Mother Mother – “Little Pistol” 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.

“Little Pistol” by Mother Mother is a gritty journey through emotions and states of mind, exploring vulnerability and fear. The song presents a relatable struggle with mental health and societal pressures, wrapping it all up with an empowering resolution. With lines like “I pack a little pistol on my pistol belt,” the song dives into the psyche of someone grappling with anxiety and societal norms, only to come out with a newfound perspective: “And now I won’t be packing little pistols, No, no, no more.”

If you’re intrigued by the complexity of human emotions and how they get tangled up with the world we live in, then this deep dive into “Little Pistol” is just for you.

“Little Pistol” Lyrics Meaning

The opening lines, “Up on my side, where it is felt, I pack a little pistol on my pistol belt,” indicate a state of heightened alertness. The “little pistol” here serves as a metaphor for coping mechanisms or emotional defenses that we carry to navigate a complex world. It’s not necessarily a literal weapon but a shield against fear and vulnerability.

“I think it might be fear, Of the world and the way it makes you feel afraid,” elaborates on the source of this emotional armory. It’s an admission that our defenses often stem from societal pressures and norms that instill fear in us.

The lines “Under the skin, against the skull, They put a little chip so that they know it all,” may refer to the societal ‘programming’ we receive, affecting our thoughts and actions. This ‘chip’ is another manifestation of fear, where society’s judgments invade our personal space, stripping us of individuality.

The chorus is a plea for radical change: “And now I want brimstone in my garden, I want roses set on fire.” Here, the speaker desires transformation—burning the old to make way for the new. There’s an acknowledgment of wanting what’s best for oneself, even if it doesn’t align with societal expectations.

“Today I coo, today I caw, I have a pistol party and I kill ’em all,” shows a darker side, where frustration boils over into a violent fantasy. This isn’t a celebration of violence but an expression of the pent-up emotions that sometimes make us ‘lose our minds.’

Finally, the concluding lines offer a resolution. The speaker finds what’s best for them, emotionally and spiritually, and no longer needs to ‘pack little pistols.’ The emotional defenses are dropped, indicating a newfound acceptance and peace.

The Story Behind “Little Pistol”

“Little Pistol” was released as part of Mother Mother’s 2012 album “The Sticks.” The band has often delved into themes related to mental health, societal norms, and the struggles of existence. During the time of writing, lead singer and songwriter Ryan Guldemond has indicated that the album explores themes of disillusionment with the modern world and the quest for meaning.

The song captures the zeitgeist of an era where mental health is increasingly at the forefront but still often misunderstood. The duality of the song, moving from a state of vulnerability to one of empowerment, mirrors the ups and downs of life’s emotional landscape.

In interviews, Ryan has expressed that the song speaks to the broader human experience of fear and the need for emotional armor in a world that can often seem overwhelming. These universal themes resonate with listeners, making “Little Pistol” a relatable anthem for anyone who’s struggled with their own emotional ‘weapons’ and is searching for a way to unload them.

In summary, “Little Pistol” isn’t just a song; it’s a narrative journey that many of us take as we navigate the complexities of our emotional lives, societal expectations, and personal growth. The song remains a poignant reminder that, ultimately, finding what’s best for ourselves is the key to dropping our emotional ‘pistols’ and embracing life fully.