The yellow walls are lined with portraits
And I've got my new red fetching leather jacket
All these poses such beautiful poses
Makes any boy feel like picking up roses

There's never been such grave a matter
As comparing our new brand name black sunglasses
All these poses such beautiful poses
Makes any boy feel as pretty as princes

The green autumnal parks conducting
All the city streets a wondrous chorus singing
All these poses oh how can you blame me
Life is a game and true love is a trophy

And you said
Watch my head about it
Baby you said watch my head about it
My head about it
Oh no oh no oh no
Oh no oh no no kidding

Reclined amongst these packs of reasons
For to smokes the days away into the evenings
All these poses of classical torture
Ruined my mind like a snake in the orchard
I did go from wanting to be someone now
I'm drunk and wearing flip-flops on Fifth Avenue

Once you've fallen from classical virtue
Won't have a soul for to wake up and hold you

In the green autumnal parks conducting
All the city streets a wondrous chorus
Singing all these poses now no longer boyish
Made me a man ah but who cares what that it

And you said watch my head about it
Baby you said watch my head about it
My head about it
Oh no oh no oh no
Oh no oh no well you said
Watch my head about it
Baby you said watch my head about it
My head about it
Oh no oh no oh no
Oh no oh no no kidding


Lyrics submitted by ang

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20 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentFor me, the meaning of this song stems from the words "I did go from wanting to be someone now I'm drunk and wearing flip-flops on Fifth Avenue." In the morning you wake up and decide that you want to change, that you want to become more than are now - you might change for a couple hours, then you're back into everday routine and doing the exact same thing as the day before. For Rufus this means being drunk on Fifth Avenue, for me its back to the daily grind. This song reminds me of Ernest Hemingway's writing in the book "A Moveable Feast". After a day where nothing was accomplished despite good intentions, Hemingway writes "I felt the death loneliness that comes at the end of every day that is wasted in your life."
    tubesockson May 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is fabulous. I read a Rufus quote in which he said something to the effect of "Once I had written this song, I knew I could base an entire album of material around it." Tubesocks has maybe hit on part of the songs meaning and I absolutely love the line he quoted (some of Wainwright's poetic songwriting at it's finest), but their also seems to be something more here and I can't quite put my finger on it. Is the song more sinister than it lets on to be? And what is the tie-in to excess, as discussed on other parts of the album and such blatant fascination with materiality (see lines 2 and 6 - red leather jacket and brand name sunglasses)?
    Fredrickon June 05, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't exactly know what this song is about but I think it is about how people change. It is so beautiful the way his voice just goes right with the piano. this song is a beautiful glimpse at rufus's songwriting. I do agree with you fredrick about the red leather jacket and brand name sunglasses...
    SirSocietySSBon June 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think you're all right in a sense... i think it's about losing yourself to the world. you become more obsessed with what you see and think you need (the jacket and sunglasses and cigarettes) than what's inside (once you've fallen from classical virtue / won't have a soul to wake up and hold you). it even seems to make fun of what most people think is worth something -- "Life is a game and true love is a trophy"
    belle1313on June 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI read this song as being about a guy who has gotten by on his looks and bought into that whole model-type lifestyle with all its attractions. Methinks the boy was so in love with his own reflection and thought he would be young and handsome forever (the "classical virtue"), and therefore lived his life in a narcissistic, decadent sort of way, preferring surface over substance and depth. Perhaps compliments on his looks encouraged him to just cultivate the aspect of his being and forget about the more important things.

    Some very wise person (heh) had warned him to "watch his head about it" but he didn't listen so now he's "drunk and wearing flip-flops on Fifth Avenue". Now that he's older he probably hates the skin he's in, because his attitude and those "poses" are "no longer boyish" and therefore instead of being endearing as they were in the past, they make him look like a pathetic figure.
    ToroTrashon September 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti just think it's about selling out
    USPOAHZMSFon April 03, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with most of what ToroTrash said about this song, but I'm not so sure that it's about a shallow model as much as it is a criticism of phoniness. He's been influenced by everyone to believe that such a superficial life is ideal, and when he does realize this is true, it's too late and he's "drunk and wearng flip-flops on Fifth Avenue." He knows now that that perfect red leather jacket, brand name sunglasses and other material sources of "happiness" aren't worth much at all in the end.
    stoppretendingon April 09, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGuys this is a common theme in art, it's about how silly we are in society, putting worth on things that don't matter and never digging for deeper truth or more out of life. "there's never been such grave a matter as comparing our new brand name black sunglasses." the poses is everything that is fake, or not what it seems. "once you've fallen from classical virtue won't have a soul for to wake up and hold you." once you lose sight of thinking that the most important things in life are love and friends and working towards true happiness, if you lose sight of all that you won't have a soul for to wake up and hold you, we become empty poses, walking the streets drunk on fifth avenue, the textbook definition of your average joe, given up on bigger dreams and ideas and settling for what is easy, but empty.
    gracetbeon January 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRUFUS SAID THAT THIS SONG WAS ABOUT DRUGS and (oops sorry) about posing in the scene.

    For to smokes the days away into the evenings
    All these poses of classical torture
    Ruined my mind like a snake in the orchard
    I did go from wanting to be someone now
    I'm drunk and wearing flip-flops on Fifth Avenue
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    see? it's about the lush and lavish lifestye he lives in; the drugs and posing and how it ruins you and gets you down
    ariesstyleon August 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think you all just answered every question I might have add. Excellent inputs, everyone.
    benighted2006on November 23, 2006   Link

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