"Braille" as written by and Regina Spektor....
She was lying on the floor and counting stretch marks
She hadn't been a virgin and he hadn't been a god
so she named the baby Elvis
to make up for the royalty he lacked

And from then on it was turpentine and patches
From then on it was cold Campbell's from the can
They were just two jerks playing with matches
'Cause that's all they knew how to play

And it was raining cats and dogs outside of her window
And she knew they'd be destined to become
sacred roadkill on the way
And she was listening to the sound of heaven shaking
thinking about puddles, puddles and mistakes

'Cause it's been turpentine and patches
It's been cold, cold Campbell's from the can
And they were just two jerks playing with matches
'Cause that's all they knew how to play
What they knew how to play

Elvis never could carry a tune
and she thought about this irony as she stared back at the moon
She was tracing her years with her fingers on her skin saying,
Well, why don't I begin again
with turpentine and patches
with cold, cold Campbell's from the can
After all I'm still a jerk playing with matches
It's just that he's not around to play along
yeah, I'm still an asshole playing with candles
Blowing out wishes, blowing out dreams
Just sitting here and trying to decipher what's written in Braille upon my skin
this skin...

She was lying on the floor and counting stretch...
She was lying on the floor and counting stretch...
She was lying on the floor lying, lying...
counting stretch....


Lyrics submitted by medicine

Braille song meanings
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91 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentI don't think the son is blind... I think she's just using "braille" as a metaphor for how her stretch marks feel.
    amandamottramon February 08, 2006   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationI can't believe anyone thinks this song is about having an abortion. She obviously had the baby. You don't say "couldn't carry a tune" about people who died without singing. It means they can't sing. It probably means that baby Elvis sings all the time as a kid - he's got not much else to do. He's just rubbish. And the irony is not simply that baby Elvis can't sing, it's that he's not ever going to be successful like the real Elvis, and he's as poor as his parents, he is not going to be the king of anything, rock'n'roll or otherwise. A name can't "make up for the royalty he lacked".

    Playing with fire isn't just teenagers having unprotected sex. It's teenagers having babies, too. It's dangerous, they think they know what they're doing and they don't. I can imagine this teenage mother fretted more about what to name the baby than their future life together, and so on. But that's "all they knew".

    If the song's about abortion, it's that she wishes she DID have one, not that she wishes she didn't. "Puddles and mistakes", "why don't I begin again", "blowing out wishes, blowing out dreams". But you can't change the past - you can't begin again - all you can do is examine and reexamine it, lying alone on the floor of your cramped flat, tracing your scars and wrinkles...

    I find it interesting in this song the juxtaposition of the small flames reckless teens play with - matches, candles - and the reality of adult life represented by huge amounts of water - raining cats and dogs, the sound of heaven shaking, puddles. Obviously all this water can easily put out those tiny flames. This also ties into the fact that she can't afford to heat her tinned soup - no "fire" left, no hope left. She does light candles for birthday cakes - Elvis', I'm assuming, not hers - but they're blown straight back out.

    It's a miserable song but it's beautiful.
    DZCC4FaWon August 07, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentTry this...

    Braille is scripted through raised bumps forming patterns.
    I think the fact that Braille is how blind people write and read has nothing to do with this song:

    "Just sitting here and trying to decipher what's written in Braille upon my skin"

    so as with what the person above me's noted (amandamottram), i think that the lines and bumps and bruises etc on everyones skin marks a memory, or an event.

    So by trying to decipher all the 'Braille' that's marked on her skin, is like reflecting, and remembering, seeing what her past is worth
    etc

    Lanon March 23, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentwhat an interesting song! good stuff
    tasteslikeG0LDon May 24, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is such an emotional song, and Regina's voice coupeled with the piano makes it even more moving. As for the meaning, I think it's pretty clear that it's about someone's life after they got pregnant by a guy who ran off; the "braille" in her stretch marks is symbolic of the fact that she knows soemthing happened that would be with her forever, but the only for it to be seen anymore is by the language the guy left with her. But that's just my opinion.

    Again, this song is sooo incredibly beautiful, it's like...woah. The lyrics compliment everything so well...

    "yeah, I'm still an asshole playing with candles
    Blowing out wishes, blowing out dreams"

    moixlovesxpatrickon September 11, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe story is sad, but Regina's voice makes it beautiful (as always). I like how the lyrics are from the mothers point of view...."I'm still an asshole playing with matches". Interesting twist!
    caper_katie24on May 26, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsad story indeed. i love regina's voice.
    disastrouson July 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is my go-to crying song. For some reason it makes me bawl every time.
    kaybeeohon August 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that this song is about a woman who has had a baby young, and about how she and the father have a hard life because they were ill prepared, but then I think the last verse is her as an old woman (based on the fact that Elvis seems to be grown) and she realises that the hard parts were the best times of her life, and now she's past it all, and the father has died (I think) she just wants to relive all those apparent hard times.
    theshambleron October 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI really don't think she's at the end of her life. I think she's aged 'too' quickly because of her situations in life. She's counting her stretch marks, which are the result of the childbirth, and she's much older now than she really is in years.
    fikemastaon October 16, 2006   Link

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