Slow walk, it's land mine
It's coal mine, it's a bad thought

On the way to God don't know
My brain's the burger, and my heart's the coal

I'm trying to get my head clear
I push things out through my mouth, I get refilled through my ears
I get refilled through my ears
I get refilled through my ears

I'm on my way to God don't know or even care
My brain's the weak heart, and my heart's the long stairs
My heart's the long stairs, my heart's the long stairs
Inland from Vancouver shore
The ravens and the seagulls push each other inward and outward
Inward and outward

In this place that I call home
My brain's the cliff, and my heart's the bitter buffalo
My heart's the bitter buffalo

We tore one down, and erected another there
The match of the century, absence versus thin air
On the way to God don't know
My brain's the burger, and my heart's the coal

On this life that we call home
The years go fast and the days go so slow
The days go so slow, the days go slow

On the way to God don't know
My brain's the burger, and my heart's the coal
I'm tried getting my head clear
I push things out through my mouth, I get refilled through my ears
I get refilled through my ears, I get refilled through my ears

I'm on my way to God don't know or even care
My brain's the weak heart and my heart's the long stairs
My heart's the long stairs, my heart's the long stairs
Inland from Vancouver shore,
the ravens and the seagulls push each other inward and outward
Inward and outward

In this place that I call home
My brain's the cliff, and my heart's the bitter buffalo
My heart's the bitter buffalo

We tore one down, and erected another there
The match of the century, absence versus thin air
Absence versus thin air

On this life that we call home
The years go fast and the days go so slow
The days go so slow


Lyrics submitted by PLANES, edited by Ryuhza, Altruism101

Heart Cooks Brain Lyrics as written by Isaac Brock Eric Judy

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Heart Cooks Brain song meanings
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97 Comments

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  • +13
    General Comment

    Challenge: Show me another songwriter who can do a heart/burger metaphor and not sound like a complete idiot.

    AKMooseon July 02, 2002   Link
  • +10
    General Comment

    I always connected bitter buffalo metaphor with this old Native American story I heard as child...about buffalo that would sacrifice themselves to the Gods by charging off cliffs. On this, I assumed that the song balanced the heart and brain's abilities to destroy eachother. The brain can be fried by heart's passion while the heart despairs (commits buffalo suicide) before the brain's sheer reason.

    anna17on March 25, 2003   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    i think that you guys who state that the lines "my brain's the burger and my heart's the coal" and "my brain's the cliff, and my heart's the bitter buffalo" conflict eachother, stating the hearts' control over the brain and the brains' over the heart. To me these lines are clearly the same message. My brain's the burger and my heart's the coal? I'd say it's obvious that the heart is frying the brain. In other words the heart is fucking the brain up, fucking it over. You're losing rational thought due to your heart cooking your brain. And as for "my brain is the cliff and my hearts a bitter buffalo." I guess the image of a heart running over a brain is lost to you guys... Let's but it this way, my heart is bitter from being overpowered by my brain, so it is now run over my brain, contradicting rational thought, committing suicide to follow it's own desires.

    arlynxyuon May 11, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    i have a little different idea about the line "the match of the century: absence versus thin air." someone earlier said that these are the same thing, but i disagree. when someone's absent they're physically (or mentally) unavailable, but they're called "absent" b/c they're expected to be someplace, in class or in the conversation or whatever. thin air is the opposite...the person is gone entirely. they're aren't expected, they aren't in touch, they've just...vanished.

    don't know if that makes sense to anyone else heh maybe other people who have dealt with loss will understand what i'm trying to say =)

    nothingoodtosayon September 10, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    I think it's about an off and on relationship. The brain knows it's a bad idea, but the heart is longing for attention. In the end, the heart is controlling the brain in this situation and you end up caving into its demand. The "We tore one down and erected another there" kind of hit me with this type of thinking. Also I want to hone in on what nothinggoodtosay said because I interpreted that as support too.

    "i have a little different idea about the line "the match of the century: absence versus thin air." someone earlier said that these are the same thing, but i disagree. when someone's absent they're physically (or mentally) unavailable, but they're called "absent" b/c they're expected to be someplace, in class or in the conversation or whatever. thin air is the opposite...the person is gone entirely. they're aren't expected, they aren't in touch, they've just...vanished."

    The heart prefers the "absence" instead of nothing. It's easier to keep the person around physically despite that they are somewhere else emotionally. The brain knows the former and you really aren't the sarcastic "match of the century". The heart wants them there because it's much easier to keep them around despite the loss of interest than it is to deal with thinking about never seeing them again for the rest of your life.

    Other thoughts: The "land mine" is describing the feeling of being trapped into the relationship and "slow walk" let's you know that the decision making is extremely difficult on whether or not to get involved again. "On the way to God don't know" also shows indecisiveness. This is also shown with the fighting between the ravens and seagulls."In this place that I call home" means you feel more comfortable with that person than without them.

    dlhouse88on May 03, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation

    I almost feel this song is about someone unhappy with their life, but more specifically their decisions. Every time they come to a fork in the road, instead of considering both logic and emotion or want and need they sacrifice one for the other. "My brain's the burger and my heart's the coal" is an example of running with passion and what they want. Only considering their fantasies for proof of reason to choose one way instead of looking at reality. Creating a decision pleasing for only a short amount of time until it crumbles apart revealing the hard truths of society and reality. "My brain's the cliff and my heart's the bitter buffalo" illustrates only considering logic instead of desire, which can be just as fatal. If you only look at what logically is a good and a safe decision, may being someone's choice in job or partner, it could last and be safe choice. But without at least considering desire you're only giving yourself what the world thinks you need. Taking chances for thing you love becomes an impossibility and true happiness a never ending race. This person can never make a sound decision. Everything they choose never works out they way they thought or lusted.

    RemiGrimmon April 14, 2017   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    The first half of the song is comparing one's brain to a burger and the heart to the coal. In this line Issac is conveying the idea that sometimes we let our emotions, our heart, get the best of our rational selves, our brains. but to rebutt this claim

    In the second half of the song Issac employs the Bitter Buffalo metaphor. He is conveying the idea that sometimes people give up on what they belive in their heart because of something their rational brain says. Issac says. Don't be rational, let your buffalo heart love and don't allow it to be bitter because of what your head tells you.

    PirMOnkon August 28, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This is about having to make difficult decisions, and the argument you have between the impulse and fly-by feelings of your heart and the intelligence and rationality of your brain...but the heart almost always wins. When he says, "My brain's the burger and my heart's the coal," he's literally saying his heart cooked his brain. When he says, "My brain's the weak heart and my heart's the long stairs," it's another metaphor about the heart doing in the brain, weakening it, troubling it.

    RvB_Churchon September 25, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    also, i interpret "i push things out through my mouth and get refilled through my ears" as isaac brock sings, and therefore releases his thoughts into the world through his music. it is a continual, nonstop process because he is always listening to other's opinions and interested in theories other than his own, explained in "i get refilled through my ears," and the process continues, he learns more about the world, and writes more music.

    HELICOPTERSon December 21, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I got into this song when I was doing alot of uppers. It is a metaphor on many different levels but to me at the time in my life it seemed that the speed which makes your heart beat faster and faster and after so long when the heart is about to give out you can feel your brain cooking inside of your skull. Thats why the heart is the coal and the brain is the burger. The push things out through my mouth and get refilled through my ears was to me about how on speed you talk and talk and talk and then you drive and listen to music thus getting refilled through your ears. I was always on the way to god knows where. And more then anything on speed, after being awake days...The days really do go so slow and the years they do go so fast. I would assume I just made this song fit my personal experiences at the time but i feel it might be the actual meaning of the song to modest mouse to some degree since they are horrible drug addicts and they do drive quite a bit, but what do i know.

    Its been 37 yearson December 28, 2005   Link

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