"The End Has No End" as written by and Julian Casablancas....
One by one, ticking time bombs won
It's not the secrets of the government
That's keeping you dumb
Oh, it's the other way around, wait
What's that sound?
One by one, baby, here they come

He wants it easy he want it relaxed
Said I can do a lot of things, but I can't do that
Two steps forward, then three steps back alright

Won't you take a walk outside? Oh, no
Can't you find some other guy? Oh, no
One-nine-six-nine, what's that sound? Oh, no
Keeping down the underground, oh, no

The end has no end, the end has no end
The end has no end, the end has no end

He want it easy, he want it relaxed
Said I can do a lot of things, but I can't do that
Two steps forward then three steps back, it won't be easy

Won't you take a walk outside? Oh, no
Can't you find another guy? Oh, no
One-nine-six-three, what's that sound? Oh, no
Keeping down the underground, oh, no

The end has no end, the end has no end
The end has no end, the end has no end
The end has no end, the end has no end
The end has no end, the end has no end

Lyrics submitted by Stoney

"The End Has No End" as written by Julian Casablancas


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The End Has No End song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentThis song is a great example of how the Strokes' lyrics are really simple but convey a lot of information. For instance, I think that the lines near the start are excellent:

    "it's not the secret of the government that's keeping you dumb/oh it's the other way round..."

    To me, it's suggesting that people always assume that the government is big and evil and in control of everything, and that they are being kept in the dark or somehow controlled, but if they only looked at the reality of the situation they would realise that instead of blaming some government manipulation for keeping the people dumb, it's "the other way round": the dumb people allow a corrupt government through their inaction.

    Then the theme of inaction resonates through the song, like "he want it easy; he want it relaxed" - e.g. did you ever know someone who was really smart and capable but refused to confront any political issues? And "can't you find some other guy" - people always assume someone else will sort out political problems rather than them having to actually get off their behinds and doing something positive themselves.

    Then you have "what's that sound" repeated through the song, which seems to be a reference to the song 'For What It's Worth' by Buffalo Springfield, another great song about political inaction amongst intelligent, well informed people being a big problem.

    In line with this general theme, 1963 was the year JFK was assassinated and the US escalated its involvement in South East Asia (Vietnam). 1969 was when the draft began, and when huge anti-war protests took place in the US against the Vietnam war. It was also the year of the My Lai massacre by US forces in Vietnam, and the year of Woodstock.
    caitsith01on May 16, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhen The Strokes came to New Zealand, Julius said that this song was about his great great great great grandfather who was a fisherman and moved (I can't remember from what country) to New York. This kind of fits with the song.
    The book Sailor Song by Ken Kesey (author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) explains this song, much clearer then Soma and Brave New World. I highly recomend you read this book,it is increadible, and if you like this song it will make the lyrics clearer to you. The ending of the book is awesome, and of course in it, nothing ends at the end.
    tired1001on May 06, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think what Casablancas was trying to say with this song was...There's no point to any of this. It's all just a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes. So he takes pleasure in the details. You know... a quarter-pounder with cheese, those are good, the sky about ten minutes before it starts to rain, the moment where your laughter becomes a cackle... and he sits back and he smokes his Camel Straights and he rides his own melt.
    The End has no End
    dimpleson December 17, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentTo be general I believe this song is more about life than politics. In the video helps explain how life continues in transition to another hassle such as school then you think it ends at graduation but then you have to work, what you thought has an end has no end. Everyday it feels the same at school and later in life at work it all comes together to feel that it has no end. The two step forward also fit it, you think you moved on but your back where you started living life in repeated patterns which everyone has to deal with. p.s. i love eva mendes who looks great in this video!!
    whatever101on March 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLooking at the lyrics now I honestly think its about the Vietnam War.
    kcfreshhon January 17, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI'd like to start by saying that I was watching an interview in which Jules said that their songs don't have political messages.
    I don't want to burst bubbles, but a lot of you are wrong.

    Whatever101, I completely agree with your interpretation of the song. I want to add that it's kind of like how humans are always transitory and we never think about what were doing, we just follow a routine. I also think that the end of the song, which is the same guitar riff played in the beginning as well,is meant to refer back to the title, showing how the end of the song is just the beginning all over again, hence "the end has no end" .

    The chorus to me is saying like there's no time to worry about these things, like they don't fit in the routine.
    "won't you take a walk outside? oh no."
    Like no, I can't take a walk becaus there's no time for it.
    "1 9 6 9/6 3 whats that sound?...keeping down the underground"
    I think this part is saying with thngs like the JFK assassination, going to the moon, the vietnam war, etc. Things like that, can't be worried about by people because they don't have the time, so they just put it down at the bottom of their list ("keeping down the underground").
    strokesgirlon February 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentdoes anyone see a cold war/ vietnam thing going on in this song?
    epe12on April 20, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe song is probably just a mashup of random ideas.

    "1969 what's that sound?
    keeping down the underground"

    I think that part is about the band's own sound. The Velvet Underground released their self titled album in 1969, and that's probably the strokes' no. 1 influence out there. In fact julian casablancas jokingly said in an interview that they were listening to VU records and trying to copy their stuff. "keeping down the underground" I think refers to that, trying to get that 60's and 70's sound without copying their style. Great song
    chungomanon December 09, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI don't see anyone on the same track as me, but nonetheless I think of the end of Ralph Ellison's book Invisible Man when I hear this (which I read for school). "It's not the secrets of the government that's keeping you dumb, no it's the other way around" sounds like a major theme at the end, since the populist organization he joins ends up being his greatest enemy, not necessarily the government. "He want it easy, he want it relaxed" reminds me of a scene where he has some difficulties with a woman named Sybil, for those who've read the book. The chorus makes some sense because after this scene he takes a long "walk outside" through NYC where there are riots and looting, the result of a failure to "keep down" the people of Harlem, then retreats "underground" into a manhole. "Can't you find some other guy?" could relate to the fact that he's been taken advantage of the entire book and gets pretty tired of that. Also, somewhere in the book he says that "the end is in the beginning yet lies further ahead." This statement is pretty vague (as is "the end has no end"), but both portray the same sense of perpetuity. Unfortunately the book does not take place in the 60s, although 1369, a scramble of 1963, is the number of lightbulbs his room is home to (that's a long shot). Overall I think it's interesting how many comparisons I found in my first few listens.
    Lampala1203on January 02, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhy hasn't anyone commented on this song? It's hella good. I think its kind of controvertial and a bit political but thats why i like it. I think hes talking about the future of our government and how the same mistakes keep repeating themselves and people keep messing up. I'm not sure if thats what it is, but thats how it sounds.
    ahchar514on April 14, 2004   Link

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