She shone up bright like a knife
Wearing tennis shorts made of stripes
Hand in hand to the grass and we got it right
Got it nice, nice, nice
Just a glimpse of an ankle and I
React like it's 1805
And I'd swim to the poles just to find the right satellite
It'll take all of my strength to give up

But you all know I tried
So forget about it, girl
My head's like a kite
When such a creature I sight

To town
Where your feet leave no prints on the ground
Have I left my home just to whine in this microphone?
It gets worse every time that we talk
Can't afford to be just one in a flock
But that's your lot
When you're after such a well-made lock
Who was classically trained to give up

All my friends know I tried
So forget about it, girl
Even I don't know why
I can't just stay the course
Keep my hands on the wheel
Our detractors were right
My head's like a kite
'Cause all my thoughts run astray
And I'm a walking cliché
When such a creature I sight

(I can't just, I can't just) I can't just stay the course
Keep my hands on the wheel
Our detractors were right
My head's like a kite

Lyrics submitted by doobeydoobeydude, edited by pinkredrabbits, smallwonderrobot

Turn a Square Lyrics as written by James Russell Mercer

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Turn a Square song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentThe 'Turn a Square' title seems to me to be a play on the phrase 'turn a corner' - he can't turn the corner, his ways never change and he his stuck in a square, where every turn he takes leads him back to exactly where he was.

    rhys89on September 15, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI found the whole cheating girlfriend vs. infatuated with a girl thing entertaining. I'm personally with the whole infatuated with the girl he can't have view. I mean the main staple for their arguement for that meaning is in the verse which talks about staying the course... well that can be explained by him just giving up on obsessing her. He'll never have her so why bother obsessing about her still?

    Really though, it's a Shins song and The Shins have a tendency to write songs with overly complicated lyrics and a buttload of analogies that make little to no sense. So take whatever meaning you want from it is what I say. =P
    SomeCalciumon September 19, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentaw this is one of my favorite songs on here. it's so sweet. the ankle/1805 thing is so cute. i can't believe i just said cute and sweet... ew. death to me.
    elodieon June 25, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's cute to an extent.

    Everyone has known that perfect girl...who unfortunetly plays every guy out there. No guy wants to be a part of the group of boys chasing her around.
    criminaleyeson January 05, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel differently than any of you I think. The song isn't really -about- a girl, it's just using her as an example of a person's general lack of follow through. Something really great comes along like maybe a pretty girl, or a creative idea or whatever and he gets really excited about it, but after a while he gives up and then later regrets it. He ultimately would like to finish what he started but has no idea how to trust that he won't give up again.

    To town! Where your feet leave no prints on the ground, Have I left my home just to whine in this microphone?

    Suggests the unsettling feeling of wagering everything one has to in order to follow a dream. Luckily a happy story where it turns out in the end. Can you say as much for the relationship, it doesn't really say, maybe she exists only as a metaphor.
    zoboton November 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthaha, its not really all that cute, the guy cant stay with his girlfriend cause he cheats on her too much. but its a good song.
    strunkthedrunkon October 08, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI LOVE THIS SONG. yeah. what strunky said.
    subterranean_summeron November 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti always thought this was about a girl who takes his breath away whenever he sees her. but meh.. i'm not sure. i always thought it was cute.
    indignityon January 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell, w/e but this song is teh awesome.
    acidpuson February 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI never realised it could be about a guy cheating on his girlfriend? i always thought it was about liking that perfect girl who he can't have..

    Can someone explain?
    larahon February 21, 2005   Link

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