Of Monsters and Men: Dirty Paws Meaning
Song Released: 2012
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...
anonymous Sep 21st, 2013 9:46pm 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
anonymous Mar 30th, 2015 3:58pm report
I think that this song is the beginning of a story told through the entire album. This song describes the problems that a guy started. People blame him for everything and want to kill him. In King and Lionheart, the guy falls in love and settles down. In Mountain Sound, the enemies find him and he runs away with his wife/GF. In Slow and Steady and From Finner, I'm still a little confused but I think in the midst of it the guy gets captured and killed, but his love gets away and in Little Talks she crazy from his death. In Six Weeks, she finds a new love who pulls her out of her bad mental state, but she soon realizes she can never love him like she loved the old guy, expressed in Love Love Love. I'm a little lost about the rest of the album.
anonymous Jan 8th, 2013 1:47pm report
The song is a folksong about how it came to be that Iceland use to have no bees.
The folk song is a story of how the bees were destroyed by a war between them and the birds.
Bees were introduced to Iceland.
anonymous Jul 4th, 7:21am report
The first verse is an introduction to a family having a crisis, possibly a divorce and fight for custody of the child, with the whole song as a story from the child's perspective. The jumping on the floor is the sound of the mother losing her temper, and the description of the head being an animal is a description of the child's headache from the fighting. The next animal is the mother of the child who mowed the lawn. The song then switches to a different path as the child escapes the fighting by running away and this is told in the song by the child being the 'dragonfly' who has 4 dirty paws and a furry coat, possibly due to pretending to be a family pet, or the dirt paws describing neglection.The forest slopes are the streets, with the talking trees being whispering neighbors.The next part calls in the common metaphor for men and women, the birds and the bees, with the bird being the father, and the bee being the mother as it is usually told. The mother decides she is sick of having the father around, or the bees, and starts trying to get rid of him, the war.The father needs the help of the child, who may not like it, hence the dirty paws, and the creatures of snow possibly could be lawyers with cold hearts in the opinion of the child.The argument for divorce or whatever quickly made the neighborhood disordered when it used to be happy, with 'they were scared down in their holes'referring to the neighbors staying in their houses.Not too sure why in the last paragraph both the father and the mother are referred to as'she', but maybe it is that sort of a relationship. The father then manages to defeat the mother in court, and gets custody of the child, but the child describes himself as having 4 dirty paws as he/she believe they broke their parents up, and were responsible for the mother leaving.
This is a bit long, but it is my interpretation of this great song.
anonymous Dec 10th, 2015 12:51am report
I think that Dirty Paws is about a world war, whether it is WWI or WWII I do not know.
The 'creatures of snow' are Russia.
The 'dragonfly' is a soldier who went to war.
'Birds' are the UK
'Bees' are the Axis forces
'Killing machines': quite that.
'Queen bee': Hitler?
'Forest of talking trees' is the world.
anonymous Oct 25th, 2015 10:01pm report
The beginning of the song, there once was an animal, he had a son that mowed the lawn, to mean, suggests that the song is telling a story through a child's perspective. What the child is talking about is their neighbours abusive father, and the son, literally mowed their lawn. As the song goes on to talk about more animals, it's describing the abused boys emotions and then at the end, child protective services comes in and rescues the boy from the abusive father. I believe that the pet dragon fly is the sibling, that runs away, or goes away to college maybe. I think the child is describing everything as animals because they don't understand what is happening, so they use things that they do understand, animals and insects.
anonymous Jul 20th, 2015 7:04am report
Remember the dragonfly only heard this stor from the talking trees, so I think it's about all the interactions of nature, and how the trees see all.
anonymous Dec 3rd, 2014 12:16pm report
I think it is an interpretation of a tall tale from Ice-land. They are having fun with the literal translations. Nice guitar.
anonymous Aug 9th, 2014 8:53pm report
I think this is one of those songs that is just open to the vastness of human interpretations. Its a beautiful song though. I agree with the war references and the battle between animals. I also believe it has alot of grip in the lesson of strength in numbers and defeating the evil that plagues you
anonymous Jul 30th, 2014 7:27am report
While creative, these war references seem a bit far-fetched.
Or perhaps I'm not as creative.
I see the song as a poetic reference to the ebb and flow of the seasons. The green forest is alive with bees and birds, only to be overcome by the beast that descends from the mountains (snow, winter). The birds that don't migrate remain, but the bees are gone (for the year).
The animals of summer retreat into hibernation, the forest grows dark and black and the war for the planet is lost, for now.
Recall that these folks are from a part of the globe that is very winter-centric. It wouldn't be surprising that they'd wax poetically about the onset of winter as a war; as something of such gloom and darkness that it would generate metaphors of war and death.
anonymous May 1st, 2014 5:48pm report
In Europe, dragonflies have often been seen as sinister. Some English vernacular names, such as "devil's darning needle" and "ear cutter", link them with evil or injury. A Romanian folk tale says that the dragonfly was once a horse possessed by the devil. Swedish folklore holds that the devil uses dragonflies to weigh people's souls.:25–27 The Norwegian name for dragonflies is Øyenstikker ("eye-poker"), and in Portugal they are sometimes called tira-olhos ("eye-snatcher"). They are often associated with snakes, as in the Welsh name gwas-y-neidr, "adder's servant". The Southern United States term "snake doctor" refers to a folk belief that dragonflies follow snakes around and stitch them back together if they are injured.
anonymous Feb 13th, 2014 2:58pm report
The song may be interpreted as referring to the second word war 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 Russia. When it says that the Bees declared a war it means it literally and the Queen Bee is Hitler's Germany. The first verse is play on the metaphor that acknowledged mans bestiality in war. The killing machines refers to the use of bombing of civilian cities. The US is called dirty paws as an acknowledgement of the role of the US infantry (the Dogfaces) in the winning of the war. The four dirty paws refer to the four primarily infantry based wars that the US has fought. (Revolutionary, Civil, WWI, WWII ) interestingly only in the american civil war did the use of Dogface or Dogtags come into prominent use.
anonymous Dec 29th, 2013 12:30pm report
I think "Dragonfly" is the name of the dog belonging to the animal with the son who mowed the lawn. "Dragonfly" ran off one day & had an adventure in the woods. Dragonfly fought in a battle between the birds & the bees. Obviously "Dragonfly" is the four dirty paws that helped the birds. Afterwards she returned home. It's like the story Roverandom by J. R.R. Tolkien.
anonymous Oct 22nd, 2013 10:47am report
I don't think there is any deeper meaning related to historic wars, I think that it is just meant to tell a story of a war in the forest or possibly the war on pollution and deforestation.
anonymous Oct 14th, 2013 10:41pm report
To me it sounds like the dragonfly witnessing a war between the birds and the bees, then goes back to the animal and his son. And I picture "Dirty Paws" as a wolf that the birds came to, to ask for help.
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