"Plastic Soldier" as written by John Baldwin Gourley and Brian Joseph Burton....
Everything carries weight
Everything is the same
Within us, all together

Everything carries weight
Everything is the same
And we are all together

I can't keep my head up
I'd like to step on my friends
Step on my friend
But I can't keep my head my head up
I can't seem to keep my head

Could it be we got lost in the summer?
Well I know you know that it's over
But you're still in
Treading water

But you're still in
Treading water

I'd hate to seem so shallow
I'd like to get deeper in
Swim deeper in
But I can't find the water
I can't seem to find my way

Could it be we got lost in the summer?
Well I know you know that it's over
But you're still in
Treading water

But you're still in

I can't keep my head above ground
(I can't keep my head above ground, can't keep my head)
I can't keep my head above ground
(I can't keep my head above ground, can't keep my head)
I can't keep
(x2)

But you're still in
Treading water

Could it be we got lost in the summer?
Well I know you know that it's over
But you're still in
Treading water

You can drift along
You've got the time
The rest of us will live and die
Like plastic soldiers
Only growing older
(x3)


Lyrics submitted by myhers, edited by haunt3r

"Plastic Soldiers" as written by John Baldwin Gourley Brian Joseph Burton

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Plastic Soldier song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis is such a great record I cant believe im first to comment...Seems like a breakup that John cant really wrap his head around but he knows hes shallow as hell but really doesnt care LOL...I feel alot of his songs have the message "yea im a complicated, fucked up dude..deal with it"
    mbaliyaon June 09, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that a lot of the songs on this album have little meaning without taking the other songs in context. There is so much lyrical repetition from song to song, especially front and back. I feel like its the most organized album I've listened to in a while.
    The most obvious instance of that being Plastic Soldier, the 1st song, ending:
    "You can drift along
    You've got the time
    The rest of us will live and die
    Like plastic soldiers
    Only growing older"
    And Smile, the last song, ending:
    "I'd like to try to forget the times have changed
    And we all live and die
    Like plastic soldiers
    never growing older"
    There's an obvious change in mood, and a lot going on in between. My favorite being the concept of "It's not that I'm evil" (Creep in a T-shirt and Evil Friends) at the start, to "I just want to be evil" (Purple Yellow Red and Blue) at the end. What a wonderful album, and the best birthday gift ever.
    SkanadianIceon August 22, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe it's "stay by my friends," not "step on my friends." (submitted this as a correction but it still hasn't shown up)
    haunt3ron June 18, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'll leave this as a stand-alone comment rather than as a reply to a previous comment:

    "I don't really get a flippant "deal with it" vibe from this song. It feels kind of like he was in a relationship but has come to the realization that there's no future in it, a summer romance that has run its course, but she's not letting go. He doesn't want it to be that way but he kind find any sort of deeper connection with this girl (he'd "like to get deeper in" but can't even find the water in the first place)."

    The reason I came back to it is that I hadn't said anything about the connection to this (the first song on the album) and Smile (the last song), which links back here and sort of comes full circle. Not just the "plastic soldiers slowly growing older" line but also the seasonal theme. In Plastic Soldiers the summer has ended, but in Smile it's just beginning. ("It seems like the spring has come and gone / It felt like forever / Wait 'til the summer comes / Then you'll find me there." It's like he's been waiting through the long fall, winter, and spring so that he can reconnect with this girl and get lost in the summer all over again.
    haunt3ron July 16, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is a tough one..

    carries the same overall theme as almost everything else portugal has done - we're all one and in this together. could be the death of a friend or death of a relationships. last verse pulls it all together.
    JoeF716on August 01, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionTo me this song is about the ending relationship of avoidant singer. His entourage, is very similar to him, but he wants to distance himself from them. This is why the lyrics are "step on my friends", rather than "stay by my friends".
    Even though the other person in the relationship is also withholding
    "But you're still in
    Treading water"
    he sees their potential to change toward complexity and real intimacy, that he denies himself.
    bulgommeon January 23, 2017   Link

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