"We Are Nowhere and It's Now" as written by and Oberst....
If you hate the taste of wine
Why do you drink it 'til you're blind?
And if you swear that there's no truth and who cares
How come you say it like you're right?
Why are you scared to dream of God
When it's salvation that you want?
You see stars that clear have been dead for years
But the idea just lives on
In our wheels that roll around
As we move over the ground
And all day it seems we've been in between
The past and future town

We are nowhere, and it's now
We are nowhere, and it's now

And like a ten minute dream in the passenger seat
While the world was flying by
I haven't been gone very long
But it feels like a lifetime

I've been sleeping so strange at night
Side effects they don't advertise
I've been sleeping so strange
With a head full of pesticide

I've got no plans and too much time
I feel too restless to unwind
I'm always lost in thought as I walk a block
To my favorite neon sign
Where the waitress looks concerned
But she never says a word
Just turns the jukebox on and we hum along
And I smile back at her
And my friend comes after work
When the features start to blur
She says these bars are filled with things that kill
By now you probably should have learned
Did you forget that yellow bird?
How could you forget your yellow bird?
She took a small silver wreath and pinned it on to me
She said, "This one will bring you love"
And I don't know if it's true
But I keep it for good luck


Lyrics submitted by keely

"We Are Nowhere and It's Now" as written by Oberst

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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We Are Nowhere and It's Now song meanings
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118 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentAs for the 'yellow bird' reference:

    They used to send canaries (which are yellow. And birds.) down the mines to find out if there was a lack of oxygen or any other dangerous gases - if the canary died, then they knew that something was wrong, and so they didn't send the humans down.

    So, "did you forget that yellow bird?" - did you forget to send the bird down first, to check if the coast was clear? Did you just plunge ahead and find out too late that there was danger awaiting you?

    Just a theory :)
    plasticflowerson January 16, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis has been my all time favorite song for as long as I can remember, and I believe it intends to stay that way.


    I just got my girlfriend a necklace of a little yellow bird. I'm such a hopeless romantic, HA.
    Modestlyon December 11, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song takes me back to my early days of recovery. To me, he was singing to himself. "Why do you drink until you're blind". The beginning of the song is about trying to stay off the alcohol/drugs. Moments feel like a lifetime:

    I've been sleeping so strange at night
    Side effects they don't advertise
    I've been sleeping so strange
    With a head full of pesticide

    (Sleeping in early recovery was difficult for me..weird dreams, restlessness)

    Then, gets restless (as we do) trying to get clean.

    I've got no plans and too much time
    I feel too restless to unwind
    I'm always lost in thought as I walk the block
    To my favorite neon sign

    And, ends up at the bar.

    The yellow bird has always signified hope for me. My daughter is the reason I initially got sober. She was my yellow bird. I can't forget my yellow bird.


    emyellowbirdon October 09, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti'm not a fan of the lady.
    i rockon December 02, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is amazing. I love the way how it flicks between telling a story and all these desperate images. It's stunning at the end, the yellow bird line does it for me.

    "I've been sleeping so strange at night
    Side effects they don't advertise
    I've been sleeping so strange
    With a head full of pesticide"
    I'm probably stating the obvious but I think that's about anti-depressants.
    red_penon February 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song, like many songs, is about being stuck in "that place". That place in your life where you're young and have no idea where you're going and you want to go back to when you were a kid and happy, but you have to move on, and people sometimes don't know how to do that. Kind of like a quarter life crisis. I think there is a lot of references to people being depressed/stuck in this song, like the person who drinks wine til their blind and the waitress who looks but doesn't say a word. She knows the narrator is depressed but just lets it be. that's just what I get out of it anyway.
    angelle2on January 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI found this on Urban Dictionary...

    1.yellow bird

    a person's true love; the one person they are both externally and internally, both consciously and subconsciously attached to with the realization that those feelings will never die; the one person that they know they can't live without

    if they find this person, they are the luckiest in the world. if not, they are eternally screwed.
    SarahToxicon September 21, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI've read someone mention elsewhere that the line ''You're the yellow bird I've been waiting for'' in Poison Oak means his friend's brother dying was what led Conor to stop abusing alcohol and drugs. (i.e: that death was the ''yellow bird'' that alerted him to how much he was putting his life in danger, just like yellow birds used to alert ppl that mines are dangerous).

    So, I think

    And my friend comes after work
    When the features start to blur
    She says these bars are filled with things that kill
    By now you probably should have learned

    Did you forget that yellow bird?
    How could you forget your yellow bird?

    means his friend telling him ''How could you forget that people die from drinking the way you're doing? How could you forget your wake-up call?''
    NoLiesJustLove116on April 30, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is beautiful

    my favorite part is the second line "And if you swear that there's no truth and who cares, how come you say it like you're right?" then also "for a ten minute dream in the passenger's seat while the world was flying by, you haven't been gone very long but it feels like a life time."

    he captures things so well that I hear him describe the obvious and I feel this BAM of a realization, and i love that

    Edited by mellow_harsher on July 23 2005, at 12:42PM

    ThereIsARiskon April 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song. i hope it gets released because seeing it performed live was amazing x 30303
    illusionofsafetyon May 30, 2004   Link

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