Safe, safe - enjoy your time feeling so safe,
and treasure that smile on your face, okay?
Because time will see that it’s replaced in a while.
So go on, smile.
And handshakes all around: that’s your style,
and no one would call it denial,
for you’re not even sure what’s in store.

And it’s more
than you’ll be able to take standing up straight.
And it won’t be okay.
And you won’t be somebody who it’s just happening to,
because it’s a trap that you, and only you,
have laid. Laid with a towel up over your face,
in your armchair, just lying in wait,
waiting forces were gathering outside your door.
They sharpened their knives
and smiled with no smiles in their eyes,
a little bit larger in size
and a little bit hungrier for that tiny prize.

And my mother once said
“Son, remember this, no matter what someone did:
that they once were just a kid at breast and in bib,
in blanket and crib.
So just reach inside yourself
and find the part that still needs help,
find that part in someone else
and you’ll do good,”
so I thought that I would.

Hey - I love you,
it goes without saying.
I would give you the world on a tray,
though they’re already tracing a line across your throat.
Far too late in the game you’ll find that you have been betrayed:
propped up and pushed into your place.
I could claim that it all would go great,
but the reason I came
is to say that it won’t.
You should know that it won’t,
and so, Phillip, let go.


Lyrics submitted by Totoro

Blanket and Crib song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentAs i listen to this song in my headphones, I feel that its about karmic love... potential shallow suitors (unsmiling eyes) lining up for the girl he loves/lost, and messages to himself (?) to let go, move on.

    So many songs by these great bands are about love or failed romances..... music is much like a chemical ...mixing with my reality creating awareness. and often sadness...

    I like the 'reach inside yourself and find that part that still needs help, find that part in someone else, and you'll do good'

    Although its a busy song, the fluid style of his words tumbling over each other JUST makes it..
    shockdelicaon December 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSounds very good to me. :) But I wonder who Phillip is...

    Anyway... AMAZING song... and the third paragraph are just mindblowing lyrics... literally. I just can't get them out of my head. Sooo good!
    InspectorMustacheon December 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is an awesome song, and i agree a million percent with the person above me, but than again, all okkervil river songs have awesome lyrics!
    Samason January 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAh how I love Okkervil River...

    When I listen to this song, I get the impression of someone trying to warn a beloved one from the pretentiousness and hipocracy of other people.
    And even though he loves that person he will let her make her own mistakes and learn from them...
    (3rd stanza)

    Ah well, who knows eh?
    MissPurpleon November 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI reckon Philips his friend, either a real guy or just invented for the song. I never thought this was about potential suitors, I thought it was about a friend of his who's got mixed up with the wrong guys. It would seem a bit bitter for him to assume that anyone else as a lover would completely destroy them. I think its a love song but a love song for his friend whom he still cares about and doesn't want to see throw his life away. Even though in the past it seems 'philip' betrayed him, he's prepared to let go as its too important and he doesn't ultimately want to lose his friend.
    Zylaon April 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIMO it seems to be a conversation between someone who is cynical about relationships and their lover, who in contrast is very optimistic about love and relationships. It sounds like a warning.
    rsinger09on May 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think he's writing this as a father talking to his son, while his son is too young to understand how the world works.
    flagg1975on September 28, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDef agree with Flagg on this one. I think it is a good thing that Phillip can't understand what Pops is saying because it is pretty cynical.
    bovi sayson March 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm pretty sure that this (youtube.com/…) is talking about the same thing as the song. Basically I think it's a pessimistic but realistic piece of advice about false security.
    logothingon June 07, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI get the sense that the narrator is talking to a friend rather than a son... only because of the tone and other small things like the way he says "my mother," rather than "your grandmother."

    I think the friend has gotten in over his head in some kind of situation... I'm not sure that it's a relationship, it actually seems to be more like he's gotten himself into a social circle that may easily turn on him. ("Handshakes all around"... lots of references to "they" and "them" betraying him.) The narrator evidently thinks Phillip is being a bit naive and failing to see that they've "already traced a line across his throat" and are waiting outside his door with "sharpened knives."

    I also get the impression that the narrator's warning comes after Phillip has slighted him in some way... perhaps he's excluded the narrator from this potentially treacherous social circle. I get this mostly from the line "no matter what someone did"... which is followed by the story of his mother reminding him to remember the innocence in people. He then ends that story by saying, "so I thought that I would." This seems to me to be the whole reason for the warning, and for the song's existence. That rather than just being mad at Phillip, he tries to remember that everyone has this innate innocence, which you should try to help protect even when they don't particularly deserve it.
    cold cruiseron September 19, 2011   Link

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