one wound up punch of intuition
lays flat my whole take on us.
you're the girl on the wing of a barnstormer
the tidal rabbit who came of age before her time.

we could have been so good-natured
if i'd relented when you insisted,
but we've been backed against
all nature's walls far too long.

you felt abandoned by me,
i recall the sunshine as you were melting
and though the comedy softens the fall
they still hear us with their ears to the wall.

i sold all my evil motives,
no icicles stuck in my hide.
i'm through with riddles, i know we're little
just help me feel warm inside.

before we take this ride and let it slide
into the cracks where fall and winter collide.
i surrender all my gall in a song of modern love.
remember you're the one who summoned me above any other kind.

we could have been so good-natured
if you'd relented when i insisted,
we take a week off, let the garden grow by itself
and let the gluttons fill themselves with all the worst of the gory ninties.
and though the comedy softens the fall, we stall fall short.

before we take this ride and let it slide
into the cracks where fall and winter collide.
i surrender all my gall in a song of modern love.
remember you're the one who summoned me above any other kind.


Lyrics submitted by rudegirl

Girl On The Wing song meanings
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37 Comments

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  • +3
    General Commentthe shins' lyrics are too cryptic to really understand anything about what they're talking about.

    but that's what i
    l3olov3ron March 12, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"before we take this ride and let it slide
    into the cracks where fall and winter collide."

    That's one of the catchiest lines ever written. I love The Shins and Mercer's use of words. This is a great example of it.
    clearlygonemadon December 16, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think its about a good relationship being made complex by the modern system of courtship. you can tell theyre tired of how things are going, so theyre gonna try and make thinks simpler for themselves.
    DyolfKnipon February 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've loved the Shins for a loooooooong time and today I just realized how incredible this song is, for like the 9th time. I love this band. Mercer's word use is unlike anyone. His words, themselves are catchy- they role right off the tongue. I love it!
    babyjane8733on January 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIdly browsing wikipedia (page on barnstorming) found this quote whhich is nice with this song:

    "Jessie Woods of the Flying Aces Air Circus declared: "Don't let them kid you — it wasn't romantic. I slept on the bottom wing of an airplane. I learned how to sleep there without falling off. I've gone through as much as three days without sleep. There's nothing romantic about that.""
    StatusFrustrationon April 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentisn't it "girl sailor, don't sink her."
    not "girl, sail her don't sink her"
    or maybe it's both, i mean, it could be a play on words

    i mean, it is called girl sailor
    so..yeah
    juliac3on September 10, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOMG i meant to post this on girl sailor
    i am so sorry
    juliac3on September 10, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentStatusFrustration's quote is so applicable to this song (Don't let them kid you it wasn't romantic. I slept on the bottom wing of an airplane. I learned how to sleep there without falling off. I've gone through as much as three days without sleep. There's nothing romantic about that) and just so awesome.

    Ok. so. i think (and i only think this, because of course i must simplify it and look at it through my life to understand it better, as does anyone else trying to interpret lyrics, especially of the shins) this is about a relationship between two people who are involved in a sort of balancing act. they both want each other. but they both won't admit it. they are both protecting themselves, both in fear of pain. oh god damn it, i should be studying for a final i have in 3 hours but i'm too shocked by the brilliance of this song which i just realized, again, after listening to it hundreds of times.

    OK.

    one wound up punch of intuition
    lays flat my whole take on us.
    (he has a logical analysis of the relationship between him and this girl, he's way over-analyzed the situation because he's in love with her... (like girl inform me)... and logically, he realized the relationship is fucked up. that he's insane to stay in it. that she probably doesn't like him, really. but his intuition, his gut feeling he has when he's around her, completely obliterates all of his logical reasoning.)

    you're the girl on the wing of a barnstormer
    ("Don't let them kid you it wasn't romantic. I slept on the bottom wing of an airplane. I learned how to sleep there without falling off. I've gone through as much as three days without sleep. There's nothing romantic about that." the barnstormer is their relationship, they're perhaps both over analyzing it, and therefore there is this sort of fragile balance maintained and if either of them fuck up that balance-- whether it is imagined or not-- then they will fuck the whole romance up.)

    the tidal rabbit who came of age before her time.
    (not sure, perhaps pertaining to the balance--? donno.)

    we could have been so good-natured
    if i'd relented when you insisted,
    but we've been backed against
    all nature's walls far too long.
    (they could have a normal, socially acceptable relationship. if they stopped running away from each other, afraid they would fuck up whatever they have... if instead of this weird game they're playing, they would just fulfill each other's true wants... then they would be "good-natured"-- no tricks, no games, no balancing act. but they've been "backed against natures walls" they've been playing this game that expresses their truest fears, their true natures, for too long that they cant just jump into a normal relationship suddenly. they're both too stubborn, too stuck in their flighty nature.)

    you felt abandoned by me,
    (she often feels abandoned, dejected because he's trying to play this game of nonchalance and she can never truly, logically, definitely tell if he actually likes her because of this game... she can never be sure if his indifference is part of the game or his true feelings.)

    i recall the sunshine as you were melting
    (not sure, but i love this line.)

    and though the comedy softens the fall
    they still hear us with their ears to the wall.
    ('they' are those who know of this relationship. who don't understand it, but want to understand it. want to classify it. so they become spectators of the relationship, trying desperately to categorize it? as for the comedy, i don't know, perhaps because their relationship is so absurd, it's comedic, and therefore it seems more lighthearted, so if it ends, because it was never "officially serious," on the surface, then it "softens the fall," any devastation that may later occur... or they would like to believe their almost- comedic game will save them from hurt, from the fall.)

    i sold all my evil motives,
    no icicles stuck in my hide.
    i'm through with riddles, i know we're little
    just help me feel warm inside.
    (here is his true desire, spoken plainly. he wants to stop the deception, his self protection. no more games... he wants her. he wants to stop pretending they're special, that their relationship is somehow superior because of its unclassifi-ability... because of the game their playing. they're like any other little human. they both just want love, that's all. he admits it.)

    before we take this ride and let it slide
    into the cracks where fall and winter collide.
    (before they play the relationship into the ground, to death, he's going to surrender. in the autumn, it was a fruitful game but it has been decaying, it's dying, quickly decaying, spinning towards winter, death, it can easily fall into that crack between fall & winter-- basically death, paralysis... even though it can't completely die because there is something there, it will fall into that crack, it will freeze, and will probably not be fix-able.)

    i surrender all my gall in a song of modern love.
    remember you're the one who summoned me above any other kind.
    (his is becoming aggravated by this game, exasperated. he surrenders. he admits his love and tries to avoid her running away by saying that she was the one who started it all, that they both decided to do this weird game, and that she must have similar feelings if she chose him over others. if she chose to also stick with the game.)

    we could have been so good-natured
    if you'd relented when i insisted,
    (back to what i said before)

    we take a week off, let the garden grow by itself
    (their desire for each other grows when they are apart. the distance somehow strenthens their feelings, the relationship, the game and it's audience. also, maybe they both need to step back from the analysis of this relationship... and when they do that, the garden grows... meaning the importance of it, the passion in it, the fruitfulness of it grows. they've avoided falling into that crack and now it's growing again, they've moved forward in the relationship.)

    and let the gluttons fill themselves with all the worst of the gory ninties.
    (let people critique the relationship, they dont care)

    and though the comedy softens the fall, we still fall short.
    (hmmm.... "we still fall short" perhaps this means the relationship has still not completely plunged into the ground. despite the obstacles, it has still not been completely devastated. it has fallen short of destruction...?)




    ok. way over-analyzed. i do this with everything. oh well.

    eating_for_youon December 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think it's like when you give up everything that you held dear even though it was wrong ("i sold all my evil motives, no icicles stuck in my hide.") and then all you have is the people you love to help you through ("just help me feel warm inside.")

    aDorkinSuburbiaon June 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto me, it seems more like its about these two people who love each other, but just cant get along and always fall out... and in this son he is saying "cant we just forget it all and be happy".
    as for the "i sold all my evil motives,
    no icicles stuck in my hide.
    i'm through with riddles, i know we're little
    just help me feel warm inside" well he is just saying that he's willing to forget all grudges and just let them be happy.
    anyone else?
    sambo28on September 22, 2004   Link

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