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My Morning Jacket - Gideon - Lyrics Meaning

This song is featured on the band's fourth studio album that was released in 2005 and is titled Z. The music of My Morning Jacket is classified as "psychedelic rock". It is a known fact that more people have died in the name of religion than for any other cause in the history of the world and this song is about religion, war and the correlation between the two. Gideon is a reference to the christian organization Gideon International. The organization is best known for spreading the christian faith through the distribution of bibles all around the world. The lead singer, Jim James, questions the idols of religion and faith when he says, "Make a sound, come down off the wall." This line means that he would like some confirmation from these idols if we are truly supposed to follow them. He wants them to appear to us in real life, not just as murals and on stained glass windows.

The "animal" that is referenced throughout the song is characterized as the American war machine. James says that we are "hated and feared for something we don't want." This is the US military presence in foreign countries and specifically the Middle East. He is insinuating that the general population does not condone or endorse these military tactics and that the state is acting without the approval of its people. The lyric, "What does this remind you of?" is used to have the listener draw their own conclusions about this government-controlled establishment and where it might be headed.