as we cruised across the Canadian border
you reached into your handbag, pulled out a micro-cassette recorder,
started quoting Tolstoy into the machine,
i had no idea what you meant.
i guess i'm supposed to figure these things out,
or maybe it's supposed to be self-evident.
but i've gone feral,
and i don't speak the language anymore.
we're headed deep into the forest, i've got the pedal to the floor.
the engine shudders, like a dying man, when you reach out to grab my hand,
you can bring out all your weapons,
you can't make me go to war.

long winding Canadian highways,
innumerable evergreens.
weather forecast on the AM radio
says we'll be expecting highs in the low teens
when i mouth my silent curses at you,
you can see my breath.
i hope the stars don't even come out tonight.
i hope we both freeze to death.
look at the person i've turned into, tell me,
how do you like him now?
no standards of any kind, no creeds to disavow
i am right here where you want me
do what you brought me out here for.
you can arm me to the teeth.
you can't make me go to war.

Lyrics submitted by sendthestars

Family Happiness song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentps. "family happiness" is the name of a short story by leo tolstoy.
    fromthehouseoflordson December 06, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is typical Mountain Goats "Loved turned cold turned violent" fare, but somehow more refined and beautiful and soft, despite the audio quality being lo-fi and unrefined and harsh.
    mindsaleon June 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song reminds me of well, myself. i love it.
    float on OK?on October 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the sheer emotion behind this song. I think maybe this song is about a man who was lied to by a close friend. Someone who manipulated him in to doing something he didn't want to. He's become so angry at this person for literally destroying him, that he wishes them dead. He says he wants them to die, and he curses at them, and he hates them for all the freedom he has been shown by them...but all he does is say he won't let it go on any longer. Nothing more done.
    HarvestGloomon November 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis was my first mountain goats song.. it convinced me to get a music download thing to try to find more.

    i dont agree with harvestgloom, though. this is about being in love with someone. its about when you realize that theyre incredibly selfish, they dont really love you. or they did once, and its gone. and you wish to god it would come back, but something has changed and its awful, and theres no way you can get out.
    fromthehouseoflordson December 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought this song was about draft-dodging.
    fahriiidayon March 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought that when I first heard the song too, but analysis into the lyrics made me realize it's nothing more than, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."
    Mistar_Glasson June 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment...and by that I meant the whole
    "you can arm me to the teeth.
    you can't make me go to war."
    thing, not the entire song.
    Mistar_Glasson June 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti can relat to this song alot, when i hear it in the car , i just kinda pull my car over and listen, because i am so taken away by it that i cant drive, i just sit on the side of the road and almost cry because it reminds me so much of my gf, who died in a car accident 3 months earlier, the last time i talked to her this song was playing in the background, it was the only time i have told her i lover her
    phatbob2045on June 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is a song about a bitter couple of course.

    i hear a bitter boy saying all these words to a girl he loved.

    "you can bring out all your weapons, but you can't make me go to war"

    i think this means, we aren't going to fight. you're not going to win, there won't be a war here tonight.

    he is whispering curses into the cold night air.

    look at the person i've turned into.

    he used to be civil and caring, but he's turned into this raging feral beast, full of disdain for this woman.

    no family happiness :[

    i am right here where you want me
    do what you brought me out here for.
    you can arm me to the teeth.
    you can't make me go to war.

    all of these lines are amazing. he structures stories in 3 minutes like no other.
    Radio_Waron September 09, 2005   Link

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