I'm not feeding off you, I will rearrange your scales
If I can, and I can
March into the ocean, march into the sea, had a hat
I put it down and it sunk, reached down
Yanked it up, slapped it on my head

All the people gather
Fly to carry each his burden, we are young despite the years
We are concerned, we are hope despite the times
All of a sudden, these days, happy throngs, take this joy
Wherever, wherever

I wish to eat each one of you, and you, me, you
If I can, and I can
We have many things in common, name three (three, three, three)
I had a hat and it sunk, reached down
Yanked it up, slapped it on my head

All the people gather
Fly to carry each his burden, we are young despite the years
We are concerned, we are hope despite the times
All of a sudden, these days, happy throngs, take this joy
Wherever, wherever you go

And I'm not feeding off you, I will rearrange your scales
If I can, and I can
I wish to eat each one of you, and you, me, you
I had a hat and it sunk, reached down
Yanked it up, slapped it on my head

All the people gather
Fly to carry each his burden, we are young despite the years
We are concerned, we are hope despite the times
All of a sudden, these days, happy throngs, take this joy
Wherever, wherever you
Carry each his burden, we are young despite the years
We are concerned, we are hope despite the times
All of a sudden, these days, happy throngs, take this joy
Wherever, wherever you go


Lyrics submitted by xpankfrisst, edited by flint11800

These Days Lyrics as written by Michael E. Mills John Michael Stipe

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Spirit Music Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

These Days song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

6 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General Comment

    According the yanked-up hat I would agree that he refocusses on something again that he once lay down.

    However, you can bet that this song is meant politically. It has a very strong and emotional music and there are some passages that even show anger : "I wish to eat each one of you ..." and "take away the scattered bones of my meal" Let's say something to the album and the time when this song was produced. The album is called "Lifes rich pageant" which (as far as I know) followed the album "Fables of the Reconstruction" where Michael hid very strong critics about society behind "Fables" from the history of the end of the 19th /beginning of the 20th century. I don't think that Michael suddenly felt like having a pageant since the bloody Reagan era was far from being ended up. Therefore I think that the whole album is a sarcastic one. The title "These days" must allude to something in the past or in the future that he is expecting. If you look at the persons mentioned in the song you will find four parties : "you" (happy throngs), "we" (some kind of people causing hope despite the times), "I" (someone determined to do anything if necessary -> 'march into the ocean...') and "all the people" (majority ? carrying their burden for themselves ? getting more and more isolated ? Being exploited more and more ? -> Reagan Era wasn't quite a great fun as the current Bush Era ain't !). Okay, let's go into the details. Let's find out the relation to the "happy throngs" In my opinion he hates the "happy throngs". In the first strophe he only says the he want's to rearrange their scales which might mean that he will surprise them how determined and angry he is. In the second strophe he asks about the things they have in common with him. He only wants to know 3 similarities but there is not even one (no answer is given) because they are quite the opposite. In the 3rd strophe he openly shows his hatred : "I wish to eat each one of you ...". Some optimistics might say "he loves the happy throngs - that's why he wants to eat them". Yet this wouldn't fit the enormous anger of the music which is even incresed at the end (especially by nasty noises after the 3rd strophe). Another evidence : "Take away the scattered bones of my meal"(at the end). In my opinion this song is used to let the hatred out about the Reagan gouvernment and the false joy and optimism they planted into society. Making people believe that by cutting the incomes and social funds and by weakening unions all problems are solved forever. Mr Reagan was a true "Mr Capitalism". That's what Michael hated about him - just as he hated this system in the song "Driver 8" (very likely goes about a huge strike of railway workers in 1898) and in the song "It's the end of the world as we know it" In my opinion he thinks that there will be a revolution somewhen (these days) and that those happy throngs (spreading optimism about capitalism) can take their joy to wherever they will disappear. Let's deal with "all the people". All he says about them is that they carry each his burden. It could allude to the spreading egoism that the Reagan Era caused. - Growing isolation, growing competition, growing social problems (burdens) that people had to face. Yet somehow I have the impression that puts "all the people" and "you"(happy throngs) together when he sings "... wherever, wherever you ... carry each his burden" in the last chorus. He links those phrases together ! Is this just an accident ? I think that "all the people" and "you" (happy throngs) is the same. It is people pretending that everything is alright, who don't care about others, who like to celebrate ("Lifes rich pageants") although they are completely destroyed inside - drowning in their own tears but they want push the problems away, they put parfum on a stinking society, they make the music louder not to hear the beggars and they like to party to forget that they have worked all day long and will do so until they die. There are two questions remaining : Who is "we" ? (I assume that he is one of hopeful "we" group himself"). And why are they "hope" ? According to the first question I would say that he is one of a special generation of students or people that are very radical and determined to end capitalism somewhen. I don't know to what extend Michael was influenced by the Sixties but I think he was to young at that time. He must have been in a kind of Maoist or other revolutionary left-winged movement that emerged from 1968/1969 or he was influenced by those ideas. I think that this also answered the second question. They are hope because they know how to think about capitalism and they know how to read the newspaper articles and how to listen to propagandistic TV and radio spots. They will keep the spirit of revolution alive until the time is right to rise up.

    I hope that I'm now too far away from the actual message Michael wanted to broadcast and hope that you write your comments on my considerations.

    DerUnbequemeon January 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    the chorus here is terrific

    Spooky_Toothon February 23, 2023   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I really wish someone would comment on this great song.

    I think it talks about struggling for an identity and to be an individual: "Now I'm not feeding off you I will rearrange your scales If I can and I can"

    He seems confident and ready to step into the world and make his mark. The lyrics show all the confidence of a young person setting out with a purpose and ready to achieve.

    Let's see some response!

    laocoonon February 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I this song is directed at young people and how they can make the difference to this society. The lyric "I had a hat and it sunk Reached down, yanked it up, slapped it on my head" I feel is about having dreams and sometimes the dreams sink but you can achieve them if you put them back into your head and work at them. There is a positive message in this song and I think a political one too in that "governments don't rule theyre people people rule theyre governments." People seem to just walk around thinking they can't make a difference but everyone can!

    Big Tkon November 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Wow. Nice interpretations, DerUnbequeme.

    MickeyPhillyon February 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This may seem absurd, but I believe that there is some sort of bizarre metaphore about fishing in these lyrics.

    Rearrange your scales ... Marching to the ocean, marching to the sea .... I hada hat, and it sunk...
    I'd like to eat each one of you ...

    I don't exactly understand how that ties into the rest of it maybe a camparison between schools of fish and crowds or throngs of people being like fish.

    I don't know just my observations.

    apglaseron February 03, 2015   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Fortnight
Taylor Swift
The song 'Fortnight' by Taylor Swift and Post Malone tells a story about strong feelings, complicated relationships, and secret wishes. It talks about love, betrayal, and wanting someone who doesn't feel the same. The word 'fortnight' shows short-lived happiness and guilty pleasures, leading to sadness. It shows how messy relationships can be and the results of hiding emotions. “I was supposed to be sent away / But they forgot to come and get me,” she kickstarts the song in the first verse with lines suggesting an admission to a hospital for people with mental illnesses. She goes in the verse admitting her lover is the reason why she is like this. In the chorus, she sings about their time in love and reflects on how he has now settled with someone else. “I took the miracle move-on drug, the effects were temporary / And I love you, it’s ruining my life,” on the second verse she details her struggles to forget about him and the negative effects of her failure. “Thought of callin’ ya, but you won’t pick up / ‘Nother fortnight lost in America,” Post Malone sings in the outro.
Album art
Dreamwalker
Silent Planet
I think much like another song “Anti-Matter” (that's also on the same album as this song), this one is also is inspired by a horrifying van crash the band experienced on Nov 3, 2022. This, much like the other track, sounds like it's an extension what they shared while huddled in the wreckage, as they helped frontman Garrett Russell stem the bleeding from his head wound while he was under the temporary effects of a concussion. The track speaks of where the mind goes at the most desperate & desolate of times, when it just about slips away to all but disconnect itself, and the aftermath.
Album art
When We Were Young
Blink-182
This is a sequel to 2001's "Reckless Abandon", and features the band looking back on their clumsy youth fondly.
Album art
Punchline
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran sings about missing his former partner and learning important life lessons in the process on “Punchline.” This track tells a story of battling to get rid of emotions for a former lover, whom he now realized might not have loved him the same way. He’s now caught between accepting that fact and learning life lessons from it and going back to beg her for another chance.
Album art
Amazing
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran tells a story of unsuccessfully trying to feel “Amazing.” This track is about the being weighed down by emotional stress despite valiant attempts to find some positivity in the situation. This track was written by Ed Sheeran from the perspective of his friend. From the track, we see this person fall deeper into the negative thoughts and slide further down the path of mental torment with every lyric.