a friend of mine says the song is about "the love that exists between two vaginas." ...take what you will from it.
My, those lyrics are hallucinatory. Sounds like some guy/gal had sex with someone for the last time that afternoon and wrote a distressed poem about it. I was relieved to see someone else post the idea above, because it sounded dirty to me, too. ~Christina Miller
yeah because the johns sing about that kind of stuff all the time... It might be either more simple than that, or more complexe. this might just be about a break up. the love they had was pink (pure and nice) but it was a hard break up, or stormy if you will. your progression, my degresion, maybe it wasn't as hard for her as it was for him. for him, it feels like an eternity to get over her (forty days this afternoon) he loved all the little things she did (as so many couples do) as it states, the things we cherish are small indeed, so much larger the need (he needs her love and all those little things she did) set me thanklessly free. don't make it hurt anymore. I want to be free of this pain -klimdeeni
There's sublimated sex in a number of TMBG songs, actually.
Really? Because I've noticed that there's a lot of sublimated TMBG songs in sex.
I think it could be about lent and the sacrifices that go along with that. *my two cents*
I agree with the previous. More specifically, I think it's about someone who is giving up coffee for Lent. When he sings "forty days this afternoon," that could mean either "this afternoon it's been forty day since my last coffe" or "this afternoon, it'll be forty days till my next cup of coffee!" Unless, of course human weakness catches up with him. This abstinence from coffee fills [his] Johnny cup with gloom since he can't fill it up with coffee. However, despite being gloomy, he is philosophical about it: it shows him just how small his desires are. However, he is rather thankless about being set free from his desires. Tutt 17:13, 12 Oct 2005 (EDT)MasterChivo
Maybe it's just about humankind, and how pointlessly small and rabid we are about ourselves. Pinkess might just be humanity... little fleshy bundles of pink flesh and organs, etc.
It's about a failed relationship and the sorrow that ensues. "Your progression" means that she left him (40 days ago to be exact). "Stormy pinkness" refers to the woman who left -- "stormy" indicates her rage, "pink" her (attributed) skin color. --Nehushtan 16:06, 20 Mar 2006 (CST)
I always thought it was about Pepto-Bismol. --JQ
For whatever reason, I've convinced myself that Flood is all nautical themed (even though it's just 2 songs that are), and I think this song is because it is from that era. You know the saying "Red sky in morning, sailor's warning"? I think that the sky is pink and this poor fella is stuck on the ocean. 40 days, wasn't that the amount of time that the flood lasted for Noah in the bible (not positive). So, I think it's about sailing, atleast it's less pervertive than some of the other interpretations here --Jade
I think jadeybeans is on the right track, in that 40 days is not literal, 40 being a magical number from the bible and some other traditions - 40 years of wandering the desert, 40 days of Lent, Jesus' fast for 40 days. It's a portentious number, like 60 or some of the primes. I think "40 days this afternoon" was to suggest that all the suffering and privation of 40 days of fasting was experienced in this one awful afternoon when the relationship broke up, to give the idea that the pain was of biblical proportions. ~Christina Miller, May 2007
I've tried to look at this in context; that is, it's kind of a bittersweet-sounding song. They even said it was a love song, in the Berlin performance. Anywho. "Stormy pinkness/Human weakness/Fills my johnny cup with gloom". Stormy pinkness refers to crying; the color of someone's face/eyes while doing it and the tears that fall (as rain does) from their eyes. Human weakness is just that; it's those emotions that the person has. The tears fall into his coffee, 'filling it with gloom'. "Your progression/My digression/Forty days this afternoon". "Your progression" was the person the narrator loved moving on, while "My digression" was perhaps the narrator himself losing interest in his partner (maybe even looking at other girls - another example of Human weakness). This all describes the break-up which the narrator remembers happening forty days ago to the afternoon (the number forty was chosen simply because it sounds good). "The things we cherish are small indeed/So much the larger the need". Everything we love in this life is relatively inconsequential to everyone and everything but ourselves, and so we have a great need for what we do love to be rewarding. "Stormy pinkness/Set me thanklessly free". His tears are painful yet cathartic, letting him slowly leave the thoughts of happiness that used to be, thoughts that he doesn't really WANT to leave, and instead allowing him move on with his life. -AP
Never thought about understanding this song, just liked the words. But had a miscarriage recently and kept having this song stuck in my head, and I realized this song is about miscarriage/abortion. 40 weeks is the average length of a pregnancy, and you will know when your anticipated due date comes, and you will mourn. "The things we cherish are small indeed." And you do feel "thanklessly set free" in so many ways. And in the live in Berlin track when John says it's a love song - - it is.
Madness and Badness on the Bus
I don't mean to "prick the prack" so to speak, but this song is almost definitely about a long bus ride to the Bronx, where the narrator of the song plans to buy a new cloth sack (also known as a Jolly Cup). "The things we cherish are small indeed," he says, "so much the larger that it's needed." This is a reference to lint, small pieces of corn, dirt, and so on that could get stuck inside the Jolly Cup, as is the reference to gloom. Finally, he learns that the trip back will be on a different bus. I.E., the trip will never end for forty days. A similar theme is expressed in the enigmatic Hello Radio, and also in Til My Head Falls Off, which is about the purchase of a cloth bag by a blind person. --WhatTheHeckLinnell 01:12, 11 March 2011 (UTC)