Meaning of “Little Pistol” by Mother Mother

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“Little Pistol” by Mother Mother is a vivid illustration of a person grappling with inner turmoil and fear. The song centers around a struggle with fear, symbolized by the “little pistol,” and the exploration of self-identity in a world that often feels threatening and chaotic. It articulates a desire for self-empowerment and autonomy, hinted at through the lines about wanting “brimstone in my garden” and “roses set on fire.” The repetitive mention of fear showcases a recurring theme of anxiety and apprehension towards the world and people within it. The song’s atmosphere is intense, portraying a rollercoaster of emotions, and ultimately leads to a realization of self-acceptance and letting go of the metaphorical “little pistol.”

Dive in as we peel back the layers of this poignant song, uncovering the symbolism and emotions that give it life.

“Little Pistol” Lyrics Meaning

“Little Pistol” opens with the lines “Up on my side, where it is felt / I pack a little pistol on my pistol belt.” This paints a picture of someone ready for conflict, the “little pistol” possibly being a metaphor for defense mechanisms developed due to fear of the world. The character feels that the world makes you “feel afraid,” prompting a need for self-defense.

The mention of a “little chip” placed “under the skin, against the skull,” suggests a loss of privacy and autonomy, reflecting a broader concern about societal control and surveillance. This elevates the character’s fear, making the “pistol” a necessary companion in navigating a world where one is constantly watched and judged.

The words “I want brimstone in my garden / I want roses set on fire” signify a desire for transformation and rebirth. The character seems to yearn for strength and change, hinting at a deeper internal battle. This “brimstone” and burning “roses” are elements of chaos that the character believes might lead to self-discovery and emancipation.

However, the intense struggle takes its toll, “I lose my mind,” representing the mental and emotional exhaustion stemming from the ongoing internal and external battles. Here, the interaction with “the man and the men” and “the women” suggests the character’s distress in interpersonal relationships, reinforcing the sense of isolation and alienation.

In the resolution, “I found a burning rose / And now I won’t be packing little pistols / No, no, no more,” we observe an acceptance and a shedding of fear. The “burning rose” symbolizes a harmonious blend of beauty and chaos, and letting go of the “little pistols” denotes a journey towards self-acceptance, liberation from fear, and possibly, inner peace.

Why Was “Little Pistol” Written?

Delving into why “Little Pistol” was written, it can be deduced that the songwriter was exploring themes of self, fear, and transformation. The atmosphere of the song indicates a state of introspection and reflection on personal fears and the desire for autonomy and self-empowerment. The vivid imagery and raw emotions suggest an attempt to grapple with and understand one’s place in a world that often seems intimidating and unwelcoming.

The turmoil and the eventual realization in the song may mirror the artist’s emotional state during its creation, reflecting a journey through apprehension, self-discovery, transformation, and finally, acceptance. This journey is not only a personal catharsis but also serves as a universal representation of the human condition, encapsulating the existential battles we all face. The narrative of “Little Pistol” seems to be a deeply human one, offering listeners a glimpse into the multifaceted nature of fear and the liberating power of self-acceptance and change.