Who Could Win a Rabbit – Unraveling the Mystique of Avant-Pop Storytelling

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Animal Collective's Who Could Win a Rabbit at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. A Frolic Through the Avant-Garde Thicket
  5. Chasing the Elusive Lyricism and Meaning
  6. The Ephemeral Nature of Life and Habits
  7. Deciphering the Song’s Cryptic Pulse
  8. Seldom-Heard Narrative Elements: The Echoes of ‘Spanish Babies’


Hungry bread and butter hustle
You’ve been doing it a while, it is only fair
Words should be like station
Words that aren’t required for your help
Quit hating on my new perspective
But hurrying along with meal is ever done
You could win a rabbit
You could have a rabbit or
With the fast child is gonna have a dead hand
We can get it strong again
But mine let meats (?) put on good habits
Been working and put on good habits
Sometimes I can’t find my good habits

Oh, Spanish babies all the echoes
Heard she’s getting better stay out of the train
Let you wipe your feet off
Eat it like it’s gonna get away
Your coffee sure is getting colder
Your teeth are getting fewer spaces in the way
You could win a rabbit
You could build a rabbit with a rib
Wabbit or habit, habit or real
Wabbit or habit, habit or real
Rabbit or habit

Full Lyrics

At the intersection of avant-garde pop and psychedelic folk, Animal Collective’s ‘Who Could Win a Rabbit’ stands as a testimony to the band’s eccentric approach to music creation. The track, a standout from their celebrated album ‘Sung Tongs,’ offers a complex auditory journey that eludes straightforward interpretation.

The ostensibly nonsensical lyrics etch their own form of poetry, inviting the listener on a labyrinthine trek through language and sound that promises to both confuse and enlighten. Delving into the layers of meaning encapsulated within this enigmatic piece not only challenges our conventional understanding of songcraft but also serves as an exploration into the band’s unique ability to weave intricate narratives.

A Frolic Through the Avant-Garde Thicket

The whimsical title ‘Who Could Win a Rabbit’ sets a playful tone, hinting at an ancestral competition or a chase through Wonderland-like realms. Yet in the context of Animal Collective’s sonic landscape, the rabbit chase transmutes into a metaphor for something elusive—be it contentment, understanding, or perhaps creativity itself.

This song, with its frenetic pace mirroring the frantic nature of modern life, pokes at the commerce of existence—’Hungry bread and butter hustle’. The repetition and rhythm echo the cyclical and often absurd race for sustenance and success that characterizes the human condition.

Chasing the Elusive Lyricism and Meaning

‘Who Could Win a Rabbit’ spins a tale that revels in abstract imagery and wordplay. The words serve as stations, place markers that may or may not hold intrinsic value. It’s this ambiguity that invites multiple interpretations and deep listener engagement.

The suggestion that ‘Words that aren’t required for your help’ may signify a call to look beyond language for meaning, or a critique of how communication often obfuscates rather than enlightens. In this way, the song becomes a rabbit itself—quick-footed and slippery to grasp, always bounding out of reach of definitive understanding.

The Ephemeral Nature of Life and Habits

Repeated references to habits, both good and bad, reflect the song’s introspective quality. The narrative voice seems to grapple with the ephemeral nature of routines and the struggle to maintain them—’Sometimes I can’t find my good habits’. This speaks to a universal human experience, the ebb and flow of discipline and the ease with which we can fall into or out of practice.

Animal Collective captures the essence of these struggles and transforms them into a lyrical stream of consciousness that mimics our own internal dialogues. The back and forth between ‘wabbit or habit’ evokes the playful seriousness with which we negotiate our lives’ patterns.

Deciphering the Song’s Cryptic Pulse

With a tempo that refuses to relent and a melody that twitches as unpredictably as a rabbit in flight, ‘Who Could Win a Rabbit’ thrums with an energy that is at once chaotic and controlled—much like the subconscious that it echoes. It’s in this erratic heartbeat that listeners find moments of connection, as if glimpsing their reflection in a funhouse mirror.

The songs dissonant harmonies and jarring shifts defy traditional pop sensibilities and mirror the inner discord and fragmentation we all occasionally feel. This discord however is not without purpose. As with much of Animal Collective’s work, the confusion engendered by such a song demands a surrender to the experience—an acceptance of the unknown and unknowable as part of the beauty of art.

Seldom-Heard Narrative Elements: The Echoes of ‘Spanish Babies’

In a seemingly disparate verse, the mention of Spanish babies and the phantoms of ‘all the echoes’ provides one of the song’s most vivid images. Echoes suggest a repetition, a lingering presence, or history resurfacing—potentially tying back to the idea of patterns and habits that define our existence.

One may interpret this as a nod to the past, figurative specters that haunt our every decision, or the reverberations of choices that inform the present. Animal Collective’s choice to include such specific imagery within an abstract tapestry of lyrics further layers their work with interpretive richness.

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