Interpretations:Drink!

From This Might Be A Wiki

Personally, I think this song is just about getting drunk at a party.

I'll take back my pinata, it's wasted on you Just swinging that pool cue all over the room And give back the blindfold that's under your shoe

In this verse, one of the partygoers has clearly gotten quite inebriated. He's too drunk to hit the pinata, and the host of the party--probably the singer--is getting annoyed with him.

Let's drink, drink, this town is so great Drink, drink, 'cause it's never too late To drink, drink, to no big surprise But what words rhyme with "buried alive"? What words rhyme with "buried alive"?'

At this point, everyone is getting drunk, and they seem somewhat happy about it.

You could be a float for the Fourth of July Based on your theme of "Wallflowers Gone Wild" Look through your peephole, you've won every prize

The singer is now drunk himself, and he's making stupid suggestions to--or possibly even sexual passes at--one of his friends.

In your monkey suit on a cigarette break The lunchtime crowd, they won't even blink But you'd be sad if they did But you'll be sad

Now one of the partygoers is doing something stupid and crazy, but everyone's too drunk to notice.

This is all just my interpretation, of course.

--Anna Ng


I think the the end of the chorus is a reference to the 'The Cask of Amontillado'

But what words rhyme with "buried alive"? What words rhyme with "buried alive"?

For those unfamiliar with it, it is an Edgar Allen Poe poem wherein the main character kills a fellow noble for insulting him by getting him drunk and essentially burying him alive in his wine cellar.


Everybody,

Here's my take on They Might Be Giants' "Drink". This song reminds me of my old friends from High School. The key phrase here is "wasted potential".

I'll take back my pinata it's wasted on you Just spinning that pool cue all over the room And give back the blindfold that's under your shoe

The pinata seems to be a metaphor for missed opportunities. The listener has all the tools, but won't break the pinata open and take the sweet, sweet candy. The narrator is tired of trying to help the listener and being met with indifference. Our narrator is throwing his hands in the air and saying "I give up".

Let's drink, drink this town is so great Drink, drink cuz it's never too late To drink, drink to no big surprise But what words rhyme with buried alive What words rhyme with buried alive

Usually songs of this style ("drinking songs") are celebratory of a person or event, but here this been turned around, mourning a failed life that no one but the narrator ever expected to be a success. The listener is "buried alive" in the way that he has already lost before even finishing the race, with the consequences of past failures piled up on top of him.

You could be a float for the 4th of July Based on your theme of "wallflowers grown wild" Look through your peephole, you've won every prize

The narrator continues pointing out the listener's wasted potential. In the eyes of the narrator, the listener has the capability to really blossom into something special. If the listener would only look, he would see that the world is his for the taking, but he's exiled himself to his own world for so long that he can't.

In your monkey suit on a cigarette break The lunchtime crowd, they won't even blink But you'd be sad if they did But you'll be sad...

This indicates that the listener is an office worker that merely blends in with the crowd. No one sees him/her as anything special, and that's the way the listener likes it. The "you'll be sad" line reinforces the narrator's unique belief in the listener's potential.

So that's my interpretation of "Drink!" Let me know what you guys think.

-Chris Fabulous


I always thought that the first verse was just addressed to someone who was too drunk to hit a literal pinata.

-Nyquil Poet


Well, I agree that the listener is too drunk to hit the pinata. But I also agree with most of the first interpretation. I'll add some more thoughts.

The "blindfold under your shoe" bit means that the listener is cheating (he has his eyes open) and STILL can't even connect with the pinata.

The chorus could be the narrator's failed attempt at a drinking song. He's doing fine with the first too lines, which don't require a lot of imagination ("no big surprise"), but he can't help pointing out that a life is going down the drain.

I agree with the above interpretation for the rest of the song, though I want to flesh out the "but you'd be sad" part. I think that the listener doesn't want people to notice him because then they'd see he is a failure.

-24.54.55.48


At the 11/4 SF show, They said the song is about alcoholism. More amusingly, They said, "It's about looking inside yourself, then turning away."


My personal interpetation of Drink!

Drink, like a vast majority of songs on 'Mink Car', is about the supernatural. Namely, Vampires.

I'll take back my pinata, it's wasted on you Just swinging that pool cue all over the room And give back the blindfold that's under your shoe


The singer is a vampire. He is complaining to one of his rebelling minions. Instead of playing with the pinata like a nice controlled slave, he is trying to stab the Vampire in the chest with a long piece of wood. The blindfold is to protect him from the hypnotic gaze.

Let's drink, drink, this town is so great Drink, drink, 'cause it's never too late To drink, drink, to no big surprise But what words rhyme with "buried alive"? What words rhyme with "buried alive"?


Being a vampire, he must subside on drinking the blood of the living, and that is all he does, so it comes to no great surprise to him. The vampire's other choice is being 'buried alive', returning to the grave.

In your monkey suit on a cigarette break The lunchtime crowd won't even blink But you'd be sad if they did But you'll be sad

The vampire views the mortal as nothing more than a suicidal (denoted by the cigarette) monkey, and so, is worthless as anything other than a portable lunch-counter. The 'lunchtime crowd' is the vampires. The mortal would be sad if the vampire's felt sorry for him, for they could turn him into a fellow vampire and his life would be hellish like theirs. But his life will be hellish anyway.

Connects to 'I've got a fang', which is also possibly about vampires.


I find a connection between the song's 'buried alive' part and back in time, when drunks passed out on the street were mistaken for dead people and thus, buried alive.


Personally, I always thought this song was about someone accomplishing every goal in your life, and then realizing he has nothing left to do. This is emphasized by the line 'Look through your peephole, you've won every prize'. With no goal to strive for, the person becomes depressed, drinking more and even contemplating suicide- 'But what words rhyme with "buried alive"?'


Why do we never have simple interpretations on this site? It could just be a drinking song - and a very good one at that. I like Chris' interpretation too though. - Doug the Aquacell Guy 18:31, 28 May 2006 (CDT)


I actually see this song as highly sarcastic. The chorus brings that point up-- positive and then saying, "What words rhyme with buried alive?" sounds sarcastic to me. One of Flansburgh's best vocals, and Linnell's best accordion playing. Not a favorite song, but I like the sarcasm I'm hearing. =) --Lemita 14:11, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Okay. FULL INTERP! YEAH!

First stanza: the girlfriend has a drinking problem. 'Nuff said.

Chorus: See 1st post.

2nd stanza thing: Narrator tells girlfriend she could be better than who she is now.

3rd stanza: Saying how she acts at work, she'd like the attention if they realized her problem.

Once again, great vocals, great accordion. wh00t! --Lemita 22:41, 1 November 2006 (UTC)


Come on, guys, the focus of the entire song is in the refrain. He wants you to think about it, he's even asking you to think about it. "What words rhyme with buried alive?" And the answer should be obvious... "Married at five." So the whole song is about a person who drinks to escape their arranged marriage. Or maybe even "Parried with knives". So, drunken sword fights? (XD you get 6 internets for this interpretation!)



I've always thought this song was about people who had too much work to do, or too many issues or problems, or just too many things in their life that are tedious and keeping them from having fun and enjoying life. And to try to forget their troubles and procrastinate for a little while, they drink and sing in an almost mocking way towards their problems.


'I'll take back my pinata, it's wasted on you Just swinging that pool cue all over the room'


The first verse is sung from the pespective of a teacher, who is frusterated because his students aren't even trying to learn what he's trying to teach them. The pinata is a metaphor for the student's sucess. They're not even trying to hit anywhere close to the pinata; they don't care enough.


'And give back the blindfold that's under your shoe'


What's more, they're CHEATING, and still getting nowhere!


'You could be a float for the 4th of July'


This verse is sung by a guy whose girlfriend was shy and unnoticed, and he taught her how to get somehwere in life. Then, after she became important and well liked, he wasn't good enough for her and she dumped him, not careing that he did everything to get her where she is now. Float for the 4th of July = she is now flashy and noticable - people at parades want their floats to stand out, and the floats are usually marvalously overdecorated. There are always people gawking and pointing; 'look, look at that one!'.


'Based on your theme of "wallflowers grown wild"'


She was a wallflower, now she's wild. Kind of a play on words, because real flowers 'grow', although I bet everyone's noticed that.


'Look through your peephole, you've won every prize'


This is like him saying sarcastically 'Well, I hope you're happy with yourself. You have EVERYTHING now!'.


'In your monkey suit on a cigarette break The lunchtime crowd won't even blink'


This is sung by a guy who is frustrated with work. Hw sees how the other people he works with are dumb, and just follow other people's olders without thinking about it. They might as well be monkeys, (an animal that looks somewhat like a hairy human but isn't as smart). Yet others, the 'lunchtime crowd', dosn't think a thing of it, it's perfectly natural to them.


'but you'd be sad if they did But you'll be sad'


If the 'lunchtime crowd' DID care that the 'monkeys' only followed orders blindly, all the 'monkeys' would be out of a job.


And now the chorusz:


'Let's drink, drink, this town is so great'


The three guys (teacher, working guy, and ex boyfriend) are trying to avoid their problems by getting drunk. 'This town is so great' is sarcasm, because clearly their town is not great, it's full of dumb kids, mindless employees, and women who use guys to get attention. These things could be in any and every town, but that's besides the point.


'Drink, drink, 'cause it's never too late'


Never too late to get drunk.


'To drink, drink, to no big surprise'


No big surprise that all their efforst only got them to the bar once again.


'But what words rhyme with "buried alive"? What words rhyme with "buried alive"?'


They are being buried alive by their troubles, and sarcastically stating it by saying that they wanted to sing about it, but couldn't find anything to rhyme with it.

-Ganna

does anyone have any interesting rhymes for "buried alive"? I keep thinking "Scurried Inside"...


To me, this song is a downer. It doesn't make me want to drink at all. It does sort of have that pub chant quality, but the sarcastic tone of the chorus and the repetition of "buried alive" certainly do not make me want to order another round. I think the conflict between what the song appears at first blush and what it seems to be after repeat listens is what gives the track its oomph.


I always get the impression that this song is about depression. Thinking about it now, it seems like it is the bitter diatribe of a depressed person who is disgusted with the world. The person turns to drinking in order to escape the it all, and he ends up as one of those scowling, bitter old men that you're likely to see in a bar. Like many other people here, I feel that "This town is so great" is meant sarcastically. 0dd1 04:38, 28 March 2009 (UTC)



I see this one as sung by an escapee from a small town.

v one- watching The Guy thrash around, but still not even a little all that, let alone bag of chips,

ch town is so great/buried alive- exactly how I would feel if I had to move back where I grew up- or if I moved to where most of the dh's family live. Not where I want to be and disconnected from my own life. THing is- in all these places, the peopel I know who live there drink hellishly, are they also disconnected?

v 2 middle/big frog small pond syndrome- you can be It and win it all, but what does it mean?

v 3 to me that's a musician's samo/samo (aka same shit different day) working hard to just be wallpaper. YOu are familiar, so no one sees you any more (me in high school), but while it's frustrating, it's also safe- while no one comments on what you did right, no one seems to care when you screw up either.


Interpreted as 9-11[edit | edit source]

This song always reminded me of the twin towers and 9-11 because of the buried alive lyrics. I interpreted the flowers lyrics to refer to the flowers left at ground zero. Then the folks in the suits on their cigarette breaks...you'd be sad if they blinked, referring to the fact that you rather see them on break than for them to be victims of the attack. Now, I don't think that is what they wrote it about; that is just what I think about now when I hear it.



Obviously about Wasted Potential[edit | edit source]

I agree with Chris Fabulous, entirely.

The singer is lamenting to his friend how his friend has gladly achieved nothing in his life and is willing to drink to such monotony; all due to the fear and risk in achieving anything.

--SoreThumb 16:57, 1 September 2011 (EDT) 9/1/2011