"We Are Underused" as written by and Stephen Malkmus....
Out beyond the call of duty --
hold your instincts hostage and stick near me
Let's drink a toast -- it's the most I can stand to cry about
The mental energy you wasted on this wedding invitation
Let's thank the host -- you've been such a perfect host
The roast was just so perfectly prepared
Now I know you care -- now I know you care
We are underused
We are underused

Simply put, I want to grow old -- dying does not meet my expectations
Let's drink a toast to all those who arrived alive to tell
About their struggles in hushed tones around a fire
It's late winter -- let's sink the ship, mix our blood, just the tip
A crip is sleeping on the basement stairs
Oh, I know he's there -- oh, I know he's there
We are underused
We are underused, yeah

(We are underused.)
(We are underused.)
(We are underused.)
(We are underused.)
We are under, under, under, under, underused!
(We are underused.)
We are under, under, under, under, underused!
(We are underused.)


Lyrics submitted by Racazip

"We Are Underused" as written by Stephen Malkmus

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We Are Underused song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentIs this about bands fizzling out? I have no idea
    seanoreillyon December 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's SM thinking about growing old, becoming middle-aged, and feeling ambivalent about slipping into a boring middle class existence. It's saying "we have all this potential, but we waste it all on the wedding invitations and preparing the roast." Thus, we are "underused"--we aren't doing anything important. Then there are the fears of the secure middle class, which grow out of their boredom with their own uneventful existences--"oh my god, there's a Crip in the house!"

    I think a lot of SM's recent work touches on this sort of stuff. He's fascinated by the contradictions of being a fundamentally middle class guy with a rock-star career. Ray Davies from the Kinks blazed this trail originally (not to say that SM has nothing original to say about it--he's brilliant).
    speedlimitdriveron December 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentok so I'm basically with speedlimitdriver. we're born human, and given the task to say we care about each other and make our lives monuments of our love and devotion.

    the lovely response: for what else is there in life?
    the cynic's response: but why care to pretend and put energies into an interpersonal devotion that's temporary and circumstantial when the effort ultimately yields nothing? (actually caring for people isn't in human nature, it's beyond the call of duty)

    I usually give too much credit to SM's ambiguity, but the polite/sarcastic lines (now I know you care, dying does not meet my expectations) make me wonder in which direction we are underused? is social obligation/affection taking away from what we should be doing (and what that is who knows), or does the truth of our natures and the holding our instincts hostage impede on how fully we could give ourselves to proving that we care? either way it's sarcastic and probably nihilistic.

    also notice how unusually stilted (even for BTC) the words in the first part are. I always figured talking about stupid cultural rituals and impressing others with your roast purposefully went with playfully using the arguably stupid metrical rules of songwriting as a means of expression.
    eleventyon June 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment**Let's drink a toast to all those will ride a lie to tell about their struggles in hushed tones around the fire.** Fabrications make the best stories especially when you ride them till' you die.
    JJavitzon May 12, 2013   Link

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