you are sleeping off your demons
when I come home.
spittle bubbling on your lips,
fine white foam

I am young and I am good.
it's a hot southern california day.
if I wake you up, there will be hell to pay.

and alone in my room,
I am the last of a lost civilization.
and I vanish into the dark
and rise above my station.
rise above my station.

but I do wake you up, and when I do
you blaze down the hall and you scream.
I'm in my room with the headphones on
deep in the dream chamber.
and then I'm awake and I'm guarding my face,
hoping you don't break my stereo.
because it's the one thing that I couldn't live without
and so I think about that and then I sorta black out.

held under these smothering waves
by your strong and thick veined hand,
but one of these days I'm going to wriggle up on dry land.

Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

Hast Thou Considered the Tetrapod song meanings
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  • +6
    General Comment

    Hast thou considered the tetrapod is a reference to the writers future evolution beyond a smothered sub-human creature. He's looking forward to the day he will be free from the opression of his family life, and grow into a independent, free thinking person. When he says "one of these days I'm gonna wriggle up on dry land" - he's basically making an exclamation to himself saying - "Someday, all of this will be over and you will not control me anymore."

    Also, the Book of Judgement has a lot of "Hast thou's" in it too. He's also saying - remember what happened to the creatures in the slime - eventually the grew up, evolved and took over the earth - keep that in mind next time you try to hold me down. You'll eventually get yours.

    It's a brilliant song title and a great song.

    meansofmeanson July 14, 2007   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    Yeah, that's pretty much exactly what it was like. Guarding my face. That was important.

    That was in 1972. I'm nearly 50, and I cry almost every time I hear this song. As Elvis Costello said, some things you never get used to.

    uhhhclemon February 27, 2009   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    The stereo line is the best, it always makes me cry as well. I had the exact same thought with my father. And later when I chose a guy like him and he started doing the same things, I remember him breaking all this expensive stuff and then beating up on me and all I could think was how happy I was that he didnt' break my wine glasses. Your mind goes to funny places, I'm telling ya

    catgoesmeowon June 22, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    "hoping you don't break my stereo because it's the one thing I couldn't live without"

    I think is such a funny representation of adolescent feelings - such focusing on trivial parts of a much bigger, more serious problem. And music can offer such solace to kids in a bad place - certain songs can have such power that it seems like the only person who understands you is some musician, etc...

    darneeon March 30, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Darnee...I don't think it's focusing on the trivial at all. If you've been one of these kids you know, sometimes your stereo is honest-to-god the only thing keeping you alive.

    John did a show at Duke in 2005 and played this live for the first time, and when he finished he sort of gasped and said: "I can tell you, I now know for sure that I've never played that in front of an audience before, because the funny thing about this record, you know, is that they're all true stories, which is not what I'm used to doing. I lie my ass off, that's why people always think I'm lying when I say I don't know how to play a song because, you know, I do lie, a lot, and so why wouldn't I be lying about that? But I'm not.

    But, yeah, you play a song, one of the songs off this album for an audience the first time, there's this shock of letting a secret out. And I know there's a few people in any room who know what I'm talking about, and when you tell somebody about something bad that happened in the house where you were a kid, there's this shock of release, and it's really exciting, if...if maudlin, to talk about it on a stage, but what can I do? So, thank you for being here for that."

    (Thank you bootlegs, for that lovely insight!)

    ABookOnAShelfon January 28, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    this song is so sad and apparently it's autobiographical. I can't get it off my head. especially "held under these smothering waves by your strong and thick-veined hands"

    kozmikon August 27, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    John is obviously trying to portray his stepfather beating him he talks about his stepfather being angry at him and possibly beating him Dance Music and This Year he most definately talks about this in other songs in this song his stepfather is obviously drunk by the line "You are sleeping off you demons" John is in his room listening to music and trying to drown it all out he does this in Dance Music as well he may be saying that his stereo helps him forget or comforts him

    TheKingOfCarrotFlowerson August 12, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This song is painfully sad, and somehow he sings it with the hope a little kid. I love it.

    bright_eyes13on December 30, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I think this is about his stepfather beating him. In "Dance Music" (also from The Sunset Tree), he says how the one thing that he can get away with is his stereo and listening to dance music. In that song, his stepfather throws a glass at his mother's head. It's not unlikely that this behavior might also occur with John too.

    His stepfather is angry (hence the spittle on his lips?) a lot, and waking him up is something John fears to do.

    skateboarder873on April 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Being scared about your stereo might seem trivial to adults, but remember that when you're a kid (not sure JD is supposed to be in this song) you're dependent on your parents to buy you a new one if yours breaks.

    jfruhon April 26, 2007   Link

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