80s people dancing, oooh
Always get it right
I'd listen but I can't tonight
I can't tonight, I can't tonight
Well, it's something that you do to get it right
End up reviled for it
Yeah, that's the thanks I get

I don't understand
Your fucked-up system
This sinister city
Try to sell the water
Try to sell the air
Try to sell your daughter
Try to sell her hair

'We all want to watch the fight'
'Is it on Sunday?'
Hide in a hole with a gun in your hand in front of
Someone you want dead, I guess?
Hiding in your suit...

I did not know that
They're bringing me back to my past
I got my head in my hands
I got my head in my—
I got my head in my hands
I got my head in my—
I got my head—
It's just something that you do to get it right
End up reviled for it
Yeah, that's the thanks I get

Jail, that's what you get
Stepping to the system
Profiting from war
Fighting as the victim
Always wanting more
Trying to trick your brothers
Get them to fight it for you

I cannot believe my eyes
Darling I can tell you lies
Coast to coast, L.A. to Chicago
I don't know geography all that well

Defying Western logic
Even if it shows you're wrong
I guess that's a classic
Been with us all along

Lyrics submitted by slidingonthewalls

Drag Queen song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think it's clear it's a song about Capitalism ("your fucked up system" "Western logic"); there are many critics but also if you defy that logic you are wrong so maybe the songwriter doesn't agree completely with that, I think the very last part is somewhat an external note.
    The song seems to be "placed" in a party where people are dancing and talking. I think the part about the fight and the geography are taken from people discussing, showing they are quite ignorant and un-ineducated It seems the protagonist of the song feels bored about it, it's like he/she feels superior to the others, like she/he has become aknowledged about the wrong system, like she/he comes from the Future. Indeed the song is the Future, the first of the trilogy Future Present Past album and they're "bringing back to the past".
    rotinho87on September 15, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationWow. I have been and am currently obsessed with this song.

    I see the first verse to be setting up the jaded even ruined perspective of a character from the author Casablancas. It’s a familiar 80’s scene at a party. And he’d listen but he can’t tonight. Overwhelmed and frustrated.

    There’s a perfect amount of mystery in the line “it’s something that you do to get it right, end up reviled for it, that’s the thanks I get.” Maybe it means the character did something brave that puts him in front as well known, and now he feels guilty from the envy, jealousy, and criticism of others.

    The chorus to me is the character blaming the system for the popularity contest. The character seems concerned with high level ideas, but notices the disinterest of others. This sensation of detachment and possibly superiority turns him against the system.

    The remainder of the lyrics is a continuation of his criticism of society and government. “Defying western logic, even if you’re wrong.”
    This line gives Lady Godiva’s Operation a run for its creepiest moment.

    Classic Julian Casablancas writing. Irony and personal conflict. The Strokes matured immensely from Is This It and Room On Fire.
    Wattlezzon September 04, 2018   Link

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