Up and down the puppies’ hair
Fleas and Ticks jump everywhere
’Cause of original sin
Down the hill fell Jack and Jill
And you came tumbling after
’Cause of original sin
Rip away the tears
Drink a hope to happy years
And you may find
A lifetime’s passed you by
What would you say
Don’t drop the big one
If you a monkey on a string
Don’t cut my lifeline
If you a doggie on a chain
Don’t bite the mailman
What would you say
I was there when the bear
Ate his head, thought it was a candy
Everyone goes in the end
Knock knock on the door
Who’s it for, there’s nobody in here
Look in the mirror, my friend
I don’t understand at best
And cannot speak for all the rest
The morning rise a lifetime’s passed me by
Every dog has its day every day has its way
Of being forgotten - Mom it’s my birthday
What would you say


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

What Would You Say song meanings
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34 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentoutKast524: Save your insults for someone who is so insecure that they care.

    Meaning is where you find it. Art is subjective. Even if it means something intentionally, it can mean something else entirely to someone else. If you can't appreciate that, then whatever, but that is a fundamental rule of all art.

    Besides... How can you say that "truely (sic) there isnt [a meaning]"? You didn't write it. So unless you have a quote from Dave, don't bother.
    Hail Maynardon May 02, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAt the start of the video, it has Adam and Eve attached to strings, and several apples. The randomness of the clip is to show us to do something different with our lives, and not be afraid of the outcome regardless.
    Gamesharkon May 29, 2005   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI find the meaning simple but I happen to liken it to Dave's atheist line of thought. I think he feels people are judgmental and are quick to assume their judgments. They don't take a step back, they run right through the motions because that's what they've always done. To me, the key here is "because of original sin." It hearkens all quick responses to "just do as you've always known." Don't think about it.

    The keys here aren't anything with the bear or the monkey or the dog. Those are just events that happen and the responses that follow. "Everyone goes in the end." Who cares how it happened? You have to go sometime, who cares what the circumstance? The "lifetime's passed me by" is never taking a look back and thinking about what's actually going on around you.

    In the end, I feel the true emphasis of the song is his only direct plea to the listener... "look in the mirror my friend." Don't wait for something to come along to automatically cause a response. Stop, realize that you yourself generate a whole myriad of stimuli and get to work.

    Its very.. existential. But a lot of what we atheists think about is existenial. :)
    Turkus2on July 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow i can not stop pressing replay on this song...i truly love it. but i cannot uncode the meaning really. i'm thinking life..the contrasts and the joyous days? live ur life day by day. "drink a hope for happy years and u may find a lifetimes passed you by". come on u guys help me out!
    HeatHBabyon April 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti also love this song but i am completely lost about its meaning.. i agree that it does have something to do with life but theres more and i can't seem to understand it either... some help... ?
    Megaon April 28, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think I have the meaning to a tee.
    "Up and down the puppies hair flees and ticks jump everywhere." means that people are like flees and ticks and waste their life.
    "Down the hill fell Jack and Jill and you came tumbling after" means that anything can happen to anyone, so be carefull.

    "Rip away the tears, drink a hope to happy years, you may find a lifetimes passed you by"
    Means that don't take everything so seriously, enjoy yourself because life is too short to waste.

    "What would you say? Don't drop the big one" Don't screw up, because there's nothing to "say" about life when you do"
    "If you a monkey on a string, don't cut my lifeline" means that "If your gonna screw up, don't take me with you"
    "If you s doggy on a chain, don't bite the mailman" means not to do something stupid
    "I was there when the beat ate his head, thought it was a candy, everyone goes in the end" means that death can happen anytime,
    "Knock knock on the door who's it for, there's nobody in here, look in the mirror my friend" means that don't be constantly thinking about other people, you CAN think about yourself.
    "I don't understand at best, cannot speak for all the rest, morning rise and lifetimes passed me by" means that he doesnt' understand life, maybe someone else does, but he realised it went fast

    "Everydog has it's day everyday has its way of being forgotton, mom it's my birthday would you say? and what could you say?" means don't be upset there will be good days, and to cherrish special times.

    I think I got everything. But that's how i intercept it
    Shortdude123on May 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSeveral short meanings, I dont think there is a common, overbearing theme. Grab the Live at Luther college version. Just so damn jammy. No other word for it.A standout, purely for the feeling in it. Lighthearted, releasing jam.

    iroon July 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, its like hes talking to one of his friends who is completely whipped by some girl and hes telling him, hey dude, you are ruining your life.. you are supposed to have fun, but you are gonna die unhappy..
    "I don't understand at best, cannot speak for all the rest, morning rise and lifetimes passed me by"
    It just makes sense, most of the time hes like whoa, dude.. enough.. but thats just my take on it
    SheaTayon March 19, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm not a theist, but I debate them, and I always thought this song was about questioning God and other stuff in the Bible. In fact, that's mostly why I enjoy it. Let me elaborate:

    "Up and down a puppies hair
    Fleas and Ticks jump everywhere
    Because of original sin"
    -- Adam and Eee eating from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge Of Good and Evil in the garden of Eden was called The Original Sin, and therefore every person born after that is born a sinner and must be cleansed and prove himself again (as opposed to Adam and Eve, who were supposedly born perfect, meaning, without sin). When he says Fleas and Ticks jump everywhere, it's like your sins, your lies, all the things we consider bad about people, and how they're "jumping around" inside us.

    "Down the hill fell Jack and Jill"
    -- Adam and Eve...

    "And you came tumbling after
    Because of original sin"
    -- Since they sinned, you have to pay for it, being a successive generation (quite several, if you believe the whoel thing) from them.

    "Rip away the tears
    Drink a hope to happy years
    And you may find
    A lifetime's passed you by"
    -- It's sort of like, don't dwell on the negative thinsg that happened, but try to learn from there -- or you'll spend your whole life in bitter regret and anger.

    This is the part, te struggle about whether to question God or not:
    "What would you say
    Don't drop the big one
    If you were a monkey on a string"
    Don't cut my lifeline
    If you were a doggie on a chain"
    -- What would you say, he's saying, if someone told you that you were just a puppet to God, playing along to what he planned out? There is quite an argument going around, and it says that if God is omniscient, then he knew what Adam and Eve would do (even though they would have "free will"God still knows the outcome) and yet he chose to put them there ANYWAY, casuing the whole Original Sin, the damnation of mankind, to take place. In that way, Adam and Eve were just pawns in a bigger plan, puppets, monkeys on strings, dogs on leashes, however you want to paint the same picture.

    "Don't bite the mailman
    What would you say"
    -- Don't bite the mailman is sort like, don't do what you shouldn't do. It's another allusion to not eating from the Tree, and don't "bite the mailman" could also be the way of saying, "Maybe you shouldn't question God."

    "I was there when the bear
    Ate his head, thought it was a candy
    Everyone goes in the end"
    -- Taking the apple, eating it, without caring... and then about the inevitably of death, and the underlying question of: We're all going to die, so we should enjoy our time here: should we question? Should we rebel? Should we only do what has been planned for us? etc etc

    "Knock knock on the door
    Who?s it for, there?s nobody in here
    Look in the mirror, my friend"
    -- After they ate, Adam and Eve were ashamed and God was saying, "Where are you? Why are you hiding?" You could chalk this up to another example of God not knowing everything, but it's not curcial. What he's saying is, God knows you are there and what you did, regardless of whether you deny it.

    "I don?t understand at best
    And cannot speak for all the rest"
    -- He doesn't understand why he is responsible for the original sin, much like white men today shouldn't be responsible for slavery so long ago.

    "The morning rise a lifetime?s passed me by
    Every dog has its day every day has its way
    Of being forgotten - Mom it?s my birthday
    What would you say"
    -- This is where he sort of throws in the towel on the whoe pondering, and says, "Well, I'm going to die some day, so maybe this is one of the things I shouldn't worry about."

    Wow, I sounded like such a fundie here. Ah well. I didn't write it.
    Hail Maynardon April 25, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNot sure I can add to the debate, but here's my spin...

    I think this song is asking you to put yourself in the position of Adam & Eve, or anyone who has made a huge mistake. It could be about infedelity as well ? (Likely I suspect)

    What would you say if your selfishness had screwed everything up ? You might be a bit defensive and fatalistic...

    Who knows ?

    You only live once !
    jakiebumon June 23, 2003   Link

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