One, two, three, four

Mind your business
Mind your business
Mind your never-shut Quonset hut business
My craft is exploding
It's like I'm making cloisonné
Choking on my dust
With my three blind cats
You have a friend in law enforcement
Don't go calling law enforcement
Business
Mind your business

Got too busy explaining
Now it's just raining pain
Pain in the form of a rain drop
Yes, a rain drop made of pain
Tell 'em the story, rain drop
"I don't want to tell 'em, mister!"
Tell 'em the story, rain drop
"I don't want to tell 'em!"
Keep your voice down
Keep your voice down
Keep your window-shaking godforsaken voice down
I'm sick of this beeswax
I'm sick of these second-story Sleestaks
Breathing on my dice
Giving me back rubs

When I'm deep in concentration
You start getting all conversatin'
Sleestak
What's a Sleestak?
That's your heart attack
Towel rack fallback
You got no doctors
All your doctors have gone home
What's a Sleestak?
What's a Sleestak?
You have a friend in law enforcement
Don't go calling law enforcement
Cloisonné


Lyrics submitted by Limabeans

Cloisonné song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentOk, time for you amateurs to take a seat.

    First: Sleestaks are the lizard race from the Land of the Lost TV series. Go check that out now.

    Definitely a song about a drug lab exploding (meth? coke?). Cloissone is an art form that requires a powdered enamel coating to be applied before kiln-firing an object. So let's assume a similarity between a pottery oven and the stoves required to manufacture drugs. Now layer in the elements regarding "business", "mind your business", "law enforcement", raining pain, exploding craft, choking on the dust, etc.

    By the time we get to Sleestaks and the other psychadelic imagery, the protagontist has inhales or otherwise absorbed enough of the drug to FREAK HIM OUT.

    Can't quite place the three blind cats reference yet. :)
    energythiefon November 06, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel like the song is sung from the perspective of a criminal of some sort.

    "Don't go calling law enforcement,"

    "Keep your voice down,"

    Sleestaks might be a metaphor for goons/henchmen types.
    HowardTCoon July 31, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentenergythief

    As a teacher of literature, I'm always glad to see someone else out there who knows how to interpret the poetry of well written songs...or mindfully written least songs, at least.
    tippitaon November 25, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song, along with many others on the album ("Protagonist", "Spoiler Alert"), is about the nature of writing. In this case, TMBG compare their craft, songwriting, to making cloisonné--a dangerous business that can explode in one's face; one that is messy and painful. The raindrop part confirms this, I believe: TMBG use their pain to tell stories in order for them to do their job. Sleestaks might be the general public, overzealous in its appreciation/criticism ("breathing on my dice/giving me back rubs"). Any thoughts on this?
    comp1167on June 03, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentenergythief- Wow, that's a legitimately awesome comment. I never thought of it like that before, and I'm not entirely sure I agree with you yet (due to my preconceived notions about the meaning being nothing like your interpretation), but I like it a lot.

    tippita - I genuinely love the fact that you teach literature and are describing They Might Be Giants' songs on the same level as poetry. That's excellent.

    comp1167 - I too felt like the Join Us album has a lot of writing-like metaphors/ideas/analogies in it; at first, I thought this was because I listened to the album during a time where I was very obsessed with writing (which I still am, but less so now), but the fact that someone else thinks it's largely about writing gives validity to my thoughts. Thank you for validating them.
    RevolutionNeinon August 28, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUtter, joyful nonsense. Love it.
    Shimmer1966on September 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbreaking bad?
    tippitaon September 02, 2012   Link

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