"Nobody's Crying" as written by and Patty Griffin....
Well he jumps in the taxi, headed for the sky
He's off to slay some demon dragonfly
And he looked at me, that long last time
Turned away again and I waved goodbye

In an envelope, inside his coat
Is a chain I wore, around my throat
Along with, a note I wrote
Said "I love you but, I don't even know why"

But darling, I wish you well
On your way to the wishing well
Swinging off of those gates of hell
But I can tell how hard you're trying

Just have that secret hope
Sometimes all we do is cope
Somewhere on the steepest slope
There'll be an endless rope
And nobody crying.

Well a long night turns into a couple long years
Of me walkin' around, around this trail of tears
Where the very loud voices of my own fears
Is ringin' and ringin' in my ears

It says that love is long gone
Every move I make is all wrong
Says you never gave a damn for me
For anything, for anyone

But darling, I wish you well
On your way to the wishing well
Swinging off of those gates of hell
But I can tell how hard you're trying,

Just have that secret hope
Sometimes all we do is cope
Somewhere on the steepest slope
There'll be an endless rope
And nobody crying.

May you dream you are dreaming, in a warm soft bed
And may the voices inside you that fill you with dread
Make the sound of thousands of angels instead
Tonight where you might be laying your head

But darling, I wish you well
On your way to the wishing well
Swinging off of those gates of hell
But I can tell how hard you're trying

Just have that secret hope
Sometimes all we do is cope
Somewhere on the steepest slope
There'll be an endless rope

And nobody crying.
And nobody crying,
Nobody crying


Lyrics submitted by chancellor

"Nobody's Crying" as written by

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Nobody's Crying song meanings
Add your thoughts

4 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentPatty Griffin writes such amazing lyrics and then complements them with such hauntingly beautiful melodies. And what a voice too huh! The total package, take notice, she will one day get the recognition she so rightly deserves. Onto this song. Who hasn't had to say goodbye to love gone bad. In most relationships that don't last, the common thread is that one person ends up loving the other more. No one sets out to do it, but it happens. I think what Ms. Griffin sings so elequently about in most of her songs are experiences that most of us live through at one point or another but she has the graces to put these feelings associated with the experiences into powerfully moving poetic lyrics. just wow. I hear this song and it takes me back to a relationship in which i was the one who loved more then then the guy. That line "Said I love you but, I don't even know why" speaks of the realization that sometimes we stay in relationships out of habit and that we often can not define the reason we act or feel a certain way. When you get to the point that you question it, it's time to fly. How powerful though, to move on from the relationship, realize it's time to fly and not harbor any animosity toward the other party and in time even wish them well. The pause before the whole verse "May you dream you are dreaming...laying your head" speaks so handedly that you wish only the best for this person once you get past the experience and that in the end you have grained from living through it. The broken heart fades away. The only feeling you have place for is to wish them well.
    awellwrittensongon November 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationPatty has written a few songs that deal with death. I believe this is one of them.

    This song is from the point of view of a woman who has lost a man in her life, whether it's her husband or close friend, I'm not sure, but the "darlin" makes me assume it's a romantic type thing.

    "He jumps in the taxi, headed for the sky" - a man dies.

    I've pondered the "demon dragonfly" line. This may not be accurate, but maybe the "demon dragonfly" is depression, addiction, etc...that was finally to be conquered in this person by their death. I don't know, just my idea. Maybe even reffering to a disease like cancer. Maybe the cause of death is suicide, due to the pain the person was in, whether physically or mentally.

    "In an envelope....." As a child, I lost family members. At their services, people close to them would write notes or leave other mementos in the casket with the deceased loved one. I can see that in this case as well. Maybe the chain and a note, or maybe just the chain, and "the note" is simply symbolic for her emotions toward the man. I thought about a gold chain, but then I also thought of a real chain, and how heavy those can be, as if his departure takes away a heavy burden. "Around my throat" makes me think of something binding or choking in a way...("ball and CHAIN" just occured to me as well. lol.)

    "I love you, but I don't even know why." - they must've had alot of history...maybe she was there for him through it all, and sometimes it felt as if the pain wasn't worth it all. Or maybe he was abusive or unloving and indifferent.

    The chorus tells of her hoping for the best for this person, wherever they've gone....

    "Wishing well" - people throw coins into a fountain or wishing well for good luck...in ancient times, people would throw coins, buttons, jewelry, or small tokens of some kind into the well to hope and wish for luck or healing. Some ancient people believed they were making an offering to a higher power. Maybe she is saying "wherever or whatever God is, I hope you find Him, or Heaven, or wherever there's healing/peace/happiness..." Either she wants the listener to think of their certain beliefs, or she is uncertain of where people go in the afterlife...(makes me think of her song "Goodbye." which I believe is about someone she knew well or had known well died, but didn't know them as well as the person this song is about.)

    Also, it just occured to me - this is a huge stretch - maybe in her imagination, he's taking the chain she wore around her throat to the wishing well to help her find peace and luck.

    "swinging off those gates of Hell..." - she is hoping he is in Heaven, or somewhere peaceful.

    "I can tell how hard you're trying" - still speaking to him as though he were alive, she knows he tried his best to either get over the illness, or to be a better person. Almost as if she could see the person he could be instead of who he was, and she could tell he was trying hard to be that person. Or, if she's speaking to him in death, maybe she is saying she knows he is a good person and that he deserves to be at peace because he made an effort to be a better man.

    "Still have this secret hope..." - this makes me think of when my maternal grandfather died at age 52. After his death, we would go to visit my grandma in the town they lived in 5 hours away. My Mom would say "it's so weird, I almost expect Daddy to be there at the table, drinking his cup of coffee, but he's not there...." The secret hope could possibly be wishing this person would, by impossible miracle, return.

    "Sometimes all I do is cope..." another way of saying "I'm getting through it, minute by minute, day by day..."

    "Somewhere on the steepest slope, is an endless rope, and nobody crying." - she will mourn this person until she dies. Or maybe somewhere, someday, she won't mourn them so deeply that she cries at their thought.

    "Long night turns into a couple long years." - like I just mentioned - coping day to day....this makes me also think of the song "Goodbye."

    "Loud voices of my own fear." - the thing she feared has happened - the person she loves died, now she's left behind to live it.

    "You never gave a damn for me or anything or anyone." - In the grieving process, people sometimes get angry at the person who left them behind. This could be the case, or the man was suicidal and some people view suicide as selfish. That or the other issues he had in life made her feel as though he didn't give a damn.

    "May you dream you are dreaming....." - death is the eternal sleep...she is hoping his eternal sleep is peaceful

    "May the voices inside you....." - she is hoping his internal battles are gone, and either hoping he's at peace, or in Heaven, or wherever he has gone off to.

    The last chorus uses "we" instead of "I" - I feel maybe it's refering to all of us, the human race...sometimes all we do is cope.....

    Maybe this is sort of accurate.
    It's just my take.
    It's a hauntingly beautiful song.
    Patty is the best.

    ilove705on January 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationPatty has written a few songs that deal with death. I believe this is one of them.

    This song is from the point of view of a woman who has lost a man in her life, whether it's her husband or close friend, I'm not sure, but the "darlin" makes me assume it's a romantic type thing.

    "He jumps in the taxi, headed for the sky" - a man dies.

    I've pondered the "demon dragonfly" line. This may not be accurate, but maybe the "demon dragonfly" is depression, addiction, etc...that was finally to be conquered in this person by their death. I don't know, just my idea. Maybe even reffering to a disease like cancer. Maybe the cause of death is suicide, due to the pain the person was in, whether physically or mentally.

    "In an envelope....." As a child, I lost family members. At their services, people close to them would write notes or leave other mementos in the casket with the deceased loved one. I can see that in this case as well. Maybe the chain and a note, or maybe just the chain, and "the note" is simply symbolic for her emotions toward the man. I thought about a gold chain, but then I also thought of a real chain, and how heavy those can be, as if his departure takes away a heavy burden. "Around my throat" makes me think of something binding or choking in a way...("ball and CHAIN" just occured to me as well. lol.)

    "I love you, but I don't even know why." - they must've had alot of history...maybe she was there for him through it all, and sometimes it felt as if the pain wasn't worth it all. Or maybe he was abusive or unloving and indifferent.

    The chorus tells of her hoping for the best for this person, wherever they've gone....

    "Wishing well" - people throw coins into a fountain or wishing well for good luck...in ancient times, people would throw coins, buttons, jewelry, or small tokens of some kind into the well to hope and wish for luck or healing. Some ancient people believed they were making an offering to a higher power. Maybe she is saying "wherever or whatever God is, I hope you find Him, or Heaven, or wherever there's healing/peace/happiness..." Either she wants the listener to think of their certain beliefs, or she is uncertain of where people go in the afterlife...(makes me think of her song "Goodbye." which I believe is about someone she knew well or had known well died, but didn't know them as well as the person this song is about.)

    Also, it just occured to me - this is a huge stretch - maybe in her imagination, he's taking the chain she wore around her throat to the wishing well to help her find peace and luck.

    "swinging off those gates of Hell..." - she is hoping he is in Heaven, or somewhere peaceful.

    "I can tell how hard you're trying" - still speaking to him as though he were alive, she knows he tried his best to either get over the illness, or to be a better person. Almost as if she could see the person he could be instead of who he was, and she could tell he was trying hard to be that person. Or, if she's speaking to him in death, maybe she is saying she knows he is a good person and that he deserves to be at peace because he made an effort to be a better man.

    "Still have this secret hope..." - this makes me think of when my maternal grandfather died at age 52. After his death, we would go to visit my grandma in the town they lived in 5 hours away. My Mom would say "it's so weird, I almost expect Daddy to be there at the table, drinking his cup of coffee, but he's not there...." The secret hope could possibly be wishing this person would, by impossible miracle, return.

    "Sometimes all I do is cope..." another way of saying "I'm getting through it, minute by minute, day by day..."

    "Somewhere on the steepest slope, is an endless rope, and nobody crying." - she will mourn this person until she dies. Or maybe somewhere, someday, she won't mourn them so deeply that she cries at their thought.

    "Long night turns into a couple long years." - like I just mentioned - coping day to day....this makes me also think of the song "Goodbye."

    "Loud voices of my own fear." - the thing she feared has happened - the person she loves died, now she's left behind to live it.

    "You never gave a damn for me or anything or anyone." - In the grieving process, people sometimes get angry at the person who left them behind. This could be the case, or the man was suicidal and some people view suicide as selfish. That or the other issues he had in life made her feel as though he didn't give a damn.

    "May you dream you are dreaming....." - death is the eternal sleep...she is hoping his eternal sleep is peaceful

    "May the voices inside you....." - she is hoping his internal battles are gone, and either hoping he's at peace, or in Heaven, or wherever he has gone off to.

    The last chorus uses "we" instead of "I" - I feel maybe it's refering to all of us, the human race...sometimes all we do is cope.....

    Maybe this is sort of accurate.
    It's just my take.
    It's a hauntingly beautiful song.
    Patty is the best.

    ilove705on January 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI interpreted this a little differently than ilove705. I think it's a little less coded and the meaning is a little more straightforward.
    I think this song is talking about a breakup between the singer and a man, who is leaving her. He's probably leaving her to go on some sort of quest. It reminds me of the ancient times when the heroes had to leave their women to go save the world, but since this is from the girl's point of view, she doubts how useful his mission is. Therefore she says "off to slay some dragon or dragonfly". Dragons are dangerous, but dragonflies are harmless.
    So as he leaves her, he takes her necklace with the note inside. But even though she may be a little bitter, she wishes him well on the way to his journey. She says that she "can tell how hard you're trying", and I think this means he's trying to prove himself to the world. So she tells him to keep "our secret hope" and just to cope. But in the end, "on the steepest slope, there'll be an endless rope" for him to go back to her whenever he's done. That's why neither of them will cry, because he will come back.
    The 2nd verse is a little trickier. It says "Well a long night turns into a couple long years Of me walkin' around, around this trail of tears" and it isn't clear whether these years are after he left (and therefore she's still waiting) or while he was with her (the relationship was difficult because of his problems), but I think it is the first one. Even though she told him that he will be able to come back, she isn't sure he will anymore because of how long it's been since she's seen him. There's a voice in her mind that tells her that the love the two shared is gone, and he never cared "for me, for anything, for anyone" in the first place.
    But even despite these fears, she still wishes that wherever he is, his fears are dispelled by angels. And I think to stop herself from crying that he's not coming back, in the end she remembers the memory of when he left, and how she swore she wouldn't cry, thinking he would someday come back.
    lunalethalon November 18, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain