It all spans out on a plane
Looking back, hardly a hill or valley still remains
The boy before the pain
Still longs for the womb of love as he smashes down with a cane

It builds up, then it breaks down
It's your perception alone
Of grey hands taking control
But what can you do to prove it?

The flat waste of a life
How many times did you try and stop the bleeding with a knife
There's an incline to the floor
And everything in your crooked life ends up rolling out the door

It builds up, then it breaks down
But it's your perception alone
Of grey hands have taken control
But what can you do to prove it?
Look man, there's nothing to it

What are you really getting at when you sing?
There's something wrong and beautiful
Kill a snake and make yourself pariah king
The voice bleeds through the wall, "no Jimmy no"

It builds up, then it breaks down
It's your perception alone
With your hand over your mouth
God forbid it gets out
The grey hands have got you in tow
But what can you do to prove it?
Look boy, there's nothing to it

What are you really getting at when you sing?
It's something wrong and beautiful
Kill a snake and make yourself pariah king
The voice bleeds through the wall, "no Jimmy no"


Lyrics submitted by llscience

Pariah King song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentMost guys while growing up have to (unfortunately) "tough it out" and hide their soft emotional side around their buddies, or be mocked (aka Caring is Creepy.) He tries to hide his "bleeding" heart by using a "knife" or sharp comments. This kind of macho thing stunts guys for too many years until they grow out of it. Or become parents. Or adopt a kitten. The same goes for expressing unpopular or unusual experiences. Mercer has been open about this in interviews. But here in Pariah King, he is singing about something he is really scared of letting people know about. Something otherworldly he perceives but can't prove. Information which, if revealed, will make him a pariah; so he keeps his "hand over [his] mouth," and "God forbid it gets out." The "grey hands" are in control, but he can't talk about it for fear of being ridiculed; "No Jimmy, NO!". Something officially deemed as "nothing to it." Hmmm, what did he experience growing up on those nuclear Air Force bases? It makes me wonder about the hundreds of military personnel finally speaking up about what they witness and are warned not to disclose. I have personal experience with this. Enough said. So many of Mercer's lyrics sound to me like struggles of conscience. He does a lot of battling inner demons- while mocking religious dogma itself (Australia...Red Rabbits...Mine is Not a High Horse...) It's also apparent (in this and other songs such as Know Your Onion) he was a sensitive kid able to see through human nature as basically selfish and "crooked." In Pariah King, when he says, "It builds up, then it breaks down" it describes the cognitive dissonance of bottling up what his "perceptions alone" tell him, until they reach the breaking point. As a result, he is questioning himself about his own artistic honesty; "What are you really getting at when you sing?" He has stated in interviews that his lyrics are very meaningful for him personally, but in this song, he hints at a subject that he can only bear to dance around. It's wrong but so beautiful.
    watchdogs101on April 25, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think many people can relate to this song. I think there are two sides to this song, one, the part of children having to fight out to impress other people, or be sent outcast (pariah) or it has a sort of fairy tale to it, the metamorphic side, either way, this song is great!
    natashalolon June 03, 2012   Link
  • -2
    Lyric CorrectionI think it is:
    "You feel dumb" rather than "It builds up"
    Konversekidon March 16, 2012   Link

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