Harness your hopes
On just one person
Because you know a harness
Was only made for one

Don't telegraph your passes
You'll end up with molasses
Cauterized in syrup
And syrup and molasses

And I'm checking out the asses
The assets that attract us
To anything that moves
We're deep inside the grooves

And it's time to shake the rations
'Cause someone's gonna cash in
The plot it turns again
The reference starts at ten

Well, show me
A word that rhymes with Pavement
And I won't kill your parents
And roast them on a spit

And a-don't you try to etch it
Or permanently sketch it
Or you're gonna catch a bad bad cold

And the freaks have stormed the White House
I moved into a lighthouse
It's on a scenic quay
It's oh so far away

Far away from the beginning
The shroud is made of linen
The yearling took your purse
The goth kid has a hearse

Kiwis they are home baking
Minds wide open truly

A leisure suit is nothing
It's nothing to be proud of
In this late century

And I'm asking you to hold me
Just like the morning paper
Pinched between your pointer
Your index and your thumb

It's a semi-automatic
Believers are ecstatic
You see the way they cling
The cold metallic sting

And I'm living in a coma
For Donna de Varona
The harness made of hopes
The lovers on the ropes

Nun is to church
As the parrot is to perch
And my heart's
Wide open truly

Lyrics submitted by let it fall

Harness Your Hopes Lyrics as written by Stephen Malkmus


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Harness Your Hopes song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commenti get this.
    and i always wanted to be a tenenbaum.

    noboyshippieon April 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe seeming randomness of this song is recognized by the songwriter.. "Minds wide open truely" makes you say, "okay, I'll keep listening and make complete sense of this"
    The song seems to associate itself with finding the one true love and desire someone has, the goal of their life. And if anyone tries to hinder that, they'll "roast them on a spit".
    xdressthepartxon April 26, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEngravement.

    xaligalxon June 28, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentApparently if you are a girl and get this song, you are more special than other girls.
    androgybunnyon March 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWonderful song, and fun lyrics.

    A word that rhymes with Pavement is enslavement--perhaps it's a wail against the constraints of monogamy.
    mrgrimmon July 16, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning"Show me
    A word that rhymes with pavement
    And a - don't you try to etch it
    Or permanently sketch it"

    Engravement. Was that so hard?
    Tremoloon March 30, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCan someone please explain what gender has to do with understanding this song? Why does it matter if you're male or female? sorry I'm late to the game here. I just heard this song for the first time a few days ago
    molly ann1on March 17, 2016   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionI don't know if this was as tongue in cheek clever as they meant it to be but these two stanzas look closer. It's a call and response for rhyming words described:

    Well show me
    A word that rhymes with Pavement
    And I won't kill your parents
    And roast them on a spit --> (Displacement)

    And a-don't you try to etch it --> (Engravement)
    Or permanently sketch it --> (Also engravement)
    Or your gonna catch a bad bad cold --> (Ailment)

    Maybe I'm looking into that too closely but it's still interesting that they could have incorporated layered wordplay
    Bitt3rBuffal0on July 27, 2017   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe way I am interpreting this a harness is a very restraining thing controlled usually by one person.

    It sounds to me like he is afraid of being in this commitment harness, where he is trapped.

    The next lines make me think he is a man and still wants to feel alive look at other women even flirt a little.

    Some of the lines don’t make sense to me.

    It seems like the rations line is referring to something like he is getting rations of his freedom someone must cash in

    I think Donna De Verona may be a famous Olympian. These lines make me think she is an amazing person but the relationship is like living in a coma, a harness.

    Last lines his heart is open. I kind of think he wants a relationship but doesn’t want to be trapped or harnessed.

    Sandra Leighon June 16, 2019   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat lyrics on this one "Show me-a word that ryhmes with Pavement-and I will kill your parents-and roast them on a spit!" The second I find a girl who gets this!
    Eli_Cashon September 27, 2002   Link

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