"Arnie" as written by Les Claypool, Reid L. Iii Lalonde and Bryan Kei Mantia....
The man he stepped up to the microphone and he gave it a kiss.
It was a big wet, slippery kiss.
And he had sweat dripping off of his nose onto the windscreen.
As he looked out over the audience he said,
God bless you, God bless you one and all.
Then he took a can of Ronson lighter fluid
And he squirted it over the top of his head.
And proceeded to light himself on fire
As he stood there glowing and said,
Remember this day.

Lyrics submitted by knate15

"Arnie" as written by Les Claypool Bryan Kei Mantia

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Arnie song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song is, to me, the most profound one on the entire album. I've heard some reviewers say that the narration sounds critical of what Arnie is doing, but to my ears it sounds like Claypool is describing a scene that makes one wince, no matter what else it might mean. I hear no condemnation in the narration.

    Arnie, for reasons not thoroughly explored (but possibly involving too many drugs) decides to set himself on fire. Is this a reference to Hendrix or the protesting monk? Possibly there's inspiration, there. But note what Arnie goes on to do and say: he extends his (possibly drug-amplified) love to the entire audience. And then comes the line that repeats over and over:

    Remember this day.

    It repeats until he dies, from the sound of it. But what does it MEAN?

    Well, ARE those people going to remember? Yes, of course. That scene will stick in their heads for the rest of their lives. And for those moments they will have been completely and utterly alive to the present moment. All of the extraneous chatter and bias in their brains will be replaced by the sight of that man on fire.

    When I finally “got” this interpretation of this song I had a kind of awakening. It jolted me into realizing just how much I was living apart from the here and now – and just how big a jolt it usually took me to snap me out of that trance.

    From that moment onward I realized that I didn't NEED a jolt to extricate myself from habitual thoughts and feelings – that I could be present to the current moment just be realizing that one cannot REMEMBER THIS DAY if one was only sleep-walking through it.

    Was that Les Claypool's intended meaning? I don't know. All I know is that this song caused me to re-evaluate my perspective on life. And you know what? I REMEMBER, in stark detail, the day I had that insight.
    Neosimianon February 14, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis obviously ties in with the political 1800's theme that the Brown Album adopted.
    JAStewarton November 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGive careful listen to the closing track on The Brown Album, "Arnie," a three-and-a-half-minute, booming instrumental, disturbed only by a few unminced words about the protagonist's desperate struggle for one shining minute in the spotlight, a struggle that leads the mysto-man to douse himself with lighter fluid and torch himself onstage, burning to cinders at the microphone with the ominous au revoir, "Remember this day!"

    I found that on some interview. And also, what is this whole Political 1800's thing the Brown Album is about?
    Petary791on April 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti wouldnt say 1800's but more like turn of the century. late 1800's early 1900's
    Terminal Sickieon January 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe brown album has a theme?
    El Moeon January 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit wasnt so much that it was political 1800s, but the late 1800s in general

    The entire album was recorded with analog equipment, thats why the drums sound so different on this album. this song is obviously about a guy who wanted his fifteen minutes of fame.

    the rest of the album has much to do with events that took place back then, such as going over niagra falls, and boxing matches.
    usernamedeletedon January 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJimi Hendrix, Monterey Pop Festival - His debut performance in America. No one had ever seen him or heard him live on this side of the pond. Before he lit his guitar on fire, he said to the audience that he wanted to do something special, and that he loved everyone so much. He proceeded to squirt ronson lighter fluid onto his guitar and burned it. If you look at footage of this concert, the audience is shocked, confused and overwhelmed by this performance - "Remember this day." The day rock and roll changed, single handedly altered by one man...
    TBRK98on July 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentand BTW the advertisment above the comments for lighters cracks me up
    Chris Ron August 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhile I think the Hendrix and idea and the ironic idea (Chris R's) may be a apart of it. This song also makes me think of the Buddhist monk who protested the Roman Catholic persecution of Buddhist in Vietnam in the 1960's by burning himself to death. One of the teachings of Buddhism is that all of us are essentially one being, and a great achievement is to love all as one loves oneself. This could make the "God bless you" line not ironic, while the man burns himself alive to draw attention to the persecution at hand.


    That guy is one intense mother fucker.
    Chard121on December 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just read this and it seemed worth adding. A microphone was actually involved in the monk burning himself.

    "In English and Vietnamese, a monk repeatedly declared into a microphone, "A Buddhist priest burns himself to death. A Buddhist priest becomes a martyr." "
    Chard121on December 13, 2011   Link

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