Profoundly Horrifying Song Lyrics: "Possum Kingdom" by Toadies

Music Features
Share Tweet Submit Pin
Profoundly Horrifying Song Lyrics: "Possum Kingdom" by Toadies

Hello again, fellow watchdogs of the music world. I’d like to thank everybody who has striven to uphold morality in our songs and sent in a horrifying lyric. Together, we’re going to beat this thing. I’ve already had several prominent musicians email me begging me to stop this feature, because they’re DEVILS and they know we’re going to SEND THEM BACK TO THE FLAMES.

Okay, that last part isn’t true at all. But it’s amazing to see just how twisted some of these songs are. Today’s submission of “Possum Kingdom” by the Toadies comes from Samantha Smurawa. Thanks, Samantha! If YOU know a profoundly disturbing song that requires immediate analysis, send it in to mailbag@pastemagazine.com. And as always, check out previous installments at the bottom of this post.

 

As per usual, I won’t be looking at any backstory until I’m finished analyzing. Toadies lyrics in bold, my commentary after.

TITLE: Possum Kingdom

Usually I don’t comment too much on the title, because bands are sneaky and call their songs things like “Art Lover” just before chasing little girls around a park. But I want to take a moment to give some credit to the Toadies, because that’s a real weird title. I want no part of a Possum Kingdom, at all. I don’t want to know the king, the queen, the jesters, the serfs or anyone. (Okay, fine, I am kinda curious about the possum jester.) It feels like the kind of place where human beings are brought in strapped to piece of plywood and gnawed to death. Count me out.

(Note: I’ll be saying “the Toadies” even though the band’s name is just “Toadies,” because without “the” it just sounds weird, and all you grammar people can go straight to hell.)

Make up your mind

I ALREADY DID, I DON’T WANT TO GO TO THE POSSUM KINGDOM. Oh wait, the song started…

Decide to walk with me
Around the lake tonight
Around the lake tonight
By my side
By my side

My previous experience has taught me to distrust innocuous beginnings, but hey, maybe I was wrong this time. Maybe it’s just about two lovers strolling around a lake. We need more of that in America. Lake strolls, I mean. When’s the last time you strolled around a lake? When’s the last time you’ve seen a lake? Do we even have lakes anymore? I think lakes have gone extinct. Thanks, Obama.

I’m not gonna lie
I’ll not be a gentleman

There are two ways to take this. One, he’s going to behave like a damnable sexy rogue, which can be exciting and novel. Some people go for that. Some ladies like a bad boy.

Two, he’s going to throw her in a possum pit to be chewed to death.

Behind the boathouse
I’ll show you my dark secret

The temperature is warm here in my house, but I just shivered. What is your dark secret, Toadie man? It’s the possum kingdom, isn’t it?

Also, a hint: If you want to lure an unsuspecting lady to your boathouse lair, it’s probably better not to lay out your plans in song form beforehand. In real life, I imagine a woman would start to get a little suspicious that the “gentleman” line, and then start running away at “dark secret.” Nobody wants to see anyone’s dark secret. Unless that dark secret is a lake, because WHERE THE FUCK HAVE ALL THE LAKES GONE, OBAMA?!

I’m not gonna lie

And we appreciate that. Again, not great serial killer strategy, necessarily, but it’s refreshing to be warned ahead of time that a bevy of possums is about to consume us bit by bit.

Okay, I just looked up the collective name for possums, and it turns out it’s “passel.” A passel of possums. Also, the animal is technically called an “opossum,” but since I already told all the grammar people to go to hell, I can’t really call the Toadies out on this one.

I want you for mine
My blushing bride

Oh good, a weird marriage fetish scenario. No good serial killing is complete without one. I’m no expert, and I’ve never killed anyone, but I strongly believe that if your victim isn’t wearing a bridal gown, you’re not doing it correctly. Either that, or dress her up like your mother. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but to me, those are the best ways to decorate a victim before setting the passel of opossums loose.

My lover, be my lover, yeah…

I know he says “be my lover,” but I get the feeling there’s no actual sex involved here. The whole situation is a little too bizarre. Wedding dress? Yes. Possums? Definitely. A boathouse filled with screams and terror? You bet. But I’m not seeing sex entering into the equation.

And you know what? That’s sort of refreshing. Week after week, we’ve seen songs about dudes being really creepy and secretive and perverse around women (along with one woman taking revenge for her entire gender). It makes you lose faith in humanity. But the Toadies? They’ve got something deeper going on. Mere sexual power dynamics don’t interest them. This is psychological horror on a brand new plane, and THIS WRITER finds it refreshing!

(No, I don’t. This is awful. Somebody help me.)

Don’t be afraid
I didn’t mean to scare you

I am finding that difficult to believe, sir! On a positive note, at least there’s no disturbing religious element to this fantasy. That’s the last serial killer trope we’re missing. When you bring God into the mix, it adds that awful ritualistic feeling that really makes me panic. But we’re so far along in the song that surely we’re safe.

So help me, Jesus

Dammit.

I can promise you
You’ll stay as beautiful
With dark hair
And soft skin…forever
Forever

The one thing that always makes me laugh about serial killers is how they think they’re doing you a favor. “You’ll be perfectly preserved to the end of eternity! You should be thanking me!”

Nope. I’ll just take a normal life and death without being embalmed in a wedding dress and stuffed into the wall of a boathouse, thanks. I’m not saying I don’t appreciate your aesthetic, but I really feel like this should be my choice to make.

Make up your mind
Make up your mind

Are we still talking about deciding to go for a walk around the lake? I don’t want to speak for all women, but I think that was a flat no like ten lines ago.

And I’ll promise you
I will treat you well
My sweet angel
So help me, Jesus

“Awwww…I don’t know, maybe this guy’s alright. God knows there are some awful men out there, and I can’t seem to keep a boyfriend beyond three dates. Plus, I’d get to see a lake, which God knows is rare in Obama’s America. On the other hand, the possums…”

Give it up to me
Give it up to me
Do you wanna be
My angel?
So help me!

If I have one criticism of this killer, it’s that he seems super unfocused. Is it a religious thing, where he wants to make the woman into an angel for Jesus? Does he want to preserve her eternally so she remains perfect? Does he want to dress her like a bride? And what’s up with the possums? After the title, the possums have never been mentioned again.

This is what I mean by keeping it simple. So many serial killers want to complicate things today. And if you do it right, it’s great, but let’s not forget some of the old classics, like Jack the Ripper stabbing prostitutes, or Son of Sam just shooting people with a .44. We need to get back to basics. But I guess that’s not the way things work in the Obamanation, am I right?

Be my angel
Be my angel
Do you wanna die?

Also, there’s never been a serial killer who was so solicitous. “Look, I want to take a walk around a lake with you and then kill you, but hear me out while I tell you the exact plan. In the end, this has to be your choice, and I want you to be as comfortable as possible.”

“On a different note, how do you feel about possums?”

I promise you
I will treat you well
My sweet angel
So help me, Jesus

If you play this song backward, you can hear the bass player whispering “A Passel of Opossums” over and over.

***

And there it is! Looking at the Wikipedia entry, it turns out that “Possum Kingdom” is the name of a lake in Texas. So all that talk of possums eating people was just a false alarm, unfortunately. I mean fortunately. Whatever. Stop looking at me. An interesting wrinkle is that footage from the music video was found by a local resident, which led to Dallas police questioning video director Thomas Mignone because they thought it was a snuff film. Finally, someone taken to task for their horrifying lyrics!

Official Horror Rating: 9.0

Check out our previous installments:

Don’t You Want Me – The Human League
Fake PalindromesAndrew Bird
Young Girl – Gary Puckett and The Union Gap
Dance Hall Days — Wang Chung
Art Lover – The Kinks

ShareTweetSubmitPinMore
Recently in Music