"Buildings" as written by and Regina Spektor....
He was a husband who drove his wife home drunk from the parties
He was a husband who drove his wife home
And in the car he would lean her head gently against the side door window
And in the bathroom he would hold her hair back and hope, saying;

Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
So tall these days

And in the morning she'd wake up and crouch recollections all day
But she would always always wake up the next morning
He'd take one look at her a say "Oh, oh it's okay"
And her conscience would issue yet another last warning, saying;

Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
So tall these days

And she would ask for time
And she'd ask for time
And she'd ask for time
And she'd ask for time
And she would beg for time
And she’d beg for time
And call it a gift
And he would give her time
And he'd give her time
And he’d give her time
And he'd give her time
But time is not given and time is not taken
It just sifts through its sift
But time is not given and time is not taken
It just sifts through its sift

Sifts through its sift
Just sifts through its sift
Oh, Oh ooooo
Sifts through its sift
Just sifts through its sift

And it was coffee and coffee and coffee and coffee and coffee
And coffee some more
He'd go to work and she'd take a sick day and rot at the core
And by the time he came back she'd scrub the bathrooms and make them smell like pine
It would be almost as if nothing had happened
And he'd give her time
Oh, oh, and he’d give her time saying:

Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
Oh don't they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
Oh they build buildings
Oh, they build buildings so tall these days
And she would ask for time
And she’d ask for time
And she’d ask for time
She’d beg for time
And she would beg for time
And she’d beg for time
And call it a gift
And he would give her time
And he'd give her time
And he’d give her time
And he'd give her time
But time is not given and time is not taken
It just sifts through its sift
But time is not given and time is not taken
It just sifts through its sift

Oh sifts though its sift,
Sifts through its sift
Oh oooo
Oh sifts through its sift
Sifts through its sift

He was a husband drove time
Home, time, car
Oh core
Cores the day
Core coffee
Core warning
Last warning
Was a husband
Time pine
Scrub scrub
Bathroom
Lean hair back
Car window
Hope
Time give
Don't they build buildings so tall these days


Lyrics submitted by geekusa

Buildings song meanings
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89 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentYou probably won't agree with me here, as it seems like a cruel suggestion, buit i think the song's about a woman who suffers from depression, so she drinks to try and help with the pain. Her husband stands by her, but he can see she doesn't want to live anymore, so he says to her "They build buildings so tall these days" - reasuring her that it'd be quick and simple to end her life.
    "But time is not given and time is not taken, it just sifts through it sifts" implies that time means nothing to her anymore. She just lives each day, struggling, waiting for the next one. It just sifts.
    The part where regina sings "But she would always wake up the next morning, and he would look at her and say 'Oh, that's ok.' and her conscience would isssue her another last warning" is talking about how she'd feel guilty every morning she wakes up, because her husband has to put up with her depression and alcohol abuse for another day, but he would sympathise and tell her it's ok, but he conscience is telling her it's wrong to put him through that.
    "She would ask for time, and he would give her time" is talking about her not being ready to end her life yet, and he husband is saying "it's ok, when you're ready."
    Then at the end, it sounds to me like she actually decided it was time to commit suicide. When Regina sings a jumble of key words from the song, it represents the image of her life flashing before her eyes, and as she's falling, she's going over in her head what her husband did for her. The note that Regina ends on, as she sings the word "days" sounds very saddening, asthough a life has just come to an end.
    Leeoramaon August 15, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis to me isnt a song of suicide. Its about the part in your life when the excitements long gone, and things are hard, and theres bills to pay.
    This to me is about a man and his wife, Shes drinking to put some excitement back into her life, shes become apathetic towards life.

    And he works at the relationship, because theres always that time in life when you have to grow up and realise that relationships take work.

    "They build buildings so tall these days"

    is a line that helps him hold on to what he's doing, that gives him faith that this will pass and buildings become bigger. Its also a line of comfort he gives to her. That things change all the time.
    and time isnt anything you can ever hold on too.
    So if she woke up, and saw how big the buildings are, she'd appreciate what it truely is.

    i suppose thats rambling, but this song breaks my heart, her voice is so powerful and the notes so resounding. Its almost as if you can hear her heart breaking through the sounds.
    fitzgeraldon October 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that she is an alcoholic, and he is sticking by her side. The tall buildings part is a metaphor that talks about how different things are now, and how hard it is for her to cope with the world as it is, thus...she drinks to forget about it all. But, he sticks by her...and give her time to get herself together. So sweet.
    Yuyion April 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's about a woman who's an alcoholic and her husband, who stands by her.

    I think the buildings reference is what he says to himself almost as a mantra for why there is still hope that despite how bad off she is ,there is still hope for her to get better. As in "he would hold her hair back and hope, saying "they build buildings so tall these days...", "he'd give her time saying they build buildings so tall these days".

    If you notice it's always HIM saying "they build buildings so tall"... he holds her hair back, cleans her up constantly saying to himself "if they can build buildings so tall, anything is possible - she can get better so I'll continue to wait and support her".
    ephteeon June 25, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think this one's my favourite.
    and i love reading the discussions about the meaning of it all.
    i think this is a sad but beautiful story about a typical couple with their issues. and their story is an example for us and also a warning not to let ourselves do this.
    he's a husband who cares for her but doesn't know how to stop her from destroying them both. he just lets her do it by giving her more time. and his meaning of the sentences 'they build buildings so tall these days' is the optimistic one as if nothing is impossible, she will get over it.
    she's a woman with the problem that is making their perfect relationship not so perfect. and she knows that, and she's ashamed of it, and she begs for time like in time it will get better. but in sentence 'they build buildings so tall these days' her conscience is warning her. i found two meanings in this sentence when she's saying it: either they build to high expectations for her or that she realizes this high buildings can also easily fall down.
    there's no end to this story, it doesn't matter do they break up or die. that listing of the words 'drove, time, home' etc is like rewinding whole story all over again and again like it's repeating, like a routine.
    and i think that sentence ' time is not given and time is not taken, it just sifts through its sift' is a warning from narrator (or regina) not to let ourselves get taken over the same routine and think that things would get better in time, because time is not something you would want to waste. that sentence is like the point of the story.
    i just love her! :))
    MissHardlyon September 16, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me this is very morbid. It's a patient husband who's dealing with his wife's alcholism. Gently coaxing her along, because time in her life has kind of come to a stop even though time never stops. Although he is helping her, he's still got the underlying suggestion, "Oh they build buildings so tall these days." As if this is the solution to her problems. That's the way it seems to me at least.
    lunaroseon April 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song its beautiful
    i could be totally missing here, but i think that its about a man and a woman and the man loves her, but she is slipping away from him. she would like try to figure thingss out and she needed time
    and whenever they did talk to eachother it was meanigless kind of small talk-dont they build buildings so tall today? something like that, maybe theres some metaphor there but thats the first impression i got
    WriterOfFictionson October 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti was totally going to say the same thing as Yuyi about her being an alcoholic... i don't know about the tall building thing, because i am still trying to figure that one out... but i totally agree with the alcoholism & him sticking by her & giving her time to get it taken care of...
    eleven24elevenon May 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTime never stops & things always change.
    WiresAndWaveson May 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the "they build buildings so tall these days" might be something about her falling off a builiding or commiting suicide by jumping off one. In fact before I used to think that the song was about a man who terrorised his wife, because of the she would beg for time bit, I thought it was saying she would beg for more time for him to keep her alive. And I thought the bit that goes "her conscience would issue yet another last warning, saying they build buildings so tall these days," was about him pushing her off a building. But after I've read the lyrics I realise I was probably wrong, ok definitely wrong lol
    ukdean31on May 20, 2006   Link

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