My smile is stuck
I cannot go back to your frownland
My spirit is made up of the ocean
And the sky and the sun and the moon
And all my eye can see
I cannot go back to your land of gloom
Where black jagged shadows
Remind me of the coming of your doom
I want my own land
Take my hand and come with me
It's not too late for you, it is not too late for me
To find my homeland
Where a man can stand by another man
Without an ego flying
With no man lying
And no one dying by an earthly hand
Let the devils burn and the beggar learn
And the little girls that live in those old worlds
Take my kind hand
My smile is stuck
I cannot go back to your frownland
I cannot go back to your frownland

Lyrics submitted by DonCaballero

"Frownland" as written by Don Van Vliet

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Frownland song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThe lyrics can be interpreted in many ways ( like pretty much every songs he made ! ). It could be about an artist trying to convince a friend to leave society, to create a world of their own, a world of poets. But my own interpretation is, perhaps, darker. I believe it's about the fact that as an artist you must connect some way to society, and because of this, there is always something or someone to drag you down to " reality ". These lyrics are, in my opinion, about the same man talking to himself. There is the first half, the artistic, dreaming one, and there is the other one in frownland ( society, real life as you may call it ). Both will never become one, and for this reason, everything that is reality will belong to the frownland personality, and everything that is artistic and outerwordly will belong to the artist who escaped frownland, hence is " smile is stuck ". The overall message is about drawing a line between real life and artistic life and not blend each other or else you will be diminished in both worlds. The reason why this is the opening song in Trout Mask Replica is probably because Beefheart says a goodbye to his Frownland alter-ego, because his albums were the only way for him to create a world made out of pure artistic work. And he is right. An earthly hand cannot kill you in Captain Beefheart's world. When the Cap will die, his music will still live on.
    Ex Abruptoon January 19, 2008   Link
  • +2
    Lyric CorrectionI think he sings ''it's not too late for you, IF it's not too late for me'', not ''it's not too late for you, it's not too late for me''.
    lemgruberon September 09, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHe's got an inability to be cynical in such a wild world.
    Omnicideon August 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIsn't this just a manifesto for the counterculture, where "frownland" is conventional society and Don is counterposing a different way of life? 1969 was kind of the peak of the hippie dream, after all. Isn't it as simple as that?
    losttangoon May 12, 2015   Link

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