You and your daughter
and your father
flew airplanes

You and your sister
can tell by the back of her hands

It was a dinosaur act
dinosaur act
dinosaur act
dinosaur act

After expenses
and pulling up fences
no more airplanes

And putting your foot down
a nail shot up like a bright red snowflake

Just like a dinosaur act
dinosaur act
dinosaur act
dinosaur act
dinosaur

ooo...

And all through the dust
you feel that you must hear the strings of a dove

But it's a dinosaur act
dinosaur act
dinosaur act
dinosaur act
dinosaur


Lyrics submitted by blasfemme

Dinosaur Act song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentA dinosaur is a huge, long-dead animal... so maybe this is a family of pilots; the younger generations continue with the family trade just because they're supposed to; the passion is long dead. They have the weight of history on their shoulders, but it's all an act.

    Orrrr maybe I am reading way too far into this and it's about dinosaurs.
    walkintothecon December 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPerhaps is's because they can no longer fly airplanes.
    Dinosaurs are extinct, like maybe the family business.
    "After expenses
    and pulling up fences
    no more airplanes"- maybe the children couldn't support the business anymore.
    1990on May 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit's
    "you were the daughter"
    and
    "hear the strains of a dove"
    Geckson December 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnyone have any input on this song, i can't seem to figure out a meaning??
    xtstlxon April 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLike usual, I have no idea but I love the imagery of :

    "And putting your foot down
    a nail shot up like a bright red snowflake"

    You can almost see the blood... assuming that's what the intention was. :-)
    elwyn5150on October 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalways thought it was about the husband/father either suddenly dying or leaving the relationship. his death or departure is the 'dinosaur act.' he's extinct, gone, and the rest of the song is about dealing with that.
    imissiancurtison May 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell the true definition of the term "dinosaur act" is used to describe an act or performence thats been used so often and so long that it was no effect...such as the joke "why did the chicken cross the road?"...no one laughs at that anymore...everyone knows whats coming...so in relation to lyrics...the subject of the song has been called out for being phony and well...uneffectual...that they are transparent in some way...i think the storyline or the verses are mostly just filler
    dislocated1982on April 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, the way I see it, and the way i've heard the band explain it, the song is meaningless. Apparently, they liked the phrase "dinosaur act" and started writing a song around it. The imagery is beautiful, as with most low songs.

    I am sure you can put any meaning you want behind the lyrics, but I don't see a point. I kind of like the idea of no meaning.
    LazyKiddo2525on October 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBrilliant, brilliant song. I love the joy in the chorus - the harmony is just ... epic. Seen footage of them singing this live and Alan was just beaming when he sang it. One to belt out in the shower, I've always found.

    I agree with the cmments above that the song is open to any interpretation and that it may even be meaningless. BUT for me the song seems to tell the story, albeit in a dreamily veilled way, of some sort of tragety. The lines "After expenses and pulling up fences" imples that there was a payout of some sort (redundancy? life insurance? something more sinister - silence money? witness protection?) and that the family had to up sticks and move house. Why move house? A simple downscale due to loss of earnings or was it the fleeing of some sort of scandal?

    So for me those lines are at the heart of the song.
    tony_mon March 31, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI've got a theory on the song's meaning; here goes :)

    "
    You and your daughter
    and your father
    flew airplanes
    "
    ==> It's a story about a small family business flying airplanes

    "
    You and your sister
    can tell by the back of her hands
    "
    ==> they're good at it

    "
    It was a dinosaur act
    dinosaur act
    dinosaur act
    dinosaur act
    "

    ==> however, the world changes, it's an ending story, the company is doomed because of whatever reason (dinosaur act interpreted as 'extinction' act)

    "
    After expenses
    and pulling up fences
    no more airplanes
    "
    ==> surging costs and after exhausting defending the company's operation with whatever measure available, it's finally bankrupt

    "
    And putting your foot down
    "
    ==> Denial; firm can't go bankrupt, so they're resisting bankruptcy with all their energy...

    "
    a nail shot up like a bright red snowflake
    "
    ==>...backfires; there is no way stopping the inevitable. Putting the foot down/holding ground made it worse as they lost time (money?) resisting the inevitable

    "
    And all through the dust
    you feel that you must hear the strings of a dove
    "
    ==> trying to be hopeful after the disaster, but they know there is no hope




    Anyway, that's the (trivial) story that's going trough my head sometimes when listening to this wonderful song. In the end the lyrics don't really contribute to the songs beauty and they don't have to.

    I love the line "And putting your foot down, a nail shot up like a bright red snowflake" just because of the sequence of sounds, not really what it could mean.

    What I love about this song the most is its over the top melodrama; at some days its utterly depressing; at other days I can't stop laughing while listening as it's sooooooo slow and melodramatic it is almost a parody.

    Anyway, this one song lead me to Low's full album and other work; am a big fan now :)
    voltianon August 07, 2013   Link

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