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...
1TOP RATED#1 top rated interpretation:
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 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
anonymous Apr 21st 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 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
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 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 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).
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.
anonymous Jan 12th 2017 report
Once, I thought this song was possibly about war. But if you read the first refrain, I'm not so sure...
Jumping up and down the floor, my head, is an animal. — meaning, that perhaps this person is mentally ill or even someone with an addiction problem.
And once there was an animal, it had a son who mowed the lawn. — meaning either this addict really had a son, or in his head, he wished for a son.
Dragonfly ran away, came back with a story to say. — meaning either this mentally ill person was substituting the dragonfly as his inability to escape his mental prison, so he needed a way to get out into the world again, or possibly it is his actual son who left home because of the abuse from the addiction.
The rest of the song could either mean the mentally ill person is having this delusion of this grand adventure in their mind and eventually, after many trials and tribulations, they return to reality and have a handle on their illness (would apply for the addict too). Or perhaps their kid goes out into the world, struggles as well, but eventually returns home and the father and son can finally reconcile.
anonymous Aug 17th 2016 report
The song is about the bees in Iceland.
Watch the secret life of Walter Mitty and you will find out :)
anonymous Jul 4th 2016 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 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 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.
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