One More Lyrical Interpretation-Fest

If I’m lucky, this will take off and I’ll get to see interesting interpretations of various songs. Anyone who had an undue love of High School English, when you had to study poems and find a deep meaning, should come here.

I’ll start out with the Grateful Dead song One More Saturday Night. I like it, and I know it probably does make sense at some level. My interpretation comes from my first impressions on hearing the song and from closer inspections of the lyrics.

(Anyone who has problems getting the lyrics of songs should go to and type in `lyrics “Song Name or Some Lyrics from the Song”’ (without the single quotes). Google is really good at finding lyrics this way.)

The lyrics.

My thesis: It’s about a party at the end of the world, held by a drunk rocker who saw nuclear missiles flying around.

First verse:

Our narrator, when walking alone in the woods, happened to look up and see white contrails on the sky. Seeing this as a sign as good as holy that the end was nigh, he decided to party like there wasn’t going to be a tomorrow.

Second verse:

This is either literal, that his merry band has somehow gotten into a National Guard armory or weapons shop and is partying there, or figurative, that the people who are working underground in the missile silos nearby (where the temperature is rising due to stress, and people are getting high from the adrenaline) are partying' (launching the World's Best Fireworks) around the dynamite and live artillery’ (Minutemen missiles and any sidearms they have, respectively). I go for the latter, for obvious reasons.

Third verse:

The President has declared a national emergency and is giving his reasons for launching the missiles. The narrator, in a rather ironic mood, says that he launched them because he wasn’t getting any sex (got no satisfaction), which was probably a common ailment to any 20th-Century president except Kennedy.

The President’s advice, turned into a joke by the narrator, is telling: He’s advising people to give up electrical technology (crank that old Victrola) and gas-powered transportation (put on your rocking shoes). The narrator, who’s already decided to party, has heard what he wanted to hear.

Fourth verse:

This verse is more abstract, but it still fits my interpretation: God’s party was planet earth, and it’s about over now. The tomorrow that, for us, won’t come is the end of the party. The last line is really good: [T]he rocking, rolling music' referrs to the narrator's own party, and the rising, shining sun’ is the nuclear explosions that will soon be occuring worldwide.


This is ambiguous, but either interpretation fits. It’s either a plea, where the narrator wants one more Saturday night, or a statement, where the narrator knows he only has one more Saturday night. I’m leaning to the latter interpretation. Its position in the chorus is the theme underlying the whole song: He’s justifying his party by saying that he’ll never get to do it again.

Devo: Mongoloid

In a nutshell, we’re all strange people on the inside, barely able to function, and hiding our weakness and insecurities by conforming to the mores of our culture.

Too obvious?