"Cyanide Breath Mint" as written by and Beck Hansen....
Definitely this is the wrong place to be
There's blood on the futon
There's a kid drinking fire
Going down to the sea
They got people to meet
Shaking hands with themselves
Looking out for themselves

When they ask you for credit
Give them a branch
When they want you to get it
Chew on the grass
I know, I know
Cause they told me to tell you
There's nothing to tell you
There's nothing to sell you

In the afternoon
Riding the scapegoat
Burning equipment
Decomposing
Cool off your jets
Take off your sweats
I got a funny feeling
They got plastic in the afterlife

When they want you to cry
Leap into the sky
When they suck your mind,
Like a pigeon you'll fly
I know, I know
It's the positive people
Running from their time
Looking for some feeling


Lyrics submitted by Ice

"Cyanide Breath Mint" as written by Beck Hansen

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Cyanide Breath Mint song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI've always believed that this song was about rising above the superficiality of normal belief systems or consumer ideals. When he says "I got a funny feeling they got plastic in the afterlife," it's like he's saying that the consumer minded have even incorporated their soullessness into their religious beliefs, taking the passion and feeling (which he mentions in the last line) from the very thing that is supposed to be pure or above "modern" life.

    He's basically asking the listener to refuse to settle and not conform to the conceited and self serious (those who would be "shaking hands with themselves") and refuse to let them corrupt your individuality and, by doing so, you'll rise above it ("when they suck your mind/like a pigeon you'll fly").
    deapokidon January 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of the best songs of the 90's, one of the best white-boy blues songs in fact, including Dylan. It perfectly captures the existential dread in suburban decay. Here Beck attempts to escape via ironic stance and visceral thrills, like so many Gen-Xers, but by the last line, he doesn't sound so convinced himself. Just great stuff.
    DevastatorJr.on January 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsome of the lines are wrong (or my version is different). this is what i have:

    Definitely this is the wrong place to be
    There's blood on the ceiling
    There's a kid drinking fire.
    Going down to the sea
    Got people to meet
    Shaking hands with themselves
    Hanging all to themselves

    When they want you to get it
    Grab on the branch
    When they want you to shred it
    Sleep in the grass
    Well I know, I know
    It's the positive people running from their time
    Looking for some feeling

    In the afternoon
    Riding the scapegoat
    Decomposing, burning equipment
    Cool off your jets
    Take off your sweats
    I've got a funny feeling
    There's no feeling in the afterlife

    When they want you to cry
    Leap into the sky
    When they suck your mind
    Like a pigeon you'd fly
    I know, I know
    It's the positive people
    Running from their time
    Looking for some feeling

    When they want you to get it
    Grab on the branch
    And when they want you to shred it
    Sleep in the grass
    I know I know
    It's the positive people
    Running from their time
    Looking for some feeling
    theworryrockon October 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is quite honestly i think the most bitter, vitriolic attack on the modern day record company
    i've ever heard.
    there's nothing to tell you nothing to sell you.
    burning equipment and riding scapegoats
    beck somehow focused his vocal spew into something that remains highly relevant to any singer/songwriter today.
    be wary be wary still.
    as one person put it, it's bitterly ironic.
    one half tastes good and the other will kill you.

    ShakeyFan2on November 05, 2009   Link

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