You went from moonlighting
But you came out fighting
I saw you larger than life
Throwing your knife
Gone into deep hiding

But you were so charming
That it was disarming
I wondered what was behind
Having to find
An army that keeps arming

Oh, slip and roll, honey
Stick the jab, kid
Don‘t just trade punches
Like your father did
'Cause playing the odds
Isn’t fooling the gods
So slip and roll
'Til you’re willing
To take the hit

So we just keep hoping
Although the deck’s sloping
You’re thinking, "Throw me a bone
Or leave me alone
To do what they call coping"

Oh, slip and roll, honey
Stick the jab, kid
Don‘t just trade punches
Like your father did
'Cause playing the odds
Isn’t fooling the gods
So slip and roll
'Til you’re willing
To take the hit

And you can take it, take it, take it, take it
We’ve all seen that guy
Take it on the chin
Oh, take it, take it
I know you can take it
But when will you take something in?

Oh, slip and roll, honey
Stick the jab, kid
Don‘t just trade punches
Like your father did
'Cause playing the odds
Isn’t fooling the gods
So slip and roll
'Til you’re willing
To take the hit

And you can take it, take it, take it, take it
We’ve all seen that guy
Take it on the chin
Oh, take it, take it
I know you can take it
But when will you take something in?
When will you take something in?


Lyrics submitted by Eamon

Slip and Roll song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationAnother Aimee Mann song drawing inspiration from boxing.

    Have you ever felt like you had to do something you didn't want to do, just to get ahead in life, or even to keep from losing what you already have? Ever been peer-pressured into making fun of somebody you were once friends with? Been forced to work overtime at the threat of being fired from your job? Felt like you were being asked (or told) to make the nails that would seal your own coffin? To me this song draws on this idea.

    The narrator can tell that the subject, our boxer, has some kind of fire or passion in him, but at the same time notices some unsettling insecurities; "I wondered what was behind/ Having to find/ An army that keeps arming". He seems like such a great guy, but he has this chip on his shoulder. What makes him so defensive?

    In the chorus we hear the voices of the boxer's peers (perhaps the audience at the fight?), chanting and cheering him on to "take it, take it, take it/ We've all seen that guy/ Take it on the chin...I know you can take it...Slip and roll/ 'Til you're willing/ To take the hit". The audience is saying: we want to see you get hit, but that's not enough; we want you to WANT to get hit. You have to desire self-destruction if you want to get by with us.

    Then the line "Don't just trade punches", meaning don't resist it, followed by the insult against his father, go further to show that our boxer is a man who feels trapped, hopelessly at the mercy of others' expectations, who denies, defaces and destroys himself, both in body and in integrity, for the benefit and entertainment of others.

    Where is his self-will? His self-worth? They, or perhaps our narrator, emerge at the tail end of the chorus, asking "when will you take something in?" When are you going to realize what's going on and break out of this?

    The scenario is similar to that of "Labrador", also on the album Charmer, but the tone is completely different. Whereas the narrator in Charmer is self-admittedly a tool and revels in serving the will of others, the boxer in "Slip and Roll" is silently (perhaps subconsciously) lamenting this status, but not yet entirely giving in. It is far more soul-crushing to live under stress with hope for something better, than to live without hope at all.
    cmlxs88on October 04, 2012   Link

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