Of Monsters and Men: Dirty Paws Meaning
Song Released: 2012
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Dirty Paws Lyrics
My head is an animal.
And once there was an animal,
It had a son that mowed the lawn.
The son was an ok guy,
They had a pet dragonfly.
The dragonfly it ran away
But it came back with a story to...
1TOP RATED#1 top rated interpretation:anonymous Sep 21st 2013 report
The song is about WWII where the Bees are the axis powers and the birds are France and England. The Dirty Paws are the US and the creatures of snow are is Russia. When it says that the Bees declared a war it means it literally and the Queen Bee is Germany. The forest is Europe. The first verse is to lead on the metaphor that humans are animals in their bestiality in war. Although this also may be about WWI due to the "holes" reference representing the trenches and the killing machines being the newly introduced turrets and artillery. The US is called dirty paws due to its presence in most international wars. The four dirty paws are the wars that it's fought in ( Revolutionary, Civil, WWI, WWII ) those are the most significant at least. Sorry for the length I was just spewing my thoughts
2TOP RATED#2 top rated interpretation:anonymous Jan 1st 2018 report
(Extension on world wars theory) the son, father and dragonfly are the families who sent their children off to war, coming back with a story to tell.
3TOP RATED#3 top rated interpretation:anonymous Jan 11th 2018 report
There are many possibilities as to what the meaning could be. I think the song is meant to be taken in whatever perspective you like. For instance I see it in 2 different ways. One being that its a child, who created a make believe land in their mind. "Jumping up and down the floor" is the child playing. "My head is an animal" could mean they are playing a game where they are the animal. The story from there can basically describe how vivid of an imagination the child actually has. My other theory is that it is a war between man and creatures of nature. Nature is fed up with how man is treating them, and decided to join forces and fight back.the dragonfly is relaying the message about what is going on to the child, so it can escape. Reason being is it says "the son was an okay guy." Therefore he was good and the dragonfly wanted him to escape before the war reached him. Again these are just theories that are probably wrong. We will never know unless the artist comes out and says what they meant by it, which I doubt they will. They probably like the fact that everyone is coming up with so many ideas, and decided to leave it a mystery.
anonymous Apr 14th report
Of Monsters and Men songs tend to have very spiritual roots. This being no different. I believe it involves use of metaphor (spirit animals etc.) to convey a story about connecting to the higher self and fighting the ego and materialism of the world. Not sure why people are connecting it to WW2. Their entire discography is spiritual
anonymous Mar 30th report
I think the wwII theory is correct, and the dragonfly is a son of a family and he is telling the story from a little kid perspective(i.e., he ran away/got lost and then found out about the war as a child.
anonymous Apr 2nd 2022 report
I think it's a story of Spirituality. Darkenes and Light. The head (animal) is a state of rebellion from the Higher Self / Creator for independence. The "son" or dragonfly made a choice and went down into the depths of darkness to experience separation, battled w/ self and the impurities and imperfections of the world in order to learn the lessons of pain, suffering and separation for the One True Self. The battle issued, carnal vs spirit. Darkness vs Light. In the end, the lessons were learned and experience gained, allowing the "son or dragonfly" to return with wisdom, gratitude and love - for the Light, Self and Creator of Self.
anonymous Sep 26th 2021 report
I believe it is about a boy (or child) and his dog—literally 4 dirty paws. And how the dog views the boy as his. Then their adventures and interpretation of the world and events around them.
anonymous Jul 20th 2021 report
I think the dragonfly is a son who ran away from home to join the army and then came back with a story to tell about the war specifically wwII
anonymous Apr 21st 2021 report
Just another perspective to the World War theory, that I haven’t seen mentioned
“Got help from below” refers to Australia and New Zealand (ANZACS)
anonymous Feb 6th 2021 report
It;s about Vimy Ridge and how during WWII the allies were losing the air battle and invited Canadian ground troops to join the war.
anonymous Dec 8th 2020 report
Honestly, this song's lyrics are very, very confusing. Nobody is really sure that their meaning IS the meaning. I only think the song if from a child's perspective, being the dragonfly. 'The dragonfly ran away' meaning that the child ran away from his family. Thats all i got lol
LeoRStories Mar 1st 2018 report
The song tells the tale of a great war between two proud races, perhaps birds and bees, perhaps other 'creatures of snow.' Either way, the setting is evidently Iceland or a similar snowy land ravaged by the war. The 'killing machines' are large war vehicles, possibly the ones seen in the 'King and Lionheart video.'
anonymous Jan 1st 2018 report
(extension on the world wars theory) I believe that the song is most referencing WWI: The story of how the "bees" (Austria-Hungary) attacked the "birds" (Serbia) who called their allies "the dirty paws" (France, Britain) and the "monsters of snow" (Russia) to "kill the queen bee (German Empire and/or the emperor) and her men (Austria-Hungary).
ErinTheGuineaPig Dec 9th 2017 report
I think it’s a metaphor of how people sometimes think the world isn’t big enough for them all, and how wars can begin. The “dirty paws” are impure, but, they can be better than the people who are set on one belief and unwilling to Change.
anonymous May 13th 2017 report
It's about our carnal selves and the fall in the garden of Eden. Basically the story of Genisis.
anonymous May 2nd 2017 report
Why does the song have to be about anything outside of the song which is whimsical like a folk tale. It interesting and lovely as it is without anyone adding some "hidden" meaning to it. It could have just come out of the imagination of the songwriter just as it is.
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
anonymous Feb 18th 2017 report
It is probably about a war, but it also makes me think of the characters from midsummer night written by Shakespeare.
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