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They Might Be Giants – No One Knows My Plan lyrics

In my prison cell I think these words
I was careless
I can see that now
I must be silent
Must contain my secret smile
I want to tell you
You my mirror
You my iron bars

When I made a shadow on my window shade
They called the police and testified
But they're like the people chained up in the cave
In the allegory of the people in the cave by the Greek guy

No one understands
No one knows my plan
Why the dancing, shouting
Why the shrieks of pain
The lovely music
Why the smell of burning autumn leaves

No one understands
No one knows my plan
Why the dancing, shouting
Why the shrieks of pain
The lovely music
Why the smell of burning autumn leaves

In my prison cell I bide my time
Always thinking
Always busy cooking up an angle
Working on the tiny blueprint of the angle
Sketching out the burning autumn leaves

No one understands
No one knows my plan
I must be silent, must contain my secret smile
I want to tell you
You my mirror
You my iron bars

No one understands
No one knows my plan



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/t/they_might_be_giants/no_one_knows_my_plan.html

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  • stephenfalken
    +11
    stephenfalken
    I think this song is written from the viewpoint of God.
    In the stanza "In my prison cell..." they are expressing His entrapment by religion; He laments how the religious followers continue to sell Him (and themselves) short by likening them to the cave prisoners in Plato's Allegory of the Cave, expressed in his work 'The Republic':
    Plato imagines a group of people who have lived chained in a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe meanings to these shadows. According to Plato, the shadows are as close as the prisoners ever get to seeing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall are not indicative of reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.
    The viewpoint is amplified by repetition; time passes as God continues His making and creating, again stating the point that no one really 'gets it'.
    Another sub-plot in this song is that the listener is almost made to feel sorry for the creator, since all he has to talk to are the iron bars of the prison that his followers put him in with their shortsightedness.
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