When the bus-shelter windows and napkin-dispensers surprise
With distorted reflections, it's never the someone you're hoping to recognize.
And the rent is too high living here between reasons to live
Where you can't sleep alone, and your memories groan, and the borders of night start to give.

When you can't save
Cash or conviction; you're broke and you're breaking a tired shoelace or a wave.
So long past past-due. A new name for everything.

When the one-ways collude with the map that you folded wrong
And the route you abandoned is always the path that you probably should be upon.
When the bottle-cap ashtrays and intimate's ears are all full
With results of your breath and the threads of your fear are unfurled with the tiniest pull.

One more time, try.
Stand with your hands in your pockets and stare at the smudge on a newspaper sky
And ask it to rain a new name for everything.

Fire every phrase. They don't want to work for us anymore.
Dot and dash our days. Make your face the flag of a semaphore.

All you won't show.
The boxes you brought here and never unpacked are still patiently waiting to go.
So put on those clothes you never grew into, and smile like you mean it for once.
If you come back, bring a new name for everything.

A new name for everything.
A new name for everything.


Lyrics submitted by lakeoffire23, edited by eunoia

A New Name For Everything song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentthis is definetly one of the most well written songs ever. but it's john k. so i wouldn't expect to be anything less than amazed at his ability to draw the most seemingly obvious pictures that we all somehow still seem to miss. his songs have a way of being the simplist and most complex all at once. everytime he says something like "the distorted reflection is never the someone you're hoping to recognize." i find myself thinking "god i know that feeling." and the more i think on it the more i find myself connecting with it on aa deeper level than the obvious implications.
    655321on November 21, 2004   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song's about trying to hold on to the last bit of hope that he has left. The entire album is about someone close to the singer who is dying (just listen to all the songs in order), as the singer tries to hang on until the end. Then he's forced to "reconstruct." This song's about his hope that the person will recover, and they can start all over. In the beginning, he's in complete tumult over the loss of the person. But he tries to be hopeful and start over by asking for "a new name for everything."
    It's about hope.
    betsapp91on March 09, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is definetly one of the most well written songs ever. but it's john k. so i wouldn't expect to be anything less than amazed at his ability to draw the most seemingly obvious pictures that we all somehow still seem to miss. his songs have a way of being the simplist and most complex all at once. everytime he says something like "the distorted reflection is never the someone you're hoping to recognize." i find myself thinking "god i know that feeling." and the more i think on it the more i find myself connecting with it on aa deeper level than the obvious implications.
    655321on November 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is definetly one of the most well written songs ever. but it's john k. so i wouldn't expect to be anything less than amazed at his ability to draw the most seemingly obvious pictures that we all somehow still seem to miss. his songs have a way of being the simplist and most complex all at once. everytime he says something like "the distorted reflection is never the someone you're hoping to recognize." i find myself thinking "god i know that feeling." and the more i think on it the more i find myself connecting with it on aa deeper level than the obvious implications.
    655321on November 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is one of my favourite songs ever. I think it's about needing change and getting stuck in something that you don't want to be doing anymore. I think it's about learning to move on and get on with your life and being brave enough to do something different.
    Virtueon July 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentShit, John Samson writes so much stuff that we can all relate to, he is really good, and knows what he's doing, he's not just some guy who can make up some bullshit lyric and try to get rich of of it. I respect that. I'm a bit of a songwriter myself, and I get a LOT of inspiration from this guy, but I'll never be able to compare to him. I wish I could meet him and learn some good poetry techniques or something:-) That'd be the greatest.
    victoryguy11on July 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"a new name for everything" - what a great concept. also the line "stand with your hands in your pockets and stare at the smudge on a newspaper sky, and ask it to rain a new name for everything" is such a well strung-together idea. john k writes some amazing lyrics.
    ConsciousPiloton July 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentConcious pilot.. or anyone. That is one one line I never fully got. I just don't. And also make you're face the flag of a semiphore. A face that is so convictionless that anywhere, maybe a party or something, people just go around you.
    abottleofsomethingon May 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"and the route you abandoned is always the path that you probably should be upon"

    so true.
    pjc1190on May 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is about the need for personal reinvention. The speaker is pretty desperate for an influx of new ideas and energy in his life, and his search for "a new name for everything" is a metaphor for his attempt to reconfigure how he approaches his life. I think it's about how language, and specifically poetry, have helped the singer think about his own life in different ways and defeat the stagnation and despair depicted in the song.
    fadetoflasheson September 27, 2007   Link

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