Breaking the signal
So it's totally unreadable
Drinking the dregs
Eating the utterly inedible
We do what we do
All for you
All dressed up
Black hat and white cane
Slowly circling the drain
Ready for the future
Ready for the world about to come

Shooting the sequel before the treatment's even finished
Sanding numbers off the monojects
As our slight returns diminish
We are what we are
Get in the goddamn car
Smiling faces flawlessly rehearsed
We are sleek and beautiful
We are cursed
Ready for the future
Ready for the world about to come

Lyrics submitted by I'm a Pirate, edited by unspecialfish

Slow West Vultures song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentJohn is a lyrical genius - too much so for me.

    I can tell you that the line "Shooting the sequel before the treatment's even finished" is an extremely clever pun - in the movie industry, a "treatment" is like the first written proposal for a movie, which just outlines the plot. So at first glance the line is about getting ahead of yourself. However I'm almost certain that John's talking (singing) about taking drugs (again) - perhaps "shooting" up before the last dose has quite worn off. So there's the connotation of a medical "treatment" as well (possibly rehab?).

    Gah, so much meaning crammed into just one line! I love this guy's songs so much. :)
    Beruthielon October 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is the perfect song to start the CD off.

    amazing lyrics, and the background noises are great too.

    "we are what we are
    get in the goddamn car"
    Colosimoon January 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Sanding numbers off the monojects
    As our slight returns diminish"

    Monoject is a brand of syringe, which is presumably being used for shooting up drugs in this case (John Darnielle has referred to We Shall All Be Healed as his "tweaker album", drawn from his experience as an intravenous methamphetamine user*). With their drug supply ("slight returns") diminishing, they seem to be removing the numbers marking the amount of contents in the syringe, presumably so they won't be able to tell how little they are shooting up.

    *See John Darnielle's interview with Marc Maron:…
    sethkon August 06, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust a guess, but I think "sanding numbers off the monojects" refers to re-using needles so many times that the ink marking the quantity of liquid in the syringe gets rubbed off. Also, I'm guessing "slight returns" refers to tolerance and not a diminishing supply.

    (I used to give liquid medication to my rabbit and I would wash and re-use the same (oral) syringe. The numbers rubbed off pretty quickly.)
    obsequiousleafon April 10, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song needs more comments. It's one of their best songs ever. How could it have so few comments?

    Anyway, "Breaking the signal so it's totally unreadable." I don't know what the signal is or how they're breaking it, but I believe they are saying that they don't want anyone to know what they are doing.

    "Drinking the dregs Eating the utterly inedible." Dregs are stuff that settles to the bottom of liquids. They're doing whatever it takes to get high, even it it means drinking and eating disgusting stuff.

    "We do what we do all for you." I think "you" is Cathy. Her "special secret sickness" (mentioned in "Dance Music" on the Sunset Tree) was an addiction to meth. Since Cathy was the last best thing JD had, he and his friends made and did meth all for her.

    "All dressed up Black hat and white cane." This part I don't know. That's why this song needs more comments!

    "Slowly circling the drain." When you drain a bath tub, water circles the drain before it goes down it. It takes a while for the water to drain. That's what's going on with the lives of meth users. The meth gets them high, so life seems fine, for a little while, then it takes people down and their lives go down the drain.

    "Ready for the future Ready for the world about to come." The future for a meth-head is a bad one. But they know that and they're ready for it.

    Some of the 2nd verse has already been explained in other comments so I will skip ahead to "We are what we are Get in the goddamn car." They are meth-heads and they know it and you can't change them. You will either join them or you will stay away from them.

    "Smiling faces flawlessly rehearsed." The meth will eventually make them miserable, but they have to look happy in front of their loved ones and family so they rehearse their smiles.

    "We are sleek and beautiful We are cursed." They have just started doing meth (this is the 1st song on the album) so they aren't monsters yet. But they know they will be.

    This is my 2 cents. I love this song and I'm sorry if my interpretation is wrong.
    cbinghamon January 09, 2018   Link

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