I survived the dinner
Then the air went thinner
I retired to the briars by the pool, it gets so loud

If I die this instant
Taken from a distance
They would probably list it down
Among other things 'round town

Got my rings around me
I got baby to pound me
I see stars and go weak
My baby cries and lays me down

In the skies over black Venice
I see eyes of a white menace
The surprise of the week
Is that I never heard the sound

All the L.A. women
Fall asleep while swimming
I got paid to fish 'em out
And then one day I lost the job

And I cried a little
I got fried a little
Then she laid her eyes on mine
And she said, "Babe, you're better off"

I got my rings around me
I got baby to pound me
I see stars and go weak
My baby cries and lays me down

In the skies over black Venice
I see eyes of a white menace
The surprise of the week
Is that I never heard the sound

Tunnel vision lights my way
Leave my little life today

As the free-fall advances
I'm the moron who dances
Ah
I was teething on roses
I was in guns and noses
Ah

Under the withering white skies of humiliation
Under the withering white skies of humiliation

Tunnel vision lights my way
Leave my little life today

Tunnel vision lights my way
Leave my little life today

She wore blue velvet
Said she can't help it
She wore blue velvet
Said she can't help it
She wore blue velvet
Said she can't help it


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by jahjahjeh, morganmcf, prayingmantis84, flamebroiledchicken

Humiliation Lyrics as written by Bryce David Dessner Aaron Brooking Dessner

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Humiliation song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +2
    My Interpretation

    Someone who's led a very interesting life of everything, but has gotten older, given up, and passed into the gates of maturity. I love the "I was in guns and noses". "roses" in the previous line means this is obviously a play on "I was in Guns n' Roses." I take this as a reference to those random people occasionally popping up who talk about being an unknown and brief member of a famous band, just as a routine part of their sort of past life. This is also in the stanza 5, with the mention of losing the previous, interesting job, but not providing any details on why the job was lost. It's as if the narrator is relaying a piecemeal story and considers those details inconsequential. But then there are the obvious references to the child in stanzas 3 & 6. "baby to pound me" could be a reference to how babies will often just randomly hit you for no reason before they learn that they shouldn't. At the shows, Berninger actually makes a fist and brings it down in singing this line. The child would be where the narrator has gone into maturity and settled down.

    bocmaximaon August 05, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I am really glad I feel not the necessity to analyze these songs to death. It is in the feel rather than in the intellectual content I find joy.

    radiohead99on August 13, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Definite reference to David Lynch's 'Blue Velvet' at the end.

    jtc276on May 23, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    To me, this song could be about growing up and out of your home town. The lyric: "All the L.A. women Fall asleep while swimmin' I got paid to fish 'em out And then one day I lost the job"

    This could be about a loss of youthful beauty and no longer having things so easy.

    "Tunnel vision" focusing on the future and living your little life in between you future plans.

    Just some thoughts, great song!

    Treehouzzon May 30, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My Opinion

    Sounds to me like the life of an artist. Social climbing white society treats artists like scum, unless they happen to be famous and top of the pop-culture table. The guy in this song is struggling with his art, an inability to hold a menial job, the condescending and offensive remarks of his girlfriend's family. She tries to comfort him, but ironically the only thing that keeps him afloat is the same thing that makes him socially unacceptable.

    xby45on June 27, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    Matt Berninger himself said this song partly is about "A bomb that randomly comes down and kills you". The fact that these crazy things may happen to you that you don't see coming and how people would react.

    "Tunnel Vision Lights my way" essentially means he is blind to change, blind to this bomb, blind to his impending doom, blind to things happening around him because he is so focussed on his little life that he is leaving today. "Leave a Little Life Today".

    mcsam7on August 22, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Social anxiety can be really overwhelming

    mcbearon June 20, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song is about being really drunk... he drinks because of the social anxiety--- "I'm the moron who dances I was teething on roses I was in guns and noses".. I mean clearly he's intoxicated--- the song is called humiliation because he is embarrassed about how he acts when he is drunk.

    teamkantneron September 11, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I truly believe that the only songwriters who really understand how terrifyingly crippling social anxiety can be are Morrissey and Matt Berninger.

    ednunez1on August 23, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    All the theories posted here are pretty sound. I would assume however that "in guns and noses" aside from being a play on guns and roses would mean 'powder'.

    Aka cocaine/gun powder. The opening lyrics would probably also contribute to an LA upper class drug scene.

    jesse10156on December 07, 2018   Link

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