Problems – The Existential Tug of War in Modern Relationships


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Mother Mother's Problems at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. A Dichotomy of Self: Sinner Versus Saint
  5. The Captivity of Love and the Great Escape
  6. Peeling Back the Layers: The Hidden Meaning in ‘Problems’
  7. Chaotic Romance and the Quest for Normality
  8. The Chorus of Disgrace and the Luminary’s Shine

Lyrics

You and me, we’re not the same
I am a sinner, you are a saint
When we get to the pearly gates
You’ll get the green light
I’ll get the old door in the face

Doo, doo, doo, I’m a loser, a disgrace, yeah

I’ve found love in the strangest place
Tied up and branded, locked in a cage
I say I’m gonna stage a great escape
Let loose a love
All pent up and painfully out of place

Doo, doo, doo, I’m a loser, a disgrace
You’re a beauty, a luminary, in my face

I got it all, and not a lot, I got a lot less than a lot
I’ve got problems, not just the ones that are little
It’s those people problems, it’s something to consider
When you come for dinner at my place

Ooh-ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh, ooh, ooh, yeah

I seem to find myself with the craziest of dames
They get the ball on me, not to forget the chains
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Some say strange be a stranger’s game
Some go to baseball, some go debase a face
They can’t seem to save

Doo, doo, doo, I’m a loser, a disgrace, yeah
You’re a beauty, a luminary in my face

I’ve got a lot, not a lot, I got a lot less than a lot
I’ve got problems, not just the ones that are little
It’s those people problems, it’s something to consider
When you come for dinner at my place, hoo, yeah

Hahahaha

I’ve got problems, not just the ones that are little
It’s those people problems, it’s something to consider
When you come for dinner at my, something to consider
When you come for dinner at my place

Full Lyrics

Mother Mother, an indie band known for their lyrically intricate and thematically rich tracks, has crafted a profound commentary on the human condition with their song ‘Problems.’ It’s a lyrical deep dive into personal insecurities, the juxtaposition of self-worth, and the existential angst that can permeate our closest relationships.

The seemingly playful melody belies a deeper, more somber introspection on the dichotomy between how we perceive ourselves and how we are perceived by others, particularly those closest to us. Let’s peel back the layers of this intricate piece, dissecting its poetry line by line, prevailing over its artistry, and delving into the molten core of its narrative.

A Dichotomy of Self: Sinner Versus Saint

Central to ‘Problems’ is the stark contrast the singer draws between themselves and a counterpart—’I am a sinner, you are a saint.’ This sets the stage for an exploration of self-esteem and moral self-perception that digs into the roots of our own personal narratives. How do we reconcile who we are with who we wish to be, particularly in the face of another’s perceived purity?

By manifesting this disparity right at the pearly gates, Mother Mother is confronting the ultimate judgment, hinting at an underlying fear of inadequacy that many of us shoulder. Despite entering the same gates, the outcomes are wildly different—a ‘green light’ for the saint, a ‘door in the face’ for the singer, illustrating a severe finality to self-judgment.

The Captivity of Love and the Great Escape

‘I’ve found love in the strangest place,’ the lyrics state, painting a picture of love that is not just confining but suffocating. Tied up, branded, and locked in a cage, their love is a form of imprisonment—yet there’s a glimmer of hope in the planned ‘great escape,’ hinting at the human capacity for overcoming emotional binds.

The love described here is ‘out of place,’ and the idea of unleashing it suggests a yearning for authenticity. The artist points to a universal struggle: the desire to let our truest forms of affection run free, even when they seem to fit nowhere in our well-ordered lives.

Peeling Back the Layers: The Hidden Meaning in ‘Problems’

At its heart, ‘Problems’ isn’t just about personal issues but ‘people problems’—a broader commentary on the complexities of human interaction. There is an existential thread woven throughout the song that teeters between the individual’s inner turmoil and their social world’s expectations.

The mention of ‘not just the ones that are little’ denotes that these problems are not minor nuisances but significant hurdles in life’s journey, warranting deeper introspection. The repeated invitation to ‘come for dinner at my place’ is a metaphorical call to acknowledge and accept the singer’s flaws and complexities in a setting typically reserved for intimacy and vulnerability.

Chaotic Romance and the Quest for Normality

In a twist of irony, it seems the singer is drawn to ‘the craziest of dames,’ a phrase conjuring images of tumultuous, roller-coaster relationships that seem to defy normalcy. There is an air of inevitability in these connections, as if chaos is drawn magnetically to the singer’s own self-proclaimed disgrace.

Some ‘go to baseball,’ some ‘debase a face’—a reference to both conventional pastimes and unsettling violence, perhaps symbolizing the spectrum of ways individuals cope with inner demons. Mother Mother is deftly contrasting the mundane with the bizarre, and by doing so, questioning what constitutes normal relation.

The Chorus of Disgrace and the Luminary’s Shine

The cyclical nature of the chorus, with its confessional tone ‘I’m a loser, a disgrace’ and the contrasting assurance ‘You’re a beauty, a luminary in my face,’ speaks volumes about how repetitive patterns of thought can trap us in a state of despair, while the admiration of another’s light only intensifies that darkness.

‘Problems’ isn’t just a song; it’s a mirror that Mother Mother holds up to the listener, reflecting our deepest insecurities intermingled with awe for those we love. The ‘luminary’s’ light simultaneously casts a shadow on our own shortcomings, making us all the more aware of the cavernous gap between self-loathing and adoration.

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