Satellite Skin
Modest Mouse Lyrics


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If you break these moth wing feelings
Powdering dust on your fingers
We know we're now prayin', we're kneelin'

Hard enough just to say you believe them
Well how the heck did you think you could beat them
At the same time that your trying to be them?
Hard enough just to say you don't need it
When they took it up while you were still eating
Well satellite, satellite skin

Just to know, just to say you don't realize it
Well everybody's willing to listen
Oh satellite, satellite skin

You can say what you want you're forgiven
Well happy fucking congratulations
Well everyone, everyone wins

Just like being my own solar system
Doing good things but they totally eclipse them
Oh what's the use, oh what the hell?

If you break these moth wing feelings
Butterfly knives in the ceiling
Well everyone, everyone's waiting

Detachments gets praised and completed
You can say what you want and not mean it
Well no one really seems to be waiting

If you sweep up this mess I created
Nothings left to show I existed
Oh satellite, satellite skin

Asking for a question
Was it easier said than was actually done?
Do you even believe them?
Do you even believe that there's a race to be won?

If you bring these moth wing feelings
I have seen it all become satellite skin
Opening some eyes

A knack to know that it's not their opinions
Get stacked in all those usual avoided spots
Just to tell you I could not have seen




Through to the gist of those unhappy
Happy accidents

Overall Meaning

The song Satellite Skin by Modest Mouse is a reflection on the struggle of finding one's own identity in a world where conformity is encouraged. The opening lines, "If you break these moth wing feelings, powdering dust on your fingers," suggest that the singer is grappling with delicate emotions that are easily destroyed. The lyrics describe the tension between wanting to fit in with the crowd ("trying to be them") and standing out as an individual ("trying to beat them"). The repeated refrain of "satellite, satellite skin" implies that the singer feels like they are an outsider in their own skin, like a satellite orbiting a larger entity.


The lyrics go on to explore the pressure to conform, with lines like "everyone, everyone wins" and "well happy fucking congratulations." The repeated use of the word "satellite" suggests a sense of detachment, as if the singer is watching from afar rather than actively participating in their own life. The song ends on a somewhat ambiguous note, with the final lines "just to tell you I could not have seen through to the gist of those unhappy happy accidents." This could be interpreted as a realization that even negative experiences can have value, or as a resignation to the fact that life is unpredictable and difficult to make sense of.


Line by Line Meaning

If you break these moth wing feelings
If you overcome these delicate emotions


Powdering dust on your fingers
Brushing away outdated thoughts


We know we're now prayin', we're kneelin'
We understand that we're at the mercy of something else


Hard enough just to say you believe them
It's difficult to trust their words


Well how the heck did you think you could beat them
How could you possibly overcome them?


At the same time that your trying to be them?
Yet you strive to emulate them


Hard enough just to say you don't need it
It's hard to admit you don't require it


When they took it up while you were still eating
While you were still growing


Well satellite, satellite skin
Implanted thoughts, like a satellite in your head


Just to know, just to say you don't realize it
Just to acknowledge you have no understanding


Well everybody's willing to listen
Everyone is eager to hear your perspective


Oh satellite, satellite skin
Implanted thoughts, like a satellite in your head


You can say what you want you're forgiven
Say what you will, it's forgotten


Well happy fucking congratulations
Sincere congratulations


Well everyone, everyone wins
Everybody benefits


Just like being my own solar system
Being self-contained, like a system of one


Doing good things but they totally eclipse them
Good deeds are overshadowed


Oh what's the use, oh what the hell?
What's the point?


Butterfly knives in the ceiling
Dangerous emotions hovering overhead


Well everyone, everyone's waiting
Everybody is expectant


Detachments gets praised and completed
Distancing oneself is highly regarded


You can say what you want and not mean it
Speak freely, no need to be sincere


Well no one really seems to be waiting
No one's really eager


If you sweep up this mess I created
If I clean up the mess I caused


Nothings left to show I existed
There's no proof of my existence


Asking for a question
Asking for something to question


Was it easier said than was actually done?
Was it more difficult in reality than expected?


Do you even believe them?
Do you question their truth?


Do you even believe that there's a race to be won?
Do you believe there's a competition?


I have seen it all become satellite skin
I've witnessed everything becoming implanted thoughts


Opening some eyes
Enlightening some people


A knack to know that it's not their opinions
Ability to recognize that their thoughts aren't the only ones


Get stacked in all those usual avoided spots
Avoidance of stacked, unnoticed spaces


Just to tell you I could not have seen
To clarify my lack of foresight


Through to the gist of those unhappy Happy accidents
To uncover the root of unhappy coincidences




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

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@ClintWestVood

12 years later and here i am. still slaps and im still alive. both are amazing

@drluch1522

Me too brother.

@freezinginhere

Not a bad way to go after all huh?

@freezinginhere

I went to like this comment... I already liked it. Probably summer 2021. Back for more tho

@dillonsurratt

This band carried me through my very troubled teenage years and high-school. Almost 7 years after graduation, the sounds these guys put out are still the best medicine I know.

@paulrplath

This Modest Mouse video is based off/a tribute to the first scene of the 1990 Japanese film called 'Dreams' (full title: Akira Kurosawa's Dreams). It is based heavily from the first dream/scene of the film; 'Sunshine Through the Rain'. I definitely would encourage a viewing of the film, if nothing else you could at least wikipedia the film and read the cursory summary of the first dream/scene. - Cheers

@DavidFerguson-si7ty

I want to see that thanks 11 year old comment lol

@baloneyslice247

The Foxes!

@ryanwhitaker4444

Even drugs couldn't make this shit up.

@clairewitch

I mean, drugs inhibit cognitive processes. So yeah, you're correct.

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