Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo

You're living in your own Private Idaho
Living in your own Private Idaho
Underground like a wild potato
Don't go on the patio
Beware of the pool
Blue bottomless pool
It leads you straight, right throught the gate
That opens on the pool

You're living in your own Private Idaho
You're living in your own Private Idaho

Keep off the path, beware of the gate
Watch out for signs that say "hidden driveways"
Don't let the chlorine in your eyes
Blind you to the awful surprise
That's been waitin' for you at
The bottom of the bottomless blue, blue, blue pool

You're livin' in your own Private Idaho, Idaho
You're out of control, the rivers that roll
You fell into the water and down to Idaho
Get out of that state
Get out of the state you're in
You better beware

You're living in your own Private Idaho
You're living in your own Private Idaho

Keep off the patio (your own private Idaho)
Keep off the path (your own private Idaho)
The lawn may be green but you better not be seen
Walkin' through a gate that leads you down
Down to a pool fraught with danger
It's a pool full of strangers

Hey, you're living in your own Private Idaho
Where do I go from here to a better state than this?
Don't be blind to the big surprise
Swimming round and round like the deadly hand
Of a radium clock
At the bottom
Of the pool

Woah-oh, woah-oh, woah-oh, oh
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Get out of that state
Get out of that state
You're living in your own Private Idaho
Livin' in your own Private

Lyrics submitted by rehab, edited by quikmart

Private Idaho Lyrics as written by Fred Schneider Cindy Wilson

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Private Idaho song meanings
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  • +7
    Song MeaningAlthough you all have GREAT ideas, I believe you all may be over-thinking it a bit.
    Listen to the musical cue. It imitates the "TWILIGHT ZONE" theme, and for good reason. These lyrics refer to an episode of the speculative fiction show (titled "The Bewitchin' Pool") where kids dive into a pool and come up somewhere else (a paradise for children whose parents don't love them...that's the awful surprise.) It's not completely LITERAL, just a mish-mosh of imagery from that episode AND the clock & "hidden driveway" sign (etc) from the opening of each show. (add'l note: "Bewitchin' Pool" was the last episode of TWILIGHT ZONE aired as a first-run show in June 1964) (fifth season).
    FinalWord666on April 21, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentactually i find some meaning on it. could it be patterns on tv static? maybe...
    but i always thought they were singing about not letting your surroundings mold you, about being yourself. as everyone knows, the b-52's came from rural america, which can suck you up and make you a small-minded simpleton (a category in which most people fall into).
    as i see this song, they're simply saying 'be one of a kind', like they did. and they became one of the funniest new-wave bands. how dull and serious was rock music before them?
    jonasminduimon January 05, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThere's this thing, you see, called ideology. The best way to describe it is that there's the real world - the world where real things happen - and then there's your world: what you think is happening. I know you think you see the real world, but you don't. I'm not saying I do either, or that the B-52s do. But sometimes, when people like new rock stars suddenly change positions in this world, they get a glimpse of how ideology has ruled them, and is ruling everyone else.

    That's when you get a song like "Private Idaho," which is a criticism of ideology in middle class America. The images are banal - the pool, the patio, the driveway. It's just your regular old life, isn't it? And they're warning you of the dangers there. You are underground, unaware, deaf and blind, but still full of potential, like a "wild potato." Radium clock - the technology that fascinates you. Chlorine - the chemicals in everything you eat and touch. Idaho itself, that potato growing state, where nothing much happens except for American Nazism - the American Heartland. Nothing could be more obvious or simple. I've interpreted the song this same way since the first time I heard it.

    Given the power of ideology, I'm not really surprised - just amused - at the many really creative interpretations I read in this thread. Some English or film courses would give you wild potatoes the opportunity to develop your very real abilities.
    Get out of that state you're in. That's my advice.

    By the way, its "the gate that opens on the fools.

    Glad I could help.
    quikmarton February 27, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentStay at home. Its safe there are you have cable.

    Honestly...trying to find deeper meaning the the B-52's is like trying to find the meaning to life in the patterns of static on the TV.
    Just enjoy it for what it is.
    voydlanderon January 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentdoes this song have anything to do with Idaho? i agree with xylem. whe i was younger i truly thought it was about potatos. this is probably my favorite B-52 song.
    Hey_thereon August 31, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentProbably the sickest song ever. Not exactly, but at least from the sickest band ever.
    NihilisticIdolon November 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit sorta sounds like maybe its about being in a state of paranoia ... like "watch out for this, dont go there" "underground like a wild potato" "get out of that state" and paranoia is a private thing too...
    hoydenon April 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI see lsd, paranoia... and somebody shit in the pool also.
    mammadaddioon August 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's saying, 'you're so self-absorbed that you're losing touch with reality and becoming a boring, vapid waste. Branch out of your packaged, cookie-cutter world before you lose your mind.'

    I'm sure Idaho isn't a nothing place, but the B-52's probably saw it like this when they wrote the song. Unfortunately, Idaho's an easy target.

    'Private idaho' is such a great phrase because no one can really nail down a meaning. Has the band ever weighed in on it?
    xylem7on February 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthey have never. and i did quite a bit of research on it. also, xylem7, your interpretation is very good imo.
    jonasminduimon March 17, 2008   Link

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