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#1
Old 09-19-2008, 06:10 PM
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The meaning of the lyrics of "Lump" by the Presidents of the United States of America

I was listening to this song today and I realized...this is one weird-ass fucking song. What on earth is it supposed to be about? If you listen to the lyrics carefully, it describes a somewhat disturbing situation:

Quote:
Lump sat alone in a boggy marsh
Totally motionless except for her heart
Mud flowed up into Lump's pyjamas
She totally confused all the passing piranhas
OK, so "Lump" is a woman. Why a woman would have this name, I don't know. Maybe it's because she's a motionless lump, lying there? She's lying in a "boggy marsh," and apparently she is...what? Asleep? In a coma?

Quote:
She's lump she's lump she's lump
She might be dead
Might be dead? Maybe that would explain why she's lying motionless in a swamp.

Quote:
Lump lingered last in line for brains
And the ones she got were sort of rotten and insane
Small thing's so sad that birds could land
Is Lump fast asleep or rocking out with the band?
OK, so this woman is...dumb? Mentally ill? Her brains are apparently somewhat below the standard. Is she brain-dead? What does that third line mean: what small thing? What is the small thing? Is the idea that she's so motionless that birds could land on her without being scared away?

Quote:
Lump was limp and lonely and needed a shove
Lump slipped on a kiss and tumbled into love
She spent her twenties between the sheets
Life limped along at subsonic speeds
OK, so she spent her twenties "between the sheets." In other words, she was very promiscuous, sexually. And extremely dim-witted or possibly mentally retarded. Was she taken advantage of by a lot of men? Was she sexually abused to the point where she's catatonic, depressed or otherwise in some abnormal mental state?

Wikipedia offers a similar interpretation:

Quote:
The song gives a seemingly nonsensical description of a girl named or nicknamed "Lump", from the point of view of someone who knew her personally (someone who may have been in love with her). Lump is, during the song, lying in a swamp. It is uncertain whether she is catatonic, unconscious, or dying. Her life, as it is described, seemed to have been a wasted one. She was probably either unintelligent or had possibly suffered mental deficiency from heavy consumption of alcohol or drugs, though the latter isn't stated explicitly. It is also implied that Lump was sexually promiscuous.
So...this is pretty fucked-up, isn't it? For such an upbeat, popular song, it's some really fucked up shit to be singing about. What's your take on this tune?
#2
Old 09-19-2008, 07:56 PM
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No responses. Come on. One of the most popular songs of the 90s and nobody has any thoughts on it?
#3
Old 09-19-2008, 08:50 PM
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the Presidents of the United States of America is one of the greatest bands in history. Wait till I tell you my "workers revolution" theory for Peaches.....

As for Lump, I always figured it was about that hippy girl at the concert whose kind of mindlessly rocking out. She's always there, but when you talk to her you realize she's not really all that smart and just doesn't seem very present.

She ends up sleeping with plenty of people, and that kind of becomes her thing- bouncing from house to house. Always just kind of hanging around. But she never seems to do much with her life, and eventually things just kind of of start repeating themselves.

And yeah, I think the author of the song just can't stop thinking about her for some reason. I always interpreted "she might be dead" as he hadn't seen her for a while, and given her lifestyle she could well be dead. Who knows, right?
#4
Old 09-19-2008, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by even sven View Post
As for Lump, I always figured it was about that hippy girl at the concert whose kind of mindlessly rocking out. She's always there, but when you talk to her you realize she's not really all that smart and just doesn't seem very present.
Used up, drugged out groupie is how I saw it too. I think Argent Towers is taking the lyrics way too literally, if he thinks she's really in a bog.
#5
Old 09-19-2008, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by even sven View Post
the Presidents of the United States of America is one of the greatest bands in history.
You almost made me spit out this ridiculous acai berry juice and whiskey cocktail I'm drinking! The '90s put out more shit pop music than any decade except maybe the current one and POTUSA was right there on top of the steaming heap. I turned down an invite to go see them for free a couple months ago.

(OK, Lump and Peaches are kind of catchy now but goddamn I hated them and the birkenstock-wearing dickheads who loved them when I was in high school. I cannot think of one person I knew who liked them that did not wear a hemp necklace or have at least one dreadlock.)
#6
Old 09-19-2008, 11:59 PM
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Lump produced Gump and is therefore granted pardon.
#7
Old 09-20-2008, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by even sven View Post
As for Lump, I always figured it was about that hippy girl at the concert whose kind of mindlessly rocking out. She's always there, but when you talk to her you realize she's not really all that smart and just doesn't seem very present.
Yeah, I feel kinda bitchy saying this, but I hang out with a lot of hippies, and this song doesn't sound inscrutable to me in the slightest. I think your analysis is right on.

(Not that the song specifies that Lump is a hippie chick, but it sure seems like the hippie community has more than our fair share of Lumps.)
#8
Old 09-20-2008, 12:19 AM
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I always thought the line was "Totally emotionless except for her heart". Learn something new everyday, although I liked my wrong-lyrics line better! Also "between the sheets" (although commonly used to talk about sex) in this context could mean that she's in a prolonged coma... just a thought.
#9
Old 09-20-2008, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosstone View Post
Lump produced Gump and is therefore granted pardon.
What a Weird thought.
#10
Old 08-02-2014, 12:52 AM
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Lumpy Goodness

I have opened a time capsule from 2008. It is odd that the posters didn't predict the UN declaring Lump to be the greatest song of all time and that it has replaced the national anthems of no less than four countries.

Perhaps earlier commentators missed the revelation c 1996 that POTUSA formed more or less on a dare. Originally formed as an impromptu party band, there was a wager that they couldn't come up with an album-length of material in an impossibly short period of time. The band won and we have been beneficiaries ever since.* What this tells me: sometimes a catchy silly song is just a catchy silly song, even if it was inspired by a mindless slutty girl who finally settled down.

As for Peaches and Kitty, they have solved the global warming and congressional ineptitude crises respectively. Long live POTUSA.

*There may be a wiki post somewhere that says something different but I am sticking with what I heard on the radio 18 years ago.
#11
Old 08-02-2014, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by even sven View Post
Wait till I tell you my "workers revolution" theory for Peaches.....
Please do.

http://azlyrics.com/lyrics/presi...a/peaches.html

I've never heard anyone describe workers revolution meaning behind the song. It would be interesting to hear. The lyrics do describe someone else doing the work while someone else eats the peaches, so I guess I could see there being a class message in the song.
#12
Old 08-02-2014, 11:21 AM
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Will you just take a look over there
Is she tryin' to get outta that clitoris?


Oh, wait. That's the other one.
#13
Old 08-02-2014, 11:46 AM
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I always thought it was about a mentally challenged girl.
#14
Old 08-02-2014, 11:48 AM
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I love Lump as a more or less nonsensical pop song - I like the alliteration of the lyrics, but don't really give them much thought.

My bit of POTUSA is that the guitarist played a 3 string guitar and the bassist played a two-string bass. Less is more - either the song works, or it doesn't! To me, Lump worked.
#15
Old 08-02-2014, 11:50 AM
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The meaning of the lyrics of "Lump" by the Presidents of the United States of...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
Please do.



http://azlyrics.com/lyrics/presi...a/peaches.html



I've never heard anyone describe workers revolution meaning behind the song. It would be interesting to hear. The lyrics do describe someone else doing the work while someone else eats the peaches, so I guess I could see there being a class message in the song.

We meet our protagonist as he is embarking to his new home outside of the city, presumably on a collective farm. He looks forward to the paradise that awaits, as illustrated in the fanciful image of peaches available to him in unlimited quantities, at no cost. Rather than being sold in distant markets, the literal fruits of his labor are made available to him as a worker. And this is no slave camp. In this farm workers are have the freedom to relax as needed, filled with the bounty of nature and labor.

With that in mind, he takes a moment to contemplate the dignity of the labor that produces this abundance. From his own collective farm to the industrialized factories in urban areas, the humble peach has been turned into a product with great value, in pies or otherwise.

He then thinks of an unspecified woman, who he perhaps left behind as he serves his country. With some lingering emotion, he exceeds power over the peach (and perhaps nature itself), crushing it. Returning to the theme of nature, he then turns the peach into a shelter for ants. This echoes the them of collective labor (like so many busy ants) producing a safe space out of nature's bounty.

Last edited by even sven; 08-02-2014 at 11:54 AM.
#16
Old 08-02-2014, 04:37 PM
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They should liscence that for an exiting kitty litter commercial. It's Clump! It's Clump!
#17
Old 08-02-2014, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apwalker View Post
I have opened a time capsule from 2008. It is odd that the posters didn't predict the UN declaring Lump to be the greatest song of all time and that it has replaced the national anthems of no less than four countries.

Perhaps earlier commentators missed the revelation c 1996 that POTUSA formed more or less on a dare. Originally formed as an impromptu party band, there was a wager that they couldn't come up with an album-length of material in an impossibly short period of time. The band won and we have been beneficiaries ever since.* What this tells me: sometimes a catchy silly song is just a catchy silly song, even if it was inspired by a mindless slutty girl who finally settled down.

As for Peaches and Kitty, they have solved the global warming and congressional ineptitude crises respectively. Long live POTUSA.

*There may be a wiki post somewhere that says something different but I am sticking with what I heard on the radio 18 years ago.
I enjoyed this, welcome to the Dope! Stick around for as much lyrical exegesis as you can stand. Oh...and we have wookiees.
#18
Old 08-03-2014, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by even sven View Post
We meet our protagonist as he is embarking to his new home outside of the city, presumably on a collective farm. He looks forward to the paradise that awaits, as illustrated in the fanciful image of peaches available to him in unlimited quantities, at no cost. Rather than being sold in distant markets, the literal fruits of his labor are made available to him as a worker. And this is no slave camp. In this farm workers are have the freedom to relax as needed, filled with the bounty of nature and labor.

With that in mind, he takes a moment to contemplate the dignity of the labor that produces this abundance. From his own collective farm to the industrialized factories in urban areas, the humble peach has been turned into a product with great value, in pies or otherwise.

He then thinks of an unspecified woman, who he perhaps left behind as he serves his country. With some lingering emotion, he exceeds power over the peach (and perhaps nature itself), crushing it. Returning to the theme of nature, he then turns the peach into a shelter for ants. This echoes the them of collective labor (like so many busy ants) producing a safe space out of nature's bounty.
That is an interesting take I haven't heard before.

My impression is the song was about the nature of parasitic living. Someone else picks and cans the peaches, then the singer eats them for free. The 'look out' was about how that system is unsustainable.
#19
Old 08-03-2014, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cisco View Post
The '90s put out more shit pop music than any decade except maybe the current one and POTUSA was right there on top of the steaming heap.
You must have never heard any '70s pop. I'll see your "Lump" and raise you "McArthur Park."
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#20
Old 08-03-2014, 10:23 PM
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"Peaches" is about a guy who likes having sex with country girls.
#21
Old 08-04-2014, 09:31 AM
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Huh, I always assumed Lump was a frog.
#22
Old 08-04-2014, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by even sven View Post
We meet our protagonist as he is embarking to his new home outside of the city, presumably on a collective farm. He looks forward to the paradise that awaits, as illustrated in the fanciful image of peaches available to him in unlimited quantities, at no cost. Rather than being sold in distant markets, the literal fruits of his labor are made available to him as a worker. And this is no slave camp. In this farm workers are have the freedom to relax as needed, filled with the bounty of nature and labor.

With that in mind, he takes a moment to contemplate the dignity of the labor that produces this abundance. From his own collective farm to the industrialized factories in urban areas, the humble peach has been turned into a product with great value, in pies or otherwise.

He then thinks of an unspecified woman, who he perhaps left behind as he serves his country. With some lingering emotion, he exceeds power over the peach (and perhaps nature itself), crushing it. Returning to the theme of nature, he then turns the peach into a shelter for ants. This echoes the them of collective labor (like so many busy ants) producing a safe space out of nature's bounty.
What about the ninjas?
#23
Old 08-04-2014, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
"Peaches" is about a guy who likes having sex with country girls.
I always assumed it was about a man having sex with peaches.
#24
Old 08-04-2014, 12:47 PM
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I got this album for my 13th birthday, and really loved it. I still think it is good music, though not anything world-changing. I've always tried to take PUSA's "less is more" message to heart.

I never listened to their second album, and completely lost track of them after that. Did they break up? Get back together? I guess a trip to Wikipedia is in order...
#25
Old 08-04-2014, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
I guess a trip to Wikipedia is in order...
I took that trip and found the explanation for the lyrics to both "Lump" and "Peaches."

Quote:
Though "Peaches" met the most critical success, the band credits "Lump" as their favorite single. The song's strange lyrics came from a dream that Ballew had while fighting pneumonia. The antibiotics he was taking caused an allergic reaction that produced several consecutive nights of wild and crazy dreams. The lyrics for "Peaches" were written about a crush Ballew used to have on a girl. According to him, she had a peach tree in the front of her yard, and when he finally summoned the courage to go talk to her, he stood under the tree and smashed peaches in his fist until he decided not to talk to her.
Now what kind of meaning can we find in the song "Kitty"?
#26
Old 08-04-2014, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apwalker View Post

Perhaps earlier commentators missed the revelation c 1996 that POTUSA formed more or less on a dare. Originally formed as an impromptu party band, there was a wager that they couldn't come up with an album-length of material in an impossibly short period of time.
If memory serves that first album is under 30 minutes long.
#27
Old 08-04-2014, 05:41 PM
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The lead singer and lyricist now does double duty with a "Kindie" rock band... (kids music with an indie flavor). He calls himself Caspar Babypants and has some catchy songs that could be passed off as Presidents stuff. My boys love them.
#28
Old 08-04-2014, 11:00 PM
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"She don't eat meat but she sure like the bone"

Says everything you need to know about 90's and hippy girls.
#29
Old 08-04-2014, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SpazCat View Post
You must have never heard any '70s pop. I'll see your "Lump" and raise you "McArthur Park."
Nothing wrong with 70's or 90's pop. It's this decade's pop that sucks ass. When 'artists' like Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea feud...."Wrap it up!"
#30
Old 12-27-2016, 11:59 AM
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Lump - Never got a burial.

So I think that its pretty basic...the girl murdered in her PJs and dumped in the swamp. The Piranhas were confused b/c most things from the animal kingdom are confused by human remains, it's a rarity in the wild.
As for her intelligence or "small brain" well I think that goes to show she trusted the wrong bloke - she was either a ho or a whore and one of her fuck buddies either got to obsessed with her and she just wanted to have fun or she just took the wrong guy home. They had sex. After which she cleaned up, got in her PJ's, he killed her then dumped her body.
She's a lump cos she dead, she's rocking out with the band - which means she's dead...like she is up in heaven having fun....
So since I've been hearing this song for like over 20 years and it took this thread of a convo for me to get it
#31
Old 12-27-2016, 12:15 PM
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Prologue to my post

Quote:
I actually think I may be possessed with demons, I was dropped on my head as a kid.
Maybe one of these folks would know better

#32
Old 12-27-2016, 12:39 PM
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Just a guess: guys get into rock bands for many reasons, but getting girls is usually a major factor. The dream is to become a rock star and have thousands of screaming girls chasing you.

But bands often find that real groupies are damaged girls with a lot of problems. "Lump" is an ugly picture of the girls the Presidents of the United States were seeing backstage: emotionally scarred, drug addicted zombies who screwed musicians without any real passion, emotion or even enjoyment.
#33
Old 12-27-2016, 01:04 PM
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"Trump lingered last in line for brains
and the ones he got were sorta rotten and insane."

Eerily prescient.
#34
Old 12-27-2016, 02:08 PM
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Or, hell, it could just be a goofy as hell alt-band with nonsensical lyrics but fun attitude.

Just a thought.
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