They Might Be Giants: Don't Let's Start Meaning
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Song Released: 1987
Don't Let's Start Lyrics
This is the worst part
Could believe for all the world
That you're my precious little girl
But don't don't don't let's start
I've got a weak heart
And I don't get around how you get around
When you are alone...
anonymous Feb 8th, 2:50pm report
This interpretation is my own that I based on one of the 2 John's(or both) explanation of the songs origin in an interview for a music publication that I read in 1988. Now that the vague origin of this interpretation is out of the way, here is what was said to be the theme and what I interpret of that based on lyrics.
Don't Let's Start is the story of man evaluating his love for a prostitute he has never met. Only knowing her from her escort advert he sees regularly. "To believe for all the world that you're my precious little girl. Don't Let's start, I've got a weak heart and I don't get around how you get around." He creates what he assumes is her world from his only point of reference, the printed advertisement. Lounging about, waiting for a "John" (pun 100% intended and premeditated!) to ring her phone. Where she then performs the animslistic duties of her profession in exchange for a wage. There is added uncertainty to feed the flames of his doubts. First, that she may break his heart because of his fragility due to being less promiscuous and the fact that he knows so little of her that they may share no similarities at all. "When you are alone, you are the cat, you are the phone, you are an animal. The words I'm saying now means nothing more than meow to an animal." "Wake up, smell the cat food in your bank account." The money made isn't worth what has to be done to earn it. Now, the chorus solidifies his attempt to distance himself from sure despair. And, I might add, is written with such intelligent wit and wordplay that it is one of many reasons TMBG is the smartest band ever. "D, world destruction. Over an overture. N do I need apostrophe T need this torture." As his world explodes around him, he asks if it is worth the strain and pain. Cleverly the lyrics, over an overture, refer to the music you hear in accompaniment to the song. He then finds solace in the fact that he isn't the only one spurned by the cruelties of this world. To the point of relishing in the idea of that unjust misery. Seeing it as a pleasing soothe to his own. "No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful. Everybody dies frustrated and sad and that is beautiful." This feeling is quickly fleeting and he is left with no desire to continue. "I don't want to live in this world anymore." So, there you have it. An idea one if the Johns got from seeing the same escort's ad, I assume, in the Village Voice, considering they're from New York and 30 years for it to prattle about in my brain to produce an interpretation. Thanks.
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