Now and again
It seems worse than it is
But mostly the view is accurate
You see your breath in the air
As you climb up the stairs
To that coffin you call your apartment
And you sink in your chair
Brush the snow from your hair
And drink the cold away
You're not really sure
What you're doing this for
But you need something to fill up the days
A few more hours

There's a dream in my brain
That just won’t go away
It has been stuck there since it came
A few nights ago
I’m standing on a bridge
In the town where I lived
As a kid with my mom and my brothers
And then the bridge disappears
And I’m standing on air
With nothing holding me
And I hang like a star
Fucking glow in the dark
For all those starving eyes to see
Like the ones we’ve wished on

But now I’m confused
Is this death really you?
Do these dreams have any meaning?
No, no, I think it's more like a ghost
That's been following us both
Something vague that we're not seeing
Something more like a feeling


Lyrics submitted by PLANES


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  • +2
    General CommentThis is my first post, so I'm very bad at this. : )
    Well, for me... the song contains feelings of alienation, grit-your-teeth hopelessness, and overall anguish.
    The first part of the song is depressing: going up the stairs to nothing but sadness, having nothing better to do but drink alone. The act of brushing off snow from his hair as if it's something he's done so much to the point that it's routine. It seems that his entire day, perhaps even his entire life, is like that. Also, he is making all that effort to climb up to a coffin, not a comforting homey space--there's hopelessness and resignation in those acts.
    The dream seems out of place in this environment. It's not good, nor bad, it's just... puzzling. And that increases its level of anguish. Thinking back upon childhood and family always gives me a feeling of nostalgia or regret, because it's something that wasn't necessarily good but I've idealized it and I know that.
    Not being attached to anything, with starving eyes all around: alienation.
    The fact that the end of the song is so inconclusive, that it ends with nothing more specific than "something more, like feeling" makes it even more anguishing, because nothing is solved and nothing is better. He's still in that apartment drinking by himself.
    Lunetiaon January 13, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentTHis song is one of the few songs that can literally bring me to tears. Conor Oberst is one of the most amazing songwriters ever. "And I hang, like a star, fucking glow in the dark...." This line ALWAYS gets me.
    XxMichaelaxXon April 12, 2002   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationOk so I really think this song is comparing depression (the first person) to struggling with an eating disorder (the second person).
    Bear with me now, k?

    "Now and again
    It seems worse than it is
    But mostly the view is accurate
    You see your breath in the air
    As you climb up the stairs
    To that coffin you call your apartment"
    I think he's saying that both of them know there is something wrong but they refuse to admit to it, he doesn't want to say he's depressed and she (i know it can be another guy but to make matters easier i'll say She) doesn't want to accept the fact that she's anorexic. They both don't have a path or meaning to their lives, hiding in their apartments all day.


    "And you sink in your chair
    Brush the snow from your hair
    And drink the cold away"
    For the depression he is using drinks and sleep to combat thinking too hard, and if you read Pro-Ana sites they always insist that drinking teas will make you feel better and so will sleep, they take away the dizzyness from not eating. ALSO~ snow and ice are very common themes in writing about anorexia because the lose of body weight makes you prone to be cold more often.

    "You're not really sure
    What you're doing this for
    But you need something to fill up the days
    A few more hours"
    He isn't sure what the meaning of his life is, he's just looking to pass the time til his death (much like the woman in the 2nd stanza in Waste of Paint, how she doesn't mind or get upset over nearing her death).

    "There's a dream in my brain
    That just wont go away
    It has been stuck there since it came
    A few nights ago
    I'm standing on a bridge
    In the town where I lived
    As a kid with my mom and my brothers
    And then the bridge disappears
    And I'm standing on air
    With nothing holding me"
    He had a dream about his childhood when he was still happy, and the bridge disappearing represents his feeling of disconnection with his past and former happiness. He feels like he used to have something supporting him (family and the bridge) but now he's lost his way. It applies to her as well, dealing with her old self who was content with her body image and now feels lost.

    "And I hang like a star
    Fucking glow in the dark
    For all those starving eyes to see
    Like the ones we've wished on"
    They feel like people are judging them and analyzing them just like the people they refuse to accept they've become like (he doesn't want to admit he's depressed, she doesn't want to admit to having an E.D.). The "starving eyes" refers to all other people who are like them, who don't see a future or meaning to their lives. They're metaphorically "Starving" and empty.

    "But now I'm confused
    Is this death really you?"
    They are analyzing themselves and not recognizing what they've become.

    "Do these dreams have any meaning?
    No, no, I think it's more like a ghost
    That's been following us both
    Something vague that we're not seeing
    Something more like a feeling"
    He is questioning the nature of his dream, why it came to him. The "ghost" is what is essentially fueling his depression and her eating disorder, a "vague feeling" that they will never be good enough or that there is no meaning to their lives.
    It's a terrible feeling and this is a beautifully haunting song. My interpretation probably isn't right but that is what I always see when I hear this song.
    It's beautiful<3
    ritaritaritaon July 29, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is all about Conor growing up. And in the beggining it's talking about depression when he says "now and again...the view is accurate" that whole line, because that's how it is when you are depressed, a lot of the time you see things much worse than what they really are, but a lot of the time YOU know how you should feel. He's also talking about the solitude of his life and the routine that it's become, and how he's resorted to drinking to pass the time.

    The Second half about the dream, is a metaphor for his leaving home. Because it's talking about his family and a bridge, which relates to the support that his family gave him, and then when it 'disappears' it is equivalent to him leaving home, and moving into what he was singing about in the first half. I also think this section is about his 'fame'. Because he calls himself a star, hanging for the starving eyes, which may mean all the fans that 'starve' to be in his position.

    The end of it is just him trying to shove aside the dream, and how it isn't really a dream, it's a 'feeling' which is inside of him, which IS him.

    That's just my take on it, i know i'm probably wrong, but hey, what the hell is SongMeanings for anyways?

    But this song is fucking incredible.
    SliceMyPaperWristson June 11, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEveryone seems to be partial to the "...and I hang like a star, fucking glow in the dark..." line but what gets me about this song is this line:

    "You're not really sure
    What you're doing this for
    But you need something to fill up the days..."

    I feel like that's all I'm doing in my life now, looking for things to keep me occupied so I don't have to think about my problems. I've gotten myself in too deep, I think, and I'm really not sure what I'm doing it for anymore. Conor has a way of writing his songs in such a fashion that everyone can find something in them to relate to and feel as though it was written for them alone.

    Easily one of my favourites from him.
    fallingforyourlieson July 02, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is so beautiful. one of my favorite songs by bright eyes. mmm. fine stuff.
    christaon December 07, 2001   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell said.
    .emo.kid.on January 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is the first bright eyes song i ever heard and it totally floored me. i just sat in my cahir open mouthed for a while in disbelief. amzing
    BlackEyedAngelson March 20, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMicheal, ME TOO, its intense.
    numbon April 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is fucking incredible
    damienthorntoon April 14, 2002   Link

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