Roll me over
I want to wave at the kids
Can't say I prescribe
Because I don't know what it is

And I'm down at the track
I'm just calling to check in
If you start without me
Say my name as you begin

It's not like it wasn't all for you
But like everything I do
It's misunderstood

Take a message
I'm on my way out of town
But the wording's important
So make sure you write it down

There's money behind
Every picture in the place
Sincerely, your husband
On my way to the next race

If it's once, I've got it
If it's twice, I don't

It's not like it wasn't all for you
But like everything I do
It's misunderstood


Lyrics submitted by sarahsavedlatin

Start Without Me song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI love the way this song starts. It is probably my favorite song on the CD, even though I don't think I understand the meaning of the song at all. I'm sure there is more to it than just a gambling husband being left by his wife because of his bad habits.
    Sepulchraveon June 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo take a stab at it, I think this song is about a negligent husband. He clearly has a gambling problem and travels a lot but excuses it by saying it's "all for you", his wife and family. There seems to be some cynicism like maybe he really is doing what he wants instead of what he should, but passing it off as him being "misunderstood". Just a guess.
    _strangeron March 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like this song alot too, but I am puzzled over the first line - roll me over so i can wave at the kids - is he morbidly obese or otherwise incapacitated? in a wheelchair? At any rate, I really like the line, and I'm nearly certain imagery like this hasn't appeared before in music.
    mundialon March 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTW Walsh also does an amazing version of this song--- check it outo n his website sometime.
    ElectricPinkPantheron June 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song has a really nice warm feel to it, i think his vocals sound very similiar to Evan Dando, great stuff!
    uggbootson May 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnother song about fatherhood. This poor ignorant, lazy father has a gambling problem and tries to play it off as himself being misunderstood or for the family.

    I feel like the "start without me" reference is to his wife having an affair while he's off at the races, but he keeps her happy with the money he gets.

    I love Bazan but he makes me feel so depressed when I hear his songs and realize just how greedy and ignorant we all are.
    kyle171on April 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think he means the human race when he refers to he's on his way to the next race. and anyways, this song was written by tw walsh, not bazan and he just wants bazan to say his name if he starts without him. you know, cause everything walsh does is misunderstood--from shark to ape.
    bazansbitchon November 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI started thinking about how it would make some kind of sense if the guy in this song is the same guy as the one in Transcontinental. Just because he left himself to bleed to death doesn't mean that someone doesn't find him and call the ambulance anyway. Since he no longer has legs, that's why he needs them to roll him over to wave at the kids, why does he want to wave at the kids? Maybe he's loopy for pain killers. Maybe he's got a new found interest in life since he's been saved. He can't say he prescribes because he doesn't know what it is could be when a doctor is asking a person what sort of medications he's on. He's down at the tracks (where his legs were severed) and he checks in And even though he's somewhere getting medical attention, he doesn't know if he'll make it so he's telling his wife where he hid all the money.
    It's an interesting interpretation at least, right? EVen though it is totally wrong.
    TheFranzXon April 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhoa whoa whoa, a negligent husband with a gambling problem? I don't get that at all... I think it's a man committing suicide out of feelings of inadequacy or failure. He's asking to be rolled over due to an inability to do it himself, but waving to his kids is obviously important. Consider that in this situation, acknowledging his children takes priority over figuring out why he can't move. To me, I took that as him being comfortable or maybe even expecting an inability to move. Mentioning that he doesn't know if he prescribes, makes me think the character reached for any and all pills in the cabinet, and when paramedics suspect an overdose, they usually ask if you are on any prescriptions.

    In the verse where he mentions being "at the track" where most people seem to think it's the first mention of a gambling problem, I kind of took it as him calling to check up on his wife to see what she's doing. I very much so took this as a suspicious call, being nosy, etc... "if you start without me" could be dinner with the children while he's away, or it could be a hotel romp, not sure it matters, it just seemed like he's longing for acknowledgment of his attempts, if not any successes at being a good partner.

    "Take a message..." seemed to be suggesting that he's only got one chance to say his piece, because he wont be around to clarify or rebut. He wanted this message to survive close scrutiny and have an impact, maybe because it was something he could never speak out loud. As you can guess, I do think he's talking about a suicide note.

    The next stanza mentioning money behind the pictures seems to be blending the idea that he'll miss the memories and all the good times they had, and a "don't worry, I'll still provide for you the only thing that you ever really needed me for, you're just going to have to get through all the things I loved in life to get it"

    "If it's once I got it..." this line is probably the most (for me) stirring and amazing example of Bazan's ability to say so much by hiding it in something that should be mundane. I think he's talking about being there to answer the phone. Kind of like an "I'll be in the office, so I'll get the phone" but if it rings more than once, he either does not intend to answer, or he is not able to. A stunning example of anti-climacticism where he seems to be saying that she'll know he's gone, and she'll have to get the phone. Not so much a "you'll have to do the little things I used to do for you" statement so much as a "this is how you'll know I'm gone, but don't forget to answer the phone before you bother to care"

    He feels worthless, incapable, unlovable, unremarkable, and unmemorable. A loaded song, and heartbreaking to say the least.
    JCBitBon May 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm gonna go ahead and say that I agree with the gambling father who travels a lot... and the "roll me over" puzzled me a lot but now after many many plays I think its actually in a "web cam" situation.... kinda like he's talking to his wife in skype and as to "roll me over" (web cam) so he can see the kids and say hi...

    Another point of view it just came to my head... is that he is some sort of debt trouble.... (mafia?) and he is trying to get away... that would also make sense
    BUCon May 31, 2010   Link

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