"Washing Machine" as written by Kim Gordon, Lee M. Ranaldo, Steven Jay Shelley and Thurston Joseph Moore....
Yeah, I take my baby down to the street and I buy him a soda-pop
He's so sweet

Alright now, alright now, alright now
You said that

If you want I'll be the one
Take you out and have some fun
I never never ever ever tell no one
Till the end, till the morning comes

Yeah, I take my baby down to the corner and
I buy him a soda-pop
Hmm hmm

Alright now, alright now, alright now

If you want I'll be the one
Take you out and have some fun
Flip a quarter for the toss
I'd like mine with apple-sauce

Yeah, I take my baby down to the corner and
I buy him a soda-pop
Cause he's so neat, sweet

Alright now, alright now, alright now
Okay now

If you want I'll be the one
Shake my legs and have some fun
My hearts spinnin' round like a washing machine
Never saw the devil look so damn clean

Yeah, I take my baby down to the corner and
I buy him a soda-pop
And he said: "honey, you look so fine"
And I said: okay, alright, okay, alright

I was walking up Lafayette street
It's real empty
And I looked out and it turned into a big field
And I looked up in the sky
And I looked up in the clouds
And I saw this face looking down at me
And it's a women's face
And she threw a quarter down at me and she said:
"Honey, here's a quarter go put it in the washing machine"
And then I looked up at her,
I looked up


Lyrics submitted by shut

"Washing Machine" as written by Lee M. Ranaldo Kim Gordon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Washing Machine song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI think the song is about love and sexuality. The first part, driving, aggressive, anxious ("heart's spinning round like a washing machine"). A lot of stylized indifference (the way she says "yeah" in "yeah, I take my baby down to the corner") masking her anxiety.

    The guy says "honey you look so fine," and she gives the various "okay, alright, okay, alright" which symbolize her attempts to come to emotional terms with being viewed as sexually attractive. (Her vocals are brilliantly expressive and varied as she pronounces those four words).

    The chiming guitars come in representing emotional warmth, openness, the opposite of the earlier closed-off aggression, and the beginning of the consciousness of something like real love.

    She has a supernatural experience with a woman in the sky. The woman represents her mom, or the women of the past, or feminism, or just her own "conscience," a voice inside of her which sees reality for what it is. The woman throws her a "quarter" and tells her to put it in a washing machine. I interpret this to mean that the maternal figure is telling her to acknowledge and own her sexuality, to face it rather than running away.

    Then there's a bunch of cool feedback.
    mk00on April 15, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think she's talking about a guy and he's using her and she knows it and knows she shouldn't keep it on with him but she does anyway
    greysuedegloveson March 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love the last bit
    i think the lyrics are really cool
    "i look up"
    whiskeyclonehotelon September 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentkim is always taking the part of the second class citizen "yesterdays girl"
    hazzamatazzaon June 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is sonic youth's best song.
    Ryan W=BarkleyXCoreon January 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentpoint of view from a hooker possibly?
    NegativeNeveron February 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentKim once introduced this as "a song about the future". Interesting conclusion.

    I adore this song. Really, I do. Excellent guitar, and a great shift of tone.
    Cynothoglyson September 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor me, I think this song is about love, and believe it or not, God.

    Love, mk00 already explained it.

    About God? I think the part where the melody of the song changes, especially the lyrics, is God encouraging her and giving her ways to nurture their love. Or something like that.
    Radioluckon June 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah I think the same! It's abt God and super unnatural experience.

    At the beginning of song she's normal human being having small pleasures with her boyfriend or hub... whateva... and then she facing with some unnatural being/person which recommends her to put quarter into washing machine. It means: respect your human being and sexuality and be what you really are! An pure and honest human being. It's about real innocence in every man or woman for what they will be blessed and saved for Eternal life.

    Live your life. Respect yourself. Be a man or woman without fake pictures of self, without faking. Be happy in life and give yourself something to cheer you up! There's nothing wrong in it!

    That's my view of this amazing song.
    Gorgoyleon June 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe sexuality element is certainly there, but it may be a metaphor for happiness in general. Towards the end of this song, the old lady is condescending because 'throwing a quarter' down upon our hero and telling her to 'put it in a washing machine' is the same as calling her a 'dirty whore.'
    Lyricguyon September 28, 2013   Link

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