"Dumb Things" as written by and Paul Maurice Kelly....
Welcome, strangers, to the show
I'm the one who should be lying low
Saw the knives out, turned my back
Heard the train coming, stayed out on the track
In the middle, in the middle, in the middle of a dream
I lost my shirt, I pawned my rings
I've done all the dumb things

Caught the fever, heard the tune
Thought I loved her, hung my heart on the moon
Started howling, made no sense
Thought my friends would rush to my defence
In the middle, in the middle, in the middle of a dream
I lost my shirt, I pawned my rings
I've done all the dumb things

And I get all your good advice
It doesn't stop me from going through these things twice
I see the knives out, I turn my back
I hear the train coming, I stay right on that track
In the middle, in the middle, in the middle of a dream
I lost my shirt, I pawned my rings
I've done all the dumb things
I melted wax to fix my wings
I've done all the dumb things
I threw my hat into the ring
I've done all the dumb things
I thought that I just had to sing
I've done all the dumb things


Lyrics submitted by jed

"Dumb Things" as written by Paul Maurice Kelly

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Dumb Things song meanings
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    General CommentI studied Paul Kelly's lyrics in English this year as well, and this song has always been my favorite since it was on 'Young Einstein' - 1988 movie by Yahoo Serious.
    This is actually a very deep song about stereotypical frailties of men.
    He basically starts off drunk, and is putting on a show making a fool of himself doing 'dumb things' and he 'should be lying low' for other dumb things he's done have consequences and they may come for him.
    He 'see's the knives out (danger) and turns his back on it, then the knives are replaced by a bigger danger, now a train's coming and he still stays on the same track of doing the same dumb things.
    In the middle of a dream represents his farfetched sense of reality at the time, its all a dream and he's gonna wake up without and consequences because he's wasted (drunk).
    'i lost my shirt' represents to me that he lost his personal presentation and therefore lost his job because he lost his shirt he would've worn. I pawned my rings is the price he pays for his lifestyle, very simply.

    The next verse is about him getting caught up into this alcoholism/gambling and thinking he was in love then when it doesnt work he 'hangs his heart on the moon' where its unreachable by others and like a lonley dog he 'starts howling' because nothing made and sense and his friends didnt support him, as they were probably all drunk too and knew he did the dumb things.

    He now gets some good advice and it makes no difference and he stays out on the same track.
    He them melts wax to fix his wings which i think is referring to the story of the man who wanted to fly, he used wax to hold his wings together so he could fly to the sun and they melted when he got too close and fell to his death. He follows the same pattern then when its all lost he 'throws his hat into the ring' to make money from fights.

    This song is another instance of Kelly's sympathy for the ordinary person who gambles to improve his situation.
    The Hoskon October 27, 2007   Link

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