Paper Thin Walls
Modest Mouse Lyrics


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These walls are paper thin
And everyone hears every little sound
Everyone's a voyeurist
They're watching me, watch them, watch me right now
They're shaking hands, they're shaking in their shoes
Oh Lord, don't shake me down
Everyone wants two of them
And half of everyone else moves around
It's been agreed the whole world stinks
So no one's taking showers anymore

Laugh hard, it's a long ways to the bank
I can't be blamed for nothing anymore
It's been a long time since you've been around
Laugh hard, it's a long ways to the bank

Tow the line to tax the time, you know
That you don't owe
I can't be a fool for everyone
That I don't know

These walls are paper thin
And everyone hears every little sound
Everyone's a voyeurist
They're watching me, watch them, watch me right now
They're shaking hands, they're shaking in their shoes
Oh Lord, don't shake me down
Everyone wants two of them
And half of everyone else moves around
It's been agreed the whole world stinks
So no one's taking showers anymore

Laugh hard, it's a long ways to the bank

Tow the line to tax the time, you know
That you don't owe




I can't be a fool for everyone
That I don't know

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of "Paper Thin Walls" by Modest Mouse describe the feeling of constantly being watched and judged by others, due to the walls that are thin enough to hear every sound. The song reflects on the voyeuristic nature of modern society, where everyone observes others and is observed in turn. The singer mentions that everyone wants "two of them," likely meaning two of everything that others have, while half of them move around, suggesting that many people are constantly chasing materialistic goals.


The line "It's been agreed the whole world stinks, so no one's taking showers anymore" can be interpreted as a commentary on the world's problems, and how they are overwhelming to the point where people feel helpless and stop trying to fix them. The lyrics also suggest that people are eager to succeed financially, but may compromise their values in doing so, as evidenced by the line "Laugh hard, it's a long ways to the bank."


The song serves as a warning against the harsh reality of society, and how people's actions are driven by a desire to fit in, pursue materialistic goals, and simply survive in a world that is ripe with problems. The lyrics reflect a sense of frustration and hopelessness that is palpable throughout, making it a powerful statement on the current state of the world.


Line by Line Meaning

These walls are paper thin
The walls are so thin that every little sound or conversation can be heard by others


And everyone hears every little sound
The thin walls allow everyone to hear any little sound, making privacy impossible


Everyone's a voyeurist
Everyone is fascinated by the lives of others and enjoys watching them, making the lack of privacy even worse


They're watching me, watch them, watch me right now
Everyone is watching each other in a cycle, making one feel constantly observed and judged


They're shaking hands, they're shaking in their shoes
People are pretending to be friendly, but they are also anxious and nervous due to the constant scrutiny


Oh Lord, don't shake me down
The constant pressure and observation can be overwhelming and it is a plea for relief from the anxiety


Everyone wants two of them
Everyone wants more of everything, like material possessions, wealth, and status


And half of everyone else moves around
People are constantly chasing after these desires and changing their opinions on what they want


It's been agreed the whole world stinks
Everyone has a negative attitude and agrees that life is unfair and unpleasant


So no one's taking showers anymore
People have given up on hygiene and self-care, reflecting the general apathy towards life


Laugh hard, it's a long ways to the bank
People are willing to do whatever it takes to make money and are willing to work hard to achieve wealth


I can't be blamed for nothing anymore
The constant judgment and scrutiny make it difficult for one to feel like they can do anything right or be free from blame


It's been a long time since you've been around
It has been a long time since someone has been able to experience true freedom without constant scrutiny or judgment


Tow the line to tax the time, you know That you don't owe
People are forced to conform and pay for things they may not necessarily owe or want to pay for


I can't be a fool for everyone That I don't know
It is impossible to please everyone, especially strangers or those who don't have our best interests in mind




Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Eric Judy, Isaac Brock, Jeremiah Green

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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