Bring your own lampshade, somewhere there's a party
Here it's never endin', can't remember when it started
Pass around the lampshade, there'll be plenty enough room in jail

If bein' wrong's a crime, I'm serving forever
If bein' strong's your kind, then I need help here with this feather
If bein' afraid is a crime, we hang side by side
At the swingin' party down the line
At the swingin' party down the line

Pound the prairie pavement, losin' proposition
Quittin' school and goin' to work and never goin' fishin'
Water all around, never learned how to swim now

If bein' wrong's a crime, I'm serving forever
If bein' strong's your kind, then I need help here with this feather
If bein' afraid is a crime, we hang side by side
At the swingin' party down the line
At the swingin' party down the line

Bring your own lampshade, somewhere there's a party
Here it's never endin', can't remember when it started
Pass around the lampshade, there'll be plenty enough room in jail

If bein' wrong's a crime, I'm serving forever
If bein' strong is what you want, then I need help here with this feather
If bein' afraid is a crime, we hang side by side
At the swingin' party down the line
[mumble] at the swingin' party down the line
Catch you down at the swingin' party down the line


Lyrics submitted by krushzed

Swingin' Party song meanings
Add your thoughts

14 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    My InterpretationI've found that listeners can often be confused/unsure of what the "Lampshade" means. This is only my interpretation, but I see the Lampshade as something that the user can hide under, their real self (imagine a lightbulb) is veiled and hidden beneath this Lampshade.

    Bring your own disguise.

    For a lot of party-goers this could be alcohol, or drugs. Bring your own and pass it around.

    Iris Whittaker.
    IrisWhittieon May 05, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe lyrics are mostly correct, but I think some of it needs fixing:

    ***
    "Water all around, never learned how to swim now"
    should actually be:
    "Water all around, never learn how to swim now"

    ***
    The [mumble] should actually be replaced with:
    "Everything in time"
    endofthelinejoelon October 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWesterberg has written so many outstanding songs, both uptempo defiant rockers and downtempo miserable affairs.

    This song is one of the most depressing tracks I've heard, and it's also one of my top ten favorites ever. Paul's rough, ragged voice is amazing. It's really suited to such a slow, raw confessional type of record like this.

    The lyrics are smart as ever from Paul. Great words, great voice, great melody, and great accompaniment. Awesome!
    endofthelinejoelon October 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWesterberg's humanity and honest shine through on this one...I see it as a sort of abstract description of addiction ..a realization that he is partying ...except the party aint so fun anymore ...and hes stuck (I love the inhale thats dubbed in) "...if being strong is what you want, then I need help here with this feather"...additction feels makes you feel weak
    thelighton July 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA swinging party is public execution by hanging. That's my guess. Paul is saying that he's guilty of a lot of things (being wrong, making bad choices) and if those things are crimes, he'll hang for them (figuratively, of course).
    phs1028on March 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIsn't the swinging party suicide in jail.
    scratcheron June 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe match sound and the cigarette inhalation is probably the greatest thing the 'Mats ever recorded. Just because it fits their persona so well.

    Oh, and the song's a banger as well.
    GoldenAgeCominRoundon October 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat is a lampshade?
    maryamon August 27, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat is a lampshade? Is that a serious question? This is the song that originally made me fall in love with the Replacements. What a great feat of songwriting. The imagery is amazing and the music sets the perfect mood. Hauntingly beautiful.
    KG1202on January 15, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat is a prairie pavement?
    elwyn5150on October 06, 2013   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain