Treat Me Like Your Mother
The Dead Weather Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Don't act like you can't act
I always think you do it
You better learn to shake hands
Treat me like your mother

Don't act like you can't act
Stand up like a man
You better learn to shake hands
And treat me like your mother

You came up, too late
You came up, too late now
You came up, too late
To do a thing

Come on look me in the eye
You wanna try to tell a lie
I'll bet you can't and you know why?
I'm just like your mother

Look me in the eye now
You wanna try to tell a lie
You can't and you know why?
I'm just like your mother

You came up, too late
You came up, too late now
You came up, too late
Play dumb, play dead, play straight

Who's got it figured out?
(Play dumb, play dead, play straight)
Who's got it figured out? play straight
Time to manipulate

M-a-n-i-p-u-late
M-a-n-i-p-u-late
M-a-n-i-p-u-late
M-a-n-i-p-u-late
Am I too,
Am I late
Am I too
Am I late
Am I, am I, am I, am I,
Am I too
Late

Who's got it figured out
Left right, left right got it figured out
Who's got it figured out play straight

Stand up like a man
You better learn to shake hands
Look me in the eye now
And treat me like your mother

Come on, look me in the eye
You wanna try to tell a lie?
You can't and you know why?
I'm just like your mother

Play dumb, play dead
Tryin' to manipulate

You blink when you breathe and you breathe when you lie
You blink when you lie
You blink when you breathe and you breathe when you lie
You blink when you lie
You blink when you breathe and you breathe when you lie
You blink when you lie

Who's got it figured out
Left right, left right got it figured out
Who's got it figured out, play straight
Tryin' to manipulate
Who's got it figured out
(Left, left right) left right left right
Who's got it figured out, play straight
Tryin' to manipulate

You blink when you breathe and you breathe when you lie




You blink when you lie
Who's got it figured out, play straight

Overall Meaning

The Dead Weather's "Treat Me Like Your Mother" is a confrontational song that opens with a challenge. The singer tells the subject not to pretend they can't act and to shake hands - they need to treat the singer like their mother. The repetition makes it clear that there is a point to be made, that something needs to be addressed, and that the subject has been acting incorrectly. The second verse is more of the same. The singer insists the subject tells them the truth, that they look them in the eye and be honest, and that the singer is like their mother - implying that the subject should respect them in some way.


The bridge is a bit more opaque. It asks, "Who's got it figured out?" and then tells the subject to play dumb, play dead, play straight, and to manipulate. The repetition of "manipulate" sounds sinister and dark, and overall, the lyric suggests there's a sense of manipulation and power dynamics at play in their relationship. The song's ending is just as confrontational as the beginning, with a repeated lyric telling the subject to "tryin' to manipulate."


Line by Line Meaning

Don't act like you can't act
Stand up like a man


I always think you do it
No need to pretend, I know you have the capability


You better learn to shake hands
It's time to make peace and come together


Treat me like your mother
Show respect and honor towards me like you would to your mother


You came up, too late
You missed the opportunity to make a difference or an impact


To do a thing
You didn't take any action, even though you had the chance


Come on look me in the eye
Be honest and straightforward with me, don't hide behind lies


You wanna try to tell a lie
You're tempted to deceive, but it won't work


I'll bet you can't and you know why?
I can see right through you, just like your mother can


I'm just like your mother
I care for you and want what's best for you, like your mother would


Play dumb, play dead, play straight
You're trying to manipulate the situation by pretending not to know anything


Who's got it figured out?
Who really knows the right way to handle this?


(Play dumb, play dead, play straight)
Don't pretend to be ignorant, lifeless, or honest if you're really not


Time to manipulate
It's not okay to use deception to achieve your goals


Am I too, Am I late
Have I missed the chance to make a difference too?


Who's got it figured out Left right, left right got it figured out
Some people act like they know what to do, but it's not that simple


Stand up like a man
Be courageous and take responsibility for your actions


You blink when you breathe and you breathe when you lie
Your body language gives you away when you're being dishonest


Who's got it figured out, play straight
Let's be honest and straightforward in our interactions




Lyrics © DOMINO PUBLISHING COMPANY, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Written by: DEAN FERTITA, JACK LAWRENCE, ALISON MOSSHART, JACK WHITE

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@GimmeDangerRecords

It's been 11 years since this happened to me, but I really want to share:

I was 14 when their second album came out. I was a huge White Stripes fan and spent half that summer learning a ton of White Stripes songs on guitar. The Dead Weather were coming to Milwaukee, WI at The Rave and I knew I had to see Jack White play. I didn't care what instrument he was playing. I just had to go see him. I had finally "understood" what The Dead Weather was. It was really different from his past projects so it took me a bit longer to understand what they were up to in this project.

Anyways, I get to the front row at the show. Only I was at the wayyyyyy right side of the stage. They had also put up these taxidermied animal heads on each side of the stage. I could see Dean perfectly. Alison would come up to each general side I'm assuming to make sure everyone got to experience the show. I saw LJ half of the time. The other half he was jamming behind the animal head. Jack White was directly behind the animal head and I couldn't see him. The only time I saw him pre-encore was when he came out and sang "You Just Can't Win" by Them.

They finish their set and I thought it was all over. I'd never been to a real show before so I had no idea bands come out for encores. Well they did and it was just as loud as it was before, and God... It just felt so intense. They really did put on a good show. I thought everything was going to explode in that venue. Again, I still couldn't see Jack, but the experience was still even more crazy than I thought it would be.

The band finish their encore with THIS SONG. Everyone is screaming at the top of their lungs. Blue and white strobe lights are circling around. Dean and LJ's amps were feeding back this low distorted drone. I see a drum stick fly into the crowd. And then, out from behind this god damn animal head... is Jack White.
Jack walks up, leans over to me and hands me his drum stick.
Nothing was the same after that.

I spent the rest of that summer learning drums from their first two albums, GodHead Silo's first two albums and Pentagram's "First Daze Here" and "Relentless" albums. Fast forward to now, I've got a full 16 track analog tape recording studio that I've built and I'm in two bands that I love to death. I honestly think having that experience with Jack handing me, this stupid 14 year old kid, his drumstick... I don't think I would've gone as far as I have with this passion for music, and analog recording as I have.

I got made fun of a lot for listening to Jack White's projects while I was at school. And I will admit it forced me out of being so attached to his music. Which is really sad I think. Especially when he came out with his second solo album. Everyone that made fun of me for liking his music all of a sudden loved his solo stuff and thought he was cool FINALLY. From going through being made fun of for liking his music previously, it was like I wasn't allowed to be excited for his new music anymore and was left out of the party.

This song pops up on my YouTube recommended sometimes. Every time I listen to it I swear I get to relive that memory over again. Reminds me of where I came from and it's seriously a great feeling. Fucking bashing the shit out of the drums after school trying to figure out these weird fucking fills he does throughout these Dead Weather albums. Getting my first job and saving for a Tascam 38 8 track reel to reel just to record my own music with that fucking sound.

I don't know what I expect out of all this music stuff, but I do know that it's a lot of fucking fun. And I know if I ever get to meet Jack again, I have nothing else planned other than to thank him for sending me off on this path.

Thanks, Jack.



All comments from YouTube:

@BKsaysaction

This is what immortals do for fun.

@FYAk47

you predicted lucifer season 3 finale 2 years ago

@lorddenselmichel8796

vukov1c seems worth watching now

@fragchef477

You would know, Lupin.

@idkusername5789

Lucifer s3 e24, i know I'm not the first =, someone's literally said that in this thread, but also Alucard form Hellsing.

@fz3055

If we
Are ignorant that would be fun

25 More Replies...

@GimmeDangerRecords

It's been 11 years since this happened to me, but I really want to share:

I was 14 when their second album came out. I was a huge White Stripes fan and spent half that summer learning a ton of White Stripes songs on guitar. The Dead Weather were coming to Milwaukee, WI at The Rave and I knew I had to see Jack White play. I didn't care what instrument he was playing. I just had to go see him. I had finally "understood" what The Dead Weather was. It was really different from his past projects so it took me a bit longer to understand what they were up to in this project.

Anyways, I get to the front row at the show. Only I was at the wayyyyyy right side of the stage. They had also put up these taxidermied animal heads on each side of the stage. I could see Dean perfectly. Alison would come up to each general side I'm assuming to make sure everyone got to experience the show. I saw LJ half of the time. The other half he was jamming behind the animal head. Jack White was directly behind the animal head and I couldn't see him. The only time I saw him pre-encore was when he came out and sang "You Just Can't Win" by Them.

They finish their set and I thought it was all over. I'd never been to a real show before so I had no idea bands come out for encores. Well they did and it was just as loud as it was before, and God... It just felt so intense. They really did put on a good show. I thought everything was going to explode in that venue. Again, I still couldn't see Jack, but the experience was still even more crazy than I thought it would be.

The band finish their encore with THIS SONG. Everyone is screaming at the top of their lungs. Blue and white strobe lights are circling around. Dean and LJ's amps were feeding back this low distorted drone. I see a drum stick fly into the crowd. And then, out from behind this god damn animal head... is Jack White.
Jack walks up, leans over to me and hands me his drum stick.
Nothing was the same after that.

I spent the rest of that summer learning drums from their first two albums, GodHead Silo's first two albums and Pentagram's "First Daze Here" and "Relentless" albums. Fast forward to now, I've got a full 16 track analog tape recording studio that I've built and I'm in two bands that I love to death. I honestly think having that experience with Jack handing me, this stupid 14 year old kid, his drumstick... I don't think I would've gone as far as I have with this passion for music, and analog recording as I have.

I got made fun of a lot for listening to Jack White's projects while I was at school. And I will admit it forced me out of being so attached to his music. Which is really sad I think. Especially when he came out with his second solo album. Everyone that made fun of me for liking his music all of a sudden loved his solo stuff and thought he was cool FINALLY. From going through being made fun of for liking his music previously, it was like I wasn't allowed to be excited for his new music anymore and was left out of the party.

This song pops up on my YouTube recommended sometimes. Every time I listen to it I swear I get to relive that memory over again. Reminds me of where I came from and it's seriously a great feeling. Fucking bashing the shit out of the drums after school trying to figure out these weird fucking fills he does throughout these Dead Weather albums. Getting my first job and saving for a Tascam 38 8 track reel to reel just to record my own music with that fucking sound.

I don't know what I expect out of all this music stuff, but I do know that it's a lot of fucking fun. And I know if I ever get to meet Jack again, I have nothing else planned other than to thank him for sending me off on this path.

Thanks, Jack.

@ElisandroDeLeon

I aint reading all that.

@kassiopiajudkins2722

Some people may not want to read all that, but I did. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with everyone who's willing to listen. I hope you continue to find joy in your music. Best wishes man!

@cannon5150

thanks for sharing your story! loved it. keep playing and creating.

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