Fire It Up by Modest Mouse Lyrics Meaning – Unpacking the Spark in Life’s Engine


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Modest Mouse's Fire It Up at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

Etcetera-nough, etcetera-nough
Etcetera-nough, etcetera-nough
Etcetera-nough, etcetera-nough
Etcetera-nough, etcetera-nough

Fire it up, fire it up
When we finally turn it over
Make a beeline towards the boat or
Have a drink, you’ve had enough

Fire it up, fire it up
If you need some conversation
Bring a magazine to read around
Our broke down transportation

Fire it up
Etcetera-nough
Etcetera-nough
Etcetera-nough

Fire it up, fire it up
When we fine the perfect water
We’ll hang out on the shore
Just long enough to leave our clothes there

Fine enough, fine enough
Oh, we ate all of the oranges
Off the navels of our lovers
Grabbed a book and read the cover

It honestly was beautifully done
Like trying to hide the daylight from the sun
But even if we had been sure enough, it’s true, we really didn’t know
Even if we knew which way to head, but, still, we probably wouldn’t go

Fire it up, fire it up
We pushed off, we’re rolling boulders
Crashing down the mirrored stairways
To a blast basement canaries

Fire it up, fire it up
When we fix the carburetor
Then we’ll push off once again
In an hour or so later

It honestly was beautifully bold
Like trying to save an ice cube from the cold
Even if we had been sure enough, it’s true, we really didn’t know
Even if we knew which way to head, but, still, we probably wouldn’t go

Well, we always, well, we always
Had it all, had it all
Well, we always, well, we always
Had it all, had it all
Well, we always, well, we always
Had it all

Full Lyrics

In 2007, Modest Mouse released a track that would soon garner a dedicated following for its cryptic narrative and melodic drive. ‘Fire It Up’, a song from their album ‘We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank’, lures listeners into a lyrical labyrinth that seems to discuss everything from escapism to the futility of human effort.

With its repetitive, almost hypnotic refrain, ‘Fire It Up’ feels like a mantra for the disenchanted. What at first appears as a simple melody belies a deeper, more intricate tapestry of meaning that begs to be unraveled. Through careful dissection of the song’s lyrics, the seeming enigma that Modest Mouse weaves may start to unravel, revealing a message that is both resonant and tragically beautiful.

Ignition Sequence: The Catalyst for Change

The chorus ‘Fire it up’ acts as a clarion call, a prompt to initiate action or change. This recurring plea is the centerpiece of the song, capable of being both literal and allegorical. With the verbs ‘turn it over’ and ‘push off’ supporting this theme, Modess Mouse embeds a narrative about movement—whether it’s to ‘make a beeline towards the boat’ or to ‘fix the carburetor’.

In the repetition of ‘Fire it up’, there is a suggestion of repetitious attempts and continuous effort. This could mirror the human condition and our constant striving for progress, improvement, or simply to keep the machinery of our lives running smoothly in the face of inevitable breaks and stalls.

Drifting on Literary Seas – The Metaphorical Voyage

Isaac Brock, the band’s frontman, is known for weaving intricate stories that transcend literal interpretation. ‘Fire It Up’ can be seen as a metaphorical vessel, navigating through ‘mirrored stairways’ and ‘perfect water’—imagery that feels both surreal and symbolic. This is less a song about a road trip or a day out on the boat, than it is about life’s journey.

Within this voyage, Modest Mouse confronts the idea of complacency (‘hang out on the shore’) and the notion of consuming love without nourishing the soul (‘we ate all of the oranges off the navels of our lovers’). The narrative becomes a reflection on how individuals interact with the world and extract pleasure or sustenance from it.

The Existential Engine: Unearthing the Song’s Hidden Message

The heart of the song may pulsate with an existential beat, thrumming the line of human purpose and the inevitability of entropy. ‘Like trying to save an ice cube from the cold’ and ‘trying to hide the daylight from the sun’, are lines that illustrate the futility of resisting natural orders or existential truths.

There’s a subtle resignation in acknowledging that even with awareness (‘even if we had been sure enough’), action is not guaranteed (‘we probably wouldn’t go’). This speaks to the paralysis that can come from being overwhelmed by choice, awareness, or the daunting nature of life’s challenges.

Savoring the Citrus: Memorable Lines and Their Zest

Modest Mouse’s lyrics often shine with idiosyncratic brilliance. ‘Oh, we ate all of the oranges off the navels of our lovers’ stands out for its striking imagery – a blend of sensuality, intimacy, and a hint of greed. It prompts listeners to consider the voracity with which we consume experiences and relationships.

The vivid descriptions present in ‘Fire It Up’ serve to underscore the inherent beauty in our daily struggles. Each line is meticulously crafted, pulling listeners into a world where every moment, even the mundane, is imbued with significance.

Always Had It All: The Concluding Sentiment

The song’s outro, ‘Well, we always, well, we always had it all,’ seems to offer a concluding perspective on the constant striving detailed throughout the rest of the track. It’s an ironic echo, perhaps suggesting that in our search for something more or different, we fail to recognize that we might already possess everything we need.

It’s a poignant reminder, laden with a wistfulness that contrasts the earlier energy of the song. It’s this turn towards reflective contentment that brings ‘Fire It Up’ full circle, leaving listeners to ponder the cyclical nature of desire and fulfillment.

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