Fighting in a Sack
The Shins Lyrics


Just last night I woke from some unconscionable dream
Had it nailed to my forehead again
To keep this boat afloat
Well there were things you can't afford to know
So I save all my breath for the sails

But you'll find those lingering voices
Are just your ego's attempt to make it all clean and nice
And make a moron out of you
Walking a bridge on weakening cables
Huddled up in fear and hate because we know our fate
And it's a lot to put us through

Most ideas turn to dust
There are few in which we all can trust
Haven't you noticed I've been shedding all of mine?
So let's abandon that track
And leave our fathers fighting in a sack
'Cause we are way too wise-assed for that

You might find some fools at your doorstep
Hustling the latest changes to the book that's the strangest
In an attempt to multiply
Marionettes on weakening cables
Huddled up with fear and hate
Because they know their fate and it's a lot to put them through

We've taken on a climb
And it's long enough to put the best of us on our backs
Walking up a slide
And there are those we know who'd have us five miles off the track

You'll find those lingering voices
Are just your ego's attempt to make it all clean and nice
And make a moron out of you
Crossing the bridge on weakening cables
Huddled up with fear and hate because we know our fate
And it's a lot to put us through

Lyrics © O/B/O APRA/AMCOS

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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

TrueHistory

I've always liked this song because it was sort of my anthem for leaving mormonism while at BYU. While part of it surely is Mercer's tendency for using obscure analogies in his lyrics that can apply to anything, there are some lyrics on this album that make me think Mercer was dealing with a similar thing.

"You might find some fools at your doorstep hustling the latest changes to a book that's the strangest in an attempt to multiply" - Missionaries. No doubt, and he might not be talking about mormonism, but they are definitely one of the more prevalent groups that push missionaries around, that change their books constantly (look it up) and are obsessed with trying to multiply their numbers either through conversion or children.

"Most ideas turn to dust, there are few in which we all can trust, haven't you noticed I've been shedding all of mine?" - So much power in this statement, and at the time I was thinking deeply about how likely it was that MY religion was right when thousands of religions have risen and fallen over years, all with contradicting ideas. We have to question the ideas we've been raised with when they are LIKELY wrong. Mercer declares he's been shedding his beliefs himself.

"You find those lingering voices are just your ego's attempt to make it all clean and nice and make a moron out of you." - Mormonism always taught to listen to the "holy ghost" which is a "still small voice" in your brain telling you what to do. And then they had a similar concept of the "spirit" just being a general good feeling you get, but caused by a spiritual presence. This song made me think a bit more about those ideas... are they REALLY from outside my own brain? Or are they actually just from me and I've been taught to interpret them as something outside of me.

"Huddled up in fear and hate because we know our fate and it's a lot to put us through" - Our fate being our inevitable death with no definite afterlife. This suggests that the fear of this causes us to grasp for concepts like heaven. And I can tell you that while mormonism teaches love, they also teach a lot of fear (teachings of afterlife penalties for sexual sins, stay away from anti-mormon literature) and hate (towards gay people, heathens/apostates/simply people who just left).

"Marionettes on weakening cables" - What a great lyric. There is no doubt that it feels that way, when you are mormon you pretty much have to do everything by the book and follow directions, recite things told to you. No beards, no long hair, fashion rules. And yet, those cables are certainly weakening lately, it is said that millennials are leaving in droves at 55%.

"Let's abandon that track and leave our fathers fighting in a sack" - I saw a quote that tradition is "peer pressure from dead people". And it's true. We shouldn't fall back on these archaic ideas when they make no sense. So I left 10 years ago and feel SO much better now. Thanks for reading!



All comments from YouTube:

Controlled Substance

32,475 views.. Seriously? Am I that old and are the Shins that obscure?

TrueHistory

Well yeah, they were always kind of obscure indie pop. They had their peak with Garden State and Natalie Portman's namedrop, but that was for their 1st album (with New Slang). This album (their second album) was really good but definitely didn't get the same kind of mass attention. And this is a fringe song on the album.

Gabriel Mello

Album ‎– Chutes Too Narrow
Label:
Sub Pop
Format:
CD, Album, Promo, LP
Country:
US
Released:
2003

Adam

Song of the Day
03-13-18: Fighting In A Sack | The Shins
also on: www.onecuriousworld.com

Niclas J.W.

Speaking of problematic/conflicted relationships ..... :/
-The Shins makes GREAT music, -VERY talented guys :) !

Pablo Adroher Molins

buenagente

TrueHistory

I've always liked this song because it was sort of my anthem for leaving mormonism while at BYU. While part of it surely is Mercer's tendency for using obscure analogies in his lyrics that can apply to anything, there are some lyrics on this album that make me think Mercer was dealing with a similar thing.

"You might find some fools at your doorstep hustling the latest changes to a book that's the strangest in an attempt to multiply" - Missionaries. No doubt, and he might not be talking about mormonism, but they are definitely one of the more prevalent groups that push missionaries around, that change their books constantly (look it up) and are obsessed with trying to multiply their numbers either through conversion or children.

"Most ideas turn to dust, there are few in which we all can trust, haven't you noticed I've been shedding all of mine?" - So much power in this statement, and at the time I was thinking deeply about how likely it was that MY religion was right when thousands of religions have risen and fallen over years, all with contradicting ideas. We have to question the ideas we've been raised with when they are LIKELY wrong. Mercer declares he's been shedding his beliefs himself.

"You find those lingering voices are just your ego's attempt to make it all clean and nice and make a moron out of you." - Mormonism always taught to listen to the "holy ghost" which is a "still small voice" in your brain telling you what to do. And then they had a similar concept of the "spirit" just being a general good feeling you get, but caused by a spiritual presence. This song made me think a bit more about those ideas... are they REALLY from outside my own brain? Or are they actually just from me and I've been taught to interpret them as something outside of me.

"Huddled up in fear and hate because we know our fate and it's a lot to put us through" - Our fate being our inevitable death with no definite afterlife. This suggests that the fear of this causes us to grasp for concepts like heaven. And I can tell you that while mormonism teaches love, they also teach a lot of fear (teachings of afterlife penalties for sexual sins, stay away from anti-mormon literature) and hate (towards gay people, heathens/apostates/simply people who just left).

"Marionettes on weakening cables" - What a great lyric. There is no doubt that it feels that way, when you are mormon you pretty much have to do everything by the book and follow directions, recite things told to you. No beards, no long hair, fashion rules. And yet, those cables are certainly weakening lately, it is said that millennials are leaving in droves at 55%.

"Let's abandon that track and leave our fathers fighting in a sack" - I saw a quote that tradition is "peer pressure from dead people". And it's true. We shouldn't fall back on these archaic ideas when they make no sense. So I left 10 years ago and feel SO much better now. Thanks for reading!

TIMYxGC

@Lindy Edwards what are you on about?

TIMYxGC

Wow. I’m a little late here, but what you wrote mirrors my experience exactly. I took a world religions class during my sophomore year of high school, and that was it.

I had the same question you did. Why should I think Mormonism is correct? Then we learned about Buddhism and some other eastern religions, and it tipped it over the edge. It just seemed like such a better system than Mormonism.

I didn’t convert or anything; I’m still very much non religious.

Also, I’m sure you’ve listened to it, but saint Simon is another one that I like to listen to, specially the line where he says “the cruel, uneventful state of apathy releases me.”

Lindy Edwards

He is just a mouthpiece for (them)

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