Well all's not well
But I'm told that it'll all be quite nice
You'll be drowned in boots like Mafia
But your feet will still float like Christ's

And I'll be damned
They were right
I'm drowning upside down
My feet afloat like Christ's

I'm in heaven
Trying to figure out which stack
They're going to stuff us atheists into
When Peter and his monkey laugh
And I laugh with them
I'm not sure what at
They point and say
We'll keep you in the back
Polishing halos, baking manna and gas

Well some guy comes in looking a bit like everyone I ever seen
He moves just like Crisco disco
Breath a hundred percent Listerine
He says looking at something else
But directing everything to me
Anytime anyone gets on their knees to pray
Well it makes my telephone ring

And I'll be damned
He said you were right
No one's running this whole thing
He had a theory too

He said that God takes care of himself
God takes takes care of himself
And you of you

It's all nice on ice alright
And it's not day
And it's not night
But it's all nice on ice alright

Lyrics submitted by numb, edited by shaungrady, tejedu, anthonyyyg

Styrofoam Boots/It's All Nice on Ice, Alright song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +8
    General Comment

    It's a song about god not being what you expected. God could never be 'the god' to the degree we hold him to. so, you go up to heaven and find there's no divine intervention. things just happen. "no one's running this whole thing." "he said that god takes care of himself and you of you ." he's saying God's no god, he's just another guy, and if he was the god you thought he was, what would he ever want to be concerned with you for? he's not speaking in third person, he's talking about the all powerful god he isn't. It's one of the most creative songs i've ever heard lyrically. its brilliant in how it makes clear the sort of things that could depress anyone. there is no god as we know it, heaven isn't really heaven, its all flawed, just like every where. that's some heaven.

    bateauon April 23, 2003   Link
  • +6
    General Comment

    They point and say/ we'll keep em in the back/ polishing halos/ building manna and gas---

    I agree with most of what the board has come to a consesus on....but check that line out. Manna was the "food" that God dropped to the hundreds of thousands of Jews that were following Moses out of Eqypt. The story goes that for 40 years these people wandered a desert and how did hundreds of thousands of people find enough food? God..of course! Maybe he should have dropped a map at some point too, but hindsight is 20/20 and so that is what baking manna would be for. Baking Gas might not make sense, until you realize that fossil fuels are mostly dead dinosaurs. Alot of hardcore christians dont believe in dinosaurs, and why would they, there is no mention of them in the bible. So how do we get gas without dinosaurs...Isaac has to bake it with the rest of the atheists in heaven.

    God Damn that guy can write a song! That is one frickin line, one verse! He is a caveman in a spaceship!

    The man who moves carefree and smells like Listerine, and he is God/Jesus....and he is too busy having a good time to answer your calls....and his secret to you is to take care of yourself.

    Bellyfull of Swanson January 07, 2005   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    Besides the rather obvious varied part (before he starts repeating "It's all nice on ice, alright"), I just wanted to comment on the end.

    I think when he is saying "It's all nice on ice, alright" he is saying two things: One: that Jesus walking on water is nothing special, because walking on ice is walking on water. Two: When you die they put you on ice and that's it, and that's fine, because life is quite enough of a ride to not need an 'after'.

    HiveNodeon July 12, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    This song came about when Isaac had a "crazy idea" about "the mafia killing you by making you wear styrafoam boots and walk on water" i read in an interview hahah cuz your feet would float so youd drown upside down... and... It's all nice on ice, because you dont have to worry about drowing upside down, but then the whole song has a different theme it seems on god and athiests and what not, this song is awesome ... i love how the drums and bass kick in all unexpectedly half way through

    CowboyDanCarson1on December 19, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    i love the bass kicking in too, but it scares the shit out of me everytime, LoL...And I listen to it alot. Haha

    SparklingLemonadeon December 19, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    The fact that the song is about an atheist who goes to heaven after trying to walk on water like Christ, and then actually meets God who admits it all entirely pointless (we are all but variables in a never ending math equation, after all) makes this song one of the best, EVER. I love how MM can be so folk, anti- folk, country western (on this album particularly), indie, rock, occasional punk, pop, and almost everything else all at once! Modest Mouse sounds like many things, but nothing sounds like them. It's what perfect modern music should sound like, yet it's so rarely achieved.

    colbygb12on April 30, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    st. peter was crucified head down, he did not consider himself worthy to die in the same way as his savior. Also, he was the apostle that denied knowledge of Jesus(three times, as prescribed by jesus), much as brock does. does this mean isaac will repent? we hope not. also, according to matthew when jesus walked on water, peter walked on water for a moment until his faith began to waiver. isaac brock obviously would have had a far deeper understanding of scriptures when he wrote this than any of us should ever be forced to have, but i'm with him when he says that he is basically an atheist who just finds that type of shit interesting. so i think isaac is drowning upside down in this song due to his wavering faith. envision a crucifixion gone wrong so they dump him in the river. the top heavy cross would sink to the bottom leaving the feet aflaot like christ's.

    losingmylifetoawhorewithdiseaseon January 14, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    it is possible that he's speaking in the third person. It's god talking to the person that doesn't realize that he's actually speaking to god. Great song nonetheless. But once again, Isaak presents some genius challenging the norm.

    ScalewagJimon March 24, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    The movie theater concept of heaven is great. I think the line about "God takes care of himself and you of you" <--- that might be pointing to how religious folk seem to always be praying to God in time of trouble, "God help me do this and that"... instead of just doing it themselves.

    kingleroythompsonon April 15, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    its scares me too! hahaha i'll put it on a CD and go to sleep to it or some shit, and i'll always be like ooook it's comming on.... NOW but i'll be wrong every time, then ill be like NOW and be wrong, and then it comes on when i don't expect it, and i just jump it's awesom though... hahah

    CowboyDanCarson1on December 24, 2004   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
Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell gives Adam Reader some heartfelt insight into Jane’s Addiction's hard rock manifesto "Mountain Song", which was the second single from their revolutionary album Nothing's Shocking. Mountain song was first recorded in 1986 and appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dudes starring Jon Cryer. The version on Nothing's Shocking was re-recorded in 1988. "'Mountain Song' was actually about... I hate to say it but... drugs. Climbing this mountain and getting as high as you can, and then coming down that mountain," reveals Farrell. "What it feels to descend from the mountain top... not easy at all. The ascension is tough but exhilarating. Getting down is... it's a real bummer. Drugs is not for everybody obviously. For me, I wanted to experience the heights, and the lows come along with it." "There's a part - 'Cash in now honey, cash in Miss Smith.' Miss Smith is my Mother; our last name was Smith. Cashing in when she cashed in her life. So... she decided that, to her... at that time, she was desperate. Life wasn't worth it for her, that was her opinion. Some people think, never take your life, and some people find that their life isn't worth living. She was in love with my Dad, and my Dad was not faithful to her, and it broke her heart. She was very desperate and she did something that I know she regrets."
Album art
Gentle Hour
Yo La Tengo
This song was originally written by a guy called Peter Gutteridge. He was one of the founders of the "Dunedin Sound" a musical scene in the south of New Zealand in the early 80s. From there it was covered by "The Clean" one of the early bands of that scene (he had originally been a member of in it's early days, writing a couple of their best early songs). The Dunedin sound, and the Clean became popular on american college radio in the mid to late 80s. I guess Yo La Tengo heard that version. Great version of a great song,
Album art
Just A Little Lovin'
Dusty Springfield
I don't think it's necessarily about sex. It's about wanting to start the day with some love and affection. Maybe a warm cuddle. I'm not alone in interpreting it that way! For example: "'Just a Little Lovin’ is a timeless country song originally recorded by Eddy Arnold in 1954. The song, written by Eddie Miller and Jimmy Campbell, explores the delicate nuances of love and showcases Arnold’s emotive vocals. It delves into the universal theme of love and how even the smallest gesture of affection can have a profound impact on our lives." https://oldtimemusic.com/the-meaning-behind-the-song-just-a-little-lovin-by-eddy-arnold/
Album art
Ed Sheeran
“Midnight” is a song about finding a love that is so true that it provides a calming feeling through every storm. Ed Sheeran reflects on his good fortunes in landing someone with such peace and support and speaks of not fearing the dark days because he knows they’ll all end in the safety nets of her arms. “Well, good morning there / What a way to start the day / With everything laid bare,” Ed Sheeran sings in the first verse, enthusiastic to be waking up beside his woman. He apologizes for missing her calls in the second verse and promises to return them because for him, speaking to her is the most important thing. “Well, I get lost inside my head / In this chaos, you’re my calm / And I will find my feet again / ‘Cause еven the worst days of my life will always еnd / At midnight in your arms,” sings Ed Sheeran in the chorus, revelling in his good luck.
Album art
Trouble Breathing
Alkaline Trio
While the obvious connections with suicide or alcoholism could be drawn easily, more subtly this song could be about someone who views the world through a negative lens constantly and how as much as the writer tries to show the beauty in the world, this person refuses to see it. It's one or another between the rope and the bottle. There is no good option for this person. They can't see it. Skiba sings it in a kind of exasperated way like He's tired of hearing this negative view constantly and just allowing that person to continue feeling the way they feel knowing he can't do anything about it. You can hear it when he says maybe you're a vampire.