My car broke down in Arizona,
have to ride the bus again,
at ten-o-clock on Tuesday night,
with thirteen cents and a broken pen.
I put my backpack on the bench,
tell two people I don’t smoke,
see the cop across the street,
he thinks that I am selling dope,
I could have walked another block,
to get away from the scene.
Why does it always come to this,
where zero meets fifteen?

And so I gave my thirteen cents,
to the man who peed his pants.
He passes out and falls on me,
I watch my change fall from his hand.
I see the lady next to me,
holds her baby black blue.
The junkie gutter-punks keeps asking,
where I got my new tattoo.
What does it matter anyway,
thirteen cents or all I own?
How can I ever save the world,
on cup-o-soup and student loans?

I want to try and save the world,
but it never goes that way.
God I don’t know what to do,
down at Colfax and Broadway.

Now the man with no shoes on,
says I don’t know how to play.
He says I fumble all the time.
He thinks that I am John Elway.
I put my face down in my hands,
water wells inside my eyes.
What do I have to give them?
Does it matter if I try?
I can’t stand to see you suffer,
I try to intellectualize,
a formula to end you pain,
it doesn’t work,
God knows I’ve tried.

Sometimes my cup is overfilled.
Sometimes I’m too afraid that I’m going to spill.


Lyrics submitted by ThreeMilesDown, edited by cyx

Where The Zero Meets The Fifteen song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI've spent more of my young life living out in the boonies of terryall colorado... homeless and poverty was something that i knew.

    but when i moved to denver for school - about the time i started listening to FiF - i was horrified at the cultural shock.

    I actually catch the bus (the 6) at colfax and broadway. this song perfectly expresses how i feel sitting there every night . I don't think i've ever felt so small and unhelpful before... it seems that most of my schoolmates don't even bat an eye to these people...

    even if the song can't tell me what to do, it at least lets me know that people do care, and are as lost as me.
    it's.... strangly encouraging to keep trying at least...
    tomeka04on June 26, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song refers to Colfax and Broadway, an intersection in Denver, CO, where the 0 bus (Broadway) meets the 15 bus (Colfax). It's a very sketchy part of town, even though it's right near the capitol. Actually, most of both streets are sketchy, and Colfax especially is notorious for prostitution, drugs, gang warfare, and homelessness.

    I just finished a year working with the homeless in Denver and really identify with the lines:

    "How can I ever save the world, on cup-o-soup and student loans? I want to try and save the world, but it never goes that way. God I don’t know what to do, down at Colfax and Broadway."

    My job there paid very poorly, as do most service jobs staffed by idealistic young people who are trying to save the world. And after an amount of time it really does seem like it "never goes that way."
    dd59714on September 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song cause I think everyone can relate at some point in their life, expecially Christians. I mean just listen to the lyrics "I want to try and save the world, but it never goes that way. God I don’t know what to do"
    or "What do I have to give them? Does it matter if I try? I can’t stand to see you suffer, I try to intellectualize, a formula to end you pain, it doesn’t work, God knows I’ve tried." We all try to help someone or bail people out and sometimes it just doesn't work. I love this song! FIF are brilliant!
    RevolutionRunneron July 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh yeah, I can relate to that song. Especially to the part "How can I ever save the world, on cup-o-soup and student loans?" lol.
    tuneron May 08, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe point is that no matter how hard we try we can never fulfill what God has planned for us. We need to come to him with empty jars (like Elisha told the widow to do) and empty nets (like the disciples had) and he will fill them more then enough. The widow has enough money to pay off her debt and live the rest of her life and the disciples' nets broke. That's the point.

    Come to God with an empty cup, not one that is half-ful and overfilled, one that will spill.
    thejplayon May 04, 2004   Link

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