"Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" as written by and Steven/balch Wilson....
Never stop the car on a drive in the dark
Never look for the truth in your mother's eyes
Never trust the sound of rain upon a river rushing
Through your ears

Arriving somewhere but not here

Could you imagine the final sound as a gun
Or the smashing windscreen of a car?
Did you ever imagine the last thing you'd hear as you're fading out
Was a song?

Arriving somewhere but not here

[Chorus:]

All my designs, simplified
And all of my plans, compromised
And all of my dreams, sacrificed

Ever had the feeling you've been here before?
Drinking down the poison the way you were taught
Ever thought from here on in your life begins
And all you knew was wrong?

Arriving somewhere but not here

All my designs, simplified
And all of my plans, compromised
And all of my dreams...

Did you see the redness block your part?
Did the scissors cut a way to your heart?
Did you feel the end before the suns of mothers
Tearing you apart?

Arriving somewhere but not here


Lyrics submitted by Idan, edited by Rustlr, anon21

"Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" as written by Gavin Richard Harrison Colin Edwin Balch

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Arriving Somewhere But Not Here song meanings
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  • +10
    General Commentthe following should be read as one ongoing text. leave the quotations out, they are only there to clarify matters.

    ----------

    what you were taught, everything you experienced as a child was wrong, perverted. it has twisted your soul. it destroys you. but you don’t know anything other than that so you keep on going along that way.
    ("Drinking down the poison the way you were taught")

    but you rush blindly forward, without knowing you way, without knowing where you are headed, without stopping to see where you are now.
    ("Never stop the car on a drive in the dark")

    you have already wanted to change your ways, one time or another. wanted to free yourself, live your own life, make a stand.
    ("Ever thought from here on in your life begins")

    which means that you would have to reconsider everything you previously were positive about.
    ("And all you knew was wrong?")

    yet nevertheless you keep doing the same mistakes over and over again.
    ("Ever had the feeling you've been here before?")

    did you ever become aware of the fact, that you block out your thoughts and emotions by a sort of background noise in your head, that you manage to keep constantly swelling in order to maintain thoughtlessness?
    (“rain upon a river rushing through your ears”)

    did you ever admit to yourself that your anger, your rage prohibits you from ever achieving anything?
    (“Did you see the red mist block your path?”)

    and you always imagined you death as a violent one. possibly with the intent to end your life with you own hands, in order to be able to arrange it to your liking: going with a bang or a crash, something big, something nasty. definitely not silently fading away.
    (“Did you imagine the final sound as a gun? Or the smashing windscreen of a car?”)

    has it never occurred to you that there is nothing horrible about going peacefully, perhaps even in a bed, with a song in your ears. what’s eating you?
    (“Did you ever imagine the last thing you'd hear as you're fading out was a song?”)

    did you begrudge those buggers the good caring mother you never had? did the pain of this realization claw into your soul? did it sting like needles?
    (“Did you feel the envy for the sons of mothers tearing you apart?”)

    did it cut like scissors? but you never let yourself feel the pain, did you? you’d rather build a wall around your heart and run away like hell.
    (“Did the scissors cut a way to your heart?”)

    run away from the knowledge that your mother never cared about you. the memory of her cold eyes uninterestedly glancing at you is buried deep inside you.
    (“Never look for the truth in your mother's eyes”)

    and that’s why you keep on running. running from your memories, running from yourself as far as possible. but you take yourself with you. so you can never stop or the memories will overtake you.
    and you keep reassuring yourself, that you will be ARRIVING SOMEWHERE somewhen. yes, you definitely will. BUT NOT now, not HERE...
    ledaethon December 23, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentJust to add a few of my personal interpretations...


    The "Did you ever imagine the last thing you'd hear as you're fading out
    Was a song?" line elicits this surreal image of looking up at the shattered windshield of a car, blood and such everywhere, everything tilted and illogical, and some inane pop music ditty still blaring away on the intact radio, completely indifferent to the death of the narrator, who, of course, feels that the world should stop now that they have... if you ever watch the news and realize that every second that you waste caring about some celebrity marriage or cat-stuck-in-tree story, five people have died.

    Also, if that wasn't strange enough, the Did you feel the end before the suns of mothers
    Tearing you apart?" (I heard 'suns' as 'sons' gave me this image of getting shot in some war by someone else who is equally interested primarily in self preservation...

    This song is about the utter incomprehensible absurdity of the moment of death as it exists in our consciouses today.
    Bokanovskyon May 03, 2008   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI was just listening to this song while reading the script and trying to piece together everything I knew about the story.
    Now, one thing I need to explain before my interpretation is my theory as to who some of the characters are. In "Lazarus", a boy, David, is mentioned by the mother who's singing to him from beyond the grave. In the movie script, the main adult's name is also David, which led me to think that perhaps they were the same person.
    With this in mind, this song has some parts [not the ones regarding the car crash] that make me think it's about David returning to the house of his childhood, the one he ran away from when he was about three years old.
    Especially considering this bit:

    Ever had the feeling you've been here before?

    [house of his childhood, repressed memory]


    Drinking down the poison the way you were taught

    [in the first scene of the script, the child is given a pill that he doesn't swallow. Considering the pressing theme of death throughout the whole album, and the fact his mother is dead, perhaps she had intended to kill herself that night, but to not cause David any pain she basically plans to "gently" murder him. This is all just interpretation, guessing and insomnia though. =p
    Also, note this line earlier in the song:

    Never look for the truth in your mother's eyes]


    Ever thought from here on in your life begins

    [references to childhood]


    And all you knew was wrong?

    [the strangeness surrounding the pill, David's mother committing said suicide.]

    Then again, I might be way off the story line, since so little was revealed about it. Let me know if I'm being in any way coherent. =p
    Ailemorteon January 12, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's about what its like to be a ghost.
    To die far from achieving your dreams and goals (lyrics All my designs, simplified, and all of my plans, compromised, and all of my dreams, sacrificed)
    To never rest so you're not among the dead but neither are you among the living. (lyrics Could you imagine the final sound as a gun Or the smashing windscreen of a car? Did you ever imagine the last thing you'd hear as you're fading out Was a song?)
    To look and recognize at your friends and family only to find that they can't even see you (lyricsNever stop the car on a drive in the dark Never look for the truth in your mother's eyes Never trust the sound of rain upon a river rushing Through your ears)
    And to make efforts to remember how you became a ghost in the first place (lyrics Ever had the feeling you've been here before?
    Drinking down the poison the way you were taught Ever thought from here on in your life begins And all you knew was wrong? Did you see the redness block your part? Did the scissors cut a way to your heart? Did you feel the end before the suns of mothers Tearing you apart?

    Its very sad truth about earthbound spirits. But sad messages and beautiful songs tend to go hand-and-hand, so nice job Porcupine Tree!
    MetalRoxon January 06, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commentone more thing that amazes me about this song:
    gavin harrison must have died from boredom while playing this in the studio. he keeps it so very simple. a drummer of lesser skill would definitely have tried to fill it up more.
    ledaethon December 28, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is quite simply about death. The line "Ever thought from here on in your life begins, And all you knew was wrong?" is very important in the song. It's said that life is the shortest part of death, and these two quotes go hand in hand. Also, the mention of the sound of the gun and crashing of the windscreen are simply different methods of dying of unnatural causes. It's all just Wilson's commentary and perception on death.

    Nonetheless, this song is a masterpiece, though I'm not a huge fan of the instrumental. The metal tone in it just seems a little out of place for lyrics these beautiful.
    dhgrossman92on November 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning"Could you imagine the final sound as a gun"
    The sound of the impact of a car with a solid object would be very similar in volume and sharpness to a gunshot, hence the addition of the next line:
    "Or the smashing windscreen of a car?"

    "Did you ever imagine the last thing you'd hear as you're fading out
    Was a song?"
    As someone else said - a radio continuing to play after the car has crashed. It could also refer to this song playing out to the driver before they "[faded] out."

    "All my designs, simplified"
    Okay, I'll pull back for this one. I have an idea of what it means, but I have no idea how to articulate it. But it sounds as though the identity of the speaker becomes clear here - to me it sounds like the speaker is the person who was killed by the drunk driver.

    "And all of my plans, compromised
    And all of my dreams, sacrificed"
    This part is what tells me the speaker is the victim of the driver. Rather than asking the accusing questions of the verses, the speaker begins to lament at the fact that their life as they know it is over. Their dreams have been 'sacrificed' due to the actions of somebody else.

    "Ever had the feeling you've been here before?
    Drinking down the poison the way you were taught?"
    These two lines, as well as the two that follow, refer to the time the driver begins to drink. Alcohol is arguably a part of today's culture - people in this society tend to view it as a 'coming of age' drink, whereas this song positions us to see it as something toxic. The driver consumes this 'poison' because that is all he or she has known.

    "Ever thought from here on in your life begins
    And all you knew was wrong?"
    I'm not sure about the first line here, but the second seems tinged with regret and sudden realisation. The speaker asks the driver if they have ever come to realise that doing what they have been taught (ie. "drinking down the poison") is not always the right thing to do. Considering the driver has just killed someone while under the influence... evidently not.

    "Did you see the redness block your part?
    Did the scissors cut a way to your heart?"
    Post-accident surgery seems the most obvious one, though the scissors could be a representation of guilt.

    "Did you feel the envy for the sons of mothers
    Tearing you apart?"
    The envy tearing the driver apart is envy coming from others, envy for a boy that still has his mother while someone else's has been violently taken away. Now the identity of the speaker and the driver become a little more obvious here - this line seems to suggest that the driver was a young man, possibly a boy in late teens, and the person he killed (the speaker) was a woman and mother.


    I obviously can't say this interpretation is the correct one, this is just how the song sounds to me. Feel free to add to or challenge this theory if you want.
    wilemion July 03, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe best song ever to be ever made.



    Arriving Somewhere But Not Here---


    # Never stop the car on a drive in the dark
    Never look for the truth in your mother's eyes
    Never trust the sound of rain upon a river
    Rushing through your ears

    1. denial, not using , doubt, choices

    2. he talks about what the usual choices people would do (not do whats always
    been avoided he would naturally choose not to stop a car at night, he was
    taught never to doubt/question his mother,
    not to believe until we see it, not believe on hearing rumours.

    3. what would have happened if we had chosen otherwise ?? or the other side of
    us ?

    # Arriving somewhere but not here

    1. lost, confused, right/wrong.

    2. he is confused about what he have become but is he at the moment at that
    place in life that he was supposed to be ?

    3. Or has he wandered somewhere else ? what is right, which one is wrong ?

    # Did you imagine the final sound as a gun?
    Or the smashing windscreen of a car?
    Did you ever imagine the last thing you'd hear as you're fading out was a song?

    1. Imagination, Possibility, death

    2. he tells that he is lucky enough to be alive yet. It was possible he would be
    dead by now
    by a gun or in a crash, or may be poisoned as he is listening to a song, this
    song maybe.

    3. anything could be possible if your choices were different.

    #All my designs, simplified
    And all of my plans, compromised
    All of my dreams, sacrificed

    1. conclusion, understanding, neutralised

    2, he thinks he is lucky enough to get a second chance, the opportunity to do something what he had not done yet
    he forgets the earlier mistakes he made in order to look for the correct path, the right choice.

    3. The right choice ? what is right, which one is wrong ?

    ....
    ....
    ....

    # Ever had the feeling you've been here before?
    Drinking down the poison the way you were taught
    Every thought from here on in your life begins
    And all you knew was wrong?

    1. returning, teaching, choices.

    2. he returns again in relation to the 1st phrase, asking what he had been doing was all wrong ?
    what if he had been taught to make other choice ? (what would have happened if he had stopped the car,
    what if he had asked her mother the truth behind her smiling face despite the pain she took when he
    was a child ? What if he had not been so attached to reality ?

    3. what if he had always been choosing wrong ?

    # Did you see the red mist block your path?
    Did the scissors cut a way to your heart?
    Did you feel the envy for the sons of mothers tearing you apart?

    1. Experienced, learned, felt

    2. He learnt he cannot return to the past, he cannot turn back the choice he made, he cannot turn back time. He questions himself weather he still feels he had made a wrong choice looking at the different choices everyone else had made.

    3 a scissor of choices cuts him down every second and he cannot stop it, no one can.
    Ra7oron September 14, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt seems like this song is talking about a drunk driving accident late at night, and the effects it had on those involved. "Never stop the car on a drive in the dark" could mean that maybe in the story, someone had pulled over for some reason and was then hit by a drunk driver. The "mother's eyes" quote could mean that maybe a sibling of the person killed was asking their mother what happened, but they didn't really want to find out. "Final sound as a gun" could mean that it happened so fast it sounded like a gun going off, which is backed up the "smashing windscreen" line.
    The "did you ever imagine" line could mean that the person in the car wasn't killed instantly, and layed there fading out while their radio continued to play.

    The chorus could stand for a friend or family member, possibly lover, who's entire life revolved around this one person, and all of the sudden, they were gone. All of their plans for life were shattered and all of their dreams extinguished.

    I'd go into more detail, but I think you get the picture.
    totaldeathon March 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSuch an awesome song.

    Am I the only one who was expecting there to be a bit of double bass drumming during the heavy instrumental section? I was waiting for it, but it never happened :(

    It would have fit in perfectly as well.
    NothingManon June 01, 2005   Link

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