Spent Gladiator 2


Transcendental Youth




the Mountain Goats



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"Transcendental Youth"

Spent Gladiator 2 is the 11th song on the album Transcendental Youth. It also appears as the 36th and final song on the 2020 live album The Jordan Lake Sessions: Volumes 1 and 2.

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

Like a spent gladiator
Crawling in the Colosseum dust
Who can count on his remaining limbs
All the people he can trust
Like the one who stands behind him
Cheering him on
Ecstatic when he stands defiant
Wild with abandon when he's gone

Just stay alive
Keep your eyes on the pay line

Like a village on the steppe
About to get collectivized
When the men emerge with rifles from the haystack
Everybody looks surprised
Like the mice in the forgotten grain
Way up on the top shelf
Like someone who's found a small town to escape to
Keeps one eye on his abandoned former self

Stay in the game
Just try to play through the pain
Like a fighter who's been told it's finally time for him to quit
Show up in shining colors
And then stand there and get hit

Like the clock that ticks in Dresden
When the whole town's been destroyed
Like the nagging flash of insight
You're always desperate to avoid
Like the bloody-knuckled gunman
Still stationed at the breach
Like that board game with the sliders
And the children on the beach

Stay alive
Maybe spit some blood at the camera
Just stay alive
Stay forever alive

Comments by John Darnielle About this Song[edit | edit source]

Things Referenced in this Song[edit | edit source]

  • The line "Like that board game with the sliders/And the children on the beach" refers to Stay Alive, a children's board game by Milton Bradley. John confirmed this on his Tumblr account.

Live Shows this Song Was Played at[edit | edit source]

Videos of this Song[edit | edit source]

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