"90-Mile Water Wall" as written by and Matthew Berninger Aaron Dessner....
Well I know that you know
That you've become the target of this hand
With never even asking
Well I know that you know
That you're the only thing that I can stand

So how could your hair
Have the nerve to dance around like that, blowing?
And how could the air
Have the nerve to blow your hair around like that?

I'm waiting for a ninety-mile water wall
To take me out of your view
I'm looking for a trap door trigger
To drop me out of your view

Yes I'm listening, I'm listening
I can tell that you are serious
Your looking for that hurt look around my mouth
The look of a steep fall
Yeah that's how Hersey put it

So you can make another claim
Well go ahead and make it
So you can make another claim
Well go ahead and make it

I'm just waiting for a ninety-mile water wall
To take me out of your view
I'm praying for a trap door trigger

I'm just waiting for a ninety-mile water wall
To take me out of your view
I'm praying for a trap door trigger

Yes I'm listening
I can tell you're serious


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"90-Mile Water Wall" as written by Matthew Berninger Aaron Dessner

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90-Mile Water Wall song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentShame or sorrow may be here. He wants to disappear (trap door, "take me out of your view"). Her attention on him is unbearable either because of her disapproval, or his vulnerability ("hurt look", "steep fall"). He may be told-off or confronted by his love. Or she broke up with him and it's unbearable to him. The "90-mile water wall" is imagined relief, bordering on suicidal in its intensity. He also sought relief in humor, as told indirectly by "Yes I'm listening, I can tell you're serious," underscoring her impression that he is not.

    I can't place "target of this hand," possibly violence. Harsh to speculate on that, but also because it's a harsh idea, it could understandably be worded vague and obscure.

    Infidelity may be impled by "you're the only thing that I can stand" where he professes his ultimate loyalty to her.

    There's a breakdown of communication ("I know that you know" as part of a circular argument going nowhhere).

    And he's painfully (maybe ambivalently?) attracted to her, positively worshiping her hair, twice. I wonder if there's more than poetic significance to the inward and outward directions of her attractiveness: both her hair and the air are blamed.

    (Point of order, we all agree that dissection of a song and profaning poetry by interpretation can be consistent with deep admiration and deeper appreciation, right? That to distract one from a song's fierce effects, one might seek relief in clinical analysis. Especially when no tidal wave is handy.)
    Bob Steinon April 07, 2008   Link

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