"Shadow Stabbing" as written by G Kane and John Mccrea....
Adjectives on the typewriter
He moves his words like a prize fighter
The frenzied pace of the mind inside the cell

The man on the street might just as well be
The man on the street might just as well
The man on the street might just as well be

Outside, outside the world
Out there you don't hear the echos and calls
But the steel eye,
Tight jaw
Say it all
Say it all

But the white paint,
Plastic saints
Say it all
Say it all
Say it all

Say it all,
Say it all,
Say it all,
Say it all,
Say it all,
Say somebody,
Has got to say it all
Somebody
Has got to say it all

I'm so nervous
I'm so tense
My heart can't forget about this self defense
The air is so hot
And my breath comes fast
I thumb the cool blade but I know this can't last

I thumb the cool blade but I know this can't last

Outside, outside the world
Out there you don't hear the echos and calls
But the steel eye,
Tight jaw
Say it all
Say it all

But the white paint,
Plastic saints
Say it all
Say it all
Say it all

Say it all,
Say it all,
Say it all,
Say it all,
Say it all,
Say somebody,
Has got to say it all
Somebody
Has got to say it all

Yeah, adjectives on the typewriter
He moves his words like a prize fighter
The frenzied pace of the mind inside the cell

The man on the street might just as well be
The man on the street might just as well
The man on the street might just as well be


Lyrics submitted by shut

"Shadow Stabbing" as written by John M Mccrea George Kane

Lyrics © Stamen Music

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Shadow Stabbing song meanings
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71 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentHmm, I am curious about this murder theory. But not curious enought to email Munkman.
    death_by_catapulton June 30, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDon't know if it's true, but growing up I always thought this song was about Rubin "Hurricane" Carter who was a famous boxer ("prize fighter") who was wrongly convicted of a murder at a bar which took place in the middle of the night ("shadow stabbing"). He was imprisoned for two decades during which time he wrote his autobiography and his version of events:

    "While incarcerated at Trenton State and Rahway State prisons, Carter continued to maintain his innocence by defying the authority of the prison guards, refusing to wear an inmate's uniform, and becoming a recluse in his cell. He read and studied extensively, and in 1974 published his autobiography, The 16th Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472, to widespread acclaim."

    You can see the parallels with the writing references in the song and "frenzied pace of the mind inside the cell" and "heart can't forget about this self-defense" as he's writing his story to claim his innocence. Also, "thumbing the cool blade" could be a clever play on words referring to the fact that Carter's true blade was his pencil a la "pen is mightier than the sword". It seems like the whole song stages this furious scribbling of words almost as if it's a pre-fight routine ("I'm so nervous, I'm so tense"), or like he's awaiting his final verdict/appeal.
    alex116624on February 25, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti guess i won't go into detail right now, but the song is about Murder....if you want more detail, e-mail me.....
    Munkoon July 17, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI originally just liked this song because it's so catchy, and that line about how "The white paint / Plastic saints / Say it all."
    The more I think about it, the more I think it's about creativity, and how when you're writing something, you're sort of inside yourself (that's why the MIND's inside the cell). There's a really cool artist-as-deviant/criminal/outsider thing going on.
    You try to express what you feel, and what you see, but you can't, because there's always something there that does it better (Steel eyes, tight jaws; it's always something unspoken that you're trying to put into words).You feel like it's your mission to tell the whole truth about the world. "Somebody has got to say it all."
    a-girlon April 18, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmurder?
    Baileyroxon June 01, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe above comment is pure blasphemy.
    Eamonon January 23, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyou've never heard of someone being "steely eyed"? It's about someone's facial features at the time.. he's steely eyed and has a tight jaw... he's angry, or anxious
    billvmc2000on September 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis may not be the best interpretation, but I see it as a song about a journalist.

    "Adjectives on the typewriter
    He moves his words like a prize fighter
    The frenzied pace of the mind inside [the cell]"
    --The journalist frantically and (he believes) masterfully manipulates the language, his prize work. The cell could just be the newspaper office, or his cubicle or den. Whatever. "to sell" also works -- gotta sell the paper.

    "The man on the street might just as well be
    The man on the street might just as well
    The man on the street might just as well be"
    --He believes he is so much more informed than John Doe. Whether this is true or not is up for grabs; perhaps he is not special and might as well be a man on the street!


    "Outside, outside the world
    Out there you don't hear the echos and calls"
    --The world is ignorant, but our hero knows what's going on!

    "But the steel eye,
    Tight jaw"
    --He's a real hero, really determined to tell the world, to:
    "Say it all
    Say it all"

    "But the white paint,
    Plastic saints
    Say it all..."
    --Not really sure yet... Plastic saints = his personality? "Say it all" is repeated; that's the journalist's creed, to say it all, to tell the whole story.


    "Say it all,
    Say somebody,
    Has got to say it all"
    --and that somebody is our hero, the journalist.

    "I'm so nervous
    I'm so tense
    My heart can't forget about this self defense
    The air is so hot
    and my breath comes fast
    I thumb the cool blade but I know this can't last"
    --Not really sure -- but, if he is "saying it all" about a corrupt government, as has been speculated, he may have to fight the oppressive "ministries" of information or censors... he is getting high off his rebellion (the high is suggested by "can't last" and the thumbing of a "cool blade" -- very sensory-oriented details)

    Anyway, no doubt a fantastic song.
    straight_upon March 02, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's not about murder in general, it's suicide.
    -"adjectives on the typewriter/he moves his words like a prize fighter/the frenzied pace of the mind inside the cell"
    He's writing out his suicide note and passionately listing the reasons why he wants to die, probably listing wrong-doings of specific people and trying to hurt them with his words. He is absolutely set on suicide, feverishly typing out the note and not thinking about anything else.

    -"the man on the street might just as well be/ outside, outside the world/ out there you don't hear the echos and calls"
    This verse reiterates the fact that he feels isolated, as if he must be alone in the world. Any attempts he might have made to get people to notice his depression were ignored, thus leading to suicide. Maybe he even threatened suicide before, so this attempt is being ignored.

    -"the steel eye/ tight jaw/ say it all"
    You can easily picture the expression he wears; an emotion of pure decisiveness that he has made his decision to commit suicide.

    -"white paint/ plastic saints/ say it all"
    Obviously a reference to religion, specifically Catholicism. White paint sounds like a reference to a mental institution since the walls are usually a bare white. Perhaps he had attempted to get psychiatric help in the past without success.

    -"somebody/ has got to say it all"
    He feels like people need to know what he feels and what they did wrong to him.

    -"I'm so nervous, I'm so tense/ my heart can't forget about this self-defense"
    Humans naturally want to fight for survival when faced with death.

    -"The air is so hot and my breath comes fast/ I thumb the cool blade, but I know this can't last"
    He has a moment of insecurity with his decision as his instincts fight for survival, but because he is so set with the idea of suicide, he knows that feeling won't last.
    Chesteretteon May 17, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment....... :( my whole huge ass responce has been erased..... :*(
    Munkoon July 17, 2002   Link

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