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Two Against Nature song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI don't know this for a fact, but judging by the lyrics, this song is about voodoo. Erzulie is the goddess of love. There are also lots of Creole phrases and pronunciation in this song, which leads me to believe that it's definitely about Latin American/Carribean (Afro-Carribean) religion. This meaning can be expanded upon, though, as it leaves many question marks!
    Hey_Nineteenon May 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningTwo Against Nature is essentially Steely Dan's clever version of "Bad To The Bone."

    The "Two Against Nature" in the song are literally Walter and Donald. They're saying "that by the fact of our being artists and cognizant that we're in a young person's milieu still trying to get along when we're circa 50 years old, we know you're doing the same and we're making a generous offer to help our listeners with their problems."

    Voodoo and demon references are modern, young peoples hip music. And maybe the fact that this music is popular seems like evil voodoo magic to all of us pushing middle age...

    Donald and Walter offer to use their badass music as a cure to help us middle-aged geezers battle the demons of vapid modern music.

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    Bad news breaking in 18A
    Missy's kitty turn inside out she say
    Spider queen demon and that whole crew
    Across the lobby the wicker wing chair flew
    All the nice people those goodly souls
    Quaking in their respective hidey-holes
    Everyone's wasted in this gruesome dream
    Not a one of them left to hear you scream
    ----------------------------------------------
    >> Literally
    Missy's pet cat was found dead, turned inside out, sacrificed in a voodoo ritual. A bunch of nice people watch horrified as (voodoo queen or voodoo spirit) Spider Queen Demon and her gang kill everybody (a good bunch of scared folks who didn't deserve it,) except you. You watch horrified and screaming.

    >> Meaning
    18A is a movie rating, which means you have to be 18 or older to view the movie. So he's talking about the bad news breaking with the 18ish crowd. Maybe suggesting that young people are under the voodoo spell of bad music.

    "Spider Queen Demon and that whole crew" I think refers to any of the modern pop crap bands like Brittany/Miley/Lady GaGa. "Middle-aged you" watches her concert, full of good people. You are horrified and screaming at how terrible the music is. But she "knocks 'em dead" (they love her and her crappy music.) You're left with noone on your wavelength.


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    CHORUS:
    Two against nature don't you know
    Who's gonna grok the shape of things to go
    Two against nature make them groan
    Who's gonna break the shape of things unknown
    ----------------------------------------------
    >> Meaning
    We (Walter and Donald) understand (grok) the future of music, we're underestimated but we're in control, and we're going to break the mold (of crappy modern music.)


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    Madame Erzulie she come last night
    Bang you silly but leave a nasty bite
    There on your nightstand much worse than that
    Panatela and old black derby hat
    ----------------------------------------------
    >> Meaning
    Erzulie is the Voodoo goddess of love and sex.

    A Panatela and derby hat is the sign of Voodoo spirit Baron Samedi. Baron Samedi is the spirit the dead. He is also the spirit of sex and resurrection. He is often called upon for healing by those near or approaching death

    Baron Samedi also is depicted as someone who crosses gender boundaries, either through cross-dressing or by bisexuality.

    So, you met a girl, she f*cked you silly and gave you a hickey. You wake up and realize the girl you think you f*cked last night was actually a guy ...

    These are midlife crisis references. A one night stand that was a great idea last night that you thought would make you young again. You wake up the next morning and realize it was a futile attempt to resurrect your youth (Baron Samedi reference.) In the meantime maybe you accidentally slept with a guy in the process.

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    Call your doctor - call your shrink
    Western science she strictly rinkydink
    They all masissi but we hang tough
    Apsatively gonna help you beat that stuff
    ----------------------------------------------
    >> Meaning
    Masissi is a derogative Creole term for homosexuals. Basically, massisi is how you say "faggot" in Creole.

    You can call your doctor or psychiatrist if you want, but Western Science cant help you with this problem because they're all faggots compared to us (Walter and Donald) and our powers. We're tough and we have what you need to beat your problem.

    They use the voodoo term massisi - which lends credibility that not only are they tough, but also that they understand the enemy (modern crap music) in an intimate way.

    ----------------------------------------------
    CHORUS:
    Two against nature tan and lean
    Puttin' big heat on skanky things unseen
    Two against nature slinging dread
    These boys wanna bang the skulls of things undead
    ----------------------------------------------
    >> Meaning
    We're badasses, we're in shape for the fight, and we're going to push back at the voodoo demons of crap music. Oh and by the way, they fear us.

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    T-Bone Angie she champion liar
    Sew the mouth shut with rusty chicken wire
    Brother Lou Garue and the Jerry Garry
    Sprinkling chicken water gonna hush all three
    Beautiful housewife in deep distress
    'Specially you deserve our very best
    Two against nature they got that stuff
    Good things happening when you see about us
    ----------------------------------------------
    >> Meaning
    Cool voodoo imagery. Here Donald and Walter start telling us exactly the (musical) tools they have to battle these demons. They particularly they prefer helping beautiful housewives.

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    CHORUS:
    Two against nature love this gig
    Pull up the weeds before they're too damn big
    Two against nature stand alone
    Who's gonna chase the shape of things unknown
    Two against nature don't you know
    Who's gonna drop the boom on things to go
    Two against nature make them groan
    Gonna go bang-zoom to the moon on things unknown
    ----------------------------------------------
    >> Meaning
    We love what we're doing. We're beating the enemy before they get too strong. We're strong enough to stand alone against the enemy and chase them. And sometimes our music (and our silly lyrics) makes them groan.

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    Scrape the wallboards the whole damn batch
    Catch the maggoty eggs before they hatch
    Pepper and ratbone make damn sure
    Shake the rubbish out on the patio floor
    Soak the timber with special spray
    Nuke the itty bitty ones right where they lay
    Whip the bastards while they still green
    Take the firemop - sweep it kissing clean
    ----------------------------------------------
    >> Meaning
    These are pest control metaphors.

    More of Walter and Donald telling us about the specific (musical) tools in their arsenal to battle the crap music demons.

    Or maybe some instructions on how to deal with the crabs you got from Madame Erzulie :)

    WheelyDanon March 27, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have no clue what this song is about, but it certainly is great. The rhythm section alone makes the song worthwhile listening.
    helluvadrugon May 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is also pure speculation, but i think the song is about two police officers who believe it is their personal duty to clean up crime and to "Pull up the weeds before they're too damn big". I think describing prostitution and drugs as "nature" is a particularly important clue to their mindset that things are naturally like this, but they still have to fix them.

    The Erzulie verse really puzzled me so I did some research. Apparently Erzulie is a symbol in Vodou and is sometimes associated with homosexual relations. So I think that they're talking about a man who is in denial that he is gay and had a one night stand with a man, a fact which he discovers only the next morning with the "pantela" (cigars) and "derby hat" on his nightstand. Also in the next verse "They all massisi we hang tough". Massisi apparently can mean gay in Haitian, so its possible that these to cops are against this aspect of "nature" as well. Phew, this song has alot more to it than other Steely Dan songs.
    vindoggon September 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningLISTEN PPL: this is the plot of 'LAST TANGO IN PARIS'. i'll bet my last dollar that mr becker was inspired by this movie. the just previous post is long and thorough, but i'm right, and complete.
    JudeJadedon April 04, 2010   Link

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