"The Sound of Settling" as written by and Benjamin Gibbard....
I've got a hunger twisting my stomach into knots; that my tongue is tied off
My brain's repeating if you've got an impulse, let it out!
But they never make it past my mouth

This is the sound of settling
This is the sound of settling

Our youth is fleeting, old age is just around the bend and I can't wait to go gray
And I'll sit and wonder of every love that could have been
If I'd only thought of something charming to say

This is the sound of settling
This is the sound of settling

I've got a hunger twisting my stomach into knots


Lyrics submitted by heartattack

"The Sound of Settling" as written by Benjamin Gibbard

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Sound of Settling song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about regreting things you could have said, but instead you bit your tongue...the sound of settling is the sound of all the unsaid words settling...
    a_jimi_thingon May 25, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTransatlanticism (album) is a story in itself,
    1.The New Year- He went to a New Years party to just follow a crowd, and he explains why he doesn't like it.
    2.Lightness- He finds a strange attraction to a girl at the New Years party and he persuades her into a relationship.
    3.Title And Registration- The break up scene for Ben and the girl. She thought he was holding her back, so she left him.
    4.Expo '86- He keeps getting back into a relationship with her, and they keep breaking up. They keep thinking it would do good to get together, but they then figure it only did them harm. But they still do the same thing over, and over again.
    5.The Sound Of Settling- Kind of self explanatory, he settles down, finally, and he feels it might be the wrong thing to do...
    6.Tiny Vessels- ...So he goes out to find himself another relationship, and the "moving together in the dark" part is one of his greatest mistakes. He thought this would do him good to get back out there but he just made a mistake to scar himself by laying with a beautiful girl when deep down he had no particular interest in her. He also somewhat wanted to make his REAL love jealous. (Bad move)
    7.Transatlanticism- He was just about to be done healing from his emotional scar (from Tiny Vessels) and go apologize to his REAL love, and she left. And pretty far at that, all the way across the Atlantic! And just when he needs her the most she is gone, just like that.
    8.Passenger Seat- The "So come ON!" line of Transatlanticism was him getting her to come back, and she did. So she met him, (I imagine an airport is where they met) and she is driving him home. He is just in a state of ecstasy because of the relief that this gave him, that she came back, and the love they share, complimented by a nice drive on a peaceful night down a country road. It doesn't get any better.
    9.Death Of an Interior Decorator- You may not notice it at first, but this is tremendously depressing. She thought she would be happy, (the one Ben loves) but she has doubt built up in her, and the wedding gone bad she helped decorate for pushed her over the edge. She committed suicide. And imagine the pain this would give you.
    10.We Looked Like Giants- This is a flashback of Ben's college years, he was with a girl he loved, and he thinks of getting with her again to help him get over his deceased love. But he figures it would be the wrong thing to do.
    11.A Lack Of Color- He now is angry with of all his past mistakes. So he is trying to talk to his love, and he says its "fact not fiction, for the first time in years" that he says he means he want NOTHING else but her. And he picks up his phone to call her, but he only finds more sadness.

    I hope this helped you :)
    IKnowGoodMusicon March 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song is really straightforward.
    It's just about being too shy to say something to someone.

    "I've got a hunger
    Twisting my stomach into knots.
    That my tongue has tied off."

    The "hunger" is his desire to talk to someone (it implies a girl), and it's turning his stomach into knots as he nervously contemplates it. He's tongue tied though.

    "My brain's repeating
    "If you've got an impulse let it out"
    But they never make it past my mouth."

    In his head is telling him to say something, but he can't bring the words up so they get past his mouth.

    "Bop ba,Bop ba, this is the sound of settling
    Bop ba, Bop ba"

    "bop ba" is gibberish which is all he can get out. It becomes the sound of settling because it's the noise which marks his settling into place. He can't move outside of his shy silence, so he settles.

    "Our youth is fleeting,
    Old age is just around the bend.
    And I can't wait to go gray."

    This is probably him thinking about how it will be easier when he's old and gray, there won't be the pressure that there is when you're young to go out and talk and date and fall in love.

    "And I'll sit and wonder
    Of every love that could've been.
    If I'd only thought of something charming to say."

    This ties it all together, stating overtly that he's missed chances at love because he couldn't find anything to say.
    Frank7734on January 30, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't believe no one has said anything about this song yet!!!

    and i'll sit and wonder
    of every love that could've been
    if i'd only thought of something charming to say...

    I can relate so much to that...
    taylor8285on April 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so adorable. the video is too.
    radiobreakdownon April 28, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this is about when you are too shy to talk to girls and later you are like, "i wonder what could have been if i had said something to her"...happens to me alot, hehe.
    fish eat steelon April 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti can relate to this song so much its a beautiful song
    shiteon April 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is definitely about how you have to take risks in order to fall in love.
    Rachey3on May 02, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with the rest of you, i love this song, i suck at talking to girls =-/
    noschoolspirit7on May 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEver since I saw the music video I had the song stuck in my head. I like it because it's short and simplistic. The chorus is so catchy.
    katilekaon June 01, 2004   Link

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