"Black Cadillacs" as written by Isaac Brock, Eric Judy and Dann Gallucci....
And it's true we named our children
After towns that we've never been to.
And it's true that the clouds just hung around
Like black Cadillacs outside a funeral.

And we were done, done, done
With all the fuck, fuck, fuckin' around.
You were so true to yourself.
You were true to no one else.
Well I should put you in the ground.

I've got the time, I got the hours,
I got the days, I got the weeks.
I could say to myself
I've got the words but I can't speak.
Well I was done, done, done
With all the circ, circ, circlin' round.

I didn't die and I ain't complainin'.
I ain't blamin' you.
I didn't know that the words you said to me
Meant more to me than they ever could you?
I didn't lie and I ain't sayin'
I told the whole truth.
I didn't know that this game we were playin'
Even had a set of rules.

We named our children after towns
That we've never been to.
And it's true that the clouds just hung around
Like black Cadillacs outside a funeral.
And we were laughing at the stars
While our feet clung tight to the ground.
So pleased with ourselves
For using so many verbs and nouns.

But we were all still just dumb, dumb, dumber
Than the dirt, dirt, dirt on the ground.
Well wings on flames, kings with no names,
Well this place just ain't got right air right now.
You were so all over town but still so Crayola brown.
Well you should run 'round yourself right now.
And we were done, done, done
With all the fuck, fuck, fuckin' around.
Circlin' round.


Lyrics submitted by nuclearjesus

"Black Cadillacs" as written by Eric Judy Dann Gallucci

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Black Cadillacs song meanings
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72 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI'm surprised no one has mentioned the whole death factor. The majority of this album (Black Cadillacs, Dig Your Grave, the Devil's Work Day, Satin in a Coffin, Bury Me With It... catching a trend here?) is about the death of someone close to Isaac, though not necessarily loved. There are interviews specifiying this. This is not about a romantic breakup. This is a death; didn't anyone nostice all the funeral imagery? It's in the title.

    Isaac flat-out states that "I didn't die and I ain't complaining, I ain't blaming you," as in: one of us died, and it wasn't me; it was you. The identity of whose death inspired so much of the (brilliant) lyricism within this album hasn't been made public, but I suspect it's his mother (though I haven't found the proof yet.... just go with me here).

    Isaac's mom dragged him all over the country in fanatical religious sects as a child and forced him to live in 1) an abandoned, flooded house (until he was evicted) and 2) a shed. You're supposed to love your mom, but it sure would be hard under these circumstances, and the bitterness shines through in this song/album.

    I don't think the "we named our children after towns we'd never been to" line actually applies to Isaac naming his own children, as he has none, but more of a reflection on ignorant parenting (also reflecting the numerous different towns Isaac grew up in) which his mother seems to have been a pro at. This would exemplify the line "I didn't know that the words you said to me meant more to me than they ever did you," which is a pretty standard flaw in fanatical Christian hypocrisy.

    Isaac's a fantastic lyricist, and you've got to dig deeper than love/breakup songs. He rarely sings about that stuff, it's too cliche. What makes this album so fantastic is the honest complexity in which he is dealing with the death of someone, mother or not, who he did not know if he loved or hated. It's neither straight-up grief nor relief, and that's much more real than anything most people ever write about.
    wackakapowon February 22, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti agree with most of what you said, 764-mouser, but i didnt agree with "He's supposed to be writing for the FANS not the masses." i think artist should write what they are thinking/feeling, not what anyone else wants
    SpringEon December 30, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGreat Song Great Band Great Album
    RedFactoryon April 13, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI LOVE this song. "We named our children after towns that we've never been to" is such a great line. and now i want to name my children like that.
    modest_hillon April 30, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah, so much knowledge of facts (names of towns and nouns)but it means nothing, but no personal experience. All their learning just made more masks to hide behind, and he's sick of it all.
    Passerby87on May 02, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirst of all, Insulting this record would be like making fun of a kid with down syndrome because many may not know this, but Isaac and the band went through a lot of hardships while making this album: Jeremy leaving, DUI's attempted murder charges, jail time, they actually started over at a point, and the list goes on. you can see it in the lyrics, its about bad news and how bad shit happens, etc.

    But that out of they way, this was an alright album, but compared to their last 3 LP's it doesn't compare, and its hard to blame the record company because EPIC did a great job with the Moon & Antartica. It was Isaac's choic to make an album with shorter songs, but the thing we love about Modest Mouse IS the 7 minute songs and deep lyrics and cheesy effects. He's supposed to be writing for the FANS not the masses.

    Regardless, I think this is a very cool song and has great meaning. along with Bukowski, Blame it on the Tetons and The Good Times Are Kiling me.
    764-mouseron November 12, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI must say I agree with sirgarycoleman. I have to believe that a band as great as Modest Mouse would not waste their time on love songs (all the time, if even at all) and they leave you searching for a deeper meaning in the lyrics. At least that's what I think, if not than what good would Modest Mouse be compared to all the other corny rock bands around? Nah, I still think Modest Mouse's lyrics are on the same level of the Mars Volta and the like, though this album is really not their best. Still, I love Modest Mouse.
    gustergusheron April 01, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGood song, good song. It's about going to school (which is a waste of life), being 'educated' and still being fucking stupid. Like most people. That's what I think, anyways...
    Fade_To_Blackon June 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, the background of this song is a serious argument between two people and an analysis of one of the primary sources of the conflict: restlessness caused by their mutual small-mindedness. The people in the argument think highly of themselves but have never done anything or been anywhere. They named their children after towns they have never been to and laughed at the stars while their feet clung tight to the ground. The death imagery suggests that they are not really living life even while they are alive. They are standing around waiting to die like hovering hearses. “A Different City” also touches on this suffocating sense of suburban myopia.

    “You were so all over town but still Crayola brown” may refer to the phrase “to paint the town red.” Although the person is thinks he/she is doing exciting things (painting the town red), he/she is in fact doing nothing and going nowhere.

    Still, I think twougly people also has an interesting interpretation about the double meaning of stars.
    Sintaxon December 25, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwhat i dont like is that everyone either thinks the songs are about relationships (which i personaly dont think modest mouse would waste their time with) or the band selling out or sticking to its roots. i've been to many other modest mouse songs and these are all the same guesses by everyone. i think honesly that 80% of everything they write is "inside writing" and that it has a lot of significant value to the band but we dont know much about it. (like portugals songs use weird imagery from alaska that doesnt mean much to one of us.) just a thought
    4estbeston July 27, 2008   Link

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