Is that supposed to be your poker face
Or was someone run over by a train
And you were minding your own business
But you're begging for forgiveness just the same

And it's running back and forth inside your mind
Just how that town defined you
Dressed you up, painted your face

And now you're leaving New York
For no better place

You're awake and trying not to be
Wrapped around your pillow like a prawn
And the nighttime's wrapped around you
Will be until it drops you on the dawn
From the C train to the shiny tower
Kicked around 'til happy hour found you
Where you can drink that smirk right off your face

And now you're leaving New York
For no better place

And here is your reflection
In a building uptown
A ghost inside some Madison Avenue display
Like water under bridges
You're slowly passing by
As you sail between the rooftops and the sky

And the bourbon sits inside me
Right now I'm a puppet in its sway
And it may be the whiskey talking
But the whiskey says I miss you every day

So I taxi to an all-night party
Park me in the corner in an old chair
Sip my drink and stare out into space

And now you're leaving New York
For no better place



Lyrics submitted by BlueAndStarry

No Better Place song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThe character portrayed by this song lives in New York, with his girlfriend, who's planning on leaving. He's very upset about this, and first attempt is to convince her that leaving is a bad idea. When he sees this isn't working, he feels like she's already fading away, and so he resorts to alchohol to drow his troubles.
    ye-interpreteron September 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about a very depressed guy who turns to Alcohol as so do many people. This is #1 favorite song.
    BBFOFRon February 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Is that supposed to be your poker face, or was someone run over by a train?"

    what a great line.
    arjanon September 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of my favorite songs of all time.

    "And it's running back and forth inside your mind,
    Just how that town defined you
    Dressed you up, painted on your face."

    That line is just amazing. Makes me think of where I grew up and how much it sucks that I never go back. I always think about how my hometown defines the way I am.

    and then "So I taxi to an all night party,
    Park me in the corner in an old chair,
    sip my drink and stare out into space"

    reminds me of visiting old friends at different colleges. I almost never do it anymore, because I drive so far to see them and realize that they have brand new friends I don't know, and I end up bored as hell.

    Fountains of Wayne always hits the spot somehow. I can't describe how, but their lyrics feel so relatable and charming. Great song.
    Amselon May 20, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think that ye-interpreter pretty much got it. In the beginning, when he's asking his girlfriend who is about to leave him "Is that supposed to be your poker face
    Or was someone run over by a train"
    He had already started his drinking, which causes him to mould his thoughts to believe that she is the one who desperately needs him while it's obviously the opposite.

    "And it's running back and forth inside your mind
    Just how that town defined you
    Dressed you up, painted your face"
    Here, I believe that the narrator is telling his girlfriend this as reasoning to why she should stay (because they're used to being there and they'll miss things about it) but I also think that this is a major reason that he doesn't want to go with his girlfriend if she does leave.

    "You're awake and trying not to be
    Wrapped around your pillow like a prawn
    And the nighttime's wrapped around you
    Will be until it drops you on the dawn
    From the C train to the shiny tower
    Kicked around 'til happy hour found you
    Where you can drink that smirk right off your face"
    This is the narrator speaking to himself in third person, showing his girlfriend how she was wrong but only proving the point further that he's the one who needs her. He also tells himself here that if there's ever pain or uncertainty, drinking is something you can turn to

    "And here is your reflection
    In a building uptown
    A ghost inside some Madison Avenue display"
    At this point, his girlfriend is already gone and he still imagines seeing her wherever he looks.

    "And the bourbon sits inside me
    Right now I'm a puppet in its sway
    And it may be the whiskey talking
    But the whiskey says I miss you every day"
    Here, the narrator realises his drinking problem and faces the fact that he misses his girlfriend, but tries to blame those feelings on his drinking

    "So I taxi to an all-night party
    Park me in the corner in an old chair
    Sip my drink and stare out into space"
    Finally, as the narrator is conflicted between feelings of loneliness and the need to not be wrong, he goes to a party so he can drown out unpleasant feelings, thus perpetuating his drinking problem and further ignoring his true feelings so that he may never be hurt but what he doesn't realise is that he's inadvertently hurting himself every time he tries to escape his pain.
    Coolfoolssson November 25, 2013   Link

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