Of Monsters and Men – Dirty Paws

Learn English with Dirty Paws by Of Monsters and Men. Fill in the blanks in the lyrics as you listen to the song.



Now try to sing along with the piano cover of Of Monters and Men’s Dirty Paws. Remember to press the Record button below so you can listen to your recording when you’ve finished.

Jumping up and down the floor
My head is an animal
And once there was an animal
It had a son that mowed the lawn
The son was an OK guy
They had a pet dragonfly
The dragonfly it ran away
But it came back with a story to say
Her dirty paws and furry coat
She ran down the forest slope
The forest of talking trees
They used to sing about the birds and the bees
The bees had declared a war
The sky wasn’t big enough for them all
The birds, they got help from below
From dirty paws and the creatures of snow
La la la
La la la la
La la la
La la la la
So for a while, things were cold
They were scared down in their holes
The forest that once was green
Was colored black by those killing machines
But she and her furry friends
Took down the queen bee and her men
And that’s how the story goes
The story of the beast with those four dirty paws
La la la
La la la la
La la la
La la la la
La la la
La la la la
La la la
La la la la

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Song Meaning

Meaning 1

This song is pretty literal in what it’s saying

When Spring starts, paper wasps create nests that grow while housing several generations of workers. At the end of Summer, the Queen produces eggs which will develop into insects that will leave the nest to mate and start the process over again next year.
Once this generation leaves, those nest’s life is basically over. This means anything left behind is ripe for picking, and crows seem to have the uncanny ability to know just when this time occurs to gobble up the larvae and bugs lying around.
Of course, paper wasps also create nests in the ground as well. Just as the crows and jays do, coyotes, skunks, and foxes will dig up these nests to eat those protein-rich larvae as well. Coincidentally, coyotes, skunks, and foxes are known to eat grass as well.
Once more: Dragonflies are carnivorous bugs that prey on other insects and have been known to eat bees and wasps.

This song is about a young (I’ll say Fox) growing up and having their own pup. Growing up a bit, the pup now hunts small bugs and berries but usually sticks to grass as it’s the most abundant source for him around the area. While out searching for food, this pup spots a dragonfly and chases it around semi-playfully leading the fox to a nearby forest.
As I’ve said before, Foxes will dig up nests and eat the larvae and whatever else after the next generation ups and flies away. Well, the pup loses interest in the Dragonfly and runs off to search for these nests. He wasn’t alone, though. Birds and other animals alike were eating what was left of both the nests and bugs.
They didn’t get all the nests, though. Those left behind in the nests that were still intact didn’t dare leave them (either due to self-preservation or just instinct since their duty was finished). Outside what few nests remained was a feeding frenzy of birds and animals; the most notorious one being the Pup that followed the Dragonfly. After most wasps (including the Queen) are eaten or somehow killed, this story ends with that Dragonfly flying back to where the Pup first saw it.

It’s a song about the feeding frenzy that occurs in forests over ‘left-over’ nests.

Meaning 2

Nanna said in an interview 3 months ago that the band’s NAME “became a big part of the way that we write LYRICS.” The band’s name contains two key ideas. The first idea is that human plans go wrong and end badly (ie “the best-made plans of mice and men”). The second idea is from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, who suggested that “man was more monstrous” than the monsters he creates.

So the band’s prime lyrical thrust may be that man’s monstrous arrogance will bring him down. With that in mind, the dragonfly can be seen as the enslaved pet of a man, man’s cruel harnessing of another species that should fly free. Man is depicted with an animal head because he is in fact an animal too, though he may be in denial about this.

In the dragonfly’s story, the “bees” are a metaphor for man, who seeks to dominate the earth with “killing machines.” The dragonfly’s story looks forward to a rebellion and overturning of the power of the bees. That is, it looks forward to a time when man will cease to dominate the earth and live in harmony with it instead. The fertile metaphor of “the birds and the bees” is used to emphasize how species, that should work together to make an abundant earth, do not because of the betrayal of nature by those busy machine-building mechanical “bees,” that is, us. The “beast with the 4 dirty paws” is, in turn, a metaphor for nature fighting back against man’s arrogance.

“Dirty Paws” is a parable seeking harmony in nature, which has been disrupted by man’s arrogance.

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