The High Party
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Lyrics


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i'm looking at another day to find that i've got nothing to say,
or i'm looking for another way to process what happened on that birthday,
and either way, if you're gonna call it art,
then there's a cup in front of you and right away.
if you're gonna play your part, you must drink it down.
but mind eyes have seen the glory
of the fields of flowers and factory floors,
and my mind's content to lie at rest for hours
behind my loved ones' doors and if there's a war,
another shitty war to fight for babylon,
then it's the perfect storm in a tea cup,
but you must drink it down.
and what do you make of the nights
when you thought you'd make much more
than being too tired to turn the lights out
and too drunk to drink more?
and what does it take to not hear the cynics at your door saying
"it's time the turn the lights out, and you'll want to keep it down!"
so i'm lifting up that poison cup to drink a draught of propoganda,
or i'm giving up that other stuff in hopes that it will make me madder.
but either way, if you're gonna call it art,
then there's a cup in front of you and right away,
if you're gonna play your part,
you must drink it down.
and what do you make of nights
when you thought you'd make much more
than being too tired to turn the lights out
and too drunk to drink more?
and what does it take to not hear the cynics at your door saying
"it's time the turn the lights out, and you'll want to keep it down!"
and what does it say of all the things you've said before,
when you're too drunk to turn the lights out
and too tired to drink more?
and what do you save, and what does it feel like to be saved?




and can you "pull - 2 - 3 - 4! pull - 2 - 3 - 4!"
can you drink it down?

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists' song "The High Party" explore the themes of disillusionment, the struggle to process difficult experiences, and the pressure to conform to societal expectations. The song opens with the singer admitting that they often find themselves at a loss for words or grappling with the aftermath of a traumatic event. The lyrics suggest that art can help us process these complex emotions, but it comes at a cost. In order to play our part as artists, we must often drink down the bitter truths that life presents to us. The metaphor of the cup as a symbol of both creativity and sacrifice runs throughout the song.


The second verse delves into the singer's feelings of futility and exhaustion. They question what it means to have aspirations and dreams when they often find themselves too tired or too drunk to pursue them. The cynical voice at their door represents the societal pressures to conform and give up on their ambitions. The singer seems to be struggling with the weight of these expectations and the impossibility of living up to them.


The chorus reinforces the idea that in order to create, we must make sacrifices and drink down the bitter truth of life. The final verse poses a series of questions about what it means to be saved, both in a literal and metaphorical sense. The repetition of the phrase "can you drink it down?" suggests that this is the key to unlocking the answers to these questions.


Overall, "The High Party" is a poignant exploration of the struggles of the creative process and the human condition. It encourages the listener to reflect on the sacrifices that must be made in order to pursue artistic endeavors and find meaning in life.


Line by Line Meaning

I'm looking at another day to find that I've got nothing to say
I'm starting a new day, but I'm unsure if I'm going to have anything to add to the world.


Or I'm looking for another way to process what happened on that birthday
Alternatively, I'm trying to figure out how to deal with an event that happened in the past.


And either way, if you're gonna call it art
Regardless, if you're going to view it as creative expression,


Then there's a cup in front of you and right away
There will be a challenge or obstacle present that you must confront immediately.


If you're gonna play your part, you must drink it down
If you're going to participate, you have to accept the challenge and see it through.


But mind eyes have seen the glory
My imagination has shown me beautiful things,


Of the fields of flowers and factory floors
From idyllic natural settings to the working environments of industry.


And my mind's content to lie at rest for hours
I find solace and satisfaction in merely existing and not being productive.


Behind my loved ones' doors and if there's a war
My family provides me with comfort and protection, but if there is conflict,


Another shitty war to fight for babylon
Another oppressive war to fight in the name of government and society.


Then it's the perfect storm in a tea cup
It's a small-scale crisis that still manages to be overwhelming.


But you must drink it down
Regardless of the challenge, you must confront it and persevere.


And what do you make of the nights
How do you feel about the nights


When you thought you'd make much more
When you thought you'd accomplish more


Than being too tired to turn the lights out
But you're too exhausted to even complete normal tasks like switching off the lights.


And too drunk to drink more?
And you're too intoxicated to continue drinking.


So I'm lifting up that poison cup to drink a draught of propaganda
In response, I'm forcibly taking in harmful and misleading information.


Or I'm giving up that other stuff in hopes that it will make me madder
Alternatively, I'm purposely abandoning healthy habits in the hope of becoming more agitated and energized.


And what does it say of all the things you've said before
What does it imply about everything you've previously discussed or proclaimed?


When you're too drunk to turn the lights out
When you're too inebriated to complete basic tasks.


And too tired to drink more?
And you're too exhausted to continue drinking.


And what do you save, and what does it feel like to be saved?
What do you preserve, and how does it feel to be rescued?


And can you "pull - 2 - 3 - 4! pull - 2 - 3 - 4!"
Can you summon the strength and energy to persevere and triumph over adversity?


Can you drink it down?
Can you confront and overcome the difficulty that lies before you?




Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS

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