Quite a surprise
What an ingenious device.
Boredom encompassesmy time.
I don't know what I should do.
Indulging a moment of your time.
Seldom the breeder of lies.
But you won't believe that it's true.

They take to the skies.
Southbound pachyderm.

Pinholes through cardboard at the sun.
Passing the bucks by one by one, leaving nothing in return.
Watching the majesty blow past.
Speculating which will be the last.
Savoring my piece of pie.

And there is no reprise.
They take to the sky.
Southbound pachyderm.

Lyrics submitted by knate15

Southbound Pachyderm Lyrics as written by Reid L. Iii Lalonde Les Claypool

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

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Southbound Pachyderm song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentI just read that too, it makes sense in terms of "Speculating which will be the last" - endangered/extinction and "They're filling the sky" - dying and going to heaven or whatever. However I stick by my original statement as some of the lyrics don't make sense otherwise, in that people should find a way of helping solve such problems as extinction in their spare time rather than make them worse - why do something terrible when you can do something amazing (in a good way) if you put your mind to it?
    Baudson September 11, 2006   Link
  • +2
    GreenAndyon August 24, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis was the first song that really made me love Primus, and personally (my view of it anyways,) I feel that BGG 001 and GreenAndy came close to my idea of what the song's about.

    Personally I think the song is about poachers and endagered animals. It's fairly easy to tie all the lyrics in with those two subjects. "They take to the skies" doesn't necessarily have to mean that they are actually flying (in a spirit form or otherwise), but in my mind just implies that they are becoming fewer. Perhaps it represents mankind's continued excuse for poaching them ("Well they're not going extinct and their numbers aren't thinning, they're just migrating" etc.), but that might be overanalyzing it.

    "Passing bucks by one by one" for me just refers to the money the poachers make off of things like ivory from elephant tusks etc. I think the second verse is probably an activist protesting poaching. Someone who hasn't lied and has no reason to lie, but when money's involved people tend not to listen. And the first verse just talks about how truly bored/pathetic someone must be in order to decide it's a good idea to go out one day and hunt endangered species of animals. The "Pinholes through cardboard at the sun" could represent the theory of extinction as well. If you use the light to represent what the population of the species once was and the light pouring through the pinhole in the cardboard as the current population, it can represent how rare the animal is becoming. That's a bit of a stretch and possibly more overanalysis on my part.
    Syntax0025on May 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have noooo idea
    BoyHitsCaron June 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAn amazing song. The only Primus song I've ever heard that I like better is Nature Boy, but this is definately a close second. And the video's great!
    onemanorgyon October 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA southbound Elephant?
    cacophony_alexon July 06, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfirst off, yes primus has connections with hallucinogenics, no they dont write every song about it. granted they have songs referencing experiences, this is not one.

    it has been explained to me that this song is about viewing a solar eclipse, allthough it may just be about elephants, les claypool is a fucked up fellow.
    Terminal Sickieon January 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit takes alot of thinking to work out primus songs alot of the time i personally cant but quite a few songs are about people primus know or knew. i like this song lot but for some reason right at the start when its jsut the bass i feel that little off guitar bit ruins the bass line. Its fine once the drums come in but id have rather they jsut had the bass alone before that bit
    mrcat1990on March 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti luv it
    Music_Luver567on March 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSome of the songs relate to hallucinogenics (Electric Grapevine, Spaghetti Western) but I think even those have deeper meanings. From the lyrics I can't help but think of "when pigs fly" or whatever the phrase is, the point being that pigs won't fly but elephants will (or at least in the song/video!). Some of the lyrics talk of flying elephants but the rest seem to refer to someone who's had a lot of free time in which to create/do something amazing, spectacular and unbelievable.

    I think it's do with the ability to put your mind to something to achieve the impossible, or the philosophy that anything is possible. The video may show flying elephants, and it could be simply a reference to a hallucination or a joke but as with Wynona's Big Brown Beaver and that video and song's meaning I just feel that they're too clever lyrically/musically for it to be so simple.
    Baudson July 21, 2006   Link

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