He wakes up in the morning
Does his teeth bite to eat and he's rolling
Never changes a thing
The week ends the week begins
She thinks, we look at each other
Wondering what the other is thinking
But we never say a thing
These crimes between us grow deeper

Goes to visit his mommy
She feeds him well his concerns
He forgets them
And remembers being small
Playing under the table and dreaming

Take these chances
Place them in a box until a quieter time
Lights down, you up and die

Driving in on this highway
All these cars and upon the sidewalk
People in every direction
No words exchanged
No time to exchange

And all the little ants are marching
Red and black antennas waving
They all do it the same
They all do it the same way

Candyman tempting the thoughts of a
Sweet tooth tortured by the weight loss
Program cutting the corners
Loose end, loose end, cut, cut
On the fence, could not to offend
Cut, cut, cut, cut

Take these chances
Place them in a box until a quieter time
Lights down, you up and die



Lyrics submitted by kevin


Ants Marching song meanings
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83 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment:I saw an interview w/Dave Matthews on tv and he told what inspired him to write this song. He was on a safari in africa and his friend showed him this tree. The tree only had one purpose, and that was to feed these ants. And all the different types of ants marched along the tree feeding off the sap. And if any other bug tried to get on the tree, the ants would kill it. Thats not really what the song is about, but its what inspired Dave to write it. I just thought that was kinda interesting...
    rockinangel26on August 27, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:back to that loving man and loving God thingy..the first verse speaks of two people..a man and a woman..not taking the chance of loving one another..
    and the second verse speaks of the man under the table and dreaming..this is symbolic for a man desiring to understand himself and his God (loving God)..
    who is he? and what is to become of him?..by the way the dreaming (table) tree is a symbol for the tree of life..the tree of life is the image of all men as one and it is seen as a "tree".. (the tree of knowledge, and the tree of life are one tree)
    "your brain is the branches and leaves ,and your spinal column is the trunk". all men seen as one"
    all men receiving visions or dreaming together with God. loving man and loving God.
    Me2on July 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:A song merely about how each day we all live our lives like ants. We do the same thing everyday without really thinking about why and for whom we are doing it for. no complaints. just doing what we have to do.
    antifox64on November 24, 2001   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I agree with antifox64, this song is about how we go about our lives without thinking of why we are doing things. I think Dave is also trying to say that we should take more time to tell those that we love that we do indeed love them.
    TK_17on January 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:The first part means that we get used to the same routine everyday and we never change and lead uneventful lives. Then that we never tell the people that mean something to us what they mean to us and its a "crime" because we dont. The "Goes to visit his mommy" is about how we hear our parents but we never listen and take their advice to heart. "Being small" part is about how we think we had it better before and waste our time doin that. "Take these chances" is about how we always have these things we truly want to do but we never do it cuz its never the right time so we wait and end up never doin it. the "highway" part is how life goes so fast that we never take the time to get to know new people or get to know the ones we already know better. Then we are compared to ants, just mindless drones doin what we doin the same thing over and over and not changin our mistakes or tryin to make our lives better. the "candyman" part im not too sure about but i think he sayin that we need to not worry about life and just have fun.
    GLEZ1000on January 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:antifox hits it to a point, that is exactly what it means, and even though we all would love to live our lives freely, most of us live it by rule and order, unfortunatley.
    daveandjackruleon May 02, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:GLEZ1000..you are soo right...and this is a great song...last summer i went to a dmb concert and the whole show he didnt play ants marching..but after they ended the show...they came out and did it as an encore and it was, i think, the best song he played that night..the crowd was going completely crazy..these guys that were sittin next to me were about to leave until they heard the intro..and everyone just went nuts!!!i couldnt here myself think it was awesome!!! that really doesnt have anything to do with the meaning of the song but i thought i'd share lol we're all dave lovers here right??? lol :P
    heybaby143on May 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I agree with you guys totally. We spend our whole lives like ants, going to work coming home, and going to work. Theres no difference between when the week ends and begins. People should learn from this song, that there are more important things in life than your job. You should have fun and enjoy life and let those you love know it rather than being a monotonous ant.
    MrMojoRisin5552on May 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I love this song. It's just easy to listen to and get stuck in your head. The acoustic version is also very good. My favorite is the Live At Red Rocks version with the long instrumental.
    SgtPepperLHCBon May 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:this song is about the daily grind that we all go through day after day after day. How boring it is and how repetitive it is. Its easy listening and fun to listen to.
    dmb07on May 19, 2002   Link

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