I Came As A Rat by Modest Mouse Lyrics Meaning – Deciphering the Intricacies of Existence

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Modest Mouse's I Came As A Rat at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning


Well I ain’t sure but I’ve been told
He’s baking cakes inside our souls
Stayed awake, took a nap
Got myself my bottles back
I’m breaking down out on the street
Walkin’ round my own bare feet
I do not need you to tell me
That I’m not a cat

I caught a rat, we caught some air
He’s never gonna cut his hair
He takes more time to make a fake
We now swam down in the lake

And wash the dirt off our intentions
Paddle on with our bad inventions
I came as ice, I came as a whore
I came as advice that came too sure
I came as gold, I came as crap

I came too clean, and I came as a rat
It takes a long time, but God dies too
But not before he’ll stick it to you
I don’t know but I’ve been told
You’ll never die and you never grow old

I came as a call, I came as flat
I came too soon so I came back
I came as flowers, I came as nice
I came as dirt, and I came as a surprise

It takes a long time, but God dies too
But not before he’ll stick it to you
I don’t know but I’ve been told
You’ll never die and you never grow old

Full Lyrics

In the vast ocean of musical poetry, Modest Mouse’s ‘I Came As A Rat’ stands out as an enigmatic lighthouse, casting beams of introspective thought across the depths of existential inquiry. The song, a raw blend of abstract poetry and indie rock sentiment, swirls with metaphors and philosophical musings that challenge the listener to dive beneath the surface.

While one might initially get caught in the sonically charged waves of the tune, a careful analysis reveals a thought-provoking meditation on the nature of being, the concept of time, and the inexorable truth of mortality. The layers of meaning entwined in the lyrics invite a discussion on the paradoxes and complexities of the human condition, an invitation to explore the labyrinth of interwoven themes.

Baking Souls and Bottled Dreams: A Metaphor for Existential Yearning

The imagery of ‘baking cakes inside our souls’ and ‘getting my bottles back’ paints a vivid picture of inner transformation and realization. The notion of awakening or baking within the confinements of the soul suggests a restless search for purpose, and a desire to rise to an understanding beyond the physical confines.

There is a sense of reclaiming or recovering something lost, as symbolized by the bottles — perhaps innocence, authenticity, or unfulfilled desires. These lines resonate with anyone who has grappled with the process of self-discovery and the endeavor to make sense of their existence amidst the chaos of life.

The Juxtaposition of Identity: What Does it Mean to ‘Come As a Rat’?

The chorus, with its repetition of the phrase ‘I came as a rat,’ invites speculation about identity and the roles we inhabit. By likening oneself to a rat, there is an insinuation of being viewed as undesirable, yet the rat is a survivor, often cunning and adaptable.

To ‘come as a rat’ may imply an unglamorous but honest admission of one’s presence in the world — an existence without pretense. This motif is a call for authenticity in an age where semblances often overshadow substance.

Divine Paradoxes: ‘It takes a long time, but God dies too’

Amongst the most haunting lines of the song, ‘It takes a long time, but God dies too’ stands out for its evocative commentary on the divine. The phrase conveys the idea that nothing, not even the immortal, is beyond the reach of an end. It challenges the doctrine of an everlasting deity, and by extension, questions the permanence of any system of belief or structure.

The subsequent line, ‘But not before he’ll stick it to you,’ suggests a reckoning or a consequence dealt out by a dying god, an ironic twist that embodies the unpredictable nature of life and the inevitability of facing the outcomes of our actions.

Transcending Mortality: The Song’s Hidden Essence

Despite the somewhat morbid subject matter, there’s an undercurrent of transcendence in ‘I Came As A Rat.’ When the lyrics attest, ‘You never die and you never grow old,’ it hints at the idea that although our physical bodies are bound to the ravages of time, perhaps there’s a part of us that endures — in memory, in art, in the impact we leave behind.

Throughout the song, the shifts from tangible to intangible forms (‘I came as gold, I came as crap’), allude to the cyclical nature of existence and the many faces we wear throughout the journey. The hidden essence of the song lies in the acceptance of our multifaceted selves.

Memorable Lines That Echo In The Anals Of Indie Rock

There are moments in the song that cut to the core of the listener. Phrases like ‘I do not need you to tell me that I’m not a cat’ and ‘I came as advice that came too sure’ deliver a dose of Modest Mouse’s distinct blend of defiance and self-aware critique.

As these lyrics reverberate within the enclave of indie music, they continue to serve as signposts for listeners who seek authenticity and self-acceptance in a world of constant contradiction and change. These memorable lines are etched into the collective consciousness, growing richer with each contemplative listen.

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