Pavlov hits me with more bad news
Every time I answer the phone
So I play and I sing and I just let it ring
All day when I'm at home
A defacto choice of macro
Or microcosmic melancholy
But, baby, any way you slice it
I'm thinkin I could just as soon use
The time alone

Yes, the goons have gone global
And the C-E-O's are shredding files
And the democrans and the republicrats
Are flashing their toothy smiles
And uncle tom is posing for a photo op
With the oval office clan
And uncle Sam is rigging cockfights
In the promised land
And that knife you stuck in my back is still there
It pinches a little when I sigh and moan
And these days I'm thinkin' I could just as soon use
The time alone

'cause all the wrong people have the power
Of suggestion
And the freedom of the press is meaningless
If nobody asks a question
I mean
Causation by definition
Is such a complex compilation
Of factors
That to even try to say why
Is to over simplify
But that's a far cry
Isn't it dear?
From acting like you're the only one there
Unrepentantly self centered and unfair
Enter all suckers scrambling for the scoop
Exit Mr. Eye contact
Who took his flirt and flew the coop
But whatever
No matter
No fishin' trips
No fishin'
'cause mamma's officially out of commission
And did I mention
In there
Did I mention
In there
That I traded Babe Ruth?
Yes, I traded the only player that was bigger than the game
And I can't even tell you why
'cause you'd think I'm insane
And that's the truth

And the music industry mafia is pimping girl power
Sniping off their sharp shooter singles from their styrofoam towers
And hip hop is tied up in the back room
With a logo stuffed in its mouth
'cause the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house
But then

I'm getting away from myself

As I get closer and closer to home
And the difference between you and me baby
Is I get fucked up
When I'm alone

And I must admit
Today my inner pessimist
Seems to have got the best of me
We start out sugared up on cool-aid and manifest destiny
And we memorize all the president's names
Like little trained monkeys
And then we're spit into the world
So many spinny-eyed t.v. junkies
Incapable of unravelling the military industrial mystery
Preemptively pacified with history book history
And I've bin around the world now
And I can see this about america
The mind control is steep here, man
The myopia is deep here

And behold
Those that try to expose the reality
Who really try to realize democracy
Are shot with rubber bullets and gassed off the streets
While the global power brokers are kept clean and discrete
Behind a wall
Behind a moat
And that is all
That's all she wrote

And my heart beats an sss o o o sss
'cause folks just couldn't care care care less less less
As long as every day is Superbowl Sunday
And larger than life women in lingerie
Are pouting at us from every bus stop
She loves me she loves me not she loves me she loves me not

And big government should not stand between a man and his money
I mean "what's good for business is good for the country"

Our children still take that lie like communion
The same old line
The confederacy used on the union

Conjugate liberty
Into libertarian
And medicate it
Associate it
With deregulation
We won't even know we're slaves
On a corporate plantation
Somebody say hallelujah!
Somebody say damnation!
'cause the profit system follows the path of least resistance
And the path of least resistance is what makes the river crooked
Makes it serpentine
Capitalism is the devil's wet dream
So just give me my judy garland drugs
And let me get back to work
'cause the empire state building
Is the tallest building in new york
And I always got the feeling
You just liked to hear it fall

Off your tongue

But I remember my name

In your mouth
And I don't think I was done
Hearing it close to my ear
On a whisper's way to a moan
But pavlov hits me with more bad news every time I answer the phone
So I play and I sing and I just let it ring all day when I'm at home

A defacto choice of macro
Or microcosmic melancholy
But baby, any way you slice it
I'm thinkin' I could just as soon use
The time alone

Lyrics submitted by aur0ra

Serpentine Lyrics as written by Ani Difranco


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Serpentine song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI love how it goes back and forth between someone who's distressed over an estranged lover and a tirade about where our society's at, but managing to portray the same feeling of alienation in both threads of the narrative.
    maddsurgeonon March 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love the intro. I love the rest of the song too, but sometimes I just listen to the intro^^ When I listen to rest of the song I have to concentrate so hard to hear and understand everything. I'm not that good at English, and it's irritating to have to run to the dictionary all the time:p
    Especially with a memory like a goldfish;)
    Megairaon January 28, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWell Megaira, at least the little plastic castle is a surprise every time..
    Themeaningon December 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf you don't know what this song means...wake the fuck up. This is the shit. Ani perfectly tells it how it is. I love it.
    mleurckon June 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe lyrics listed here are pretty close, but if you go here:…

    ...those are the right lyrics (Ani's site within the Righteous Babe Records site).
    sacrifice_for_life1on June 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti dont like the two minute guitar interlude thing its annoying because it just changes abruptly into whatever melody the rest of the eight minutes is. REALLY annoying i always skip through it. but other than that its a beautiful song
    imab&sbookwormon May 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAbsolutety agree with maddsurgeon. I also think this song is perfect in the album context since there are very few 'song triplets' that are better than Second Intermission, Serpentine and Welcome To. Something amazing.
    shadowmatteron May 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI read somewhere that the two minute bit at the beginning was supposed to symbolize the process of a song being constructed. It starts out sounding not much like anything, almost like someone who doesn't know how to play is just messing around. Then it starts to craft itself. But you're right, it is kinda annoying and I skip it too! haha. Love the rest of it though. I can hardly listen to it without being moved to tears.
    stagemanager86on July 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn echoing interest in the song's intro, I feel that it sets the mood perfectly. It's brooding, contemplative, quiet, thoughtful, serious. Every theme the song continues in with lyric.
    magalieon October 30, 2012   Link

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