"Meanwhile, Rick James..." as written by and John Mccrea....
Dis empowered, the scattering flock
Dances in a fever at the castle rock
Dust-devil cypress and ripening fruit
Ascending quick into the author's bathroom

Fawn, Jo and Tootsie are out on a wire
Lettuce-toothed junkies all full of desire

Meanwhile, Rick James takes her nude
And there's nothing I can do
Meanwhile, Rick James takes her nude

And there's nothing I can do
And there's nothing I can say to you
I've got a lot of work to do
I guess I'll leave it up to you

Uninvited, we'll stay if we want
Searching through your closets for your grandfather's gun
We will swim in your kidney, kidney-shaped pool
Scratching at the bottom for another clue, yeah

Fawn, Jo and Tootsie are out on a wire
Lettuce-toothed junkies all full of desire

Meanwhile, Rick James takes her nude
And there's nothing I can do
Meanwhile, Rick James takes her nude
And there's nothing I can do

(Meanwhile, Rick James takes her nude)
And there's nothing I can say to you
(Meanwhile, Rick James takes her nude)

And there's nothing I can do
And there's nothing I can say to you
I've got a lot of work to do
I guess I'll leave it up to you


Lyrics submitted by shut, edited by SuzMango

"Meanwhile Rick James..." as written by John M Mccrea

Lyrics © Cake - Stamen Music

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Meanwhile, Rick James... song meanings
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44 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI think you have to sit with this for a while to get it, but I might be wrong about that...

    Cake is super ironic, sometimes cynical, but always underneath it's because John McCrea is really sensitive... you get kind of sarcastic when you care in life and you get pissed on. Welcome to humanity.

    Anyway, I think there's a few things that are just thrown in there as either un-knowable references, or things to throw you off from the main plot. But overall, I think the plot is this: Guy goes out dancing with a group of friends, one of whom he's in love with. She meets another dude (probably black), and goes with him.

    Now before you jump to a bunch of conclusions, try it on. Fawn, Jo, and Tootsie are out on a wire: these 3 friends are wired, i.e., on a drug bender... Lettuce-toothed junkies all full of desire... they get stoned, and then want to screw the next random dude (ever met anyone like that? nah, never).

    So, to end the whole discussion about whether it's "Rick James takes her new" vs. "takes her nude", it's nude. You can't hear it in the first chorus, but you can clearly hear it in the second, and there's even emphasis on the "d" sound in the second one. And it's intended, as so often with Cake songs, to be heartbreaking and gut-wrenching. Here's this bouncy melody, la di da, oh and by the way, here's my girlfriend fucking some random dude. Maximum impact, classic Cake. (I love that.)

    And there's nothing I can do. And there's nothing I can say to you. I've got a lot of work to do? Hmm. I think she's his girlfriend, he's more in love than she is, and she's mad at him for something he's done (or failed to do), so to punish him she's gone off with some random dude. He, having an inferiority complex as he does, takes all the responsibility on himself -- he's got a lot of work to do in order to gain her love. He guesses he'll leave it up to her. As any weenie would.

    As to why Rick James, I don't think it's literal, I just think that's a derogatory reference to the random dude that his girlfriend just went off with.
    ElWhoppoon August 20, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentActually, I've been pondering the meaning of this song for a while, and I've only come to one possible meaning so far... An average Joe wanting some kind of revenge on a rock star (Rick James), who has all that he wants.

    In the first verse, a concert scene is being described, "the scattering flock" being fans. "Ascending quick into the author's bathroom" could mean the celebrity's dressing room, just an assumption, though. This basically represents what Rick James has, and the other man does not.

    "Meanwhile, Rick James takes her nude (new?)
    And there's nothing I can do" -- Rick James has the girl that he wants, and he got her easily. There's nothing else he can really do, since Rick James is famous, and he doesn't stand a chance.

    The second verse kind of sounds like describing the actual ac of revenge, possibly a break-in ("Uninvited, we'll stay if we want"), possibly to get blackmail on the celebrity ("searching through your closets for your grandfather's gun" and "scratching at the bottom for another clue")

    Anyhow, just my humble opinion, and I'm afraid this has turned into a bit of a rant, anyway.
    -pyrokinesis-on April 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHmm, I always thought it was 'lettuce-toothed junkies', ie, rotten, flat teeth.
    Arafelison August 18, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNo sure about the line:
    " Fawn, Jo and Tootsie are out on a wire Lettuce-toothed junkies all full of desire"

    To me, it sounds like, and makes more sense as:
    "Fangio and Tootsie are out on a wire, there's two junkies all full of desire"

    Fangio is man's name. Tootsie a woman. Two of them. Both with desire.

    $0.02
    ace10on July 30, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have no clue what it means beyond what it says...I kinda understand in my head, but that doesn't help in explaining it. Love the song tho.
    thinkitbeiton June 29, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree. this song has really good imagrey and this song describes a feeling perfectly. I just can't put my finger on what that feeling is...
    spydermunkie101on June 07, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthey well, for one thing, i think the lyrics are wrong?
    its fon, jo, and tootsie are out on a wire mans tooth junkies are full of desire meanwhile rick james takes her new

    and im SURE its meanwhile rick james takkes her new and not nude

    i think the song means that he (the singer) is kind of tired of taking care of rick james (whoever that is) and he doesnt want to ne more. but besides that, i dunno
    Baileyroxon June 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my favorite Cake song, but I can't really say what it meants, except that Rick James was a rock star who went through alot of rock star problems like drug addiciton and the like. I'm not sure, but I might have heard John McCrea's friends with him.
    Wrapidon June 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm pretty sure it's takes her 'nude', since that's actually a phrase people use, where as takes her 'new' really doesn't have any meaning I can think of.

    Not that I have any clue what the song is about. Rick James is a rock star, though, like Wrapid said. Just watch the Chappelle show. =D
    Immortal113on December 02, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsuper freak, super freak.
    give it to me baby.

    ^--its gotta be nude, not new
    WukieSlapon December 11, 2004   Link

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