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Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1
The Mountain Goats Lyrics


Do every stupid thing that makes you feel alive
Do every stupid thing to try to drive the dark away
Let people call you crazy for the choices that you make
Climb limits past the limits, jump in front of trains all day

And stay alive
Just stay alive

Play with matches if you think you need to play with matches
Seek out the hidden places where the fire burns hot and bright
Find where the heat's unbearable and stay there if you have to
Don't hurt anybody on your way up to the light

And stay alive
Just stay alive

People might laugh at your tattoos
When they do get new ones in completely garish hues
I hide down in my corner because I like my corner
I am happy where the vermin play

Make up magic spells
We wear them like protective shells
Land-mines on the battlefield
Find the one safe way

And stay alive
Just stay alive
Just stay alive

Contributed by Thomas M. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

King Rat

Do every stupid thing that makes you feel alive
Do every stupid thing to try to drive the dark away
Let people call you crazy for the choices that you make
Climb limits past the limits
Jump in front of trains all day

And stay alive
Just stay alive

Play with matches if you think you need to play with matches
Seek out the hidden places where the fire burns hot and bright
Find where the heat's unbearable and stay there if you have to
Don't hurt anybody on your way up to the light

And stay alive
Just stay alive

People might laugh at your tattoos
When they do get new ones in completely garish hues
I hide down in my corner because I like my corner
I am happy where the vermin play

Make up magic spells
Wear them like protective shells
Landmines on the battlefield
Find the one safe way

And stay alive
Just stay alive

Just stay alive



Bioluminescent Banana Slug

Trigger warning: suicide, self harm
TL;DR: it's great to have a song that says- cope how you need to if it keeps you here. Oh, and tattoos.

I've always had a hard line against band tattoos, for decades... I'm actually gonna cross that line, once it's safe enough (I'm not getting Covid-19 for a tat).

I've sat on the idea for years in case I changed my mind: I'm sure now that I at least want the 'Play with matches..." line on my back, and probably the whole verse. I've been stung by bad tattoo artists before, so I figure I'll start with the first line. If it's done well/looks good/heals well I'll likely go back for the rest of the verse.

This song resonates with me... I don't do drugs or self-harm anymore, but I have Schizoaffective Disorder (which for me is Schizophrenia AND Major Depressive Disorder, or as I like to describe it: "I'm really lucky" /s).That's in addition to PTSD, GAD, and a few other letter combos that stand for fun mental issues.
Edit: Oh, I also have a number of physical illnesses/disorders with no cure that cause other health issues and chronic pain (Endometriosis, for one. I finally got surgery for it last year, at 37, after being informally diagnosed at age 14: my insides were a mess. Lots of implantations and scar tissue fusing things together. I feel SO MUCH better after having it treated, even though I know I'll have to get more surgery in the future).

I love this song, mostly because it's a message of "Just do what you have to do to stay alive, even if it's not an accepted coping mechanism." For a lot of us who deal with/have dealt with awful shit, it's an extremely validating message.
I don't do anything that's intentionally self-destructive, but the coping mechanisms that I've been offered as acceptable and healthy (journaling, meditation, etc.), frankly don't always do the job.

Meditation/Mindfulness when you have voices running through your head isn't too helpful (I love my current therapist because when I told her this, instead of telling me to try harder, she laughed and said "Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, I can see how it frustrating that would be!" It was the first time I've had a therapist accept my point of view instead of giving me a concerned look/asking me to keep trying it. 🖤

I've have multiple MH professionals tell me to punch pillows if I feel angry. Have you ever punched a pillow? If it works for you, that's great: you do you! For me, punching a pillow is worse than worthless. Punching something with so little resistance just makes me feel dumb and increases my anger. I NEVER hurt others (and never have), but if I'm really upset or need to get rid of serious anger I know what walls in my house can take punches without damage. I might end up with temporarily bruised/bloody knuckles but IT WORKS (and fortunately, it's not something I need often). My counselors have tried offering "acceptable" alternatives. I just nod. Been there, tried it, got nothing out of it.

I'm NOT saying everyone should do this! Try the healthier stuff first. However, if it doesn't work for you, sometimes you need to find your own ways to cope and keep going. Despite what all the well meaning counselors and self-help books tell you: THAT IS TOTALLY OKAY. If you need to find your own ways to get through difficult moments (as long as you're doing something that isn't hurting others), then fucking do it. It's better than giving up. My ways to cope keep me alive when my head is telling me to go the opposite route. I have plans for if things get really bad (voluntary hospitalization is the big one). I haven't had to use them yet, but if I need it I'll do it.

I'm sorry for the rant. It just... it gets to me when I'm told I should keep trying things that don't work because they're "healthy" and accepted. I know they work for others, and I'm genuinely happy for those folks.

Some of us, though, need something different. I've stopped using drugs and cutting. I want to stay alive, if not for myself, at least for my long-time partner, my elderly parents, and others who care about me. I've had a number of people in my life commit suicide, and I'll never judge them for it, although I know what it does to the people who care about them (having been one myself). It's beyond devastating. I can't put the feelings it creates into words. Having experienced it: it's something I never want to put others through. So I'll stay alive, with (meds, therapy, and) my own crazy ways of coping.

Having a song (written by someone who's been through hell and ended up being a balanced, kind, healthy adult!) that says it's okay to do this if it keeps you alive is something I'll be forever thankful for...❤️



All comments from YouTube:

DuhkhaBailey

I'm trying to, John. But goddamn is it hard.

spenstarr

@DuhkhaBailey I also hope you're doing better I also think about johns song this year it's been a hell of a one for me waiting for it to be safe to get a tattoo of the album cover of the sunset tree

DuhkhaBailey

@Troy M Thank you friend. This was actually a really great thing to see on my feed today. I'm doing better. As Robert Frost once said, "Life goes on."

Troy M

You've got this pal. I hope you're in a better place than you were when you wrote this two months ago. But even if you aren't, the fact that you're reading this means you survived. And sometimes that all we can do and that's ok as well. We just have to keep believing that the better days are ahead.

Nicole Cosentino

This is honestly one of the best songs I have ever heard.

Mad Pariah

good message

Amy Coulombe

@Nicole Cosentino They played it when I saw them in Boston<3

LARRYLONGSTRETH

@Nicole Cosentino It's incredible.

p

0:28 buy lemons past the limits

Jared Lien

and paint that shit gold

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