"Kids" as written by and Benjamin Nicholas Huner Goldwasser Sebastian Ingrosso....
You were a child
Crawling on your knees toward him
Making momma so proud
But your voice is too loud
We like to watch you laughing
Picking insects off of plants
No time to think of consequences

Control yourself
Take only what you need from it
A family of trees wanting to be haunted

Control yourself
Take only what you need from it
A family of trees wanting to be haunted

The water is warm
But it's sending me shivers
A baby is born
Crying out for attention
Memories fade
Like looking through a fogged mirror
Decisions too
Decisions are made
Decisions are made and not bought
But I thought this wouldn't hurt a lot
I guess not

Control yourself
Take only what you need from it
A family of trees wanting to be haunted

Control yourself
Take only what you need from it
A family of trees wanting to be haunted

Control yourself
Take only what you need from it
A family of trees wanting to be haunted

Control yourself
Take only what you need from it
A family of trees wanting to be haunted

Control yourself
Take only what you need from it
A family of trees wanting to be haunted

Control yourself
Take only what you need from it
A family of trees wanting to be haunted

Lyrics submitted by mwalk, edited by dodgerblue, cynthia103

"Kids" as written by Ben Goldwasser Andrew Vanwyngarden

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Kids song meanings
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  • +17
    My InterpretationMany had really good interpretations of the song!
    heres mine.

    I think this song is def of the stages of life. Your a child born so innocent in this world, with a beautiful smile that could make any parent proud. As you grow older you begin to lose your innocence & fall into societies ways. You begin to lose the meaning of whats important in life. & find that you learn from the world & especially learn from your parents,good & BAD. But the bad things you learn from those around you will only haunt you. To avoid this take only what you need from the world. Try your best not to become selfish as the rest of the world. I feel this songs represents a constant battle between good & bad, I feel like they're speaking from experience. Trying not to get sucked up into the worldy possessions & selfishness of this place. Its a reminder to only take what you need from the world around you, nothing more nothing less. Be happy with what is given to you or fall into a life of unhappiness & obstacles..try to live your life the best way that you can & be the best person that you can, weather your life be hard or easy remember not to become corrupted of the things around you.

    Wish I could explain exactly what I feel but words cannot describe everything I think this song means..its a beautiful song & makes me tear everything I hear it..
    MilkyLumpzon December 26, 2012   Link
  • +12
    General CommentI could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure this song is about that Shell Silverstein book The Giving Tree. I like thinking of it in terms of that -- it kind of gives that book this new element of sadness.

    In the chorus of this song -- "Control yourself. Take only what you need from it." -- he's talking about the boy taking from the tree. Yada yada yada, etc, etc ,etc. You get the picture.

    Anyone else see the connection?
    Dang sonon March 13, 2008   Link
  • +10
    General CommentI was thinking that this song might be about human impact on the environment.

    "We like to watch you laughing
    Picking insects off of plants
    No time to think of consequences"

    I think these lines might be talking about how even the little things that we do, like killing insects for instance, effect the world around us more than we know (hence "no time to think of consequences")

    "Control yourself
    Take only what you need from it
    A family of trees falling, to be haunted"

    It seems like they're talking about controlling yourself from taking more than you need from the earth. The family of trees falling line is giving a conspicuous example of how humans destroy ecosystems like rain forests on a regular basis.

    "The water is warm, but it's sending me shivers" I think is eluding to pollution in earth's water bodies.

    "Decisions are made and not bought
    But I thought this wouldn't hurt a lot
    I guess not"

    Here I think they're eluding to the fact that humans, particularly people in power, make decisions that seem logical and beneficial in for humankind in the short term, but are often harmful to organisms and their environments in the long-term.
    whir21on March 26, 2008   Link
  • +7
    General CommentI also thought this song was about life, and the diffrent stages. Clearly "crawling on your knees toward it"-represents an infant stage. But until I read the lyrics I always thought the lyrics were "Enjoy yourself take only what you need fom it"-As in enoy life take only what you need from it. But appariently its "control yourself" which I interpt as being greedy something out generation is all about. My take is that its all about being youn successful and following the American dream, in this process many people just caught up in money and success. than when "a baby is born"- it introduces another stage in life when it is no longer just about the success of ones self, but one maturing and the changes and realizations that take place when one has a family.
    I really wish artists commented on this site.
    CaitySheabellon April 17, 2007   Link
  • +7
    General CommentThe chorus could well be referring to "inheritence", a "sins of the father" style thing.

    If you take this as the kind words of a mother to her son then you essentially have her talking of how they "we like to watch you laughing" (mother+father)shared in the baby's young curiosity, and a layer of reticence about what was to come subsequently "no time to think of consequences" relating to their relationship/behaviour towards each other.

    If you discount the chorus at first and lead straight into the second verse you have an undeniable sentiment that there have been bad decisions made, many without thinking. The memories of when the child was sparkling and new (warm water) are now sharpened to a shiver by what is know known and experienced. "I though this wouldn't hurt" could perhaps refer to bringing the child into the world.

    This then angles the whole chorus as a slight on the father. Control yourself, take only from your father what you need (i.e. the strength, love, role model, father figure etc) leaving behind the failures and foibles. The "family of trees" is a play on words from "Family tree", probably probing at the idea that if you repeat the mistakes of the your own father - he'll haunt "your" tree too. A forlorn warning about how there are two sides to everything "warm" "a baby is born" can end up difficult "shiver" "crying out for attention".
    Koncordeon March 31, 2008   Link
  • +6
    Song MeaningPeople are reading into the lyrics superficially. Yes its about growing up but thats only part of it. You really need to watch the music video: youtube.com/….

    The song is actually about bad parenting, esp in the case of a custody battle/divorce and the effects on a childs life and growing up with it. I wouldnt be surprised if members of mgmt had divorced parents. Why?
    If you read the opening quote by Mark Twain "He who fights with monsters care lest he thereby become a monster" is a reference to bad parents as "monsters" that will eventually reflect unto their children. In the music video we see a careless, narcissistic mother. Notice the father figure is absent and she is living in a very nice house (devorce settlement). In every image society is seen as a monster, because in growing up with your closest family figure as a monster even regular people are now seen as the same. The car seat instead of something comforting is depicted as a cage. "control yourself take only what you need from it" is in references to controlling yourself and not fighting over the child and tearing them apart in the settlement. "A family of trees wanted, to be haunted", in trying to keep the child and have grandchildren, future generations of that family are scarred because the child is scarred in the fighting over him. The child is seen more like an object of possesion just like her phone and devorce-settlement-bought-car. Towards the end is a trip scene...probably a reference to divorce children driven to drugs, in the end the child is seen running to mgmt, a male father figure, or savior who ends up turning into a monster just the same and the child falls into abyss.
    dannyda1187on July 10, 2009   Link
  • +5
    My InterpretationIsn't the song about preserving the natural world for future generations?

    It's genius is in the double meanings of every line... on one hand it is talking about a family tree and being a kid on the other it is talking about the environment...

    The first verse is about how silly all of our social ideas are, i.e. making momma so proud...
    but these are just childish things...
    We are wasteful as children in pursuit of these things: "picking insects of plants/ no time to think of consequences" This Kid like behaviour is damaging to the environment(i.e. stop bugs from pollinating the earth due to climate change: see for example the honeybee epidemic facing the western world)

    Therefore, we must grow up and "control ourselves" and "take only what we need" from the earth. The trees are wanting to be haunted because it is man who destroys them.

    "The water is warm" but the thought that that is at the expense of polar ice caps melting and flooding land below sea level etc... is "sending shivers"
    Then we get to the "baby is born." In which we are reminded that the human race will still carry on when the ice caps melt and bugs die etc... there will be a new generation of kids...a new part of the family tree...The trees in the chorus now become both literal trees and forests and also our descendents whose world we are destroying by taking more than we need...

    and then it hurts a lot because the decisions about the future need to be "made" and the worry is that the "memories will fade" and the future generations will not learn from all of our mistakes and over consumption and "crying out for attention"...

    I'm pretty sure thats what its about
    if it is then its genius

    beekeeper1051on January 23, 2010   Link
  • +5
    General Commenti just want to comment on how much i love how everyones comment is somewhat unique. it really shows the awesome power of art. everyones individual interpretation is a look inside that persons personality and their experiences that cause them to express how a song makes them think and feel. you gain the perspective of a complete, true stranger whom youve never seen and somewhat get a sense of their virtues and imagination. hooray for art and the diversity that it encourages. its pretty remarkable. im sorry its just so hard to ignore such a phenomenon, i mean simply organized sounds to bring people together. wow.
    aperaturescienceon August 15, 2010   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationWho are they asking to show themselves? International bankers? War profiteers? The elite class that belong to no country but the countries belong to them? Are they asking them to only take what they need? Are we the babies crying out for attention? We are being given that attention through entertainment and material possessions with no thought of consequence. We are crawling on our knees to get what we want which makes mother proud to see us succeed, but our wants and goals are decisions based on decisions, not decisions based on the archetypal constant thoughout human experience that guides us collectively. We are moving away from our connection with eachother. Our intereaction used to be tribal and based on us. Now they have become based on media/materials that are not neccesary but self indulgent leisure or power. I like to think that the trees wanting to be haunted is the opportunity to become so old that they will become haunted, instead of loud babies(us) harvesting more than we need before some of the oldest living things on earth have a chance to become haunted. Maybe the water is warm but it is toxic and causing him to shiver. The memories fade because with every passing generation our detachment from our Mother Earth becomes more normal and our increasingly toxic environment is becoming normal. When compared with something bad, something a little worse is not horrible, but to compare where we are now to where we were before the industrial revolution would shock the frog out of the slowly heated water before it boils. Descisions are made not bought? Maybe that we are so complacent that we no longer need to be bought. They can simply make the descisions without notice because we are too busy being entertained. If we don't know what is happening it shouldn't hurt a lot, but it does. I have no info to base my thoughts on, just my interpretation of this beautiful song. This song seems very open to varying interpretations. I think how you live is much more important than how you tell other people to live.
    scmnorcalon January 19, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWhy wasn't this an enormous hit? This was one of everyone's favorite 3 AM dance party songs freshman year in college.
    green needleon May 28, 2007   Link

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