Mattress
By: Beck Hansen

Written by: Beck Hansen

Versions:
  1. Mattress (2:32)
    Available on One Foot In The Grave.
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Guitar (Acoustic), Producer, Vocals
    Calvin Johnson: Producer
  2. Mattress (Golden Leftovers version) (3:16)
    Available on Golden Leftovers.
  3. Mattress (electric outtake)
 
Lyrics:
Mattress [Version (a)]:

Put those sunglasses on your hips, mayonaisse on your lips
Pass me a bag of potato chips when I wanna put my money on a monkey
Give it to me, don't give it to me, give it to me, don't give it to me
Your idea, maybe I'll see ya, maybe I will, maybe I won't

Give me a cold sore when you're young, get old fast when you sag in the sun
Put a coffin lid on everyone, so you can be depressed
Give it to me, don't give it to me, give it to me, don't give it to me
Your idea, maybe I'll see ya, maybe I will, maybe I won't
Your love, your kindness, your body on the mattress

She's got braids and broken arms, Top Ramen cooking in the burning barns
Talking at me like car alarms when all the cars got stolen
Give it to me, don't give it to me, give it to me, don't give it to me
Your idea, maybe I'll see ya, maybe I will, maybe I won't

Take me out to dinner, I'm a loser, I'm a winner
I'm a sucker, I'm a sinner, won't you take me out to dinner?
Take me out to dinner, I'm a loser, I'm a winner
I'm a sucker, I'm a sinner, won't you take me out to dinner?
Your love, your kindness, your body on the mattress
Mattress (Golden Leftovers version) [Version (b)]:

Put those sunglasses on your hips, Vaseline on your lips
Pass me a bag of potato chips when I wanna put my money on a monkey
Tell me, don't give it to me, give it to me, don't give it to me
Your idea, maybe I'll see ya, maybe I will, maybe I won't

Give me a cold sore when you're young, get old fast and sag in the sun
Put a coffin lid on everyone, so you can be depressed
Tell me, don't give it to me, give it to me, don't give it to me
Your idea, maybe I'll see ya, maybe I will, maybe I won't
Your love, your kindness, your body on the mattress

She's got braids and broken arms, Top Ramen cooking in a burning barns
Talking at me like car alarms when all the cars got stolen
Tell me, don't give it to me, give it to me, don't give it to me
Your idea, maybe I'll see ya, maybe I will, maybe I won't
Take me out to dinner, I'm a sucker, I'm a sinner
I'm a loser, I'm a winner, I'm a sucker, I'm a sinner
Take me out to dinner, I'm a loser, I'm a winner
I'm a sucker, I'm a sinner, won't you take me out to dinner?
Your love, your kindness, your body on the mattress
 
Mattress (electric outtake) [Version (c)]:

Put those sunglasses on your hips
Mayonnaise on your lips
Pass me a bag of potato chips
When I wanna put my money on the monkey
Give it to me donít give it to me
Give it to me donít give it to me
Your idea maybe Iíll see ya
Maybe I will
Maybe I wonít

Give me a cold sore when youíre young
Get old fast when you sag in the sun
Put a coffin lid on everyone
So you can be depressed
Give it to me donít give it to me
Sive it to me donít give it to me
Your idea maybe Iíll see ya
Maybe I will
Maybe I wonít
Your love
your kindness
Your body on the mattress

Sheís got braids and broken arms
Top ramen cooking in a burning barn
Talking at me like car alarms
When all the cars got stolen
Give it to me
Donít give it to me
Give it to me
Donít give it to me
Your idea
Maybe Iíll see ya
Maybe I will
Maybe I wonít
 
The Song:

The biggest surprise about "Mattress" is that it went unheard by most fans until 2001 when it was illegitimately released as part of a collection of Golden Feelings outtakes. The song and performance is as good and interesting as anything actually on Golden Feelings.

At one point after that, Beck.com put up the lyrics to an outtake version of the song, which did not include the "sucker/sinner" lyrics. These were transcribed from an electric full-band version of the song that had been recorded during One Foot sessions. (It remains unreleased and unleaked.) (It also seems possible to me this arrangement wasn't for One Foot exactly, but for the never completed second K Records album.)

HOWEVER! In 2008, Beck dug through his archives and put together a set of outtakes from this time and released a Deluxe version of One Foot In The Grave. Beck did include an outtake of "Mattress"! Finally, a release!

"Mattress" is an exuberant, noisy folk song. It seems to be a mix of Beck's folk leanings with his taste in anti-folk noise. The song ends with a crazy coda which certainly resulted in the destruction of some guitar strings. The best part of the song is the vocal melody though. Beck's voice is loud and dynamic, but his melody is still catchy to the ear. On many of Beck's early folk songs like this, he didn't really sing, but shouted enthusiastically.

Lyrically, some of the words are absurd, and some get jumbled by the noisy guitar, but there are some excellent lines nonetheless. The song seems to be describing a girl, and is somewhat reminscent of "Nitemare Hippy Girl" in how it seems to jab slightly and compliment at the same time. Lines like "Put those sunglasses on your hips / Vaseline on your lips" give a good description of the girl, and are followed by jabs like "talking at me like car alarms when all the cars got stolen." Beck's ending verse of "Take me out to dinner / I'm a loser / I'm a winner / I'm a sucker / I'm a sinner" effortlessly sums up his contrasting feelings towards her.

After the song, Beck starts jamming on his acoustic a bit.
 
Live:

Played live 2 times:
Earliest known live version: January 26, 1994
Latest known live version: September 1, 1994

A few months after the Golden Feelings outtakes surfaced, a radio show appearence from January 26, 1994, also showed up. Beck was up in Olympia, WA, where he had recorded One Foot in the Grave. The first song (on the tape at least) is the only live version of "Mattress" known. The tape cuts in on it, and really only the final verse is heard. The girls from that dog sang back-up "ahh"s (and danced!), and it's a very pretty rendition.

Much later in 1994, we have unearthed another live version of "Mattress" (September 1, 1994). Like many of the songs they played live in 1994, it is a grungey rock version! Pretty cool.
 
Notes: