"Hopeless Bleak Despair" as written by and John C./linnell Flansburgh....
I never knew what everybody meant
By endless, hopeless, bleak despair
Until one day when I found out
The first time I ever left my house
It saw me and followed me home
And stayed with me for my whole life

For years and years I wandered the earth
Condemned to a life of bleak despair
Then, one day, I looked around
And found it had disappeared

Hopeless bleak despair
It was always there
And then, one day, it disappeared
In a puff of smoke
In an unceremonious way
One day, it disappeared

All I had ever wanted in my life
Was only to be free of it
It drove away my family
It made me lose my job
Whenever anybody saw it
They'd say "get out of here"

For years and years I wandered the earth
Sick of my life, looking forward to death
Then, one day, I looked around
And found it had disappeared

Hopeless bleak despair
It was always there
And then, one day, it disappeared
In a puff of smoke
In an unceremonious way
One day, it disappeared

Hopeless bleak despair
Hopeless bleak despair
Hopeless bleak despair

For years and years I wandered the earth
Until I died and went to hell
But my despair had ascended to heaven
That's how I finally got rid of it

Hopeless bleak despair
It was always there
And then, one day, it disappeared
In a puff of smoke
In an unceremonious way
One day, it disappeared

Hopeless bleak despair
It was always there
And then, one day, it disappeared
In a puff of smoke
In an unceremonious way
One day, it disappeared


Lyrics submitted by Spacecow

"Hopeless Bleak Despair" as written by John Linnell John Flansburgh

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Hopeless Bleak Despair song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationPersonally, this song resonated with me as a song about severe anxiety. Hopeless Bleak Despair pretty much sums up the mental aspects of anxiety in three succinct words. I think it's a great illustration of how anxiety can enter one's life. One day you're feeling okay then it feels like very suddenly the anxiety just enters your head and completely takes over every single aspect of your life.

    It makes you anti-social and a shell of a person (it drove away my family). It causes concentration issues and lack of motivation (It made me lose my job). Sometimes it feels like it just won't go away no matter what you try. No matter what good things happen to you or any other of life's circumstances, the anxiety is always present.

    His only escape seems to be death. He goes to hell, but that's okay because he is rid of the anxiety attacks.

    I like the way the lyrics illustrate the sheer power that anxiety/depression can have on the mind. It can be so bad that death seems like a nice vacation from it. For me, the escape often comes in the form of fantasizing about moving to a far distant place where nobody knows me and I can escape the sources of my anxiety. The principle is the same. We are driven to extreme measures to rid ourselves of the anxiety.
    scottiouson July 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't believe nobody has posted anything on this song. Most TMBG sons are sad if you listen closely to the lyrics, but I think this is one of their saddest. To me, it's about deep horrible depression. When he says that his despair disappears, I think it's because he commits suicide. The last lyric mentions him going to hell (which many believe happens to your soul when you take your own life.) So sad, he finally loses his despair but goes to hell for it. There is something so sad and brilliant about the lyric that says his despair ascends to heaven. Great song.
    lurpinoon August 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's about a guy who had depression
    then one day, it just disappeared. in a puff of smoke. in an unceremonious way.
    bdbthinker77on October 09, 2010   Link

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