"Slow Nerve Action" as written by Ronald Jones, Steven Drozd, Michael Ivins and Wayne Coyne....
It's all a waste of time again
She used to mow the lawn
She always wasted everyone
She always turned me on

Now she's turned a kind
That isn't so much in demand
And all us vegetables
Can waste our time on someone else

She had a cool invisible
Dog that she called Paul
We'd always sit around her house
Watchin' her feed the dog

Now she's got a man
Who don't like dogs, who just likes cars
She's just got a job
'Cause times got hard, so Paul is gone

Now she's turned a kind
That isn't so much in demand
All us vegetables
Can waste our time on someone else
It's all a waste of time again
It's all a waste of time again
It's all a waste of time again
It's all a waste of time again


Lyrics submitted by xpolystyrenex

"Slow Nerve Action" as written by Ronald Jones Michael Ivins

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Slow Nerve Action song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +3
    General Comment"She had a cool invisible --- dog who she called Paul"
    makes me smile every time i hear it.

    "Now she's got a job --- cause times got hard --- so Paul is gone"
    is probably one of the saddest lines ever written.

    This is my favorite song.

    Not my favorite song off this album,
    not my favorite song by the Lips,
    my favorite of all time.
    Moonman54on July 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think you guys've got it, but the thing that I'd add is that it's not really about her boyfriend at all. He's just one of the many signs that she's changed and now she's "a kind that isn't so much in demand". What the big message is that the Lips are all still kids and love messing around and imagining stuff and she used to be good mates with them and the stuff about Paul was where they used to just sit around and laugh about stuff. But now she's grown up and turned serious and got herself a boyfriend who likes cars, stereotypical male things, and doesn't have any time for her old life, and she's got herself a job and works 9-5 and so she hasn't got any time for her old "immature" life, so she's left the "vegetables" for the very generic and bland world of adulthood, instead.
    Appers66on August 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou know, The FL's never cease to amaze me.

    I was picking a song at random so I could say,
    "The flaming lips remind me this kid that I know. He's a neat kid, really easy going, weird, etc. He's on our school's wrestling team (Go Lions). I'm not sure how it happened, but he got a concussion in one of his matches and no one could really tell. Everyone was concerned about him, asking him questions like, 'Do you know where you're at?' 'Yeah, I'm right here.' It was snowing out and he was leaving the school without his shoes on. This is just the kind of stuff that kid would normally do (due to weirdness), but it turns out that he really did have the concussion and wasn't cognative.
    "It's hard to tell if the flaming lips are just being weird or if they really mean something."

    Now this song... this is great stuff. One of my FL favorites.
    Greyshoeson December 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'd have to say that Soft bulletin is probably their best album. Musically, at least. They have almost a symphonic quality-- the music carries a lot of smooth power; it's like getting caught in an undertow.

    I get that "TURN IT UP REAL LOUD SO AT THE STOPLIGHT THE GUY IN THE NEXT CAR CAN HEAR WHAT YOU'RE PLAYING" syndrome when I listen to this album. The disonance is just right-- a lot of band use disonance and it may sound interesting, but it's not pleasant. The flaming lips make use of all kinds of intstruments, and it's layered excellently.

    The only other album I can think of that comes close to Soft Bulletin is Beck's Seachange-- and even Seachange sound isn't as thick.

    That's just my opinion. I don't know much about the technical aspects of music... so don't beat me up if you DO know all that fantastic stuff (and Kudos, definately).
    Greyshoeson December 16, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThey used to hang out with this chick. Then she got a boyfriend who seems like kind of a dick and they stopped hanging out.
    kublipon April 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song makes me cry. and this is the only song I ever heard that does.
    I don't quite understand why. the flaming lips are underrated. but that
    never mattered much. the dissonance makes this song so dreary but it
    sounds nice at the same time; it can be both depressing and beautiful.

    as for the lyrics, I kind of think it sounds like drugs. as cliché as that is on
    this website. what I mean is, they refer to drugs as "she". wasting time with
    her, she "wasted everyone" and "always turned me on." but now the drugs
    effects have changed. "she turned a kind" and now he doesn't like the feeling
    or he has become addicted or built up a tolerance. "and all us vegetables can
    waste our time on someone else" now they need something new and better
    to feel good, something stronger maybe. as for the rest of the song, I have
    no idea what I think it means, maybe it isn't referring to drugs. since that can
    be easily applied to any lyrics. unlike most songs, I think this, as an exception,
    is referring to drug use also by the title "slow-nerve-action" and somber tone.

    and also I really like Greyshoes comment about the boy on his school wrestling team. that explained the flaming lips really well; when here i thought this song was inexplicable. nice.
    veeon May 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentkublip may have a strange user name, but he's right on...

    some chick who used to hang out with a bunch of freaks has gone to the other, normal side of things...

    so sad for her, she missed hanging out with the most fearless freaks of them all!
    tomautoon December 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"All us vegetables Can waste our time on someone else" Is probably one of Wayne Coyne's best serious lines. this song is amazing, it's a very simple; yet sad and common story
    Anticraton July 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTaking it literally it seems like it's about a bunch of vegetables sitting out in a yard and admiring their owner who used to come outside and mow the lawn and play with the dog and whatnot so the vegetables were happy and didn't feel like they were just vegetables! But then she gets a man and a job and stops spending time outside with the vegetables so it's all just a waste of time for them now :(

    So metaphorically speaking, i take it wayne and co are the vegetables and there was this girl who used to hang out with them all the time, but then she got a boyfriend who didn't like them and now they never get to see her
    sterling5587on March 06, 2008   Link

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