"Available" as written by and Matthew Berninger Aaron Dessner....
Did you clean yourself
For me last night
Put the water out and donned a marigold
In your hair to bring me here
And tie one on you

Did you dress me down and liquor me up
To make me last for the minute
When the red comes over you
Like it does when you're filled with love
Or whatever you call it

Do you feel alone when I'm in my head
While you wait for me
To take my breath
Do you still feel clean
When the only dirt is the dirt I left
How can you blame yourself
When I did everything I wanted to

You just made yourself available
You just made yourself available

Why did you dress me down (repeat)
And liquor me up (repeat)

Lyrics submitted by SomethingClever

"Available" as written by Matthew Berninger Aaron Dessner


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Available song meanings
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  • +5
    My InterpretationI think this song is about a relationship between a woman and man where the woman isn't able to attract the man's attention in the way that she wants. She then resorts to dolling herself up, inviting him over, getting him drunk and having sex. The man doesn't seem to dislike her personally but more so the situation she creates through her behavior. The man doesn't want to intentionally hurt her and the yelling at the end is him expressing his frustration because she is most likely upset that their physical encounterS didn't amount to what she wants. I think he feels tricked into coming over for one thing and now it is turning into something else. In the end, her offering herself to him physically even thought it won't amount to anything is what makes her available. The man will keep coming over for the sex and she will continue to hope/wish/try to make it more. The underlying theme to me is what people will do due to insecurities.
    jookyswedeon June 01, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm not sure I'm interpreting it right... But I think "you just made yourself available" isn't about making yourself single. It's about offering yourself.

    There's a sort of transference of responsibility/blame in which the speaker absolves this girl of her active involvement in what has happened or what they do. (Or maybe he is communicating what she's told him to believe?) Whether it's sincere is another matter.
    niltseon April 01, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song grows so fast on me, I think it is one of the best song The National has made. Along with Fake Empire, Slow Show and Green Gloves.

    God, The National is incredible.
    johannsenon December 13, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentand i LOVE how you can almost tell he's going to lose it through the whole song..
    incupolon November 16, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the "darkness" is how he pushes his own guilt and disdain of himself for letting himself objectify the woman and "use" her, clearly having known that he won't be able to reciprocate her feelings, on to the woman. He resents her for "making" him go below what he believes is fair and acceptable, he's making it her fault but it's not working and he hates himself too. So much angst for being human and letting lust win for once. It's okay, Berninger, we objectify you too. ;)
    Tahtion November 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSomeone put the lyrics to both Available and Sugar Wife on the same page.
    SomethingCleveron February 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti just love when Matt is shouting near the end "why did you dress me down (repeat)".
    heatherheathenon May 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJohannsen, you're too right.
    Welch151on January 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs others have mentioned, it's the last section of this song that makes it so powerful overall—especially for someone who'd heard "Boxer" before anything else by The National. Matt's delivery on that album is so even, so restrained, that to hear him totally lose his shit in this song is especially affecting.
    harukion April 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMatt losing in it at the end of the song is quite typical ... this experience live is jst awesome ... I remember by the end of the set he was all flushed and twisting while singing right on the edge of the stage .. Awesome !
    " like when u're filled with love or whatever u call it " ... I guess this sums it up
    loobiielooon December 21, 2008   Link

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