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Author Topic: Cigarette Butts? What does it mean?  (Read 26469 times)
fifbeat
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« on: April 22, 2008, 12:54:38 PM »

In the phrase "You listen here cigarette butts, when I get back we're gonna have a boxing match!" and the song "I save cigarette butts," what is Daniel referring to? What are the cigarette butts?

BTW, this is my first post here. Great forum. Been visiting for awhile, but this is the first time I've posted something.

Lately, I've pretty much stopped listening to pretty much all music, except for Daniels.

Awaiting answers. I'll probably have a lot of questions. =)
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Henry Long
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2008, 05:45:47 PM »

I'm guessing the object of his affection (the girl he's saving the cig butts for) or the guy she was having a wrestling match with (a.k.a. Frankenstein). But who knows? It's a Daniel Johnston song! grin
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notdaniel
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2008, 06:24:46 PM »

In the phrase "You listen here cigarette butts, when I get back we're gonna have a boxing match!" and the song "I save cigarette butts," what is Daniel referring to? What are the cigarette butts?

Do you really not know what cigarette butts are, or are you looking for a nonexistent metaphor? Are you not from the US? In the UK they'd be called "fag ends" if that helps.

The majority of the song is patented straightforward Daniel lyric style, foregoing meter and rhyme in favor of the literal recollection of events he finds worthy of immortalizing; the Frankenstein and angel dream bits are added touches of Dylan-ish fantasy -- although Dan only went through his obsessive Dylan-listening phase a couple of years ago (with little obvious result, as far as i can tell).

Here's the lyrics as given at rejectedunknown.com:

I Save Cigarette Butts

- Songs of Pain (1981), Early Recordings Volume I (2003)

I save cigarette butts for a poor girl
across town
We were making marriage plans
and some guy came over and took her to
a wrestling match

later that evening Frankenstein
and the beauty queen
sat thumbing through
a better homes and gardens magazine
making plans and holding hands
along came a spider, sat down beside her
and took her to
a wrestling match

I had this dream about these angels
I had this dream the other night
it was really weird
they were playing guitars
and getting loud
and they spilt beer on Jesus

I save cigarette butts for a poor girl
across town
I spent a lot of money at the pizza shop
just to watch the waitresses walk
back and forth

I go to school, I'm a college student
I have a secret pocket on the inside of my coat
where I keep this cigarette butt
meanwhile on the dance floor
the loud guitar solo seems to be promoting wild desires
the music has set their hearts on fire with lust
Sure are a lot of cigarette butts layin' around

I thought I'd give her one more chance
so I went over to see her again at her house
and when I walked in
there was her and him
and they were having a wrestling match
I save cigarette butts for a poor girl
across town

Hope that helps, as they say...

  - notdan
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fifbeat
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2008, 02:06:50 AM »

Notdan,

Yea, you're right. I know what cigarette butts are (I'm smoker! lol); was looking for his meaning.

Great stuff guys. Thanks for your feedback. Like I said, you guys will probably get sick of me because I have so many questions. I really don't even know where to start.
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madnell
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2008, 07:50:31 AM »

this is one of my favorites.

the 'cigarette butts' may be a wry allusion to the leavings of what is stereotypically done (by smokers) after sex.  put that in your pipe..
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2008, 12:51:47 PM »

"You listen here cigarette butts, when I get back we're gonna have a boxing match!"

in the song No More Pushing Joe Around - I always felt this quote was coming from a parental perspective.

In the members section i heard a ph call to the house of the girl I Save Cigarette Butts   was (i assume) written for. But, thats just my opinion.

Greetings and salutations to all this fine day  :^>

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Stress Records
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2008, 01:18:07 PM »

In the last verse when he walks in on them having a "wrestling match" I don't think they were fighting...

 grin
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OhJoy
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2008, 09:55:38 PM »

lol teeheeheee I never thought of that as wrestling either.  rolleyes
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icantsweatoutthefever
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2009, 02:16:05 AM »

okkkkkay. are you guys rdy for this. i know cigarette butt girl personally, she is my aunt. she grew up with daniel in west virginia. her name is laura. she was very poor growing up, and always needed cigs. daniel would go around to all the public ashtrays and collect butts for her. he had a hidded pocket inside of his denim jacket in which he would stash them until he saw her in the evenings. he also would stop around local pizza joints and go to every empty table and steal the unwanted crusts of pizza and hide those in his jackt to snack on ;0

its been fantastic hearing these personal stories about daniel from my mother and her sister...they were present for daniels first thoughts on the lyrics for 'walking the cow"

its pretty amazing how much of a genius he was, even as a young teenager.nwhat an inspiration!!
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Henry Long
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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2009, 07:00:21 AM »

Quote
and steal the unwanted crusts of pizza and hide those in his jackt to snack on

Yuck...
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2009, 09:09:55 AM »

You think the pizza thing was gross, you shoulda smelled the back room where we would meet at the McDonald's where he worked!

  - NotDan
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They laughed when I sat down at the piano.
They didn't think that I could play.
But their laughter turned to amazement,
When I got back up and carried it away...

  - DJ (message left on answering machine)
WayneCrazyTrain
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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2010, 08:19:53 AM »

Saving cigarette butts must be a West Virginia thing.. I myself never toss a cig that has a few drags left on it. Hard Times!
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julieandlaura
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« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2012, 05:35:39 PM »

Yes, there is a real cigarette girl, Laura...my sister. Daniel loved our piano we had in our basement. He spent hours writing and playing on the old piano. He taped with a cassette player. We all worked at the Eagles Club haunted house in East Liverpool, Ohio. The best times. Daniel helped paint the sets and he was an actor. He was so funny as  nurse.....it was a surgery room! Laura and I played his victim. Our guts Daniel created with strings from a floor mop! Dan would sing as customers came through....making it up as he gutted...lol. He did have a jacket with a zipper and supplied Laura with cigarette butts. It was very giving of Daniel, as we were poor in the truest sense. We lived on Gardendale up on the hill. Daniel would come often, brought a friend sometimes. Daniel and my sister were "together", but in their own way. 2 very unique people.
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