I live cement
I hate this street
Give dirt to me
I bite lament
This human form
Where i was born
I now repent


Give me wide
Ground to run
And foregone
Lets me knife
Knife me lets
I will get
What i like


Lyrics submitted by numb, edited by McDutchie, Coffeey, millascent

"Caribou" as written by Charles Thompson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Caribou song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentThis is a great song. I believe that it is about a person who resents the fact that he lives in a concrete jungle, a world where he bought into the materialism and capitalism that was spoonfed to him as a child. He now feels as though he has abused his role as a human and feels compelled to repent for this. He wishes to simplify his life by getting back to nature and remedying some of the harm he's done. This is only a guess.
    Brzuzon July 26, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentShouldn't that be "Cobain's void reminds me of him"?

    Kurt was a huge Pixies fan, he said that when he wrote Smells Like Teen Spirit he was trying to write a Pixies song. The Pixies are so underrated - even now they are ahead of most 'alternative' bands, they pioneered grunge way before it was cool and before bands like Soundgarden and Pearl Jam turned it into an over-bloated monster. I mean, they had basically finished their recording career before Nirvana had even written Nevermind... sometimes I hate the music industry. Why can't people recognize good music? Why does so much f&*^ing s%^ get published and a band as great as the Pixies gets largely ignored?
    caitsith01on July 07, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General CommentA werewolf languishing in the streets of a large city wishing he were in the frozen northland hunting suitable prey, the caribou. Check out the howl on the word "caribou." It's shivery. Doesn't it make you think of werewolves?
    ladyhoneyon May 25, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYay Pixies are back again! I thought Kim Deal wrote Caribou, but that seems in question. The first lines are simple enough for Kims earth mama pleading vocals to grasp, but the later "knife" references are probably where, Black - as previously noted - often ad-libs lyrices into the tune, where he "intuits" a phrase - seems out of place. Unless ... suicide is the means to obtain that "transmigration of Soul" into the wide roaming, teeming free thundering herds of Caribou. Dirt. I will get what I want. Otherwise its a simple yearning for me, to escape this street. I live cement.

    BTW "Teen Spirit" was supposedly modeled after "Gouge Away"!
    gadzooxon June 09, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI don't believe that its absolutely clear that he's a human reincarnated from a caribou, though. It sounds more like he's lamenting his lack of caribou-ness, not reliving some former life glory as a caribou. But it could be either I suppose, I could be wrong, it happened once before.
    Feydmepon August 26, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song kicks major ass.

    What it means,
    I have no clue,
    feinsteinon June 19, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA caribou is the same thing as a reindeer: an artic-dwelling deer.
    thedarkoneon May 22, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirst, to the person who posted that Smells Like Teen Spirit was patterned after Gouge Away, it was (per Cobain) patterned after U-Mass. Listen to both, the similarities are striking.

    About Caribou, I think it is clearly about reincarnation.

    I live cement,
    I hate this street,
    Give dirt to me.
    (this life sucks, wish i were dead)

    This human form,
    Where I was born,
    I now repent.
    (i was born human, but i wish i weren't)

    (my choice for my next form)

    Give me white,
    Ground to run,
    And foregone.
    (carefree life of animal, nothing is expected)

    Lets me knife,
    Knife me lets,
    I will get
    What I like
    (either the knife will get me or i will get the knife (suicide))
    (either way, i will get what i like (death))
    jazbobon November 17, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI’ve no idea what the song “means” as it were, I know better than to try and ascribe deeper meaning to Pixies lyrics which are often (but not always) meaningless...

    I did want to say that this is a SUPER fun song to sing along with... right up there with “I bleed”, “Motorway to Roswell” and of course “Where is my mind?”.
    grenon September 12, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNice, Brzuz, I think you've got the meaning. Great song. Great band. His voice reminds me of Cobain's.
    _weezer_on April 26, 2003   Link

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