"The Ascent Of Stan" as written by and Benjamin Scott Folds....
Pangs of silence
From the room upstairs
How's the view there?
Do you read what they're saying about you?
That you're no fun
Since the war was won
In fact, you have become all of the things you've always run away from

The ascent of Stan
Textbook hippie man
Get rest while you can

So where'd the years go?
All the time we had?
Being poor was not such a drag in hindsight
And you wonder why your father was so resigned
Now you don't wonder any more

The ascent of Stan
Textbook hippie man
Textbook hippie man
Get rest while you can

Stan: Once you wanted revolution
Stan: Now you're the institution
Stan: How's it feel to be the man?
It's no fun to be the man

And now, watch it all go down

The ascent of Stan
Textbook hippie man
Textbook hippie man
Get rest while you can

Once you wanted revolution
Now you're the institution
How's it feel to be the man?

It's no fun to be the man

Lyrics submitted by ang

"The Ascent of Stan" as written by Benjamin Scott Folds Ben Folds

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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The Ascent Of Stan song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentI would like to acknoledge the amazing piano in this song.

    /piano is AMAZING!

    And aside from Ben's skills as a pianist/vocalist, can we even START talking about his spectacular composition skills? He is also a very poignant lyricist. I love (as in adore, as in want to have sex with) this CD.

    I am VERY surprised that no one mentioned the irony in the title of this song. "Ascent" has a very positive connotation, rising up is something that most people associate with success and happiness. This song could have just as easily been "The Descent of Stan" and none of us would have thought it didn't fit.

    :( It's unfortunate that many people sacrifice their ideals for money and status. That is not the kind of ascent I want to make in my life.
    little_PINK_lieson March 29, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI don't think that this song is necessarily about Stan selling out or becoming evil. I think it's about growing up, realizing you were wrong and the inevitable cycle of authority. This guy, Stan, in my mind, was the leader of a political revolution, One that hated "the man" and authority in general. The revolution succeeded, so what did they do then? They made Stan "the man". Even if they got rid of authority and government, they would have eventually realized that they needed order; they needed authority.

    Now Stan is in charge, with all of this responsibility. He's making decisions other people don't like because they can't understand them. Now they're protesting and rallying against /him/. “How’s it feel to be the man? It’s no fun to be the man.” Now Stan realizes that things aren’t as simple as they seem from the outside. Actually being in charge isn’t as easy as protesting. Sticking to your original beliefs isn’t at the possible. Stan has ascended to the top, but not in a positive way. He can see things no one else can; he can see consequences for his actions. He can see opposing views. He makes decisions based on this and people don’t like it because they can’t see what he sees.

    I like this song. Everytime I see people wearing anarchy t-shirts or talking about how all government sucks, I think of it.
    Sehmaraon September 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI, personally like, this song. It seems to me that not many people do, but I like it because I know the feeling, being rebellious one moment, then being rebelled against. This is a really good piece of work with a decent sound to it.
    bigmeanie2002on May 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a reall good song great piano.

    God bless Ben Folds :D
    MorningStaron May 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is a great song, reminds me of a bank manager who had to where a hat at work because he had a tattoo from his youth on his forehead saying something along the lines of 'f*ck the system' or some sucxh thing.
    freddysgirlon May 29, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about not conforming and doing what you want, but then you eventually end up like everyone else. "In fact, you have become all of the things you’ve always run away from"-You used to hate the followers, but now you are one. "Once you wanted revolution,
    Now you’re the institution" This is the line that defines the song.
    Rosesion May 29, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe opening music to this reminds me of the "Mess" on the Reinhold Messner album. (Ben Folds Five.)
    Sounds smiliar. However, I do like this song, even though I dont care for "Mess" all too much.
    anna118kon June 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentanna118k, i saw him in concert and he acknowledged the smilarities between this and "mess." He said he could sue himself for it, but that he'd see himself in court about that one. Anyway, on the surface this song is what everyone has said, its like growing up and accepting the status quo.
    however, my sister made a good point. she said it is about his fear of selling out. "in fact you have become/all of the things you've always run from" seems to be the best example. Ben Folds is (was) pro-napster, and makes music because he loves it. If I were him, I would be afraid that I'd end up lame, performing on the Teen Choice Awards just for the money in it.
    Oh yeah, I really like "Mess" i think it is a beautiful, tragic song.
    SupergirlKathon July 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about vietnam...how some guy was protesting against the war, and then when it was over, he went back to being normal...like the rest of the world which he was running from. he was a hippy man
    Emanual200on July 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJesus God, this song sounded okay to me at first but after a couple of plays its just gotten to me...in a negative way. To me, this is the worst song on the album. The chorus is so damn annoying, 'textbook hippie man"? Very weak.
    Stinger947on August 07, 2002   Link

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