What does Ants Marching mean?

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Dave Matthews Band: Ants Marching Meaning


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Song Released: 1995

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Ants Marching Lyrics

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He wakes up in the morning
Does his teeth bite to eat and he's rolling
Never changes a thing
The week ends the week begins
She thinks, we look at each other
Wondering what the other is thinking
But we never say a thing
These crimes between...


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    May 4th, 2006 5:57pm report

    I think Ants Marching is about conforming to society's stereotypes.

    "And all the little ants are marching; Red and black antennas waving; They all do it the same; They all do it the same way"

    The lyrics imply that lack of originality or individualism leads to a trite, or even meaningless, existence. But the chance to break this mold is ephemeral; before we know it, our entire life may have passed us by.

    "Take these chances; Place them in a box until a quieter time; Lights down, you up and die"


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    May 4th, 2014 5:15am report

    It's not rocket science or mysteriously written in a code so take it as it is and you don't have to explain the tune at all. I think Dave compiled a cool melody and lyric to make a very plain statement we can all relate to. I'll sum it up in a simple phrase "Procrastination And The End There Of". It's not a secret, mysterious, nor is it anything other then straight talk about a stance everyone takes when they ignore doing some things they think about doing. Though some thoughts are good, others...not so much, we need to place them in a box until we die. Other ideas are great, but the end result is the same if we don't step out and give it a try... I love the way he molded and formed this tune, it's one of my all time favorite real meaningful songs period.


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    Apr 25th, 2014 4:05pm report

    All of us, as children, played under the table and dreamed. Whether it was make believe or of dreams to come. As we grow up (BOOO! cuz who wants to do that, right?!), we become monotonous, mundane, and even routine. I, for one, agree with Dave that BAM! the lights finally die. So, with that being said, pull out those dreams from that box and get out from under that childhood table. Spin the globe and GO! Go dance in the rain while the ants go inside. Start up that band u always wanted to start, hell, maybe you'll end up with The Dave Matthews Band*). Walk up to that guy/girl you've always wanted to and ask them, "Would like to acompany me to the picnic of a lifetime?". If the answer is no, remind them there are a million reasons to say no. Do it with no regrets so when ur light is going out you'll find a smile on ur face and a head full of, what u once thought would be, unimaginable memories!


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    Aug 11th, 2009 8:33pm report

    I'm pretty sure everyones spot on,
    I think its more or less a parody of the adult life.
    When were younger, we have dreams,
    We play were innocent
    Find comfort in the smallest things like playing under a table but as we get older, it becomes routine,
    Those dreams, with our younger selves vanish
    Soon we become like Ants marching,
    Ants of course are drones,
    Servents to the queen, and perhaps the queen being that which is hinted in the verse about the highway. The queen is that destination we are headed to, that nameless goal that these people have, that everyone on that highway seems to want to get to. The candyman tempting that sweettooth is a reminder of all the things we wanted to do, that buisness man on that highway could look at the candyman as his childhood dream of becoming a painter, maybe he passes a billboard seeing art school advertised, and its that billboard that becomes his candyman, reminding him of how good sugar tastes tempting his inner most urges. But he puts them in a locked box and forgets about them, fearing wieght gain, fearing failure.

    In all I agree, its meant to say:: What happened to us, we had all these dreams and here we are like ants marching, we had all these dreams, and were just ignoring them, and we keep ignoring them until we just up and die.

    Id go as far to say its also a metaphor for that classic kid with a magnifying glass on a hot summer day, burning ants. Maybe what he's trying to get at, by following your dreams you can be that kid, burning the ants, burning the flock that has no direction, I think he uses aunts because without mentioning the kid with the magnifying glass, that image still comes into mind, because our younger selves would cry and spit in our faces if they saw us now, ants marching, single goaled drones.

    I think that makes sense.


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    Jun 11th, 2009 6:26am report

    I think that in this song, dave is trying to talk about how when we are young, we have all these hopes and dreams. however, as we grow older, we tend to forget about those dreams or tuck them away and never pull them out again. we become older, and become more settled in in a way. we arent as risky and free-spririted because we foollow socieities norms in which when ur grow, your supposed to mature to societies standards. dave is basically saving, live each day as if its ur last. tke risks and chances, fufill ur hopes and dreams. its your life- live it the way you would love it to be lived. dont be an ant marching in the crowd. stand out.


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    Apr 7th, 2009 4:22pm report

    The True meaning of this song is that the man in the poem forgots his dreams. He wants to be a child again or be relieved from stress and his repetitive life so he can once again pursue his dreams not lock them up in a box for a better time. "Take these chances. Place them in a box until a quieter time."

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    Nov 2nd, 2008 11:48am report

    this song is about how people do everything the same. But dont be a follower be a leader do it your own way. it says many times in the song "take this chances"do something daring and different everyday live ur life to the fullest it short. this song is called ants marching because if you look at ants they do the same thing everyday. Dont be like the ants live each and every day like thinking ur going to dye the next day. Say what you need to say (john Mayer)


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    Nov 1st, 2008 11:18pm report

    The song is about when we are young we have hopes and dreams, but as we grow up, we get lost in the rat race of life and those dreams are lost. We just live our normal repetitive lives a follow the crowd like we are a bunch of ants marching.


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    Oct 2nd, 2008 10:53pm report

    I think this song is about how everyone gets so wrapped up in their own lives.

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    Mar 4th, 2007 3:27pm report

    this song is about a mans depression, he is tired of doing the same daily routine everyday like an ant. and he wants to break out of the routine but he suppress his thoughts and dreams "place them in a box till a better/quiter time" and be comes depressed and starts cutting him self "cut...cut,cut..cut" eventually leading to death "lights down, you end up and die"


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    Sep 27th, 2006 9:04pm report

    We are all ants to our society yet have our own individuality that doesn't get to shine though as it should in this world


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    Apr 26th, 2006 4:04pm report

    This song is about a guy who is getting very sick of his life because it is extremely repetitive, "the week ends, the week begins" is symbolizing the repetitiveness and so is the title: "Ants Marching"


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    Mar 9th, 2006 3:20am report

    I feel this song could be taken in many different ways. Its like we all become one. Many people try so hard to be differnet but in reality everyone is kind of the same. People want to take the easy way out. Get a job and family and just live. By doing those kind of things you just blend. Its like a message to be a indiviual and realize that life is short to break into a routine. Change things up!


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    Dec 9th, 2005 12:40am report

    I feel it is about people in everyday life, going in their own separate ways, but still going with the masses. I think if it like looking on a busy city street from the top of a building, no individuals, just a mass moving along, each person with his/her own intentions... like ants following each other.


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    Nov 13th, 2005 11:03pm report

    It's about how a guy (or everyone) goes about their normal, maybe even repetative lives.

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