"Losing your brave," is that what he said?
The flag will still wave even after you're dead
I'll be your American wife

Like the eagle perched atop the globe
We'll climb up above the smog
And live in blissful ignorance
With a dog and a TV set
We'll eat flesh until we're fatter than our friends

But I only play the fool very often
I only bet my heart like a spade
But I like the gambling life
You never know what you're going to get
Bet your shoes, keys, and glasses
You'll be barefoot, free from debt, blinded, and wandering
Maybe then you'll be happier, then
(Then you'll be happier, then)

The wind used to come and nearly blow you over
The wind doesn't move down these parts anymore
And so goes the bartering life

Caught for food, then they strap you down
You scream, "Miami was pretty, before we were bitter
Before we let our sadness litter the streets"

You offered your father could be mine
We looked at your family tree, and politely declined
You have eleven siblings
Who've had ten broken limbs
Nine divorces
And eight broken hearts
And seven grandkids
And six bypass surgeries
Five college degrees
Four are sick
Three are well
Two are dead
One's in jail
No one here moves away
No one here moves away

"Come unto the grave," is that what I said?
(Is that what I said?)
My memory fades when I'm drinking in bed
I miss the sobering life
The comforter will not come unto to me
Until I'm a fearless, faithless nothing-at-all
Because no one escapes their life
No one escapes their life
No one escapes their life
(No one, no one)

It may sound depressing
It's just a life lesson
In the bartering, gambling life
I'll be your American Wife

Lyrics submitted by myslumberingheart

American Wife song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentI think any close Rilo Kiley fan would be able to read this well in relation to Jenny's theme of subject/topic in writing style. The line, "Like the eagle perched atop the globe, we’ll climb up above the smog and live in blissful ignorance" is pretty obvious of her cynical perspective on the American ideal life/wife. She almost plays it out like be this hunt or search for the most ignorant person to make her blindly happy ("You offered your father..Could be mine?.. We looked at your family tree and politely declined") But of course, the best line of all in "No one escapes their life".
    iysiluvvvon June 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmy favourite lines are

    'You scream, "Miami was pretty, before we were bitter;
    before we let our sadness litter the streets."'


    'The wind used to come and nearly blow you over.
    The wind doesn't move down these parts anymore,
    and so goes the bartering life.'

    miss. lewis amazes me. i love her.
    JACKIE THE HOBOon January 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentahh i can't believe only one other person has commented!!
    i love this song so much
    to me it's about someone who's really sad, but their ignorance blinds them and they're living this life they never wanted, but they can't escape it.
    ohh_recklesson December 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou can so relate this song to "The Egg" by Sherwood Anderson.

    The "grotesques", the mutant chick bodies the father kept, that held him from being anything more in life, no matter how hard he tried (because "no one escapes their life") are much like the proposing person's family. They both are tied down to failure by things they are attached to in life.

    It's all in there! There is A LOT more, really. You should have some fun and read "the Egg". I had a BLAST. But then again, you may not ba as nerdy as I am. :P
    Rilo_kiley77on May 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentif this is the life that any woman expects... i sympathize deeply...
    cruxvaderon January 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno one escapes their life
    that line where the children are chanting, its so haunting but in sort of captures you too, im not sure. its scary in sucha good way
    applessson February 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song scares the hell out of me.
    Cerebellaon September 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMind blowing lyrics
    Rouly4on December 20, 2016   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top