My name is Jonas
I'm carrying the wheel
Thanks for all you've shown us
But this is how we feel

Come sit next to me
Pour yourself some tea
Just like grandma made
When we couldn't find sleep
Things were better then
Once but never again
We've all left the den
Let me tell you 'bout it

The choo-choo train left right on time
A ticket cost only your mind
The driver said "Hey man, we go all the way,"
Of course we were willing to pay

My name is Wepeel
Gotta box full of your toys
They're fresh out of batteries
But they're still makin' noise, makin' noise

Tell me what to do
Now the tank is dry
Now this wheel is flat
And you know what else?
Guess what I received
In the mail today
Words of deep concern
From my little brother

The building's not goin' as he planned
The foreman has injured his hand
The dozer will not clear a path
The driver swears he learned his math

The workers are going home
The workers are going home
The workers are going home
The workers are going home

The workers are going home
The workers are going home
The workers are going home
Yeah, yeah yeah!

My name is Jonas

Lyrics submitted by antispork

My Name Is Jonas song meanings
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  • +4
    Song MeaningRivers Cuomo has gone record saying the song is about his brother, Leaves Cuomo, who was in a car accident and was having trouble with insurance. The song is a narrative that serves as an incredibly dramatic metaphor for Leaves' situation and is supposed to be representative of people who have experienced similar situations, in which they are always getting reamed by the Man, whether it be insurance, or corporate, or Social Security, whatever. In the song, the Jonas character represents the insurance company and Wepeel represents Leaves Cuomo, while the brother is clearly Rivers Cuomo.
    The lines about construction aren't metaphorical, they're literal. Basically, it's about a man who has a job doing labor and he relies heavily on this job, not just to support himself but to keep his mind and body active. Perhaps he decided to not pursue an education after high school or his degree has not afforded many white collar opportunities. Either way, he is working at a job site and suddenly, he no longer has this job for whatever reason. It's like he didn't even matter, he's totally replaceable, nobody appreciated him, nobody is going to make it up to him, nobody is going to help him, it's just 'let's cut ties here and now'. They give him a paltry consolation prize for his trouble or some insincere meant-to-be-comforting-but-really-isn't parting words.
    The entire first verse is from the point of view of the person telling the employee he no longer has a job. The song isn't ABOUT Jonas, it's being said BY Jonas, who is actually the bad guy, the boss or work foreman ("Thanks for all you've shown us, but this is how we feel, come sit next to me, pour yourself some tea...")
    Now the question is why does Weepel, presumably the man who was let go by Jonas, no longer have a job? It could be for many number of reasons. Maybe the job was shut down early and now there's no real payoff, the company is not providing for jobs lost. This meaning explains the line, "The workers are going home." But also incredibly likely, he was injured on the job or involved in a human resources situation and he was forced into retirement. His severance package or security from the government is probably paltry, which means the system that Cuomo is talking about has a dual meaning: the system, as in corporate or union, and the system, as in the government that is failing to provide for Wepeel.
    Not only is this situation bad on a financial level, but it's bad on an emotional and mental level. Wepeel put all this time and energy and effort into this job and was treated poorly; now he has nothing to give him self-esteem or occupy his time or mind. This is confirmed by the lines "the ticket costs only your mind" and "I got a box full of your toys, they're fresh out of batteries but they're still making noise." He's saying, "This job gave me all of these issues and now the job is gone, but I'm still dealing with these problems. Who is going to help me care of this?" Everything in his life is subsequently going to pieces ("Now this tank is dry and this wheel is flat".)
    To kill his self-esteem more ("And you know what else?"), Wepeel's little brother is calling out of concern. The little brother, a representation of Rivers Cuomo, is successful, much like rock star Rivers Cuomo. How does that feel, to lose your job and ability to work and to be ignored by the people who are supposed to help you, and then your *little* brother is this big success and is trying to help you, undermining your status as elder brother and accidentally rubbing his good fortune in your face? In real life, Leaves may or may not be older than Rivers, but the 'little brother' description is added to basically add insult to injury, to make Wepeel's situation even worse.
    The last lines are Jonas' words. They could be his excuses to Wepeel about why he is discontinuing the project and letting Weepel and his coworkers go. Or these lines are a snippet of a conversation he is having with whomever, possibly his own superior, complaining about how the project is plagued with many problems. or excuses why the job is taking longer than it should; in this case, the foreman that has injured his hand is Weepel himself. If it is the latter, the hand injury would explain why Wepeel was let go. In this list, Wepeel is simply 'the foreman', just a faceless worker who is a problem is a long lsit of other problems, and we get a sense of just how unimportant he is to Jonas overall.
    sassbackon February 02, 2012   Link

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