when I was the one with the ruined look
clustering around my face and
every last corner of the day was bruised and gray
who drove tired in the rain
just to dump my gin down the drain
arguing me back from the ledge,
I can still hear you say:

"every single thing is bound to come and go"

woah everything collides
and the rain starts falling down
it's a longshot longshot
but underdogs don't drown
woah step into the bullets
but never touch the ground
it's a longshot longshot
be we won't be shot down

so who's this with the car collision ache
and the very last dime
telling they can't keep guard one more blood night
don't you know I am coming
with the lucky strikes and something
you used to say now tell me if I got it right:

"every single thing is bound to come and go"

so people do weird things to each other
that the consolation book doesn't cover
and if this night's been practicing you
in a page of rain on the old war wound
flatline blue and the taste of loss
call me I'll wade the tides with you boss
we will take this flood apart
and drag this lake for its watery heat

Lyrics submitted by Spacecow

Longshot song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentA lot of Jesse's lyrics for Common Rider deal with how a mature perspective can change one's view of the sadness they experienced in their youth. He writes about looking back on a life bursting at the seams with loss and devastation, on this album, and trying to place things in some sort of transcendent poetic context. "Longshot" looks back, as well, describing how relationships function when you're young. See, mature Jesse knows that sorrow is a temporary state, but young Jesse didn't. And since mature Jesse can't communicate with young Jesse via time travel, it's only through communication with friends, loved ones or certain artists that perspective can be gained. Jesse describes himself as "the one with the ruined look", and how "every last corner of the day was bruised and gray". Dire straits, it sounds like, but luckily someone was there to "(drive) tired in the rain", get rid of the booze that probably wasn't helping things very much and talk him out of his suicidal state. "Every single thing is bound to come and go", says Jesse's friend, reminding him of the ephemeral nature of sadness. The 2nd verse inverts this situation, where it's someone else (presumably the friend from the 1st stanza) with an "ache" that they don't think they can handle for another night. So, just as they did for him, he goes to them with some "lucky strikes" and a certain helpful phrase: "Every single thing is bound to come and go". What a beautiful depiction of friendship. The 3rd verse is a bit opaque, but the parts I do understand comprise a beautiful promise and affirmation of Jesse's eternal devotion to this symbiotic relationship- if the tide gets too high, he says, "we will take this flood apart/ and drag this lake for its watery heart". In other words, no matter how hard things get, if the two of them function as a unit then they'll always be able to find the light in the darkness, the eye of the storm, etc. The chorus just reinforces the paradoxical nature of hope, asserting that although the world will inevitably challenge them and put their optimism to test after extreme test, the very toughness that threatens their existence will force them to cling to each other and become a unit strong enough to win. "Underdogs don't drown", he says- probably because they fight the hardest and have the least to lose. Brilliant, catchy song. Every song on this album is a straight-up classic, and is even better than the also wonderful "Classics of Love", in my opinion. This song is a perfect summary of everything that makes this album soar, both lyrically and musically, and so works wonderfully as a closer.
    fadetoflasheson January 31, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWe all drink from the same cup.
    Fatrickon May 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationi think this is kinda about being down and out, or at least believing you are down and out, interested only in destroying yourself ("my gin" and "the ledge", alcoholism and suicide).

    someone talked him out of it ("argued me back" and "dump down the drain")

    now he's saying you are only down and never out - it's raining but underdogs don't drown, step into the bullets but you won't be shot down - basically it's never over, it's never done, and you've never lost as long as you're still trying.
    shokwaveon June 13, 2009   Link

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