"Lit Up" as written by and Matthew D. Berninger Aaron B. Dessner....
My bodyguard shows her revolver to anyone who asks
And yeah she comes to attention when you come up to me too fast
For a little while you'll be here, the only good part of me
For a little while you'll be here

So lit up, lit up, lit up alright
I try to untie Manhattan
Lit up, lit up, lit up alright
I try to untie

You wear skirt like a flag
And everything surrounds you, and it doesn't fade
Nothing like this sound I make
That only lasts the season
And only heard by bedroom kids who buy it for that reason
'Cause you're the low life of the party, bad blood
Bad blood for everybody
I'm in control and I believe

So lit up, lit up, lit up alright
I try to untie Manhattan
Lit up, lit up, lit up alright
I try to untie from your bad blood
From your bad blood

'Cause you're the low life of the party, bad blood
Bad blood for everybody
I'm in control and I believe

So lit up, lit up, lit up, lit up alright
I try to untie Manhattan
Lit up, lit up, lit up, lit up alright
I try to untie


Lyrics submitted by countzero

"Lit Up" as written by Matthew D. Berninger Aaron B. Dessner

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Lit Up song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThis is such a solid track
    Biscuitson January 22, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen I first heard this, I thought he was on about his dick- "Come to attention", "The only good part of me" etc. now, i dunno, seems like it's about getting wasted. How cool are female bodyguards btw? With revolvers too...
    Beekarryon July 18, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI see the following situation being described... a man, perhaps a musician, has the option of being with one of two people.

    One, "My Bodyguard," is the woman whom he is either already with (or at least, she'll claim that he is). She is assertively protective of him and makes a point to deter others from getting close to him with a "revolver." My Bodyguard is who wants him, but not who he wants.

    The other, nicknamed "Manhattan" in the song, is the "you" who the song is essentially written towards. "Wear[ing] [her] skirt like a flag," she commands his attention with how she conducts herself. He believes she possesses a longevity, a wisdom, as she "doesn't fade" which directly contrasts how he sees his own seemingly-temporary contribution to the world. His work "only lasts a season" and only captures the interest of fad-happy and uncritical "bedroom kids."

    "My Bodyguard" girl tries to convince him that "Manhattan" girl is "bad blood" and the "low-life of the party" because she feels threatened by her and wants to persuade him that she is bad for him.

    The man, however, is conflicted. Manhattan is "the only good part of [him]" when she is around. She's only near him for "a little while" but makes such an impression on him that all he can do is "[light] up" and smoke his anxiety down. When making the case for "My Bodyguard," he wants to be able to convince himself that he has tried to "untie" from Manhattan. This may be to preserve his relationship with "My Bodyguard" or, perhaps, because he's intimidated by how desperately he wants a potentially unobtainable "Manhattan." He's not satisfied, of course, with that answer. He wants to be "in control" of the situation but he's torn and, instead of getting what he wants, he can only, helplessly, light up.
    Seikeon November 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought it was "I tried it one time"?
    clarion113on April 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLit up, its about fags. Matt is a smoker i heard somewhere it was about cigarettes.
    Welch151on December 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdefinitely reminds me of debauchery filled nights...the only good part of him left is him on the substances (i would think...) when hes singing lit up lit up alright i try to untie my knot it seems to be a drug reference i dont know if i'd go as far as sayin smack just because hes tying a knot. . .possibly though when hes talking about bad blood again.

    you know i always hear your love life falls apart not low life of the party........good song though
    rocketqueenzon October 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti thought it might be using cigarettes as an excuse to escape monotony.

    sheltered children(bedroom kids) paralleled by sheltered adults(body guards).
    "only lasts a season" might reference the constant changing of fads by which we structure our lives.
    he hopes to "untie Manhattan", or maybe break off from the daily routine of working in the city?

    he believes he's in control, but he's only grasping at an escape. a cigarette.
    johnathonfiskon March 17, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe National to me always projected that "lover and a fighter" image, and "lighting someone up" is a term that's used when someone decisively wins a fight, so... I mean, with the party references, and the chorus line "I tried it one time and got lit up" - sounds like he's describing getting drunk at a party and trying to be a tough guy - definitely seems like a very National-esque activity
    ExitFlaggeron September 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis sound I make
    that only lasts the season
    and only heard by bedroom kids who buy for that reason

    HIPSTERS!!!
    but this line also makes me think of how desolate it can be if you're an artist and you realize that whatever buzz may surround your stuff fades pretty fast.
    predicateon January 18, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsounds like it's just about partying in the city.
    impacton March 25, 2011   Link

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