What does A Certain Shade Of Green mean?

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Incubus: A Certain Shade Of Green Meaning


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Song Released: 1997

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A Certain Shade Of Green Lyrics

A certain shade of green,
tell me, is that what you need?
All signs around say move ahead.
Could someone please explain to me your ever present
lack of speed?
Are your muscles bound by ropes?
Or do crutches cloud your day?
My sources say...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    May 28th 2006 report

    Breifly: The Mayans believed the world will end in December, 2012 AD. Green means go. He's just saying stop wasting time, what are you waiting for?

  2. anonymous
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    Mar 21st 2018 report

    Come on guys! You are digging too hard. It's simple. It's a saying. Say you are at a stop light in your car. You have a person in front of you in his car. The light is red so you both are there because you had to stop at the red light. Now the light changes to green. You ready yourself to go but the person in front if you is still waiting. At that moment you think to yourself, "What are you waiting on a certain shade of green to go?" So Brandon is saying... Just go will you!! It's not going to get any greener!! Quit waiting and go when the green light of life flashes. We quit procrastinating.

  3. anonymous
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    Sep 23rd 2011 report

    i think that its unintended by Incubus but ancient history shows of sand turned to green glass by immense heat of a nuclear bomb or something else. They believe that ancient people had nuclear devices and destroyed certain cities. I just think that the 2012 reference is waiting for the world to end, but when i hear the shade of green thats what comes to mind although i doubt this was what was meant to be in the song. Some of you may have just been educated on this. Please look it up. Sand turned into green glass just like our Nuclear experiments changed the deserts into green glass, it's documented people.

  4. 920215
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    Jun 14th 2011 report

    correction: *his lover

  5. 920215
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    Jun 14th 2011 report

    I’m not a native speaker of English, but with my limited vocabulary and poor grammar,
    I’ll try my best to explain what I think this song is about.
    Personally, I think this song is about a man wanting her lover to make a move (have sex) and stop procrastinating.

    He kept on asking
    ”A certain shade of green,
    tell me, is that what you need?”
    or in other words,
    “what shade of green do you want to see so that you would understand that it’s an approval or ‘go-ahead’.”
    I do agree that the green thing is the colour of traffic light but as a symbol of “permission”.

    “All signs around say move ahead.”
    “My sources say the road is clear,
    and street signs point the way.”
    implies that everything is in “the mood” to get together.

    “Could someone please explain to me your ever present
    lack of speed?
    Are your muscles bound by ropes?
    Or do crutches cloud your day?”
    “Are you gonna stand around till 2012 A.D.?
    What are you waiting for
    A certain shade of green?”

    He questions her ability to interpret what he wants / what she SHOULD BE DOING at that moment.

    "I think I grew a gray watching you procrastinate."
    An exaggeration of how he is feeling about his lover not realising what is going on.

    Would a written invitation
    signed, "Choose now or lose it all,"
    sedate your hesitation?
    Or inflame and make you stall?
    I interpret these lines as
    “Could I just tell you bluntly what I want right now, because if I do..
    would it make you stop procrastinating or would it make you freeze instead?”

    You've been raised in limitation,
    but that glove never fit quite right.
    The lover has been someone with decent manners, but he thinks that the ‘glove did not fit quite right’. (the decency is not practical at that moment)

    The time has passed for hand-me-downs,
    choose anew, please evolve,
    take flight.
    He’s thinking that taboos of having casual sex/sex after marriage is outdated and asking his lover to change her mentality about .... you know what.

    In the few last lines, he wonders if his lover needs:
    “A written invitation?
    A public declaration?
    A private consolation?”
    for her to .... :)
    Then again, it’s only my own personal view I’d like to share.

  6. Baxmeyer123
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    Mar 18th 2009 report

    Much like Maynard, Brandon Boyd's lyrics can be interpreted in a few ways, and much like Maynard, may not entirely be direct. However, people saying this song is about marijuana or moving on with you're life are complete idiots and take no notice to the song's meaning. This song is completely direct to what it is talking about.
    The underlying message to this song is about people that procrastinate and put off doing things. Green means 'go', obviously, and the person or persons that Brandon is particularily talking about in this song seem to be waiting for "a certain shade of green" to get something done. "Are your muscles bound by ropes" "I think I grew a grey watching you procrastinate"...its all very obvious. The street signs (being a metaphor for obvious feelings or signs)show you should get a move on with what you are doing.
    The whole meaning summed up: The light is green, you should probably start, however you sit there and do nothing. Is there a particular shade of green that you are waiting for that will kick start you into actually doing something? The song is obviously about people who procrastinate.

  7. anonymous
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    Oct 23rd 2008 report

    Who says it has to do with only one thing? Brandon definitely does not try to hide that he smokes weed (Smoking the Herb Again, anyone? which, by the way is an Incubus song, they've preformed it live.) and in fact states that it was after his first hit that his "poetic floodgates were opened". That's not to say that's all this songs about, I think it is about not procrastinating, but many of his lyrics have double meanings. Deep Inside for example, isn't just about being too stoned to get home, it's also about thinking deeper than most of us do and using those buried ideas.

  8. anonymous
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    Aug 3rd 2008 report

    I'm not a very smart person but the way I interpret this song is not like many others. I think Brandon Boyd is a very smart individual and is trying to save the world through his music.

    I'm not saying I am a bible thumper or anything but he is most likely talking about the end of the world " Are you going to stand around till 2012 A.D.". Very significant time in our lives maybe the world will end maybe it won't but the ones who procrastinate are the ones who are going to realize they chose last and then they are fucked. If it doesn't end then procrastination is like masturbation you are still screwing yourself in the end.

    At the same time he could be calling out God asking him why he is procrastinating. I'm not gonna go into too much detail but if you can think deeply enough then I'm sure you will be able to figure out what I'm talking about.

  9. nalnakee
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    May 1st 2008 report

    Incubus just looove to write songs which could be interpreted in a number of ways. I believe you could take this song three ways. Th first is the marijuana theory, stoners are very unmotivated people and it makes a lot of sense to say that is the main topic about this song. I've also heard the theory about the traffic lights. Its probably the most likely, Brandon does enjoy going deeply into the simplest of matter. Another one which hasn't been mentioned yet..If you've heard of the phrase, "The grass is greener on the other side" then you may agree this song could be about what will happen after 2012 AD. There are many conclusions that its the end of the world but there's also the idea its the beginning of a global realisation which will change the structure of all cultures hence, the grass may be much greener on the other side. Im not sure if that made sense to anyone or not but I tried!

  10. anonymous
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    Apr 17th 2008 report

    It's about being stuck behind someone who doesn't realize the traffic light has turned green. They've said this before. Brandon always writes songs about simple things and turns them into brilliant songs aka nice to know you

  11. anonymous
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    Mar 8th 2008 report

    I have to disagree with the marijuana interpretation. The only piece of lyric that relates to marijuana in any way is the word "green," which could easily represent any number of things-- money, traffic lights, etc. The repeated mention of street signs and clear roads suggests that he probably means a green traffic light. like another interpreter said, the light is green-- now what are you waiting for? a certain shade of green?

    The whole thing speaks of procrastination. I think this song goes hand in hand with Drive.

  12. anonymous
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    Sep 3rd 2007 report

    I agree with the person above. This song is basically about him being pissed about the asshole in front of him procrastinating and won't freaken drive.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  13. anonymous
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    Jul 8th 2007 report

    I read that This is about being at a traffic light that turns green, and the person in front of him doesn't move.
    The 2012 part in the chorus is talking about him having to wait for this person until the world ends and he talks about growing gray hair while he has to wait.

  14. anonymous
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    Mar 19th 2007 report

    The green light thing works, and could be quite accurate. When I listen to this song, I think of it being about money. A lot of people are only motivated by money, never living life for themselves. If they're not getting paid, they don't care.

  15. anonymous
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    Dec 7th 2006 report

    The song is about not waiting around, but I believe the term a "certain shade of green" is meant to be in opposition to the plain normal green that green lights are. Brandon is saying the light is already green now what are you waiting for? a certain shade of green perhaps?
    "All signs they say, move ahead, can someone please explain to me your ever present lack of speed."

    I am personally quite a marijuana supporter but I don't think this one is about that. There are references to moving forward, street signs, etc. Brandon never seems to be too tongue in cheek about drugs when he sings about them either. There Might be examples where he hides it but Deep inside and Pschocylocybin are good examples of the style Brandon Boyd likes to usually sing about his drugs(usually pretty happy toward them too.)
    Just my opinion though, don't be a gangster about it.

  16. anonymous
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    Aug 14th 2006 report

    This song is not abt marijuana at all, like the post before me, its about getting up and doing something with your life

    Like the quote in the song "remember if you procrastinate, you choose last"

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