"Sweet Charity" as written by and Michael Patton....
Save me
The heavens have opened
The storm is over
So let's start the parade

Raindrops
Will turn to laughter
Forever after
In your technicolor heartbeat
And they say
That it helps you forget everything

Sweet charity

You drink your poison from a cup of gold
Your gift keeps on giving and giving

Perfect photographs
Of Everest days
And postcard nights
Tearing through the paper walls of time

With sunset eyes
Telethons, Grand Canyon hearts
You numb your mind
With gloves of white and turpentine
Even the bombs and scarecrows will sing!

Sweet charity

Save me
The heavens have opened
And I'm alone
Sweet charity

Save me
The heavens have opened
I'm coming home
Sweet charity

Save me
The asylums have opened
I'm coming home
Sweet charity
I'm home free.


Lyrics submitted by NoiseCore

"Sweet Charity" as written by Michael Allen Patton

Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Sweet Charity song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThere's an old movie (orginally a Fosse musical, based on an even older Fellini film by a different name) called "Sweet Charity". I'm not sure if the song has anything to do with it, I never saw it, butttttt, I know it's about a hooker, that despite how messed up her life is and continues to be, has faith she will find her true love who will sweep her away from all her troubles. I think that has a better shot than someone "fucked up on drugs" Lyrically, it makes more sense. Kids, metaphors don't necessarily always equal drug use/experience.
    jp410on January 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of my favorite songs and I got two interpretations of this song. Ah, the beauty of avant garde.
    Firstly, it seems like this is from the perspective of a person who doesn't understand the current fascination of technology and media. Instead, the narrator enjoys the natural things in life, like the Grand Canyon, sunsets, etc. The lyrics blend all of these conflicting ideologies together in such a way to symbolize the ambiguity of the narrator's identity. This ambiguity essentially makes the narrator go insane, not knowing what should be experienced in one's life because the mass media has skewed and distorted his perception of what it is to live and have a meaningful life. The whole song is an allegory of the Apocalypse as well, symbolizing the narrator's strive to leave on a sweet charity this hellish place filled with technologically obsessed people and enter a place, an insane asylum, full of people who are consumed with their own minds rather than others. This is a brutal, yet deserved attack on our current culture for no longer thinking for ourselves. The narrator would rather be with people completely consumed with their own thoughts than stay in a world where people are completely consumed with other people's thoughts. Thus, the asylum is his heaven away from technology's apocalypse/destruction of free thought.
    My second interpretation is that the lyrics essentially depict the Apocalypse happening and blending that with what our perception of God is now, which is Technicolor, photographs, and alcohol, but basically just man made self-indulgences. Symbolically it states that the majority of people worship mass media as the sole shaper of ideologies more than god himself. I know Bungle never has religious propaganda, but what this song is saying is that people, even the most religiously devout, have had their perception of god and godliness changed due to man made inventions. This is the reason the narrator seems to be talking to god, but is really talking to a being that has a Technicolor heartbeat, drinks alcohol, gives perfect gifts of postcards and photographs, and has sunset eyes. This personification of god being a fragmentation of man made and natural characteristics again shows how much our current culture worships new technologies as the savior from all of our troubles and hardships of everyday life. The duality of god described in the lyrics, and the duality of the song structure for that matter, reinforces this idea. Technology has taken (or is currently taking) the place of god in many people's minds. I think the asylum bit at the end is a direct message from Mr.Bungle stating how insane our culture has become and that technology will not solve everything. You must be crazy to think that technology will solve the solitude of a lonely heart! As Kurt Vonnegut writes: 'Goodbye Blue Monday!'.
    GneissGuyon March 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me it sounds like someone who is taking drugs or drinking alcohol in order to escape their depression, and towards the end thoughts of suicide.
    Elstavidoon March 30, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationthis song is about a rich man being judged at the end of the world.he is asking god to let him in to heaven (asking for sweet charity). but gods saying you've been too rapped up in material things and haven't helped anyone when you could have (you haven't given sweet charity). when he says (The asylums have opened
    I'm coming home). that means he is going to hell. (asylum can means a refuge for criminals)
    dobackon March 23, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"There's an old movie (orginally a Fosse musical, based on an even older Fellini film by a different name) called "Sweet Charity". I'm not sure if the song has anything to do with it, I never saw it, butttttt, I know it's about a hooker, that despite how messed up her life is and continues to be, has faith she will find her true love who will sweep her away from all her troubles. I think that has a better shot than someone "fucked up on drugs" Lyrically, it makes more sense. Kids, metaphors don't necessarily always equal drug use/experience."

    by jp410 on January 24, 2007

    This seems like the most reasonable interpretation I've seen here. In terms of drugs, it's true that Mike Patton doesn't do any (besides caffeine), so they definitely weren't all fucked up just writing trippy lyrics for the hell of it. Regardless of whether they personally take drugs or not, think about this band. They write really deep, involved, and complex music, so the fact that they would have a song be about something as simple (or mundane) as 'someone fucked up on drugs' seems really unlikely to me. Yes, there are definite drug references involving the main character in this song ("they say it helps you forget everything", "drink your poison from a golden cup", "you numb your mind", etc.). But I think the song is more about someone in a really messed up, dire situation, doing what they can to escape it ("save me, the heavens have opened"), whether it's numbing themselves with drugs, or with delusions that someone will come sweep them out of their messed up life (as in the movie Sweet Charity), rather than being about the drugs themselves.
    sschwartzyyon October 22, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentObviously the track is not clear. To me I feel that someone has taken solace from a figurative storm inwardly in a breakdown of sorts. They're looking through a box of images [your technicolour heartbeat could relate to colourfull images within a container] and postcards from their past in the hope of avoiding their problems ["save me"], perhaps anticipating a breakdown. The breakdown is inevitable and they destroy this container full of images and postcards with turpentine. The lines following seem to be written as one sentence:

    "Tearing through the paper walls of time [the pictures we colelct to remember the past]
    With sunset eyes
    Telethons, Grand Canyon hearts [different stereotypical images we collect because of our experiences, holidays etc]
    You numb your mind
    With gloves of white and turpentine [destruction of paintwork with turpentine is quite common]"

    "I'm home free" could relate to liberation from problems of keeping your shit together and relishing the thought of finally being free from the shackles that sanity might bring. It represents to me a final yielding to insanity, letting go of the last fragments of sanity.

    Again I'm thinking aloud and am by no means an English literature reader, but this is more or less my interpretation of this.

    They're then carted to the asylum.
    champiodion June 18, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentKnowing the Androgynistic masochism of "the Patton", I assume this is about a lil' girl trying to "make it" in Hollywood.

    Eyes full of hopes and glitter, only to be Bukaked by the harsh truth of reality.

    A monotonous redundancy of acceptance sets-in as the song fads/the sun sets.
    joe1149014on July 04, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think its about getting realeased from prison, "and I'm alone".
    deejuks2on December 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentactually, i think this song is about the brainwash and trance of television. "sunset eyes" did that for me.
    deejuks2on February 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think there's a deep meaning, I just think it's a nice song to chill out on a summer's day to. Patton can write some sweet lyrics though.
    donniedarko28on December 19, 2007   Link

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