Stealing down an ally on a cold dark night
I see a halo in the rain around the street light
I stop and look, and listen to the sound
As the raindrops penetrate the silence all around
Alone, I gaze into the glistening street
The distant thunder echoing my heartbeat
Urging me on to a secret goal
Away from the light from this lamp on a pole
So I turn, slip away into the rain
Drifting like a spirit through the shadows in the lane
Clutching the tools of my trade in my hand
An old box of matches and a gasoline can
Darkness envelopes the scene like a shroud
A veil of emptiness hangs from the clouds
Filling up the cracks in this desolate place
Cradled by the night in an icy embrace

Moving to the town like a ghost in the rain
A dim reflection in a dark window pane
Blackness beckons from every side
Creeping all around like an incoming tide
A broken window in an empty house
I slip inside and begin to douse
The whole place with the fuel that will feed the fire
And push back the night, taking me higher
On out of the darkness in a defeaning roar
The match in my hand is the key to the door
A simple turn of the wrist will suffice
To open a passage to paradise
I pause, I think about the past and the gloom
The smell of gasoline permeates the room
Everyone has a little secret he keeps
I light the fires while the city sleeps

(Like the 4th of July)

The match makes a graceful arc to the floor
And time stands still as I turn for the door
Which explodes in a fireball and throws me to the street
I hit the ground running with the flames at my feet
Reaching for the night which recoils from the fire
The raindrops hiss like a devilish choir
Dying in the flames with a terrible sound
Calling all the names of the sleepers all around
But then in the arms of the night, they lay
Their dreams sprout wings and fly away
Out of the houses in a gathering flock
Swarming overhead as I hurry down the block
I make my escape with the greatest of ease
And savor the darkness, drop to my knees
And the lightless window, my hand on the latch
I reach in my pocket, and pull out a match

(Like the 4th of July)

Lyrics submitted by scotnr24

The City Sleeps song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentAHHH I LOVE THIS SOOONG!!! wahhooo i love this site!
    sessy_girlon May 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song, obviously an account of an arsonist's night out :)
    kmk_natashaon March 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't really like the instrumentation of this song but I admire it's wonderful narrative and imagery. cool.
    pragmaticon January 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's easy to say it's about someone's addiction to arson, and it probably is, but I like to think the song is about a drug addiction.
    It's just semantics though, arson addiction/drug addiction. All the same.
    Great song
    nreidon May 02, 2012   Link

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