"In the Mouth a Desert" as written by and S. Kannberg S. Malkmus....
Can you treat it like an oil well
When it's underground, out of sight?
And if the sight is just a whore sign
Can it make enough sense to me?

Pretend the table is a trust knot,
We'll put our labels down, faith is down
I'll watch the yarn of twine unravel
And you'll never get it back

It's what I want (it's what I want)
It's what I want (twine comes down)
It's what I want, it's what I want
Don't you know, I could make you try
Make you try, make you try, make you try

I've been crowned the King of Id
And Id is all we have, so wait
To hear my words and they're diamond-sharp
I could open it up
And it's up and down

Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh

It's what I want (it's what I want)
I see you beg like a little dog (ball and twine)
Don't you know that it's what I want? (it's what I want)
I'll see you beg, and it makes you dry
Make me dry, make me dry, make me dry

I've been down, the King of Id's
Id's all we have, I've been down
And I could wait to hear the words
They're diamond-sharp today

Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh


Lyrics submitted by summerbabe, edited by Jate

"In the Mouth a Desert" as written by S. Malkmus S. Kannberg

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., WORDS & MUSIC A DIV OF BIG DEAL MUSIC LLC

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In the Mouth a Desert song meanings
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25 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentUnderstanding the full meaning of Id is the key to understanding this song. According to Freud, we are driven by two opposing desires within our Id, Eros and Thanatos. Eros is our instinctual desire for survival; filling basic needs such as eating, sleep, just self-preservation. It includes our desire for pleasure(mainly sexual) and our also our aversion towards pain. Thanatos is our unconscious longing for death, as a way to escape the constant struggle that is life, or escaping reality through other means, such as music, media, drugs.

    I interpret this as being directed towards a lover. He is the King of Id, he tries to survive and persevere, seeks love and pleasure(the ups) but once he really analyzes life instead of just existing, he wants to run, and escape, leave all the the "empty" pleasure behind. She's begging him to stay, he's trying to grow the distance, either literal or figurative.
    interstellarloveburston November 17, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"Can you treat it like an oil well
    When it's underground, out of sight?"

    it's hidden and very valuable

    "And if the site is just a whore-sign
    Can it make enough sense to me?"

    but if it's just something pretentious or arrogant is it really worth anything?

    "Pretend the table is a trust-knot
    We'll put our labels down, favors down"

    tell the truth

    "I'll watch a yarn of twine unravel
    And you'll never get it back"

    you'll reveal yourself and you'll regret it

    "it's what i want" through "make a try"

    i want to know the truth and i could guess at it

    "I've been crowned the King of It
    And It is all we have, so wait
    To hear my words
    And they're diamond-sharp
    I could open it up
    And it's up and down"

    i am the master of what we have so listen to what i say even if it is harsh because i could show people the reality


    put together

    it's hidden and very valuable but if it's just something pretentious or arrogant is it really worth anything?
    tell the truth, you'll reveal yourself and you'll regret it. i want to know the truth and i could guess at it. i am the master of what we have so listen to what i say even if it is harsh because i could show people the reality.

    it could be about anything, it's not really specified. it could be about pretentious indie rock bands, the "truth" being if anyone actually likes them, but the subject isn't really clear. anyway there's what i can make of it.
    liambfon March 23, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSM dedicated this song to Sonic Youth on one live show (is it the one on Side B of S&E:L&R ?). I have always associated this song with the indie rock scene.
    Underground, out of sight!
    stickie pantson March 31, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentit was the sound of the underground in 1992. the first of theirs to really grip me. it was just dark and thrilling, glowering out from track 4 and making you feel you were part of something secret and brilliant watching them live. i never cared what it was about, it just sounded scabrous and de-tuned yet melodic and unlike the rest of the dreck that was around.
    a m droneson January 27, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think he's talking about trust being broken between two people. The other person is trying to get his trust back, but he's still deciding. He has total control over where the relationship goes (they are begging). However, he isn't inclined to fix anything ("It's what I want").
    freakishordeon August 24, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA lot of Malkmus' lyrics are abstract.
    weerez97on March 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think it´s about when you finally accept that something is over and there´s nothing you can do to bring it back. There´s a sense of relieve and happyness even though it´s sad.
    sailoron May 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthese lyrics are incorrect.

    favors down = faith is down
    Id = it
    dry = try

    this is a great song. i am curious to see more interpretations.
    jolynon January 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song, but the spoken part of the chorus definitely rips off the pixies ("debaser")
    rabashinkoon October 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn response to the comment above...
    I like debaser and all, but i doubt that Pavemnt ripped off the speaking style from it. There are many other songs that have speaking style lyrics in context.
    either way, great song
    long live pavement
    NYCGhosts&Flowerson January 11, 2007   Link

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