Jumping up and down the floor
My head is an animal
And once there was an animal
It had a son that mowed the lawn
The son was an OK guy
They had a pet dragonfly
The dragonfly it ran away
But it came back with a story to say

Her dirty paws and furry coat
She ran down the forest slope
The forest of talking trees
They used to sing about the birds and the bees
The bees had declared a war
The sky wasn't big enough for them all
The birds, they got help from below
From dirty paws and the creatures of snow

La la la
La la la la
La la la
La la la la

So for a while, things were cold
They were scared down in their holes
The forest that once was green
Was colored black by those killing machines
But she and her furry friends
Took down the queen bee and her men
And that's how the story goes
The story of the beast with those four dirty paws

La la la
La la la la
La la la
La la la la

La la la
La la la la
La la la
La la la la

Lyrics submitted by Macuahuitl

Dirty Paws Lyrics as written by Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir Arni Gudjonsson

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Dirty Paws song meanings
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  • +17
    My InterpretationThis song is pretty literal in what it's saying

    When Spring starts, paper wasps create nests that grows while housing several generations of workers. At the end of Summer, the Queen produces eggs which will develop into insects that will leave the nest to mate and start the process over again next year.
    Once this generation leaves, those nest's life is basically over. This means anything left behind is ripe for picking, and crows seem to have the uncanny ability to know just when this time occurs to gobble up the larvae and bugs lying around.
    Of course, paper wasps also create nests in the ground as well. Just as the crows and jays do, coyotes, skunks, and foxes will dig up these nests to eat those protein-rich larvae as well. Coincidentally, coyotes, skunks, and foxes are known to eat grass as well.
    Once more: Dragonflies are carnivorous bugs that prey on other insects and have been known to eat bees and wasps.

    This song is about a young (I'll say Fox) growing up and having their own pup. Growing up a bit, the pup now hunts small bugs and berries but usually sticks to grass as it's the most abundant source for him around the area. While out searching for food, this pup spots a dragonfly and chases it around semi-playfully leading the fox to a nearby forest.
    As I've said before, Foxes will dig up nests and eat the larvae and whatever else after the next generation ups and flies away. Well, the pup loses interest in the Dragonfly and runs off to search for these nests. He wasn't alone, though. Birds and other animals alike were eating what was left of both the nests and bugs.
    They didn't get all the nests, though. Those left behind in the nests that were still intact didn't dare leave them (either due to self-preservation or just instinct since their duty was finished). Outside what few nests remained was a feeding frenzy of birds and animals; the most notorious one being the Pup that followed the Dragonfly. After most wasps (including the Queen) eaten or somehow killed, this story ends with that Dragonfly flying back to where the Pup first saw it.

    tl;dr It's a song about the feeding frenzy that occurs in forests over 'left-over' nests.
    Onimaruson September 14, 2012   Link
  • +9
    General CommentNanna said in an interview 3 months ago that the band's NAME "became a big part of the way that we write LYRICS." The band's name contains two key ideas. The first idea is that human plans go wrong and end badly (ie "the best made plans of mice and men"). The second idea is from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, who suggested that "man was more monstrous" than the monsters he creates.

    So the band's prime lyrical thrust may be that man's monstrous arrogance will bring him down. With that in mind, the dragonfly can be seen as the enslaved pet of a man, man's cruel harnessing of another species that should fly free. Man is depicted with an animal head because he is in fact an animal too, though he may be in denial about this.

    In the dragonfly's story, the "bees" are a metaphor for man, who seeks to dominate the earth with "killing machines." The dragonfly's story looks forward to a rebellion and overturning of the power of the bees. That is, it looks forward to a time when man will cease to dominate the earth and live in harmony with it instead. The fertile metaphor of "the birds and the bees" is used to emphasise how species, that should work together to make an abundant earth, do not because of the betrayal of nature by those busy machine building mechanical "bees," that is, us. The "beast with the 4 dirty paws" is, in turn, a metaphor for nature fighting back against man's arrogance.

    "Dirty Paws" is a parable seeking harmony in nature, which has been disrupted by man's arrogance.
    yhtrownuon July 12, 2012   Link
  • +9
    Song MeaningThe song is a folksong about how it came to be that Iceland use to have no bees.
    The folk song is a story of how the bees were destroyed by a war between them and the birds and cats.
    Bees were introduced to Iceland from Norway.
    SniperCaton January 08, 2013   Link
  • +7
    Song MeaningThis is my opinion but after listening to and reading the lyrics very closely I can safely say this is not about WWII. This song is most certainly about war, possibly one that occurred in Iceland (where the band is from) [Note: I have little knowledge of Icelandic History] or just in general.

    To return to WWII the song states that "Dirty Paws" (The title character), the creatures of snow, and the Birds killed the "queen bee and all her men". This is problematic for the WWII interpretation as the allies did not kill Adolf Hitler but rather he committed suicide. To further this thought: Iceland was neutral in WWII and actually protested against the British invading their territories.

    I think the most logical answer is that this is a simple story of the Bees declaring an unnecessary war and the friendship of the birds, the creatures of snow, and Dirty Paws battling with and ultimately winning against the Queen Bee and her men. Oh and of course the lovely intro about a Man/Woman and his/her son's dragonfly telling the story.
    jomo_1986on September 07, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentEveryone is explicating this song as about a war between animals, with which I agree, but we can't look at it literally. The most important line of the song is the first line of the song, and the album, and it was important enough to be the album's title as well:

    Jumping up and down the floor, ~my head is an animal~

    THEN the story begins. We are being directed to look at the entire story through the lens of metaphor. Just my humble opinion :-)
    beregondon December 30, 2012   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationMy interpretation is quite simple:

    "Jumping up and down the floor" - who jumps up and down the floor? A child playing!
    It plays or imagines being an animal ("my head is an animal") or just imagines some scenes from lives of personificated animals.

    So everything is happening in the song (=child's imagination) and can be interpreted quite literally - a family of animals, who have a son, and a lawn, a pet dragonfly, there are magic trees, "bad" bees, furry friends, etc.
    TomekCon August 17, 2013   Link
  • +3
    My OpinionIn my opinion, some of you are over-thinking this. I don't think that they were trying to create some sort of parallel to another specific war in real life, but rather, create a cry of truth. Let me explain myself:

    Sometimes young minds romanticize the idea of war and being a hero. And sometimes it IS epic and fantastical, but sometimes (most of the time) it's tragic and devastating even for those who won. I think that this song is just stating that, or, in other words, saying: what is is, and what will be will be.

    That was probably super confusing, but oh well. :/ I have different theories about this song other than the one above, but this one was the most interesting to me.

    Anyways, that's just my two cents. Love this song btw - cuz you totally needed to know that ;)
    unillamaon September 24, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI think that this song is about the war between mother nature and us humans. The son is most likely represents us humans. Mowing the lawn we are destroying our land. The rest of the song describes the animals and bugs mother nature used to fight back against us humans (we are the bees). "The forest that once was green" The land we've destroyed trying to please ourselves. In the end mother nature wins and destroys us, the bees.
    gschoener1on April 18, 2013   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningOkay this is not my opinion but a friends or rather a commentor from another website I think this explains the song nicely though there are probably many ways of more explaining

    For anyone wondering:
    The song is about WW2.
    Germany was the bees
    France and Britain were the birds
    Americans as dirty paws
    Russia as creatures of the snow
    "The forest" is Europe
    "The holes" are the trenches
    "The killing machines" are the newly introduced artillery and turrets
    The U.S. was called 'dirty paws' because of the presence in most international wars
    And "The four dirty paws" are the wars that were 'popularly' fought - Revolutionary, Civil, WW1, and WW2.
    SicuMFOXon July 06, 2015   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation"The forest that once was green/Was colored black by those killing machines" makes me think of deforestation and whatnot.
    It seems like a war between the birds and the ground animals, and the bees and possibly man. Could it mean a war between man and animals? Yeah I have no idea
    Delibirdon May 31, 2012   Link

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