Grass – Unraveling the Layers of Psychedelic Storytelling

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Animal Collective's Grass at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Design of Dissection – Where Everything Belongs
  5. Navigating the Emotional Swamp – Challenging the Status Quo
  6. Deciphering the ‘Crippling Fixture’ – The Song’s Hidden Depths
  7. The Virtue of the Quest – ‘Uncover It’ as a Mantra
  8. Speaking Volumes Above A Whisper – Memorable Lines that Echo


All the pieces are where they ought to be
But it’s clear that we don’t look lightly
Take a place around the tabletop
Make a push to wake the moment up

Say, you want to say what’s wrong
Any way to blow up the cover
There’s a way through bogs
As long as there’s a light to discover it

Like a twisted stick, let’s dig through the sick and find a level space
Cinch to say

It’s a gut that feels all things unknown
And a ring within the brain, you know
Not ashamed to say the instinct’s there
But a virtue to deny the bait

Know the cost and move to cause an endeavor
Globbed onto something
In the lawn, there’s room to improve
As there’s a need to uncover it

As a joker sucks, let’s sift through the muck and lift this dingy veil
Same old tale

Get mixed in this crippling fixture, try and approach the hidden mixtures
Get mixed in this crippling fixture, try and approach the hidden nature

For a misplaced stash, let’s search through the trash
And write this ignorant lurch, wicked urge

Raise the gab above a whisper, speak to sound a spoiling blister
Raise the gab above a whisper, talk to cure a blistered picture

Full Lyrics

In the pantheon of modern psychedelic music, Animal Collective holds a torch that flickers with the intensity of innovation and a resistance to the conventional. Their track ‘Grass,’ taken from the critically acclaimed 2005 album ‘Feels,’ is a sonic labyrinth—a place where charged melodies collide with the abstract poetry of the mundane and the mystical.

At first glance, the lyrics may read like a fever dream, coded in an idiosyncratic language that defies straightforward interpretation. But to the intrepid listener willing to dive deeper, ‘Grass’ reveals hidden gems of insight beneath its wispy veneer. Here, we pluck the strings of this enigmatic tune to discover what resonates within its vibrant echoes.

The Design of Dissection – Where Everything Belongs

The opening lines of ‘Grass’ set the stage for an exercise in careful examination. Amongst the ordered chaos that defines the very essence of life, there’s an acknowledgment that while ‘all the pieces are where they ought to be,’ our perceptions are not always aligned with reality. There’s an inherent suggestion that understanding our environment requires an effort, a ‘push to wake the moment up,’ invoking imagery that blurs the divide between the conscious and the subconscious mind.

In this, we find Animal Collective tapping into an almost Zen-like narrative, one that conveys a message about the nature of awareness. But rather than taking an overt philosophical stance, they bring this to life through playful, tactile imagery. The tabletop, a symbol of stability and communal gathering, becomes a metaphorical battleground for the mind’s eye, a place where dormant ideas wait to be animated.

Navigating the Emotional Swamp – Challenging the Status Quo

The song’s second stanza proposes that to say ‘what’s wrong’, one must be willing to ‘blow up the cover.’ The lyrics thrust us into the thick of the human experience, wrapped up in emotional ‘bogs’ that must be traversed. Yet the presence of a ‘light to discover it’ suggests hope amidst these struggles, a guiding principle that nudges us to push beyond surface-level interpretations.

With its vivid evocations of nature and instinctual perseverance, the song crafts a narrative where mental resilience is not just paramount; it’s instinctive. By acknowledging the compulsions within us—our ‘gut’ responses and an ‘[instinct] to deny the bait’—Animal Collective embraces the duality of human impulse, depicting the eternal battle between our innate desires and the virtues of self-control.

Deciphering the ‘Crippling Fixture’ – The Song’s Hidden Depths

The most opaque and intriguing lines within ‘Grass’ invite us to ‘get mixed in this crippling fixture, try and approach the hidden mixtures.’ Here, we are swept into the murky waters of ambiguity, where the grim and the divine coexist. It suggests a reconciliation with discomfort, a plea to embrace the complexity of life so as to truly understand its hidden nature.

Animal Collective’s genius lies in how they weave these threads together, crafting a narrative that demands introspection. ‘Crippling fixture’ might allude to the burdens we bear, the societal structures that bind us, or perhaps even the paralysis of thought that comes from enduring the tribulations of existence. Yet within this entanglement lies a profound beauty, hidden mixtures of experience that mold reality into something nuanced and rich.

The Virtue of the Quest – ‘Uncover It’ as a Mantra

Throughout the song, the repetition of the phrase ‘uncover it’ takes on the weight of a spiritual quest. Whether speaking of self-improvement, persistence, or simply the thrill of exploration, the semantics of discovery suggest a mandate for listeners. Animal Collective invites us to dig through the ‘sick,’ ‘muck,’ and ‘trash’—metaphors for the clutter and detritus of life—to unearth something pure.

In parallel, this urge to search reflects the creative process, hinting at the sacrifice—both personal and artistic—that culminates in moments of clarity and understanding. The phrase becomes a rhythmic incantation that anchors the song, both literally and metaphorically, thrusting forward an exhortation to delve into the uncomfortable and come out enlightened.

Speaking Volumes Above A Whisper – Memorable Lines that Echo

One particular lyrical motif that cannot go unmentioned is the call to ‘raise the gab above a whisper.’ It’s a powerful invitation to vocalize, to engage in dialogue that’s more substantial than mere background noise. In the context of ‘Grass,’ it’s an admonishment against the passivity of silence, suggesting that only through elevated conversation can maladies be addressed and ostensibly ‘spoiling blisters’ be cured.

This line resonates with a sense of urgency and potency. It posits that healing—whether emotional, societal, or environmental—comes from a conscious and collective effort to communicate. When the chorus swells and these words reverberate, they transcend the personal; they become a clarion call for connection and an antidote to disconnection.

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