"Rat Who Would Be King" as written by and Matthew Good....
Even a blind squirrel
Finds a nut
Once in a while
Once you're in you're pretty much fucked

When I was the rat
The rat who would be king
I imagined typhoid
And us alone
Always us alone

And I've waited on the sidelines
All this time
All this time
And I've a grenade
With our names scratched on the side
But that's just love
And you know that love's not enough
No, no, love's not enough

Crawl from the sea
Wait for some thumbs
A greatness to breed
Build the mall of America

When I was the rat
The rat who would be king
I imagined ashes
And us alone
Always us alone

And I've waited on the sidelines
All this time
All this time
And I've a grenade
With our names scratched on the side
But that's just love
And you know that love's not enough
No, no, love's not enough
Love's not enough
Love's not enough


Lyrics submitted by ang

"The Rat Who Would Be King" as written by Matthew Good

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Rat Who Would Be King song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, i think its one of matt goods most poetic and powerful songs!

    "I imagined ashes and us alone
    Always us alone"

    That line gets to me everytime!
    daisie_bfaon May 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"And I've a grenade
    With our names scratched on the side
    But that's love."
    this is a great song

    blenderon September 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA great song to relate to. Especially the lines "And i've a grenade with out names scratched on the side but that's just love and you know love's not enough" its really sad and brutally true. If anyone's been in that situation where it feels like a battle, but there's still love.. you know it's not enough. Also, the lyric "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile" Sounds like "even I can get lucky once and awhile" i like the humility. In the end its just dark love baby
    Brosiveon June 17, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe symbolism used here is amazing. The picture Matt paints of a Rat, normally viewed as a dirty, worthless creature, elevated to a King by virtue of luck is powerful, and adds to the sense of loss in the song. It is clear from the line, 'and you know that love's not enough" that the Rat has lost, or is going to lose his love, and there is very little chance of him ever regaining it.

    The most difficult part of the song for me to understand was the imagery of typhoid and ashes, and how these two disasters were imagined by the Rat and faced alone, without outside help. Perhaps Matt is trying to convey the Rat looking ahead, envisioning his future and only seeing death and sorrow. Or perhaps the Rat has megalomaniac tendencies, and he is imagining situations where in the face of these disasters he alone can help his love, which would bring them closer?

    The analogy of love to a grenade with names scratched on the side is probably the most accurate description of love I have ever encountered. The idea of love being a battle is well depicted here, but the symbolism of a grenade takes it even further. Love, like a grenade, can be thrown away, and it will blow up in your face over one seemingly small event, in this case a pin being pulled.
    Glookon October 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just saw Matthew Good live at a show, and he played this song, and it was so awesome.

    IT's one of my favorite songs, and hearing it played live is even more beautiful.
    Willowbearon November 04, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is posted twice.
    CÆTon November 19, 2004   Link

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