Deftones – “My Own Summer (Shove It)” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

In a nutshell, Deftones’ “My Own Summer (Shove It)” isn’t your typical sunny season anthem. It’s a potent mix of grunge attitude and heady metaphor. The song is a mental escape, a rebellion against the status quo, and the writer’s yearning for a personal, unique summer where societal norms have no place.

The repeated phrase “shove it” is a bold dismissal of societal expectations, while the references to ‘clouds’ and ‘no sun’ indicate an inversion of the usual cheerful summer imagery. Essentially, it’s a complex, deeply personal interpretation of how we create our realities and fight against the imposed norm.

Ever wondered why summer isn’t always sunshine and beach days for everyone? Deftones have some thoughts on this. Stick around and dive into the darker side of the sunny season.

“My Own Summer (Shove It)” Lyrics Meaning

The song begins with “Hey you, big star / Tell me when it’s over” which sets the tone of challenging the status quo. The “big star” could symbolize societal norms or perceived authorities. By asking when it’s over, the lyricist seems to yearn for the end of this influence, craving freedom.

“Hey you, big mood / Guide me to shelter” further illustrates this longing for safety and solace from societal expectations. The “big mood” might be a reference to the general sentiment or emotional atmosphere that the songwriter wants to escape from.

The lines “When the two / Hits the six and it’s summer / Shove it” could be interpreted as a refusal to conform to the typical notions of summer. The numerical reference could mean 2 PM, traditionally the hottest part of the day, signaling the peak of summer. The term “shove it” demonstrates a strong rejection of these norms, an eagerness to push away from what’s expected and conventionally accepted.

“I think God is moving its tongue / There’s no crowd in the streets and no sun / In my own summer” These lines are particularly profound. The statement about ‘God moving its tongue’ may suggest divine communication or a higher understanding. The absence of crowds and sun in ‘my own summer’ indicates a personal, introspective summer that’s a stark contrast to the bright and bustling imagery often associated with the season.

“The shade is a tool, a device, a savior / See, I try and look up to the sky / But my eyes burn” This indicates a rebellion against the sun, which usually symbolizes happiness and positivity. The songwriter prefers the shade – solitude, introspection, and a departure from mainstream merriment.

Repeatedly, the song circles back to the phrase “shove it,” showcasing a continuous, powerful pushback against the norm. The songwriter emphasizes this rejection of the sunny, crowded imagery of a traditional summer, instead embracing a summer of his own making.

The Story Behind “My Own Summer (Shove It)”

To truly understand the depth of this song, it’s important to delve into the songwriter’s state of mind. Chino Moreno, the lead vocalist, and lyricist for Deftones has often been open about his knack for writing songs based on his personal emotions, feelings, and experiences.

When “My Own Summer (Shove It)” was penned, Moreno was navigating his way through a pivotal stage of his life, dealing with the pressures of fame and the challenges of staying authentic to his art while satisfying an expanding fan base.

The summer period has often been portrayed as a time of happiness, community, and social interaction in popular culture. But for some people, including Moreno, this period may not have resonated in the same manner. It might not have been a time of joy and sunshine, but rather a time of introspection, solitude, and perhaps even a bit of melancholy.

That’s the beauty of this song: it challenges the norm. It raises its voice against the stereotypical portrayals of summer. The references to clouds, shade, and the deliberate act of shoving the sun aside are metaphors for an alternative summer, one that aligns more closely with Moreno’s state of mind during that period of his life.

Furthermore, the powerful line “I think God is moving its tongue” shows the songwriter’s deep contemplation about life, existence, and divinity. Perhaps this was his way of dealing with the existential questions that fame and success often bring along.

All these aspects reflect the state of mind of Moreno when writing this song – his wish for escape, his yearning for personal peace, and his resistance against societal expectations. It’s a profound reminder that our perceptions of seasons, events, or emotions are shaped by our personal experiences, and it’s perfectly okay if our summer doesn’t look like everyone else’s.