We're caught in a landslide
The minutes come tumbling down
And into an hour's time
Within which a day's worth of work
Must be planned out and pan out
For every week to be worth
The weekends of downtime
And months of ennui that kills
And years of resentment
Of everyone's contentment, and you
Can't justify it, still

I tell you my reasons
You don't tell me your inside jokes
Until I've gone bitter on
Every word that you've spoken
And all of your kind words
Amounting to naught but a token
And all their inaction
Will tumble away with the days
And nights of together
As we're really not together at all
But parallel

Now I'm walking on downtown
In a town that is not my home
And shopping for breakfast
To be eaten all alone
And dreaming of houses
None of them that I own
But that's not my province
That's not for what I am known
So I gather around me
All the little pieces of a song
And fit them where they belong

So go to your downtown
And bring what you've brought back home
And you never should worry
Your hours will now be as long
As the days that you hurried
And months when it all seemed wrong
And all of the action
Will tumble away with the years
And parallel evenings
And parallel tracks of our tears
And nights of together are where?
So I gather around me
All the little pieces of a song
And fit them where they belong


Lyrics submitted by Lerxs

Parallel or Together? song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentGreatest Ted Leo song ever...

    Which means its one of the greatest songs ever by default.
    BelialCaron May 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits about a relationship that lost its love and instead of living together they end up living parallel lives. the singer feels like he's wasted time on the relationship
    wilcokidon February 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about a relationship that crumbled because they weren't completely open, and at first satisfied, with eachother. they become sick of eachother, but don't want to end it because it's as close to love as either of them has ever been, and they're afraid of losing it and never gaining anything better. he takes the first step, though, and ends it; saying that they're not truly happy with eachother, but they can't stay together in hopes of greener grass on the other side. he feels that he wasted too much of his life on something that didn't truly satisfy his hunger for loving, and being loved in return. he tells her not to be too upset, because it'll get better. she'll forget about him, the pain will erase, and she'll find someone else who will truly make her happy.
    Jessy_Rioton February 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAgreed with the people above me, but at the end, he finds solace in his songs and guitar playing.
    Lerxson February 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTed Leo is genius distilled down to purity. I've always felt that this was his most underappreciated song. In case anyone else wants help with the word ennui:
    ----------
    en·nui n.
    Listlessness and dissatisfaction resulting from lack of interest; boredom.
    -----------
    wasmuthkon April 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wish more people understood the complete f*ing genius of Ted Leo. Not only does he write the lyrics and melody, he directs the band to what he wants, and no one can even comprehend his remarkable creative power. Most miss the message in his songs because maestro is symbolic, and it may be hard to catch such insightful words...most mistake his songs as sappy, relationship bullsh*t. F*ck! Sorry, I just wish everyone could see.

    He is talking about ALL people's relationships with EVERYONE, and their own lives. He is talking about social discontentment and discontentment people have in life and our absence in effort to really change what we do that makes everything so miserable. He is planning to use his words "all the little pieces of a song" to fit all of us together. When he says we are not "together" but "parallel", it is because we don't truly feel for each other...we only speak words with no backing, we do nothing to end our discontentment.

    Ted Leo's lyrics are usually far deeper than a first guess, so really mull them over before you end an opinion...becuase he isn't just complaining about a girl breaking up with him...he's trying to create world peace and happiness and betterment for all. I love Ted Leo and everyone, EVERYONE, EVERYONE!!!!!!! must listen and learn from the absolute smartest person I have never met, unfortunately.

    Ted, if you ever see this, I want you to know that you are my #1hero!
    I love you and your beautiful brain and voice and ah, everything!
    prilla1206on May 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbasically, time was wasted on a relationship between two people who were too similar and led the same lives.

    Did anyone notice this being played on "How I Met Your Mother" 11/7/2005?
    toxicologyon November 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthey prilla1206, i dont mean to sound like a dickhead, but try to use your head more when you use your head. have you ever thought that maybe a song can be interpreted in more than one way? i always thought that the f*ing genius of an artist isnt just about what a certain song means, but in how it can mean any amount of things to any amount of people. and ill agree with you his music is genius. it really is. ok im better.
    myshoesareblueon April 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn addition to many other things, this song to me refers to people who say they are "together," i.e. in a relationship, but in reality they are just living parallel lives. Sure, parallel lines can be very close, but by definition they will never actually touch or intersect. This can be applied to pretty much any human relationship, really.
    benjam326on February 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis definately parallels a relationship I'm in... it hits so close to home it hurts, but I can't stop listening to it.
    canadaORbust4534on March 18, 2007   Link

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