I sit here shooting blanks
Out at emptiness
Ain’t nothing really want to kill
Maybe time I guess
I sit and spin the world on its flipside
And I listen backwards for meaning

'Cause I’m a stickman
I live with one dimension dead
Trying not to think too many moves ahead

I draw from memory
The stillest kind of life
Slide after slide
Mental pain's the sharpest knife
Project what's done for everyone to see
To me it's just a reversal

And I'm a stickman
In frames that go one by one
If I sped it up
You'd see I'm on the run
From some monster off-screen
Killing sons

Lonely makes me blue
Envy turns me green
Hate might paint me red
If I load my magazine
But not just now when it's easy to stay clean
When no one sees where you're bleeding

And I'm a stickman
Stickman


Lyrics submitted by valard, edited by dogcity, MulletBrush

Stickman song meanings
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25 Comments

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  • +2
    My Interpretation

    The slides are his songs. "If I sped it up" = if you looked at his songwriting career as a a sequence, the film would show him trying to escape the lingering effects of child abuse at the hands of his stepfather. I don't usually interpret his songs autobiographically, but this song asks for it.

    barnesignobleon December 06, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    how has no-one commented on this one yet??? this is such an amazingly powerful song, i love it the bit at the end where he is babbling incoherently to the crowd scared the shit out of me though....what the hell is he saying? it is really disturbing...RIP

    badgeon May 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    indeed badge, i love this song too.. very eerie and sorrowful.. wonderful.

    pollyethyleneon August 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this song is fabulous, especially the studio version. Sounds so different from what i originally thought it would sound like.

    somerocksongon December 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    these lyrics have a lot of errors... lots of flawed versions have been floating around but this is what i've gathered after many, many listenings of the demo and i think it's nearly completely correct

    I sit here shooting blanks Out of emptiness Ain’t nothing really want to kill Maybe your time I guess Sit and spin the world and its flipside And I listen backwards for meanings

    'Cause i’m a stickman I live with one dimension dead Try not to think too many moves ahead

    I draw from memory The stillest kind of life Slide after slide You know pain's the sharpest knife Project what's done so everyone can see To me it's just a reversal

    And I'm a stickman Frames they go one by one If I sped it up You'd see I'm on the run From some monster off screen Killing sons

    Lonely makes me blue Envy turns me green Hate might paint me red If I load my magazine But not just now when it's easy to stay clean When no one sees where you're bleeding

    And I'm a stickman Stickman

    trippyappleon January 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    well, my interpitation is that he is telling us, or trying to but not too directly how some one is sitting around, just rapidly bringing up negative things about life and they are doing everything they can to make sense of it all. they cant see life for all its values, just by waht theve experinced. they are obsessed with the fear of somthing horrilbe happening no matter what. and they dont want people to see that they are hurting.

    emiton May 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Oh my fucking god! This song is so depressing and scary! It would be so bad if I heard this when I used to take medication! OOoohhhh..... I wounder if it was really personal or a metaphore. But he did se I a lot. Elliott once said something like, "I don't think that I could own a gun, or that I should, b/c guns spell out trouble."

    Candymiseron June 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    One of my recent favorites I'd say.

    doesntevenmatteron September 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    trippyapple has the lyrics right.... Just like most of smith's songs, it is about mental disorders (i.e manic depression) and suicide. I see it as this:

    "I sit here shooting blanks Out of emptiness Ain’t nothing really want to kill Maybe your time I guess Sit and spin the world and its flipside And I listen backwards for meanings"

    Ever been so depressed and bored? nothing to do at all? i get imagery of him killing time. Playing with the idea of suicide "shooting blanks". He is looking for hidden meanings in life in boredom by playing the records backwards.

    "'Cause i’m a stickman I live with one dimension dead Try not to think too many moves ahead"

    This is elliott smith's self esteem in a nutshell. He is a stickman. Nothing deep. Nothing special. He never realized how amazing he was even when everyone said so. He says don't look too deep into what he's saying or think he's that special with "try not to think too many moves ahead." Just think stickman. That isn't really a positive way to think of yourself.

    "I draw from memory The stillest kind of life Slide after slide You know pain's the sharpest knife Project what's done so everyone can see To me it's just a reversal"

    One of the more complicated stanzas. When one is depressed, one only draws upon the past. The good times are always remembered, and nothing else really matters at the present or future. Smith draws upon the beauty of what he was. Not what he is. He refers to this depression through "I draw from memory/ The stillest kind of life." "Slide after slide" can refer to 2 things in my mind. First, it can refer tot he chess pieces he refered to before. A metaphor for the moves in his life, or it can refer to the next line keeping the imagery with the knife. Smith has a tendacy with his songs to keep imagery repeating throughout. The king's crossing is a good example of that. "Project what's done so everyone can see/To me it's just a reversal." I feel smith is saying he is hiding his pain rather than revealing it to the world. These thoughts of suicide he does not project to the world, but instead, it'st he reversal. He keeps it in to himself.

    i'm tired... and i'll come back to the others later.

    ginteardropson January 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Try not to think too many moves ahead.

    H.B.on August 20, 2007   Link

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