Try not to think so much about
The truly staggering amount of oil that it takes to make a record
All the shipping, the vinyl, the cellophane lining
The high gloss
The tape and the gear

Try not to become too consumed
With what's a criminal volume of oil that it takes to paint a portrait
The acrylic, the varnish
Aluminum tubes filled with latex
The solvents and dye

Lets just call this what it is
The jealous side of mankind's death wish
When it's my time to go
Gonna leave behind things that won't decompose

Try not to dwell so much upon
How it won't be so very long from now that they laugh at us for selling
A bunch of 15 year olds made from dinosaur bones singing "oh yeah"
Again and again
Right up to the end

Lets just call this what it is
The jealous side of mankind's death wish
When it's my time to go
Gonna leave behind things that won't decompose

I'll just call this what it is
My vanity gone wild with my crisis
One day this all will [Unknown]
Now sure hope they make something useful out of me


Lyrics submitted by casiopt10, edited by tdurden, lyricsmatter

Now I'm Learning to Love the War Lyrics as written by Joshua Michael Tillman

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Now I'm Learning to Love the War song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment

    um, i think y'all are looking to much into it. given all the references to the "truly staggering amount[s] of oil" used in art, i think the "War" refers to the current war in the middle east (over oil). "now i'm learning to love the war" probably means that, considering all the oil used to make household mundanities etc, it makes you realize how fucking desolate we would be without it. we've grown accustomed to a luxury. also, in the last lines, i'm hearing, "my vanity gone wild with my praxis" which makes sense as opposed to "crisis". "praxis" is defined as "practice as distinguished from theory", and in that particular line, it probably means our vanity and desire to maintain our luxurious lifestyles (to which we've grown dangerously accustomed) getting out of control with our practice as opposed to our theories about "sustainable living" or, conversely, being "humble" about our appearance etc. i'm also hearing, "one day this all will have peaked/i sure hope they make something useful out of me". the former line is just saying that all this will eventually peak (obviously). the latter line is about as straightforward as you can get: when we die, we decompose and are recycled into the earth. he makes a witty reference to using "Dinosaur bones" -- because that's what oil is in a vulgar sense, dinosaur bones -- and he's just making light of death. i.e., "when i die, i will be recycled into the earth/so i hope they make something useful out of my decomposed body". it's a hilarious and deceptively morbid song, and i love it.

    pearlsonastringon June 24, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I think the title is probably a loose reference to "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb."

    I think the song is calling out other musicians, especially those on the west coast, Seattle, etc., who might consider themselves very liberal with respect to issues like the environment. There is a huge amount of hypocrisy there and he's saying, in rather mocking and satirical tones, "try not to think about it how much it's hurting the environment for you to make music about things like saving the environment."

    Kind of the same thing with the painter in the second verse. Another profession where the practitioners tend to think of themselves as rather liberal and environmentally conscious but are actually doing more than their fair share to damage the earth just like everyone else.

    The irony, of course, is that he's doing the same thing. You can buy this song on the very vinyl he's talking about. He's admitting that he's part of that process... that he's jealous and vain and wasteful, but trying to at least be humble enough to recognize that he's just this ephemeral cog that's going to be decaying in the ground some day.

    scott lockeon July 13, 2012   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning

    It's the hypocrisy that's involved in pollution, global warming, the gentler side of contributing to global warming, pollution but without being called out on it. Artists contribute to the mess as well.

    shaw44on July 07, 2015   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correction

    I think it's "One day this all will it will all repeat"

    Schjerningon May 12, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    In an interview a few months ago, he said something about the realization that nothing can be created without destroying something else. At the time, I think he was talking about "destroying" J. Tillman to create Father John Misty, but it made me interpret this song differently. I think the "war" he's talking about it just that - destroying something to create another. He goes a lot deeper into that in this song, talking about the decomposition of things, how everything is made from particles as old as fuckin time itself, and how everything that makes up what we are and everything we own will eventually recompose into something entirely different. That's what makes the line, "I sure hope they make something useful out of me." I think that's what he means by "learning to love" this whole cyclical process - feeling that as useless as you are, maybe after you decompose, those cells will become part of something better than anything you ever were. It's a little depressing, but I guess when you're in a depression like he was, that kind of thinking is how you turn your morbid thoughts around. So the way he phrases the title, "NOW I'm Learning to Love the War" - it's as though he's finally coming to peace with his obsession with death. He's getting out the pit of depression he spent crazing over insignificance. Probably the best track on the record. It definitely has the strongest theme running through it.

    prettybirdon June 04, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    A spittoon or a port-o-poty

    interpretationdechansonon June 24, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I'm hearing "gentler side" of mankind's death wish, which makes a lot more sense. Both in the context of the song, and would be odd to attribute jelousy or another human emotion to a collective death wish. Web search shows plenty of people hear it both ways.

    Michael451on March 02, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Definitely "gentler side," people hear "jealous" because the end of the word can blend in to the start of the next word that starts with an "s".

    Michael451on March 02, 2017   Link

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