"El Capitan" as written by Colin/woomble Newton and Gavin Bernard/stewart Fox....
By the harbour I harbour the strangest memories,
Over land I could ever be,
Stranded in nostalgia,
So tonight I'll try harder,
But it's hard to fix this floodlight on me,
In a cast that's taken to places,
I'm unsure of where I want to be,

Stand up,
Stand up,
And stand down,
I'll climb El Capitan,
And jump off to cheers from the crowd,

Stand up,
Stand up,
And stand down,
And I hope you take your camera,
To photograph my tears as they hit the ground,

No one even listens,
The same way that no one ever laughs,
I'm taking the car out of the snow,
I'm wondering where the summer went to,
Circled by your secrets,
I'm hoping they don't include me,
At least I'm in good company,
Because there's no one else around,
Except me,

Stand up,
Stand up,
And stand down,
I'll climb El Capitan,
Just to watch the world slow down,

Stand up,
Stand up,
And stand down,
And I hope you take your camera,
Silence makes the loudest tap,

It seems far too easy to say the same things,
I'll choose my own way to use my life up,
Finally found a new way,
Say the same things,
In imaginary ways,
I'll use my life up,

You were looking at pictures in the distance,
Hoping to see the future in your pictures,
Of the distance hoping to see,
The future looking at pictures in the distance,
Hoping to see the future through your pictures,
Of the distance,
Hoping to see,
The future in your pictures of the distance

Lyrics submitted by freedom-fighter

"El Capitan" as written by Colin Newton Allan Stewart

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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El Capitan song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commenti have goosebumps when i hear this song. between 1998-2000 I was climbing and bouldering in Yosemite. El Capitan is the biggest monolith in continental US and quite popular with big wall climbers and base jumpers. I was there 1 late summer with some friends from Italy to boulder/climb rocks. While we were staying at camp4, that friday night had rumors flying around about an illegal base jump homage to some anniversary of someone's demise. Later that friday night, I read flyers from the ranger's station about their own warning about the organized anniversary base jump and that people caught will be receive full extent of the law (since it is illegal to base jump in yosemite natl park). The next day (saturday) my friends and I spent the morning bouldering camp4 area and ate pizza for lunch at curry village. we decided to head to the meadow facing "el cap" (as we climbers call it) and just laze around looking for big wall climbers. When we arrived at the parking area, there was quite a crowd and many cars parked including park ranger vehicles. We finally settled at the meadow area with a crowds of people scattered around. It seems pretty rare even during the summer months that this area would have quite a crowd. it didnt took us a long time to realize that there were people jumping off the face of el cap and that some people were cheering and clapping as they look up to this monstruos rock. The park rangers were already ready to wait for them to land and arrest them as we have seen them on the chase. The most unthinkable happened when after the 3rd person jumped off, the next person (which just looks like a dot when looking up) seemed like it just fell from the sky. Everyone on the area where we were were so shocked and didnt realized immediately that the shute didnt open! My friends and i didnt spoke for atleast 10mins because we didnt understood what just happened. Within 10minutes we were cleared on that grassy meadow while the SAR helicopter landed. When we went back to our camp at camp4 that evening, we've heard that it was a woman who borrowed her shute from someone because she didnt her shute to be confiscated the park rangers.
    Dan Osman, famous climber and base jumper at the yosemite valley also fell to his death. he was using his cell phone talking to a buddy while base jumping and an eerie silence just follwed.
    lilx10on September 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song as i recently heard on xfm.. is about el capitan in california.. it is the largest free standing cliff face in north america and it is a place where alot of people killed themselves.. and he talks about it being a glamourous death... and talking about the person who is bringing themselves up to face this cliff and the build up to there jump off.. its along those lines
    freedom-fighteron March 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits not only about the suicide its about the time before it, the feeling of loneliness "at least im in good company, because theres no one else around - except me" a great lyric, a great song
    jamesb12on May 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentim gonna sound like an idiot now but i never really listened to the verses apart from the camera bit and i mistook the chorus for 'applaude el capitan' lol i had the image of a captain walking and ppl standin to applaude him. o well lol im stupid
    knobolderon July 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is awesome! It's WAY more awesome live! Idlewild rock!
    tamzinroseon August 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIdlewild seem to go unnoticed and are much better than other bands out there nowadays. This is a great song, it kinda glamourises suicide in a strange way.
    Scottish_Lionon April 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthank you freedom-fighter, i always loved this song but i never knew what el capitan was! i mean i kind of figured this song was about suicide, but i never bothered to think about what it actually was... stupid really. but now it means a lot more... it's weird, this song is so catchy and singalongable yet it's about such a depressing subject.
    esoteric_rubbishon September 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song, great lyrics, but lots of mistakes here...

    "I harbor the strangest memories, OLDER THAN I could ever be"

    "but it's hard to fix this SPOTLIGHT on me"

    "in a cast that's taken places" (not "to places")

    "I'm DIGGING the car out of the snow"

    Oh well, just nitpicking!
    z4ckm0rrison December 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of the most beautiful songs ive ever heard. It sounds weird but it makes my heart flutter - never knew it was about suicide though. I always imagined it was about someone refelcting on a holiday or a time he spent with friends whilst he's alone and feeling low. oh well. It's an amazing song.
    ceekenpompon June 05, 2007   Link

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