"Starlings of the Slipstream" as written by and Stephen Malkmus....
I heard what you said
The leaders are dead
They're robbing the skies
I can hear their followers cry:
Ah...ooh...starlings in the slipstream
Ah...ooh...starlings in the slipstream
Ah...ooh...starlings in the slipstream
Ah...ooh...starlings in the slipstream

The language of influence
Is cluttered with hard hard see's
And I put a spy-cam in a sorority
Ah...ooh...darlings on the split-screen
Ah...ooh...darlings on the split-screen
Ah...ooh...darlings on the split-screen
Ah...ooh...darlings on the split-screen
Ah...ooh

There's no women in Alaska
There's no Creoles in Vermont
There's no coast of Nebraska
My mother, I forgot
Slavic princess with a rose in her teeth
Do you suppose she would bite you if she could?
Insane cobra split the wood
Trader of the lowland breed
Call a jittney, drive away
In the slipstream we will stay
Stay away, away, away, away, away, away, away, away, away


Lyrics submitted by Racazip

"Starlings of the Slipstream" as written by Stephen Malkmus

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Starlings of the Slipstream song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentHow does this song not have comments?

    Well, anyway, I love it.
    Thief-on July 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have very little idea of what this song is about, but I love the way the two chorus's rhyme. A starlings are birds that fly in huge flocks. A slipstream is the path behind a plane that makes anything that follows it go faster, or something like that. Maybe Pavement got caught in the wave of 90's alternative music and just got swept along with all the more popular bands?

    Anyway, the second verse is from Revenge of the Nerds. Ha!
    DevastatorJr.on August 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've got no idea but I'll take a stab. Like DevastatorJr. said a slipstream is a path behind a plane (or a car or whatever) that makes those behind it go faster because of lowered air pressure. So for the first part of the song if the leader is dead maybe all the followers are crying out because suddenly it's hard because they have no slipstream. Now they are taking control (robbing the skies).

    Second part? I dunno. Revenge of the Nerds was funny.

    For the "there's no women..." part (coolest lines ever), it probably goes along with following a leader (my mother).
    "There's no women in Alaska" is obviously false.
    "There's no Creoles in Vermont" is false but there's probably not many creoles in vermont =).
    "There's no coast of Nebraska" is true.
    Don't believe everything someone says?

    Meh.... Pavement is too disjointed...
    freakishordeon August 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust to comment on the "There's no women in Alaska, no creoles in Vermont, etc." Maybe those are useless truisms people spout, you know, and there are others he's forgot over the years.
    DevastatorJr.on October 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentas usual, i don't give a monkeys for meaning, i just know that somehow 'slavic princess with a rose, in her teeth do you suppose' is genius and that 'trader of a lowland breed, call a jitney drive away, in the slipstream we will stay' lumps my throat at 30 paces. just more genius. i can't believe how many times i've used that word commenting on their songs...to such a degree that i've either rendered it meaningless, or that malkmus is one of the few true musical genii that we indie-kidz have had the pleasure of listening to.
    a m droneson January 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOK check it out, I have always thought this was fairly obvious. One of the major causes of plane crashes is what is called "snarge", which is a very fitting name as it just sounds disgusting. Snarge is what they call the bloody remains of birds that get caught in jet engines, and it can make them crash. Why there's a specific term for this? Haha, I don't know.

    Many "leaders" have died in plane crashes, if you can figure out the specific ones being referred to let us know. Starlings in the slipstream. the rest of the song is anyone's guess, random Malkmusian gibberish perhaps?
    mothmeetsclothon February 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've always thought of "starlings" as budding celebrities, and "slipstream" as the surrealist genre. The jet makes much more sense though.

    "Malkmusian gibberish," I like that.
    clockwriston March 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSM! I love the 'spycam in a sorority' and 'slavic princess...' bits, but similar to the rest of u I can only guess what it means. Is it slightly political even? Language of inlfuence? Hard C's, is he referring to politicians, dead and alive as a harsh word beginning with C. And maybe the alaska, nebraska, vermont bits are references to injustice that the powers that be are aware of but do nothing about coz they've sold their souls...'my mother i forgot', or something like that. Even a hot princess is linked to political backstabbing. And I always thought it was traitor, not trader of a lowland breed?
    Great song anyway!!
    ed_cefaluon May 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The language of influence / is cluttered with hard, hard C's" is a great line

    I think of the song as talking about cultural influence in general and how it (now perhaps more of a mass pop culture thing as opposed to a culture influenced by the 'dead leaders') tugs at you/pulls you with it. though my reasoning/interpreting pretty much dead ends when SM starts with the slavs and the cobras and jitneys...
    eleventyon August 23, 2009   Link

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