me but all my wisdom departed but
Help please at least answer me this
Answer me, answer me

What's the business, yeah
Don't take my life away, don't take my life away

From a distance, yeah
Don't take my life away, don't take my life away

I'm a victim, yeah
Don't take my life away, don't take my life away

I'm addicted, yeah
Don't take my life away, don't take my life away

If you just press your fingers down under my skin (Go on and do it, go on and do it)
Lift up, dig up, lift up, dig up and bleed for me, and bleed for me
I say, I'll bleed if you ask me
I'll bleed if you ask me
That's when, that's when, he said no

What's the business, yeah
Don't take my life away, don't take my life away

From a distance, yeah
Don't take my life away, don't take my life away

I'm a victim, yeah
Don't take my life away, don't take my life away

I'm addicted, yeah
Don't take my life away, don't take my life away

I'm addicted, yeah
From a distance, yeah
I'm a victim, yeah
What's the business, yeah

I'm addicted, yeah (Don't take my life away, don't take my life away)
What's the business, yeah

I'm addicted, yeah
From a distance, yeah
I'm a victim, yeah
What's the business, yeah
Don't take my life away, don't take my life away


Lyrics submitted by j0nnynoname

"Bizness" as written by Nathaniel J Brenner Merrill Martin Garbus

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Bizness song meanings
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  • +3
    General Comment^ anytime anyone writes a long detailed analysis describing every stanza i just automatically assume it's bullshit and i don't read it. i just assume you'll supplant your own life into the verses.
    electric23sandon May 26, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation"Don't take my life away / Don't take my life away"

    The manner in which she sings this, rapidly and frantic, suggests that this song may work best if you take the lyrics on a literal level before analyzing interpretatively. In the main chorus of the song, it sounds as if Garbus is describing a mugging. From the opening line ("What's the business?") asking just what the hell is happening, to the realization that the mugger is moving closer ("From a distance") finally to the attempt to try to empathize with her perpetrator ("I'm a victim!" / "I'm addicted!") It all paints a very visual picture. The intensity of this image obvious increases with every repeated plea ("Don't take my life away!").

    WhoKill as an album seems to deal with similar subject matter upon the surface, and then on a deeper level one can interpret these things to act as metaphors for more intimate personal issues and insecurities expressed in song. If you look at the opening verse in this same "Mugger" mindset, you can see how well it fits with just about every line. The opening, in particular, makes much more sense on a surface level when analyzed from this perspective:

    "If I represent the one that did this to you / Then can away the part that represents the thing that scarred you"

    It seems to be an extended plea intended to be said to the mugger, only to be mentally pondered. Muggers obviously don't personalize or discriminate in terms of the individual; though if they are robbing you chances are you have a look of wealth or content. She rationalizes, "If you are mugging me because I look like everything you aren't and desire to be (in terms of wealth), then you need to get over whatever it is that personally traumatized you." Such a powerful, opening line. Obviously, we are starting to see the deeper intentions of the song.

    Immediately after this declaration of "Fix yourself before you hurt me", she declares ("Get up / Stand up / Get on it!") both the listener and herself to defend against the situation as to change the outcome ("I am no longer who you thought this one would be"). A victim can be mugged, but a victim in self-defense is not such an easy target.

    After this confidence boosting declaration, it's revealed that she (as a victim) still ends up running into this mugger once more ("We end up around the mountain that I climb to lose you") and despite how bold she was just moments before, meeting this mugger causes her to enter a state of shock ("Ask me, Tell me / but all my wisdom departed"). Finally we enter in the main chorus, the confrontation, where all she can ask is "What the hell is going on / How did I get here / Don't take my life away / I'm just like you!"

    This entire time we have seen how simply the song reads in a literal manner, but it's during the third verse where we start to realize that the song works much more beautifully on a symbolic level. Regardless, finishing up the mugger theme, the victim in the song tries one final plea. She states how "I'll bleed if you ask me", and we see how the mugger's response is a simple "No" ("That's when he said no") before we enter back into the confrontational chorus once more. I'd like to point out that the song ends asking the question "What's the business?" repeatedly, as if Garbus is restating her disbelief of the entire situation.

    Obviously, you can replace the whole Mugger / Victim theme with many concepts and interpretations, but what will remain consistent is the general narrative between the two parties. If you go for the relationship-route, the song becomes a symbolic tale of frustration between two would-be lovers. I see it as someone meeting someone who has been hurt in a prior relationship, so badly, that they see all of that heartbreak in every new person they meet, including the protagonist of the song.

    This is very similar in subject matter to the song "Abducted" by Cults (I analyzed this here: houseofxen.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/lyrical-analysis-abducted-by-cults-with-music-video/), the major difference is that Garbus is attempting a solution to the problem, whereas Cults focused on the sad cyclical nature of the whole thing. The first verse then declares the protagonist of the song to be their own individual and not connected to any horrific past relationships. The second verse reveals how the protagonist of the song does NOT enter into the relationship ("The mountain that I climb to lose you"), but ends up meeting this person again in life anyways ("We end up around the mountain"), this time demanding why things can't work out ("Answer me this!"). At the same time, there is a realization that no one wants to throw their time away with someone who is just going to hurt them ("Don't take my life away"), so the protagonist is repeatedly asking in the chorus "What's the business" -- what hurt you before/are you ready for this/I don't want to be hurt -- before finally revealing she does fall in love "I'm addicted yeah!".

    Writing this, I see a plethora of abstract and less direct ways (ex- an internal dialogue) of looking at this song from several perspectives, but the two general interpretations I've provided do indicate that the song is a song about frustration stemming from misunderstanding and miscommunication. The protagonist attempts to overcome this (in whatever the medium is which the frustration is occurring, depending on personal interpretation), and in the end she finds herself addicted. The real question, is to what? To heartbreak? To falling in love with those who are scarred? The song's brilliance lies in how many windows it can be seen through, and I hope my interpretation has provided some insight into whatever your personal interpretation of the song happens to be.

    houseofxen.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/lyrical-analysis-tune-yards-bizness/
    AndrewVSon May 27, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI think the first verse is saying Hey I know your ex really really hurt you badly, but I'm not him/her, and you should give me a chance to love you. Maybe there's someone about you that reminds him/her of the ex. The second verse I thinks is you trying to figure out what the ex did to him/her. The third verse is you trying to get him/her to trust you, and saying you'll go beyond where the ex would not... The chorus is a conversation between the two of you. He/she is saying "Don't take my life away" because a bad break up can feel like a death, and he/she doesn't want to die again.
    FliegendeHollanderon May 31, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThiiiis song... what a fantastic work of art. The peak that takes place literally makes my insides lights up, and I can't help moving so freely! So amazing.
    Luminateskyon August 14, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationdamn, that was a lot longer than I meant it to be. sorry kids. like I said, the summary's the last paragraph.
    cheerstrickenon May 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI had such a hard time interpreting this for some reason but now that I've worked it out (I think), here's the analysis (with summary below):

    This is about a woman trying to get back together with her former lover. First, she says to him that though she left him and scarred him, he should really just get over it. She says he'll be okay if he just toughs it out. She has changed into a better person, supposedly:
    "If I represent the one that did this to you
    Then can away the part that represents the thing that scarred you
    I say, Get up, stand up, get up, stand up, get on it
    Yessir, I am no longer who you thought this one would be"

    She left him before but is now back to talking with him, saying that they can still work. They can still do 'the business' which is either the act of having sex or of settling in a relationship (the word 'business' threw me for a loop, but it's actually, cleverly, describing the transactional nature of their relationship; i.e. she's a user and so sees relationships as a user):
    "We end up around the mountain that I climb to lose you
    I said, I said give me the business that business could work through"

    But when he confronts her on her reasoning, she falters because she doesn't really know why she wants him back (she doesn't know what she wants, or doesn't want to admit it):
    "I say, Ask me but all my wisdom departed"

    And she doesn't listen to him, either. So they have communication problems.
    "Tell me but all my wisdom departed"

    The chorus is the narrator's demand that they still maintain the relationship. Within this demand, she is 1) guilt-tripping him by telling him that 'you're the reason I'm living', 2) claiming that anything that went wrong is not her fault, and 3) revealing that she's addicted to something (sex? him? Is she just plain needy? or maybe she's literally a drug fiend.):
    "But help please at least answer me this, Answer me, answer me What's the business, yeah
    Don't take my life away / From a distance, yeah / I'm a victim, yeah / I'm addicted, yeah / Don't take my life away"

    She says to look at everything from her perspective, but knows that doing so would 'lift up' and 'dig up' the past and doing so would hurt him:
    "If you just press your fingers down under my skin (Go on and do it)
    Lift up, dig up, lift up, dig up and bleed for me"

    And she says she'll try to see things his way too but waits for him to ask. This tells me that she cares little for him and won't take the initiative to soothe him.
    "I say, I'll bleed if you ask me
    I'll bleed if you ask me"

    That's when he says no to everything she offered. It's all bullshit and he's had enough,
    "That's when, that's when, he said no"



    TL;DR The narrator tries to convince her former lover to take her back (either to bed or into a relationship). He was hurt when she left him but she tries to convince him anyway. She's a user who clearly hasn't changed from before, and so he says no.
    cheerstrickenon May 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNot to be nitpicky but you forgot the yeah after the first "I'm addicted".
    Besides that good job :)
    ambelinaon April 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song is about DRUG ADDICTION
    Taking a strong stance on heroin (the pray for me, bleed for me lines) "i'll bleed if you ask me"
    But
    I can't even write a proper synopsis because your lyrics are wrong at a few very key points.

    like

    "then can WE away the part that represents the thing that scarred you"

    "yes I am no longer who you thought this one would be"

    "I said what could be the business that business could work through"

    "lift up lift up lift up and pray for me"

    "im a victim yeah
    from a distance yeah
    im addicted yeah
    thats the bizness yeah"
    Listen to the end of the song very closely the main parts are sung with the "dont take my life away" seguing inbetween parts
    This is the last part of the song. You have to listen really carefully to hear the were in the second line.
    (if you have studio monitors use em its clear.)

    "whats the bizness yeah"

    "were the bizness yeah
    from a distance yeah
    im a victim yeah
    thats the bizness yeah"

    The song is about Drug addiction and how they do not want to fix or help it.
    Taking a strong stance on heroin (the pray for me, bleed for me lines) "i'll bleed if you ask me" seems to be her stating that whoever this is would do anything for heroin.
    Also too see track marks more clearly you pull the skin away from the body or "lift" it off the body, because they are more apparent when the skin is stretched. so we can say
    "lift up lift up lift up and pray for me" is like a plea for help, which the whole song is.
    She is simply analyzing why there is a drug problem in our society when it could easily be reduced with proper education. She comes to the conclusion AHHH THATS THE BUSINESS, and writes a song about it from the perspective of the addicted who desperately need the help they are not getting from the govt. Who is all to happy to lock them up in jails for their problems.
    THATS THE BUSINESS SEE.
    Imavictimon August 06, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionAm I the only one that feels this song carries a political message. In regards to businesses, corporate entities, capitalism and our addiction to all these things. Perhaps even our addiction to oil? Just what I was thinking when I first heard this song.
    mwanteroon February 21, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think this song is about the music business. She's asking the music companies "What's the bizness?" or "What kind of deal are we going to work out here?" She's "keeping her distance" and refuses to allow her life to be "taken away."

    In the beginning lyrics she's addressing the audience. "If I represent the one who did this to you, then can away the part that represents the thing that did this to you." She's saying that if she takes a position of leadership... if she takes on the representation of "the man" in the music industry (who has confined the airways and scarred our musical culture) then she can help to liberate the music business from it's current confinements with her unique sound. But she asks the audience to "Get up, Stand Up, Get UP, STAND UP, GET ON IT." She knows she can't do it alone. She wants to use the music bizness to activate people.
    cocoonswordon March 04, 2012   Link

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