I think I'll go home and mull this over
Before I cram it down my throat
At long last it's crashed, its colossal mass
Has broken up into bits in my moat

Lift the mattress off the floor
Walk the cramps off
Go meander in the cold
Hail to your dark skin
Hiding the fact you're dead again
Underneath the power lines seeking shade
Far above our heads are the icy heights
That contain all reason

It's a luscious mix of words and tricks
That let us bet when we know we should fold
On rocks I dreamt of where we'd stepped
And the whole mess of roads we're now on

Hold your glass up, hold it in
Never betray the way you've always known it is
One day I'll be wondering how
I got so old just wondering how
I never got cold wearing nothing in the snow

This is way beyond my remote concern
Of being condescending

All these squawking birds won't quit
Building nothing, laying bricks


Lyrics submitted by rudegirl, edited by eyzovblu, DsquareD

Caring Is Creepy song meanings
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145 Comments

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  • +12
    General CommentIt seems stupid to apologize before hand, but no matter: I'm not sure if this is correct, only my humble opinion. Wouldn't want to tread over everyone's highly important emotional investments in this song...
    But, what I'm thinking is that it's about not being able to show feelings out of fear of being vulnerable. Everyone does this. Anyone who's ever been to highschool knows about fronts.
    I'm not sure if the title "caring is creepy" is meant to be taken to heart. I think he's singing about how stupid fronts are, but no matter how he tries, he's stuck with it...so, what he feels very often is that caring is creepy, even if he knows that it's bullshit.
    "I think I'll go home and mull this over before I cram it down my throat." As in, pretending it doesn't bother him and then beating yourself up about it later.
    Or..."hold your glass up, hold it in, never betray the way you've always known it is." Hold it in, pretend like nothing can dig into you.
    "I never go cold wearing nothing in the snow." I'm not sure about this one. But it seems like it's the way to not be effected by all the cold in the world, even when, in reality, he's just naked along with everyone else.
    The metaphorical naked.
    And then, there all the references to moats and building walls and various other ways of protecting yourself...even if you're "building nothing"
    Happytuneson April 21, 2004   Link
  • +10
    General CommentThis song has nothing to do with caring or love. It is a song about a man coming out of the haze that is human existence and figuring out that it's all a sham. For anyone who hasn't experienced this, it is a little difficult to follow, but here's basically what it's saying:

    Verse1: Our hero gains the realization that his life is a sham, that everything he holds dear is an illusion, and that we are all part of the "same compost heap" as Tyler Durden once perfectly put it. His entire life (the castle wall) comes crashing down around him (into the moat).. "at long last".. because life can only truely begin once the sham of existence that our society enforces on us crumbles away, even if it is a painful and disorienting experience.. hence verse 2

    Verse 2: Time to gain our bearings.. without the guide of what we once knew, it can be a tad disorienting.. working out the cramps in our brain and meandering about aimlessly in our minds. Every line in this verse describes a typical reaction to such an upheaval of self.. I really like the last line..

    "far above our heads are the icy heights that contain all reason" - A little fatalistic, implying that enlightenment is out of our reach, but we'll see what he has to say later in the story.

    BTW, "hiding the fact your'e dead again" is very appropriate, since realizing what our hero did.. well.. it usually takes alot of the point out of life.

    Verse 3: Yes, what a lucious mix. Our minds fool us constantly into thinking things that are bad ideas are really good ideas.. or even thinking that there are such things as bad ideas and good ideas. Most of us go through our lives on autopilot, never stopping for a single second to question why we do the things we do.. and the tangle just gets tighter and tighter.. the mess of roads we're on.

    Verse 4: Ooops.. our hero takes the bait.. he takes the path that almost every single person who experiences what he is going through takes.. he passes judgement on those who don't "get it", and even on himself.. "hold your glass up, hold it in
    never betray the way you've always known it is.".. this is a very critical comment.. let me see if I can explain it.. imagine everyone's core beliefs being the glass.. everything you believe in your heart to be true and right.. hold your glass up high, stick to those beliefs and never ever question them under any circumstances.. this represents the status quo.. the way most people are.. sticking to their guns so to speak.. and that is what our hero is BERATING.. this is not a suggestion of what to do.. he is saying that doing this is NOT the right way, because he has just thrown off all his "truths" and has realized they were all irrelevant anyway..

    >one day i'll be wondering how
    >i got so old just wondering how
    >i never got cold wearing nothing in the snow.

    I love these three lines.. they make sense if you just read them.. one day (far in the future) I'll be wondering how.."how did I get sooo old.. just by wondering how I never got cold wearing nothing in the snow"

    So the first wondering is in reference to the second wondering.. it's very nifty how they strung those words together.

    What does it mean though? "Never got cold wearing nothing in the snow".. means "How on Earth did I not see this before!?!?" (as in the realization he's newly made) And if you let that question consume you, you'll grow old just trying to figure it out, and then you'll realize, too late, that it was irrelevant.

    Verse 5:
    >> this is way beyond my remote concern
    >> of being condescending
    Basic translation: "If you thought that last rip on the idea of core beliefs was bad, just wait.. I'm going to be a real a@@hole in my next verse"

    Verse 6:
    >>all these squawking birds won't quit.
    >>building nothing, laying bricks.
    Squawking birds are all those people who just don't "get it".. that continue to prattle on and on about what is right and what is wrong and what is true and what is false, and what is good and what is bad, and who is God, and what is the nature of Man, and blah blah blah blah blah blah.. squawk squawk squawk.. ... .. and simply.. refuse.. to.. accept.. that.. it's.. all.. a.. HUGE LOAD OF CRAP... so basically, 99% of the human race... and our hero has just condemed them for the way they are..even though he was one of them just prior to the beginning of the song...

    In all, sounds like this song was written in a dark time of someone's self-awareness quest.. hopefully they mellowed out a bit since then.. if not, don't worry, buddy.. we all went through that phase of thinking everyone was wrong but us.. then we realized that such a mind-set was contrary to it all being a load of rubbish.. :)

    --
    Pat
    pfarabeeon January 23, 2005   Link
  • +7
    General Comment"Song title would suggest, as though the more you care the more of the problems you'd be in over your head about, "this is way beyond my remote concern"."
    I get so much crap for being this way.. people expect me to care about everything they do. One of my friends told me I was "too indifferent" and she "just couldn't understand how you (I) could be like that."
    tootiredtocareon June 09, 2002   Link
  • +5
    General Commentthe song is about this website.
    we're all thinking too much.
    kimberon October 07, 2004   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationHOLY SHIT.


    I shouldn't even be analyzing this because I believe so much in the song, but I guess it goes along with the irony of it.
    This kind of all branches of a Nietzschean view of "life," in my view...
    What lines speak to me the most?

    Underneath the power lines seeking shade
    We try to protect ourselves from the "truth," using the most useless, impractical things, which do nothing. Yet, we still don't realize we're protecting ourselves from any kind of "truth." It's as if we believe the shade from the power lines is real, even though it's nonexistent. This shade can be compared to the kind of "truth" we obtain from a society built on language, intellect, and logic. None of it is actual. It is all just something we've conceived of... Yet, we still try to use this blanket of falseness to "protect" us from something. In the song, it is literally the heat from the sun we're trying to protect ourselves from. In more abstract terms, it could be just the illogicity (sp), chaos, and flux in life.

    Far above our heads are the icy heights
    That contain all reason
    Yet, this "truth" I mentioned before (which is similar to the "truth" Nietzsche refers to in "On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense," as well as "The Birth of Tragedy) is not even obtainable, if it exists at all. It's "far above our heads." I think it's ironic in a way that Mercer uses "icy" to describe this... because it's as if this nonexistent "truth" is stable, but it's actually flux. Perhaps, though, he is refering to the fact that whatever this "truth" is, it is cold. It is blunt. It is something we don't want to have to admit to ourselves--- perhaps it relates to the meaninglessness of life as well as it's randomness. This, of course, in our view, is cold. Also.... I just realized he refers to (what I've always though of (in this context) as) the "truth" as reason.... but that is false. Whatever this "truth" is must be illogical... Another irony? Or perhaps he is just saying "reason" is not reachable, because it is nonexistent.

    It's a luscious mix of words and tricks
    That let us bet when you know we should fold
    I think of this "luscious mix of words and tricks" as the system of logic, system of reason, system of language, we have in place in our society. Society forces us to do things we may not completely agree with. IT forces us to adhere to rules, to a sort of logic, to a social standard... which goes against our true emotions and feelings. It makes us "bend" or adhere falsely to false rules.... when we "know we should fold" or we feel deep down that we should instead be following our emotions.

    Hold your glass up, hold it in
    Never betray the way you've always known it is
    STOPPPPPPPPPP ADHERING TO SOCIETY'S FALSE SYSTEM OF LOGIC. Follow your emotions. Become dionysian, because somehow.... that is in a way more "true" than following intellect and reason.

    One day I'll be wondering how
    I got so old just wondering how
    I never got cold wearing nothing in the snow
    Favorite. Absolute favorite line of any song, ever. Favorite quote, possibly, ever. What Mercer seems to be saying is that many people "wonder how [they] never got cold wearing nothing in the snow." AKA Even though they believe in chaos, illogicity, flux, emotion, dionysus.... they still can't tear themselves away from all reason, all logic. Somehow, they can't completely let go of their instinct to make sense of everything... they can't let go of their longing to at least believe in some kind of truth, even though they ironically believe there is no truth, no absolute. Yes, this is contradictory... but this is what, IMO, Mercer is saying............... that no matter how much some may believe in flux, and nonmeaning, in randomness (which are all connected), they can't completely tear themselves away from believing in something concrete. The fact that they believe that there is nothing, that there is no reason......... just the FACT that they believe in NONREASON... is believing in something, and is logic, IS reason. This is what the snow is.... the snow is this "truth" that is all around us. This "truth" that somehow relates to flux, to nonreason, to emotion... that we're all emersed (sp) in... yet somehow we still are not ever completely in it.... that SOMEHOW is what we try to solve.... HOW do we never get "cold"... how do we never completely become this flux and illogicity, even though we believe in it? Perhaps because we DO believe in it, and that is completely opposite of what we believe in. I know this makes no "sense" but it's not supposed to. Try to live with this chiasmic unity I am trying to explain... yet never will be able to fully explain.... and that is how I will "get so old" wondering. I will never be able to reach a full explanation of this.... and yet I will continue to try to. I know I will not reach an end, yet I will continue to try until I am old, and wondering how I continued to wonder, even though I knew the "truth" all along. What irony. Ahhh I can't even explain it.

    All these squawking birds won't quit
    Building nothing, laying bricks
    Yet, despite everything I just said.... I still won't stop laying these bricks towards a "false" end or "truth." I won't quit. If I do, I'll be nonexistent... and I can't even explain my logic behind that. After all this, it is appropriate that I not explain logic, anyway.


    AH I love this song. Perhaps I've overanalyzed it.... I'm sure I have.... but at least it goes along with the irony present in the song. And, I am going to publish this without looking it over for typos or places where it makes no sense, because to some extent, I believe in the concept of stream of consciousness.

    eating_for_youon December 14, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think it's about being unable to break from a secure world of being alone despite wanting it.
    shockdelicaon January 03, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentto me this song is basically about thinking and caring about things WAY TOO much. the first line "i think i'll go home and mull this over" he's going to extensively ponder something although he knows it's meaningless since "far above our heads are the icy heights that contain all reason". kind of "you can't makes sense of it - because IT MAKES NO SENSE!"
    the last line is my most favorite "building nothing, laying bricks" and again it speaks to me that people make assumptions to things and are totally wrong in their assumption. trying to find meaning and reason, when in reality there is none. it's life, and life is random and unpredictable...not calculated and planned. ummm..i may be FAR off but that's my take..
    ImaCUNTagiousGIRLon June 14, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song is sad as fuck
    wallinon April 19, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHey Guys, check out this awesome, rare recording of Caring is Creepy by James Mercer. youtube.com/…

    I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
    charliesuedoon March 24, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEh, I've always seen it as the point of view from someone old and very rambly.

    Rambling on about things that pertain to their situations and their life, but the person they're talking to has no real clue what they're saying. All of this stuff makes so much sense when applied to real life, and other stuff just seems like its coming out of nowhere:
    "All these squaking birds won't quit."

    If you've ever listened to someone incredibly smart, and incredibly out of it talk, you'll know what I mean.

    The title? Caring is Creepy.

    Like everything that's said in the song is meant as advice, and is jsut pased off, like a youngster listening to his war veteran grandfather talk....

    Caring is creepy.

    Such an interpritation I'm sure isn't correct, but oh well I say! Oh well.
    Victory Marchon March 31, 2003   Link

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