i fear i'll die from complications.
complications due to things that i've left undone.
that all my debts will be left unpaid.
feel like a cripple without a cane.
i'm like a jack of all trades who's a master of none.

then there's my father,
he's always looking on the bright side.
saying things like, "son, life just ain't that hard."
he is the grand optimist, i am the world's poor pessimist.
you give him burdens sometimes, and he will escape unscarred.

i guess i take after my mother.
i guess i take after my mother.

but i used to be quite resilient.
gained no strength from counting the beads on a rosary.
now, the wound has begun to turn.
another lesson that has gone unlearned,
but this is not a cry for pity or for sympathy.

i guess i take after my mother.
i guess i take after my mother.
i guess i take after my mother.
i guess i take after my mother.


Lyrics submitted by canvaswings

The Grand Optimist song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentDallas has made it perfectly clear through his music that he has a lot of anxiety. He's a stressed out man, who's always worrying... all the time... about everything, to the point where he can't relax at all sometimes. A decent nights sleep is far more rare for him than it should be for any man. He knows his fears are irrational and don't accomplish anything, but he has no control over them. He's just a worrier! I can deeply relate to this. (The most obvious song showing this, in my opinion, would be "Contant Knot".) ......That damn nervous stomach. I hear you, Dallas.

    Anyway! I believe that the meaning behind Grand Optimist is very straight forward. Clearly his father is a man who's very positive and takes life with a grain of salt. Dallas wishes he could be more like his father in that regard, so that he wouldn't be so tortured by his own thoughts and worries. Alas, he takes after his mother, who is also a worrier.
    DolledUpon March 16, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment*"The Death of Me" is the song I meant to reference, not "Constant Knot"... Though "Constant Knot" does fit with what I was saying... As does "Sleeping Sickness".
    DolledUpon March 16, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI heard this song performed live on TV 3 nights ago and was immediately blown away. Growing up in a broken home and living with my father, he would always say to me during arguments, "You are just like your goddamn mother!". I think Dallas Green had a similar experience. I think he is being cynical when he calls his father the Grand Optimist.
    jcondidorioon April 23, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe meaning of this song seems pretty simple...but from the sound of the music, it makes me wonder if there is a story about something that happened with his mother...anybody know?
    lowenfelson July 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy dad was diagnosed with cancer several weeks ago, and his demeanor completely blows my mind. Although he has always been fairly laid-back, I wasn't sure how I expected him to react to his diagnosis. It definitely wasn't the way he's been behaving: calm and positive the entire time. He doesn't make a big deal out of it and can talk about it quite casually. He hasn't complained about surgery or treatment one bit, and he truly has taken it in stride.

    Because of the experiences she's been through, I consider my mom to be a much more cynical person, and I believe I'm the same way. We both struggle to see the silver linings in certain situations (such as this one).

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that since my dad's diagnosis, I think of how relevant this song is and how my family can relate whenever I hear it (which is often).
    g0ld3non November 28, 2013   Link

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