You need to straighten your posture and suck in your gut
You need to pull back your shoulders and tighten your butt
Yeah, come Comanche, Comanche, Comanche commode
If you want to have cities you've got to build roads

You need to find some new feathers and buy some new clothes
Just get rid of the antlers and lighten your load
Yeah, come Comanche, Comanche, Comanche, commode
Yeah, if you want to have cities, you've got to build roads

You need to straighten your posture and suck in your gut
You need to pull back your shoulders and tighten your butt
Yeah, come Comanche, Comanche, Comanche, commode

Ah, if you want to have cities
Yeah, if you want to have cities
No, if you want to have cities
You've got to build roads


Lyrics submitted by Ice, edited by virtualsue

Comanche Lyrics as written by John M Mccrea

Lyrics © Wixen Music Publishing

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Comanche song meanings
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23 Comments

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  • +5
    Song Meaning

    I know it's not what it's about at all, but this song reminds me of The Settlers of Catan.

    electronaoion December 04, 2009   Link
  • +4
    My Opinion

    I looked up what "commode" was and I found that it could be a woman's ornate headdress, fashionable around 1700. Which is the era that the Comanche were around in and the time that they had made contact with Europeans for the first time.

    To me it sounds like a statement describing a culture clash. A Comanche wearing a commode would be ridiculous at the time. Either he is saying that it is okay to welcome new changes or he is stating that these things were forced upon another culture.

    I feel this song could be about having an open mind to what life is all about. A Comanche wearing a commode would have to be a huge step towards accepting another culture in that time. "If you want to have cities you have to build roads" Branching out to new ideas and exploring (building roads) and building your character based on what you have discovered (if you want to have cities). And so on go through the song with that in mind. Buuuuuuut...

    Really, it sounds like he is talking about the redundancy of society always pushing their views onto others and pressuring peoples to think and behave a certain way.

    "You need to straighten your posture and suck in your gut. You need to pull back your shoulders and tighten your butt."

    Society can put an emphasis/pressure on these things. Where is it really something important? Yes health care is important... but the perfect body?

    "You need to find some new feathers and buy some new clothes. Just get rid of the antlers and lighten your load."

    Comanches were a native tribe, they wore their own cloths dressed with feathers and probably danced around with antlers sacredly (shot in the dark). The point is it was their heritage and who they were. Why would they need to, they never wanted it before. Change is good but do we really always want to be buying more items changing what we have to make us happy when we don't need to? Is some external factor twisting our true desires?

    "Yeah come Comanche Comanche Comanche commode. If you want to have cities you've got to build roads"

    If you WANT to have cities - Do they want cities? you HAVE to build roads -being heavily persuaded to build roads for cities. Being persuaded do anything really.

    It is extremely important to be yourself and discover the true facts of life and freedom. To try and accept society is also important but without the emphasis on the bullcrap. All for one and one for all people!

    HappyMatton January 17, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    the song, to me was just talking about how your told how to live and be respectable and proper, even though (like in the case of the Comanche) you are perfectly fine living how you live and being yourself. and I'm pretty sure he yells "Javier" not "onion" or "oh yeah!"... lol

    addictedtotoadson July 24, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I don't think this could POSSIBLY be from the mouth of Cake, it seems to holier-than-thou.. Like most of Cake's songs, to me it is a comment from a character's mind. So it's more like to say that the "settlers" came and just twisted the whole laidback cycle the Natives were living in.

    It's not JUST Natives though, as usual there's an allegory there; it's also a comment on native instincts (as in, that anyone and everyone has) and how society forces us to suppress them and, to some extent conform. Don't relax, get with the program and don't stray far from that or you won't go far. With us or against us baby.

    Gamberroon December 28, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    No, its definately not a cover. As for the meaning, I'm pretty sure it's about giving PR advice to Native Americans. As always with Cake, you can't really tell if they're being serious, ironic, political, or just messing with you. As a song, it's pretty great, and it puts you in the right mindset for the rest of the album.

    And just so you know, your username is wrong, it's bad motoguzzi. (an italian motorcycle company)

    Wrapidon June 21, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I think this song is about politics. Telling them that they should be more professional, or go to the commode (toilet, be thrown away, be ditched, quit, whatever). As in comanche, as a leader, like a respected person, such as the Native Americans. "If you want to build cities, you've got to build roads," as in you need to start somewhere to be great, you can't be a legend without starting out doing something. Maybe with "you need to find some new feathers and buy some new clothes. just get rid of the antlers and lighten your load." they are talking about needing to change yourself, changing your feathers, or ur personality and clothes, like his appearance. With the antlers, lose the rudeness or hard-headedness, and the lighten your load, be more easy going. if you see what im getting at that is.. lol

    _Lif3_w_Music_on March 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I've always gotten just a slightly different meaning out of this song. Not vastly different, just slightly.

    I always get the feeling that this is some colonization era friendly advice to the local population. The lyrics seem to imply that it's necessary to become more tense and seriuos "to straighten your posture and suck in your gut" and to drop tradition (eg "find some new feathers and buy some new clothes ... get rid of the antlers") in order to amount to anything. "If you want to have cities, you've got to build roads". I've always felt that this song points out in a tounge in cheek manner the idea that the value of a civilization is directly related to how much they can built, how big they can become, even at the expense, in this case, of tradition and the environment.

    Shiamion February 08, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i feel like maybe this is more about the ideas the government forced upon the shoshone or possibly native americans as a whole about colonization consdidering they were viewed as 'savages', rather than just some advice.

    panforcookingon November 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I really appreciate all the insight everyone has into this song. I remember when I first heard it I felt we should be mindful not to let work consume our lives, like it sometimes does. We can become zombies / robots at work, and although it may be necessary, it will not offer us the insight and opportunities life truly has to offer. Balance is important, we must build our roads (foundation of character outside of work life), in order to build cities (to reach greater heights), even if success means you must work a thankless job, working, on it's own, will not truly make you successful. I have since heard this song many more times and have had many other personal and non-personal interpretations. That was the "first time" one, the raw one.

    impossibleironyon June 19, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Does anybody know if this is a cover or not?

    bad moto guzion April 21, 2003   Link

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