"End of the Line" as written by and Graham Russell....
All the kids have
Run inside
Grabbed a spot under the stairs

They've barricaded
All the windows
And rigged the doorknobs shut with chairs

What are they waiting for
They don't know
They just keep their fingers crossed and maybe

Pray to mary
Or jesus christ
I can hear them knocking down the door

The wait it is over
This bottle is done
So we clench our fists
And fight our demons

There's a girl with
A flower pot
Full of dirt and bullet shells

She puts it by her window
Gives it sunlight
Restores its health

After a month or two
The shells start to grow
Into branches of barbed wire

They spread across the walls
The windows and the floors
And their grip
Never tires

The wait it is over
This bottle is done
So we clench our fists
And fight our demons

lay low lay low keep your head down
Lay low lay low listen for the sound
Of the dusty train that's comin'
To sweep us all away
I can hear the rails a rattlin' against the hectic fray so
Set the bone with a cardboard split
And strike the nail against the flint
And set the fields on fire

Let the devil come
Let him come
I'll be waitin' for him this time
I am stronger now and I can fight it
I'll be waitin' at the end of the line
I'll be waiting
I'll be waiting for him there

At the end of the line.

Lyrics submitted by prayingmantis84, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"End of the Line" as written by Graham Russell

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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End of the Line song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentFrom the site:

    "END OF THE LINE is building up to the big climax. At the end of Pillars of Salt, there is a feeling of hopelessness. End of the Line begins with the kids hiding in the basements and barricading their homes from the devil's legions. The devil is literally knocking down their door. The parents have been drinking themselves to death in terror of this moment and when I say "time to fight our demons" I actually mean fight in a battle against demons. The next verse is the image of a girl trapped inside her house. She has "a flower pot full of dirt and bullet shells", which begins to warp and grow into horrible branches of barbed wire which cut at her, choke her, and block all the exits. The devil's forces are cutting down people and dementing the town and its inhabitants. Then the chant starts, the parents telling their children to "lay low lay low keep your head down" and to listen for the "dusty train" a western version of the ferry piloted by Charon that crosses the river Styx. More images of war are brought up "set the bone with a cardboard splint, strike the nail against the flint, and set the fields on fire... let the devil come, let him come..." Finally the townspeople are growing confident and are mentally ready for battle. They no longer hide in their houses waiting to die. They bust out the artillery and prepare for the big fight. They egg on the Devil to come and get it, shouting "I'll be waiting for him this time I am stronger now and I can fight it I'll be waiting at the end of the line..." How does it end? That's up to you I guess..."
    prayingmantis84on May 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell since murder by death means murder by the devil, and the entire album is about the story of how the devil got shot in a bar fight in a small town in new mexico, and comes back to the village to extract his revenge, i think the end of the line is, like prayingmantis84 said, the prelude to the big climax. the villagers are prepping themselves for, no matter how corny it may sound, the big showdown between the devil and themselves.
    interestingly enough, adam turla (vox) was a religions major in college and decided to write a story, and thought "what better background then the devil", everyone recognizes and associates certain things with the devil. so he put his story to music.
    Also, MBD is currently writing and recording a new album, featuring the song "end of the rope" which is about prisoners on death row, (sarah balliet's(cello)mother works in a program that helps prisoners get their lives back together after jail, so this song is mainly about her and her work. They play this song live as well
    skin of a magazineon February 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Set the bone with a cardboard splint"
    Why would you set a bone with a cardboard splint? Cardboard is all flimsy. Is this a metaphor for something?
    killakeithon April 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe line about setting the bone with the cardboard splint, I believe, is simply imagery depicting the gritty desperation of the townspeople. They set the bone with cardboard simply because they have no better method.

    To add to the note about their new album: they should be finished recording it about October 29. The new album is comprised of songs each representing one of the circles of hell. It has a much more alt-country sound to it, which I'm not really a big fan of, but it's still characteristically MBD, so it's not bad all. Keep in mind I learned/heard this at a show they did back in June, so I'm not sure how much, if any, of that has changed.
    NewName4Everythingon September 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about becoming a man and facing your fears. It is about letting the fluff out and exposing the grime. The children hiding in fear at the beginning are the first phase; obviously children are fearful, we all start this way. Phase Two is the process of growth from child to a man. This can be derived from the lyrics about the growth of barb wire from bullet shells( the rigidity of the language is key). Perhaps the woman is a (single) mother and by feeding the flower she is distancing herself from her son. Phase Three, the man faces his demons. He goes head to head with the devil and notice we don't know who wins... To me this song tells the story of the underprivileged american male. It is a great song and I think my parallels are sufficient enough.
    bathosdrifton February 29, 2008   Link

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