Grapes of Wrath

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"Grapes of Wrath"
Grapes of Wrath cover
Album track by Weezer
Album OK Human
Released January 29, 2021
Recorded 2020
Length 2:51
Label Crush Music/Atlantic Records
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo
Producer Jake Sinclair
Status Released
OK Human track listing
"Aloo Gobi"
(2)
"Grapes of Wrath"
(3)
"Numbers"
(4)

"Grapes of Wrath" (previously titled "Rock My Audible") is the third track from OK Human.

Appearances

Overview

"Grapes of Wrath" is named for the American realist novel, The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck and published in 1939. When asked about the song's origins in an interview with Audible, Rivers Cuomo said:

“One night a few years ago I woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I decided to listen to an audiobook on Audible. I did that from time to time anyway, but this was the first time I did it in the middle of the night. I stayed up for a couple hours, just listening and listening to The Grapes of Wrath. I did not get good sleep, but it was a pretty magical experience. There’s something about that state of the brain, that time of night—I’m able to drift into this more imaginative state and really enter the world of the writer’s imagination.
The next day, I woke up and it was time to go write songs ’cause that’s what I do, and I was pretty sleepy and just feeling like, not ambitious and what’s the point? But then, I found myself in that same half-asleep brain state, and it was kind of pleasant. I remembered reading an interview with the producer Quincy Jones, and he said the whole time he was producing Michael Jackson’s Thriller, he was half-asleep behind the mixing board. He mentioned something about beta waves, like when your brain is producing these beta waves it’s a better state for creativity and imagination than when you’re fully awake and more conscious about what you’re doing. I think also I’d heard that Thomas Edison, the great inventor, was constantly dozing off as he was coming up with all these amazing inventions. So I took that opportunity of being in that beta-wave state and wrote a song about my experience listening to The Grapes of Wrath for a long time in the middle of the night.
And ever since then, I’ve gotten into this habit of listening to fiction as I’m going to sleep or in the middle of the night when I wake up. It’s just a wonderful opportunity to enter into the giant imagination and empathy of these great writers.”

The song was first made known to Weezer fans on Riverchat on August 20, 2020 when a Riverchat user asked Cuomo about the book 1984 by George Orwell. Cuomo responded mentioning that OK Human referenced the book, going on to quote lyrics from the song. In the same comment, Cuomo implied that the song was written about audiobooks. The song features lyrical references to the aforementioned 1984 as well as to Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

On August 26, 2020, Cuomo edited the OK Human entry on Riverpedia to include the track name "Rock My Audible". On September 22, Cuomo suggested to fans on Riverchat that he was being forced to alter a lyric to remove reference to the website Pornhub[1], implying that he needed a new lyric to pair with the line "Ambien might work for some."[2] Cuomo later suggested the lyric "Some folks pop an ambien / Some run laps around the gym"[3], though shortly after stated that "Jake [Sinclair] nixed the gym line." On January 28, Cuomo streamed OK Human over the video conferencing platform Zoom and previewed an earlier version of "Grapes of Wrath" featuring the "Pornhub" bridge.

On October 22, Cuomo replaced the song title "Rock My Audible" with "Grapes of Wrath" on the OK Human Riverpedia entry, implying that it was renamed.

Music video

The music video for "Grapes of Wrath" was directed by Brendan Walter and Jasper Graham and released on April 14, 2021, the 82nd anniversary of the release of the book Grapes of Wrath

Audio

Lyrics

I can feel my breathing
It's so nice; it's like a blanket on my life
Let me stay here for forever
In this state of classical denial
Crankin' Mrs Dalloway
Moby Dick trip on a whale
He’s kinda just like me;
We’re thirsty for the deep

I'm gonna rock my Audible
Headphone Grapes of Wrath
Drift off to oblivion
I just don't care, I just don't care
Rock my Audible
Headphone Grapes of Wrath
Drift off to oblivion
You think I care, I just don't care
I just don't care, I'm barely there
I just don't care

Count on me to show support
For Winston Smith in 1984
'Cause battling Big Brother feels more meaningful
Than binging zombie hordes
Take me up to Neverland, hanging with Yossarian
He's kinda just like me;
We fight 'til we get free

I'm gonna rock my Audible
Headphone Grapes of Wrath
Drift off to oblivion
I just don't care, I just don't care
Rock my Audible
Headphone Grapes of Wrath
Drift off to oblivion
You think I care, I just don't care
I just don't care, I'm barely there
I just don't care

Open ear and open mind
I can see without my eyes
Frodo jonesing for the ring
Soon I'll be there smiling
Smiling in my dreams

I'm gonna rock my Audible
Headphone Grapes of Wrath
Drift off to oblivion
I just don't care, I just don't care
Rock my Audible
Headphone Grapes of Wrath
Drift off to oblivion
You think I care, I just don't care
I just don't care, I'm barely there
I just don't care

Earlier version

Pornhub helps folks loosen up
Medication works for some
I'd prefer a Tolstoy read
Soon I'll be there smiling
Smiling in my dreams

See also