"First It Giveth" as written by and Josh/oliveri Homme....
I'm in you
You're in me
I can't tell

You're so cruel
More than me
It is true
That's right

Loyal to
Only you
Up your sleeve

I want some (come on, take it)
Of all of you (it's yours)
Trickin' me

First it give'th
Then it take'th away

I would beg
I would plead
I would shake

On a hook
By the way

I'm so young
And beautiful
(That's right)
(I'm slick)
I'm no fool

Time goes by
Tables turn
Now I know

First it give'th
Then it take'th away

Lyrics submitted by ikari, edited by OneMoreAstronaut

"First It Giveth" as written by Nick Oliveri Josh Homme

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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First It Giveth song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentThis song is most defenantly about a drug addiction.

    "I'm in you You're in me I can't tell"
    - He's talking about how its hazy, after a while of using some particular drugs, whether your taking the drug or if the drug is taking you.

    "First it giveth, then it taketh away"
    this is like when you first start taking certain drugs it entertains and makes you feel good, but after a while of taking the drugs you start to go down in a hole. Your 'good times' become an addiction. "I would beg I would plead I would shake"

    This song is easy to understand for some people who have experienced a drug addiction. Thats why some people think its about love with a girl. but its for sure a love/hate song about drugs.
    bloodbledblackon June 24, 2008   Link
  • +5
    My InterpretationBrazilian, it's an archaic version that was often used in the King James Version of the Bible.

    Homme is referring to Job chapter 1, verse 21:

    [Job] said, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

    The verse is about submission. So is this song. Probably submission to a drug addiction.
    azkmon September 13, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti think somehow this is about a relationship. And one of the persons in this relationship lives in dependence to the other (i know. No good english.) I think it's about a youn man who is in sexual dependence to an other person (for example "I'm so young) and then "I would beg" and so on.
    brainlesson March 08, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General Commentyeah i really really like this song
    sunday_girlon March 04, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General Commentwell even though uncletommy dude said what it was im still gonna tell you what i thought it was about, i was watching discovery channel and there was this thing about asteroids hitting the earth and bringing life here then later on another asteroid hits and destoys all life thuse the asteroid first it give then it take away.. see where im coming come? and the lyrics sound like the metaphor for this and how you would feel during the time of chrisis of the asteroid hurtiling towards earth and relising it all, yeah thats it =)
    -enternamehere-on April 23, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIts great...I always thought it was about a relationship or sex but it could also be about drugs I guess...but I loved the asteroid idea....and that is what is so great about QOTSA....there songs can mean anything to ANYONE!!!!
    Qotsa-in-my-bloodon July 30, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI like to think this song is about life in general. Life gives you everything, but at the end it takes it all away. So the whole lyrics are a remark about living and knowing that "time goes by, tables turn" until life claims back all that was given to us. Not necessarily in a negative way, I think it's more like "I acknowledge that"
    Wild Wolfon July 29, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about drugs. Homme: "Well I think we have a song that about this subject called First they Giveth, then They Taketh away, and I think at first you can draw inspiration and then eventually, it negates any inspiration. " ( hobbs1767.tripod.com/transcripts/… )
    Zyklon Jon April 16, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlot of QOTSA songs are based around drugs, relationships and sex. Most bands generally tend to sing about some topics consistantly, and that's pretty much what these guys tend to sing about. In MY own opinion, whether right or not, I hear all their songs about relationships, drugs and sex, and tend to think they are all metaphorical to eachother. So when I sum up QOTSA in a whole, I believe they consider sex, drugs and relationships in one catagory: Addiction.
    mushroomfaton January 23, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationJust listening to it for the past several years I thought it was about sex, for some reason, I'd never looked up the lyrics online until now, but yeah, after reading:

    "Loyal to
    Only you
    Up your sleeve"

    and shortly after that:

    "I would beg
    I would plead
    I would shake"

    DRUGS!!! (For those of you who don't get the 2+2 juxtaposition above, the first quote is talking about shooting heroin, "up your sleeve," since your arm is the most readily available vein and easiest to get to by yourself. The second is about the withdrawal symptoms, aside from being irritable without it, ["I would beg, I would plead"] it talks about the physical symptoms, like tremors. ["I would shake"])
    hazmat16380on February 13, 2010   Link

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