Sheep Go To Heaven
by Cake

Album: Prolonging the Magic (1998)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about acceptance. Those who follow blindly (sheep) are accepted or go to heaven, and those who form their own opinions are goats, and are not accepted or go to hell. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Marc - Toronto, Canada
  • The lyrics are based on a passage in the New Testament of The Bible: Gospel of Matthew chapter 25. In this passage, a shepherd divides his sheep and goats, with the sheep going to heaven and the goats to hell.
  • Because goats have cloven feet, they were considered unclean. The lyrics, "I just want to play on my panpipe, I just want to drink me some wine. As soon as you're born, you start dying, so you might as well have a good time," indicate that you can't help whether or not you're born with cloven feet, so just don't worry about it and have a good time. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adel - Jonesborough, TN

Comments: 4

  • Jared from AusThis song also has links to absurdist theatre, in Samuel becketts 'Waiting for Godot' (1948-1949) it states "the grave digger puts on the forceps" this it a direct link to the concept of being enlisted to die at birth, forceps are used (or at least were used in the time of the plays writing) to deliver a child. Implying you were born to die, which kinda links into the whole song
  • Colin from EarthYou guys have the right idea but seem to be missing some very blunt Christian/Pagan imagery. "The carpenter can take you out to lunch" Jesus was a carpenter, and the good sheep will dine with Him in Heaven.

    Conversely, Pan was the Greek half man/half goat (satyr) diety of wine and revelry, and the namesake of the panpipes. The singer is making it plain he wants to have a good time like a goat-legged pagan party god and doesn't care for being a good sheep.
  • Kerry Ditson from Shrewsbury, MaThis song always reminded me of death, with the "gravedigger puts on the forceps" (pretty obvious), "The stonemason does all the work" (tombstone) "The barber will give you a haircut" (Cutting the hair of the dead/making them look nice before burial) "The carpenter will take you out to lunch" (Coffin). I think it's about the singer coming to terms with the death of someone he loved, and wondering what happened to them.
  • Jas from Clifton, TxThis song is oddly pretty ingenious. I really like the whole theme of the song, that society will judge you based on things like outward appearances regardless of the fact that you can't change who you are without being totally artificial. Why worry about what people think when they are only going to see things their way anyway?
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?

Jimmy JamSongwriter Interviews

The powerhouse producer behind Janet Jackson's hits talks about his Boyz II Men ballads and regrouping The Time.

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in SongsSong Writing

Elvis, Little Richard and Cheryl Cole have all sung about Teddy Bears, but there is also a terrifying Teddy song from 1932 and a touching trucker Teddy tune from 1976.

Adam Young of Owl CitySongwriter Interviews

Is Owl City on a quest for another hit like "Fireflies?" Adam answers that question and explains the influences behind many others.

Yacht Rock QuizFact or Fiction

Christopher Cross with Deep Purple? Kenny Loggins in Caddyshack? A Fact or Fiction all about yacht rock and those who made it.

Joe Elliott of Def LeppardSongwriter Interviews

The Def Leppard frontman talks about their "lamentable" hit he never thought of as a single, and why he's juiced by his Mott The Hoople cover band.