People as Places as People
Modest Mouse Lyrics


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To answer a question
It'll probably take more
If you're already there
Well, then you probably don't know
Well, we were the people
That we wanted to know
And we're the places that we wanted to go
It's hard to get hold of
And hard to let go
Always something we look for
From the day we were born
Instead, we're the people that we wanted to know
And we're the places that we wanted to go
Yeah, we're the places that we wanted to go
We're the places that we wanted to go

Always asking a question
And I don't want to know
Like the wind across strings
That had finally let go
And the people you love
But you didn't quite know
They're the places that you wanted to go

Bark at the neighbor's
And then bark at the dog
Sniffing the wind
Whimpering for someone to know
But we were the people that we wanted to know
And we're the places that we wanted go
Yeah, we're the places that we wanted to go
Yeah, we're the places that we wanted to go

It was not the intention
But we let it all go
Well, it messed up the function
And sure fucked up the flow
I hardly have people that I needed to know
'Cause you're the people that I wanted to know

All this scrambling around
Hunting high and then low
Looking for the face love
Or somewhere to go
I hardly have places that I need to go
'Cause you're the places that I wanted to go
Yeah, you're the places that we wanted to go
Yeah, you're the places that we wanted to go

You're the people that we wanted to know
Shouldn't have to ask




You shouldn't have to ask
'Cause we are your real place

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Modest Mouse's song People as Places as People are about the constant search for something that doesn't exist, a longing for a sense of purpose or connection that proves elusive. The song suggests that oftentimes we focus so much on finding the answers that we forget to live and enjoy the journey. The song speaks to the idea that we are already the people we want to know and the places that we want to go; we just need to accept and appreciate that fact.


The first verse of the song acknowledges the difficulty of answering life's questions and the irony of knowing so much that we actually know nothing. Moving on to the second verse, the lyrics address the idea that we are always searching for something we think will make us feel complete, yet we overlook the fact that we already embody the qualities we seek. In the following verse, the lyrics describe the longing to know people and places, but ultimately realizing that the people and places we were searching for are already within ourselves. The final verse makes the point that we are always searching for something external, but what we really need is right in front of us, in the people who truly matter.


Line by Line Meaning

To answer a question It'll probably take more If you're already there Well, then you probably don't know
It takes a lot of effort to find answers. If someone claims to have all the answers already, they probably don't know as much as they think they do.


Well, we were the people That we wanted to know And we're the places that we wanted to go
We strive to understand ourselves and our own desires, and that understanding helps guide us to where we want to go.


It's hard to get hold of And hard to let go Always something we look for From the day we were born
We spend our whole lives searching for something, whether it's to acquire or to let go of. It's something we're always chasing.


Always asking a question And I don't want to know Like the wind across strings That had finally let go And the people you love But you didn't quite know They're the places that you wanted to go
Sometimes the questions we have are difficult to confront, like the sound of a string that has been released. And the people we love can be the ones to guide us to where we want to be, even if we don't fully understand them.


Bark at the neighbor's And then bark at the dog Sniffing the wind Whimpering for someone to know But we were the people that we wanted to know And we're the places that we wanted go
Like dogs seeking attention, we crave understanding and to be known by others. But ultimately, we are the key to understanding ourselves and finding our own path.


It was not the intention But we let it all go Well, it messed up the function And sure fucked up the flow I hardly have people that I needed to know 'Cause you're the people that I wanted to know
We may lose sight of what's important and mess up our lives, but in the end, the people we want to know are the ones who will make everything feel right again.


All this scrambling around Hunting high and then low Looking for the face love Or somewhere to go I hardly have places that I need to go 'Cause you're the places that I wanted to go
We may feel lost and search everywhere for love or direction, but ultimately, it's the people we love and the places we want to be with them that matter most and give us a sense of belonging.


You're the people that we wanted to know Shouldn't have to ask You shouldn't have to ask 'Cause we are your real place
Our loved ones should already know us and understand us without us having to ask. They are the place where we feel most at home.




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, SCHUBERT MUSIC PUBLISHING INC.
Written by: ERIC JUDY, ISAAC BROCK, JEREMIAH GREEN, JOHNNY MARR, TOM PELOSO

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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@glorybear

To answer a question
It'll probably take more
If you're already there
Well, then you probably don't know
Well, we were the people
That we wanted to know
And we're the places that we wanted to go
It's hard to get hold of
And hard to let go
Always something we look for
From the day we were born
Instead, we're the people that we wanted to know
And we're the places that we wanted to go
Yeah, we're the places that we wanted to go
We're the places that we wanted to go
Always asking a question
And I don't want to know
Like the wind across strings
That had finally let go
And the people you love
But you didn't quite know
They're the places that you wanted to go
Bark at the neighbor's
And then bark at the dog
Sniffing the wind
Whimpering for someone to know
But we were the people that we wanted to know
And we're the places that we wanted go
Yeah, we're the places that we wanted to go
Yeah, we're the places that we wanted to go
It was not the intention
But we let it all go
Well, it messed up the function
And sure fucked up the flow
I hardly have people that I needed to know
'Cause you're the people that I wanted to know
All this scrambling around
Hunting high and then low
Looking for the face love
Or somewhere to go
I hardly have places that I need to go
'Cause you're the places that I wanted to go
Yeah, you're the places that we wanted to go
Yeah, you're the places that we wanted to go
You're the people that we wanted to know
Shouldn't have to ask
You shouldn't have to ask
'Cause we are your real place



All comments from YouTube:

@jeffreymayfield742

So, I was the guy in the tree costume, and those parents are actually my parents. My father (dealer of the skull pancake) passed away about a month ago. Watching this hits like a home movie. I truly miss that guy.

@rainingonyourcharade

I can’t find anything about Mark and Beverlee having a son named Jeff, but this just seems like such a random thing to make up especially with no incentive for doing so, so with all of that said: if Dr. K really was your dad and he recently passed, my sincerest sympathies to you. I lost my mom this year and I found out how awful it really is when you lose a parent, but especially during those first few months you’re probably experiencing now. I lost her unexpectedly, she just went down for a nap and never woke up. All things considered, I think I’m fortunate for that even though there’s probably no “easy ” way to have someone you love leave this world with you still in it. To have this for you to watch and look back on is awesome, and what a wild and truly unique experience you got to all share together. Thank you for sharing it with this random Internet stranger, and now I’ll forever think of you and your dad every time I hear this song! Peace to you and your family, and I’m sending lots of positive thoughts and vibes your direction. 💜 💜

@peomaster6914

My respects to you and your family, may your dad rest in peace

@jeffreymayfield742

@@rainingonyourcharade yeah I’m Beverlee’s Son. Mark was my stepdad, but his influence in my life was always more akin to a father/son relationship. My friend Andy directed this video, and I was slated to play the role of “pine lover”. I’m sorry you have gone through a similar thing this year. It’s so strange to have someone close just not be there anymore. Peace to you.

@PhoenixSkies44

@@jeffreymayfield742, Rest In Peace to your father. This makes this music video more nostalgic, but also warm and sad knowing that he passed on.

@jordancarlson9071

I'm sorry for your loss.

16 More Replies...

@Flip-a-dip-dip

This whole album was so good. I’m glad they’re focusing on it recently

@mikeyp7501

Definitely one of my favs

@xiavang7258

What do you mean they’re focusing on it? Have they returned to this sound? I know they’ve been back to their original sound for a long time. I think Isaac said this album, by far, delineates from their sound the most, too poppy. But damn I loved this album so much and wore it out.

@Flip-a-dip-dip

@@xiavang7258 no. They’ve just been putting out videos and I guess re-releasing the tracks on YouTube for this album.

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