"Kaleidoscope" as written by Mark Hoppus, Thomas Delonge and Travis L. Barker....
Stop banging away on my kaleidoscope
Stop draining the color out of my scene
Just play me something I can dance to
I can dance to anything you wanna sing

So lock me up in a studio,
Fill it up with sound and scenarios
Stop blocking the driveway with your car
Put the butterfly in the bill jar

It's the first time, that I worried
Of a bad dream, of a journey
On a highway through the valley
It's a long road through the night
It's a long road

Your dangers forcing the front yard
Many hours tick past the deadline
Get another stamp in your passport
Wash your breakfast down with some red wine

To leave the progress on your game
Try to fall asleep while your ears ring
From the loudest songs on your mix tape
I can dance to anything you wanna sing

No reason, no action,
No silence, no help here,
Nobody came running up by my side

It's the first time, that I worried
Of a bad dream, of a journey
On a highway through the valley
It's a long road through the night

It's the first time, that I worried
Of a bad dream, of a journey
On a highway through the valley
It's a long road through the night
It's a long road to get it right

It's the first time, that I worried
Of a bad dream, of a journey
On a highway through the valley
It's a long road through the night

It's the first time, that I worried
Of a bad dream, of a journey
On a highway through the valley
It's a long road through the night

It's a long road

To get it right
To get to get to get it right
To get to get it right
To get it right


Lyrics submitted by Hannahh182, edited by gabetheguy77

"Kaleidoscope" as written by Thomas Delonge Travis Barker

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Group

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Kaleidoscope song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentOn a live chat, Mark said that this song is about late teens trying to find jobs.

    "I woke up one morning and I had this line in my head that said 'Stop banging away on my kaleidoscope. Stop draining all the water out of my sink.' I didn't know what that meant but I started chasing the idea lyrically and obviously it changed. It was kind of about people in their late teens, early to mid twenties, trying to find their way in the world. And there's not a lot of new oportunities for good jobs for people."

    Mark Hoppus is the man. I love this song!!
    HimynameisSaraon September 29, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmy life has found meaning in this song. sorry for spamming.
    JimboTSoVon October 01, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is basically about a guy about to break up with his girlfriend. This song points out their unwillingness to get along together and the uncertainty of the "road" ahead. (this of course is my personal interpretation)

    Stop banging away on my kaleidoscope
    Stop draining the color out of my scene
    Just play me something I can dance to
    I can dance to anything you wanna sing

    ^^the guy is saying stop bringing me down its really affecting my life and the way I feel. things would work between us if you would just do simple things for me -- I can then follow your lead and do things for you (ill dance to anything you wanna sing)

    So lock me up in a studio,
    Fill it up with sound and scenarios
    Stop blocking the driveway with your car
    Put the butterfly in the bill jar

    ^^when you bring me down, its like holding me hostage (lock me in the studio). Im forced to listen to your drama/problems/ issues all the time. its unproductive and it gets in the way of what I want to accomplish (in life). the butterfly symbolizes freedom, so putting it in the jar is the exact opposite of a butterfly's environment and in effect starves the butterfly of the ability to live a full life.
    And blocking a car in a driveway is ironic, to me, because a car is used to travel anywhere --also symbolizing freedom -- and for her to leave it specifically so that he cant leave/ explore/ be free like a butterfly creates gridlock/stand still for both parties.

    It's the first time, that I worried
    Of a bad dream, of a journey
    On a highway through the valley
    It's a long road through the night
    It's a long road

    ^^he's broken up with other girls before, but this time he's really worried about this girl. (he hopes that she will be alright emotionally, physically, mentally after they break up and on the road to recovery) But he's especially worried about his own wellbeing for the future
    because he of course cared for this girl for at least sometime. Maybe they have been together for awhile and don't know how they will be able to handle themselves apart and single. (bad dream, journey, highway, etc all variable and uncertain, anxiety filled ideas)

    Hear a stranger's voice in the front yard
    Many hours tick past the deadline --> should have broke up with her awhile ago
    Get another stamp in your passport --> hes thinking that this is just another relationship that failed and adds to his history of failed relationships (and hers as well, as she probably also went through multiple bad relationships)


    Wash your breakfast down with some red wine
    To leave the progress on your game
    Try to fall asleep while your ears ring
    From the loudest songs on your mix tape
    I can dance to anything you wanna sing

    ^^these lines I found the most interesting because there all like contradictions of each other. these lines symbolize how dysfunctional their relationship is at this time, they are both trying to live their lives but they keep fighting each other
    a calm situation with an acidic punch
    maybe he wants a calm morning, and she rather drink and party and be rowdy
    hes worked so hard to make the relationship work, but its almost like when they are together at this point its like they are both deleting the progress
    their relationship is like falling asleep with ringing ears, its so difficult to relax and it takes a lot longer and is thus more painful to try to do what needs to be done


    No reason, no action,
    No silence, no help here,
    Nobody came running up by my side

    ^^hes saying how she wasn't there for him when he needed her the most and that's the main reason why the relationship isn't working out and why he needs to end it

    It's the first time, that I worried
    Of a bad dream, of a journey
    On a highway through the valley
    It's a long road through the night

    ^^again stating the uncertainty of each others fates post break up


    This couple might have been together for years and had a relationship that was once filled with love, progress, and hope and is now nothing like it was and is now painful, disorganized, filled with sadness, and resentment and is now on its way to being over. The guy realizes that they both now have to prepare for the aftermath and subsequent loneliness. its very sad, but very beautiful song.. very true blink style, i love it
    voidofall8on January 27, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wonder if this song is about the anxieties of getting the band back together? Maybe worries of arguments and the like ensuing on tour -- "a bad dream of a journey on a highway, through the valley."

    Favorite song on "Neighborhoods."
    DakotaFloydon September 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Through the vowwey" gets me every time. This whole CD is just uninteresting. I know it's been a long time since they've put anything out, but their s/t has so much more variation and heart. They can still write catchy music, but this has no longevity.
    braindeadrebelon September 18, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIs it not

    'Stop blocking the driveway with your car
    Put the butterfly in the bell jar'...?

    My jusitification for this lyric would be (considering the song hints at the pressure felt by the gents to get 'Neighborhoods' out on the shelf) that creativity and beauty should take a natural course instead of being concentrated and forced. Sure, you could observe a butterfly were it placed in a bell jar, but it's not how it would be witnessed naturally. 'Stop blocking the driveway with your car' implies that they're not being given any respite or freedom until they've finished the fresh material.

    'If you pressure us, the end product will have been ruined by that pressure' (^^,)
    sowingseasonon September 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionFrom the booklet:

    Stop banging away on my kaleidoscope
    Stop draining the color out of my scene
    just play me something i can dance to
    I can dance to anything you wanna sing

    So lock me up in the studio
    Fill it up with sound and scenarios
    stop blocking the driveway with your car
    but the butterfly in the bell jar

    It's the first time that I'm worried
    Of a bad dream, of a journey
    on the highway, through the valley
    It's a long road through the night.

    Hear a strange's voice in the front yard,
    let the hours tick past the deadline,
    get another stamp in your passport
    wash your breakfast down with some read wine
    delete the progress on your game
    try to fall asleep while your ears ring
    from the loudest song on your mix tape
    I can dance to anything you wanna sing

    No reason, no action, no silence, no help here
    Nobody came running up by side

    It's a long road to get it right.


    -----

    Well, they just wrote down the lyrics but withtout the proper structure. You'll figure this one out by yourself.
    fabsn182on September 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about being a band in the studio and on the road. Like he can't get his car out because of one of his band members car blocking his car in. Also, about the endless hours in the studio leaving your ears ringing and listening to other music to forget. Being in the studio surrounding yourself with new ideas to make better lyrics. Then about being on the road, having bad ideas and thinking your show sucked, while having bad dreams. About having no one to help you except your other band members who feel the same. Well this is the way I see it and relate to it. Favorite song of the new album though!
    Kayne128on September 29, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat I think this song is about is blink writing Neighborhoods and wanting it to be the best album they could make and all of the doubts and fears that went along with that.

    "Stop banging away on my kaleidoscope
    Stop draining the color out of my scene
    just play me something i can dance to
    I can dance to anything you wanna sing"

    Things are not going well with the album. So he tries to find inspiration by listening to music thats not his. Most likely music that he enjoys and finds comfort in.

    "so lock me up in the studio
    Fill it up with sound and scenarios
    stop blocking the driveway with your car
    put the butterfly in the bell jar"

    He spends hours in the studio just immersing himself in the creative process. I see the car as not really a physical entity blocking the driveway, but more of just the person's appetite/drive to write amazing music which keeps him from leaving the studio until he's got it right. As for the butterfly int he bell jar line, you can compare it to a little kid catching a butterfly and having a "got it!" moment. Sort of like a musician writing a lyric they're really proud of or coming up with a really good guitar hook and being really happy about it.

    "It's the first time that I'm worried
    Of a bad dream, of a journey
    on the highway, through the valley
    It's a long road through the night."

    It's blink's first record in a long time and everyone is expecting so much of them that it makes the band worried that they won't come through with a top notch record. The "through the valley" line is referring to Mark and Travis' studio which is literally in a valley in L.A. (I forget where but Mark said it in an interview).

    "Hear a stranger's voice in the front yard,
    let the hours tick past the deadline,
    get another stamp in your passport
    wash your breakfast down with some read wine"

    The strangers voice is the constant pressure of the fans who are expecting a good record. I'm not sure about the lines after deadline, will have to think about it more.

    "delete the progress on your game
    try to fall asleep while your ears ring
    from the loudest song on your mix tape
    I can dance to anything you wanna sing"

    Musicians usually go back and rework, restructure and rewrite songs until they are the best they can be. Which is what deleting progress on a game means. Game = song. The person has used his ears so much that they are ringing, but he still tries to find inspiration in other people's music. In this case "loudest" could be synonymous with "the best" or the music that he loves.

    "No reason, no action, no silence, no help here
    Nobody came running up by side"

    The band self produced the record, although they did get advice from their engineers. But for the most part they were alone on this.

    "It's a long road to get it right"

    It takes a lot of effort to make a quality album

    IMO one of my favorites off of Neighborhoods and a great song overall.
    flyingesp231on November 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationFrom looking at the "Put the butterfly in the bill jar" line, I get this:

    Chasing butterflies can be a metaphor for chasing your dreams, particularly if they seem impossible. Putting a butterfly in the "bill jar", could be equivalent to putting nothing but your time into chasing your dreams and having nothing to show for it, struggling therefore to pay your bills with such spent time.
    Kira-chanon April 23, 2012   Link

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