"(Nothing But) Flowers" as written by David Byrne, Jerry Harrison, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Yves N'jock....
Here we stand
Like an Adam and an Eve
The Garden of Eden
Two fools in love
So beautiful and strong
The birds in the trees
Are smiling upon them
From the age of the dinosaurs
Cars have run on gasoline
Where, where have they gone?
Now, it's nothing but flowers

There was a factory
Now there are mountains and rivers
You got it, you got it

We caught a rattlesnake
Now we got something for dinner
We got it, we got it

There was a shopping mall
Now it's all covered with flowers
You've got it, you've got it

If this is paradise
I wish I had a lawnmower
You've got it, you've got it

Years ago
I was an angry young man
And I'd pretend
That I was a billboard
Standing tall
By the side of the road
I fell in love
With a beautiful highway
This used to be real estate
Now it's only fields and trees
Where, where is the town
Now, it's nothing but flowers
The highways and cars
Were sacrificed for agriculture
I thought that we'd start over
But I guess I was wrong

Once there were parking lots
Now it's a peaceful oasis
You've got it, you've got it

This was a Pizza Hut
Now it's all covered with daisies
You got it, you got it

I miss the honky tonks,
Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens
You got it, you got it

And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention
You got it, you got it

I dream of cherry pies,
Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies
You got it, you got it

We used to microwave
Now we just eat nuts and berries
You got it, you got it

This was a discount store,
Now it's turned into a cornfield
You've got it, you've got it

Don't leave me stranded here
I can't get used to this lifestyle

Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"(Nothing But) Flowers" as written by David Byrne

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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(Nothing But) Flowers song meanings
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  • +5
    General Commentmagpiemaniac has got it! david byrne an anti-enviornmentalist?! no way.

    its just irony... byrne compares the earth without materialism as a type of garden of eden and humans as adams and eves. and arent we supposed to be satisfied with what was available to us... this garden of eden that offers us everything? but because were human, we are never satisfied, just like the character in this song.

    i think byrne is saying that now that we have manipulated the earth to reap its benefits and instilled this sense of materialism there is no going back to the days of the garden of eden or the days of hunters and gathers beucase all of us we think like the character in this song. "i cant used to this life style!!" and thats the worst part. we'd actually miss dairy queens and parking lots.
    ohpioneeron July 24, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentTo me he is using the absurdity of his lyrics to point out how we are destroying the planet.
    3Point14Sanoon May 08, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI like the contrast with songs like "Big Yellow Taxi", which complains that they paved paradise and put up a parking lot. Here we have someone in the opposite position. Where'd my parking lot go? Maybe civilization isn't all bad.
    lonedoggyon May 20, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI've always liked Byrne's different interpretations of paradise and heaven. I think here the narrator is just honest: he doesn't like this natural beauty, and he'll be damned if he's going to pretend to. Tbh, I think if I was in the world described here I would miss all the stuff we have now, and no amount of flowers would act as compensation.
    I think this song may also be about how European and American cultures have built their own heaven around themselves, and filled it with conviniences that make the world around us like a paradise. We don't really need much more to perfect the manmade world around us.
    Still, I suppose one man's treasure is another man's rubbish. I'm sure there are people who would rather live in the world Byrne describes than the Western "paradise".
    willc93on April 05, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about the way some of us tend to idealize "nature", or primitivistic, edenic fantasies, when the truth is, if we were all of a sudden transported to a place like that, we'd have no idea what to do with ourselves.

    I love the part about the highway.
    DevastatorJr.on February 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the song could be taken as a meditation on the twisting of our 'human nature' by civilisation; a post-apocalyptic paradise has arisen, and we should all be joyful that we, and the Earth, have been given a second chance; instead, the narrator pines for the old conveniences he had before the fall. It's quite cute, really; the petty little things he misses, the microwaves, Dairy Queens and 7-11s -- heck, I know I'd miss my insulin if I were in his position!
    "I can't get used to this lifestyle!"
    samadrielon January 05, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOMG I signed up to this site just to post here.. this is the most environmental song ever! i dont think its necissarily about peak oil.. more about unsustainability and the fact that somethings gonna give eventually, and when it does, were going to be ok, well live like we did before (way before).. sure well miss seven elevens and microwaves.. but well still be here, alive, sustainable, at one with nature.. look how it starts, adam and eve, buitiful and strong, waterfalls and birds in the tress ect... flowers everywhere.. its a pretty positive vision of what may come.. anywho i love this song..
    AnotherTalkingHeadon April 23, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always thought of this as a perfect fish out of water song, the kind Byrne did so well with the "unreliable narrator" he has used in so many other instances, such as "The Big Country", only in this case the problem is literally being out there with the fish, the water, and no appliances or modern conveniences. It's part of his narrator's discomfit with other aspects of modern life, but in this instance I can really imagine it as also poking a bit of fun at his fellow New Yorkers, in particular those who at times loudly profess the advantages of the city over the country.

    In many ways this song completes the circle with that narrator, who is so important in Byrne's writing, and who started off memorably in the early songs and is here at the end with a sophisticated rant on the T Heads' last album.

    A truly fabulous song, right up there with the best by the band.
    CompressedAireon March 20, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think this song is about how people can't get satisfied... I mean, people concern about the world the way it is, with all this factorys and companys, they complain a lot, but if suddenly it turned inside out, and there was daisies instead of pizza huts, people wuold be complaining too... The song is a vision of a person who is questioning other people: would you really want a better world? would you get used to it?
    mirmendson May 27, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPersonally, I think this song is about a universe "slider" who gets caught in this one universe where everyone is more environmentally intelligent. Too environmentally intelligent. And this "slider" is walking around the area that was once a city, remembering the old universe, and missing it's convienences. ("Pizza Hut", "7-Elevens", etc.)
    Other than that, it could be devolution, and this guy is the only one who misses the old days of modren times.
    ZBOVon August 31, 2002   Link

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