Woke up this morning and it seemed to me,
That every night turns out to be
A little more like Bukowski.
And yeah, I know he's a pretty good read.
But God who'd want to be?
God who'd want to be such an asshole?
God who'd want to be?
God who'd want to be such an asshole?

Well we sat on the edge of the river,
The crowd screamed, "Sacrifice the liver!"
If God takes life, he's an Indian giver.
So tell me now why, you'll tell me never.
Who would want to be?
Who would want to be such a control freak?
Well who would want to be?
Who would want to be such a control freak?

Well see what you want to see. You should see it all.
Well take what you want from me. You deserve it all.
Nine times out of ten our hearts just get dissolved.
Well I want a better place or just a better way to fall.

But one time out of ten, everything is perfect for us all.
Well I want a better place or just a better way to fall.
Here we go!

If God controls the land and disease,
Keeps a watchful eye on me,
If he's really so damn mighty,
My problem is I can't see,
Well who would want to be?
Who would want to be such a control freak?
Well who would want to be?
Who would want to be such a control freak?

Evil home stereo, what good songs do you know?
Evil me, oh yeah I know, what good curves can you throw?

Well all that icing and all that cake,
I can't make it to your wedding, but I'm sure I'll be at your wake.
You were talk, talk, talk, talkin' in circles that day,
When you get to the point make sure that I'm still awake, OK?

Went to bed and didn't see
Why every day turns out to be
A little bit more like Bukowski.
And yeah, I know he's a pretty good read.
But God who'd want to be?
God who'd want to be such an asshole?

Lyrics submitted by nuclearjesus

Bukowski Lyrics as written by Eric Judy Dann Gallucci

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Bukowski song meanings
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  • +14
    General CommentIt's very straightforward.

    He's talking to religious people and how they get so much into their religion they are unable to listen to other point of views.

    He also attacks God on how it's a hypocrite.

    In some traditions, if you are not of Christian faith, you cannot attend the wedding of a Christian couple getting married. The narrator asserts that even though he's not invited to the wedding, he'll be at the wake, when they're dead and nothing matters.

    On Bukowski: This is why the song is named so:

    "For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us." - Charles Bukowski

    He said that and that's why the song is named so. Note that Modest Mouse isn't calling Bukowski an asshole, he's calling God one because of it being a control freak. When he says "I am my own God," I think this bothered Isaac, and he wrote about it.
    Effortson June 24, 2011   Link
  • +8
    General CommentCharles Bukowski is a famous author who wrote poetry and mostly autobiographical fiction and is notorious for being a down and out drunkard. His life was that of a dazed drifter who lived in the bottom of the barrell as far as societal standing went. I think this song illustrates the narrators descent into a similar lifestyle, pondering exactly why God is so controlling, bringing the image of God down a peg by asking why he'd want to be a "control freak," a very human trait.
    surname colleton April 14, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General Commentjust a crossreference, bukowski is, as surname said, a notorious drifter, and in "the world at large" Brock ssys "I like songs about drifter-books about the same" I love how this album has so many resounding themes and crossreferences.
    dhelmon April 15, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI've believed in God my since I was young and this is one of my favorite Modest Mouse songs. The questioning spirit is important present in these lyrics are really important as a person grows with belief. This song forces every believer question what they've been told about God and to remember that God isn't neccessarily a bully and a control freak. That is a message that some Christians have forced on society. God allows our lives to be what we make them. In fact, he is the oposite of a control freak...Just a thought that doesn't force us to throw out everything when it gets complicated.
    scarlettrose07on July 22, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThe usage of "evil home stereo" means exactly this= the house you grew up in= The parents on the radio. What else has that much audio effect on ones life, ANYONE life. Your parents are your main "home" stereo (for how many years). He use stereo to mean a sort of indoctrination of sorts because that s your main feed. One could take this line further to mean one of two things; one the Main Street Radio all day everyday bullshit ((when ("one") good ones repeats it self over (the "ten") and over))is the means of a source of indoctrination it self; two switch radio into religion.
    speakALLon January 22, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General Commentone of the best modest mouse songs i have ever heard.
    workhardtoon April 15, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthere's a difference between not believing in organized religion & not believing in God. great song nonetheless
    thegoodtimeson May 14, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEven though i fully believe in God, i really love this is song, and many others on the new album that really question Christian beliefs. So many christians these days are just along for the ride and dont truely know or believe what they claim to. Just like christians will call you a hypocrite from being democrat, even though it is much closer to the bible than the damn alternative. Anyway, the song really is interesting, but through my thinking the only justification of God being a control freak is that we are his creations and just like your own arts you strive to work at them and sometimes are very close to other opinions, however we do have freewill and God never changes, but you are all believers and probibly dont give a shit.

    Great song, the banjo is really a nice addition and for those who have no reference to bukowski he also wrote barfly. (the movie)
    dhelmon April 15, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentattn: chaswick l tronkman
    Figuring out ways to pay the rent isn't really a tough decision. Around the time we did the beer commercial and the shoe commercial, I thought, "Am I compromising my music by doing this?" And I think not. I like keeping the lights on in my house. People who don't have to make their living playing music can bitch about my principles while they spend their parents' money or wash dishes for some asshole. Principles are something that people are a lot better at checking in other people than keeping their own. My rationale behind the beer commercial was, "I like drinking MGD! I like beer probably more than I should, probably more than is healthy." I was hoping I could get a lifetime supply out of the deal, but I guess I'll have to buy it with that big ol' check. [Laughs.]
    -Isaac Brock-
    slantedenchantedon April 20, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit could just be me, but does anyone think this sounds like the pink elephants song from Dumbo
    MJHogieon April 28, 2004   Link

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