"Thugs" as written by Robert Baker, Gordon Downie, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois and Gordon Sinclair....
Everyone's got their breaking point
With me it's spiders and with you it's me
Thugs in perpetuity
When we're excited little birds around the feeder
The cat's indifferent or he's just furious
It seems that he's never neither
I do the rolling you do the detail
I do the rolling you do the detail

Hair bird plucks a hair from a sleeping dog
To build her nest she said I've looked around
And I like your hair the best
I do the rolling you do the detail
I do the rolling you do the detail

Ruby, honey are you mad at your man?

Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death

"Thugs" as written by Gordon Sinclair Gordon Downie

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

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Thugs song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentPayne is actually fairly right. Except maybe about the fume sex thing. Though one can hope.

    The song is about being in a relationship that is bordering on emotionally abusive. Though the narrator and his (wife presumably) are going through the motions of life together (painting a room - nursery maybe? possibly, in light of the nest lines), they are only barely communicating - only discussing the bare essentials they need to function: "You do the rolling, I'll do the detail."

    The verses are his inner monologue as they work. "With you its spiders, For you its me" is pretty obvious in that he feels anything he does is enough to set her off. "Thugs in perpetuity" is him thinking this is all there is: they are destined to beat each other up forever. "The cat's indifferent or he's just furious. It seems that he's never neither" is a pretty damn accurate description of what it's like being with someone who is depressed or passive-aggressive in a relationship.

    The second verse is him wondering why they are together in the first place. She chose him as the one to build her nest with... But was it because she thought he was the best qualified, or was it literally because she liked his hair the best?

    Finally, he's just thinking what comes down to the heart of the matter: "Ruby, honey are you mad at your man?"

    More info on what some of the lyrics are referencing is out here...
    jzlp17on February 14, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about having an argument with the love of your life, silent treatment, painting a room, getting high from the paint fumes and having make up sex.
    Payneon May 17, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPayne has hit the nail on the head with his oversized hammer ***MORAL OF THE THUGS*** There are better ways to solve a fight than the violence of thugs
    canadianJAYon June 07, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's interesting, the first two lines of the song, Gord lifted them directly from an old dinosaur vs humans flick, I think it was "People That Time Forgot" which was a sequel of another dinosaur vs. human movie. I was scanning the channels one night, it was on, and the female lead, I'm thinking Sarah Douglas (?) was getting on the nerves of the main dude and says to him, "Everyone has their breaking point. With me, its spiders. With you, its me."

    I thought Hey, that's in "Tugs!"
    The movie was from the 70's.

    Like any good poet, Gord knows good stuff when he sees it.
    doodadon March 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYes, I meant to write Thugs... somehow tugs came out.. so sue me.
    doodadon March 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso watch the video for this song and you'll see what I mean. Amazing video, by the way.
    IvoKenton October 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPayne, that sounds like an entirely different song altogether.

    As for the birds around the feeder part. I see this simply as a glimpse into the mind of a "thug" who does a lot of "rolling." Basically, a cat, who would normally chase birds one at a time on opportunity, will, when they are gathering and are distracted, will get closer to his prey by seeming disinterested.

    This is a basic passive, offensive move. Get closer to the object of your desire by seeming to be disinterested.
    doodadon March 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a wonderful song, just experience it and forget the meaning.
    OpinionHeadon July 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti thought that i had read somewhere once that the Ruby, honey are you mad at your man? part had something to do with Johnny Fay's wife being upset about the touring and such....
    i could have mis read...
    sheena1983on August 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe honey are you mad at your man line is on the O brother where art thou album really made me laugh the first time i heard it i was drinking with the old man at 1:00 in the morning lol hammering back the rum and joints good time all though no one will read this for like 5 years. Johnny fay Giver hell!
    Jables23on August 20, 2011   Link

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