"City Middle" as written by and Matthew D. Berninger Bryce D. Dessner....
Karen, take me to the nearest famous city middle where they hang the lights
Where it's random and it's common versus common, la la la
Karen, take me to the nearest famous city middle where they hang the lights
Where it's random and it's common versus common, la la la

I got 500 in twenties, and I've got a ton of great ideas
I'm really worked up
I'm on a good mixture, I don't wanna to waste it
I'm on a good mixture, I do not wanna waste it
I wanna go gator around the warm beds of beginners
I'm really worked up

Karen, take me to the nearest famous city middle where they hang the lights
Where it's random and it's common versus common, la la la
Karen, take me to the nearest famous city middle where they hang the lights
Where it's random and it's common versus common, la la la

I have weird memories of you wearing long red socks and red shoes
I have weird memories
I have weird memories of you pissing in a sink, I think
I have weird memories of you

I wanna go gator around the warm beds of beginners ?
I'm really worked up
I want to go gator around the warm beds of beginners
I'm really worked up
Karen, take me to the nearest famous city middle where they hang the lights
Where it's random and it's common versus common, la la la
Karen, take me to the nearest famous city middle where they hang the lights
Where it's random and it's common versus common, la la la

I have weird memories of you wearing long red socks and red shoes
I have weird memories
I have weird memories of you pissing in a sink, I think
I have weird memories of you

Parking your car, you said "I'm overwhelmed"
You were thinking out loud, you said "I'm overwhelmed"
You were parking your car, you said "I'm overwhelmed"
You were thinking out loud, you said "I'm overwhelmed"

You said "I think I'm like Tennessee Williams"
I wait for the click, I wait, but it doesn't kick in
I think I'm like Tennessee Williams
I wait for the click, I wait, but it doesn't kick in

I have weird memories of you wearing long red socks and red shoes
I have weird memories
I have weird memories of you pissing in a sink, I think
I have weird memories of you

I have weird memories of you


Lyrics submitted by countzero

"City Middle" as written by Matthew D. Berninger Bryce D. Dessner

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

City Middle song meanings
Add your thoughts

22 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +5
    General CommentThis is such an excellent song. And I read/hear absolutely no misogyny in it...

    The Tennessee William/click lines refer to the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The main character (named Brick) says he has to drink until he feels "the click", and that once he does he feels peaceful.

    The chorus of men singing "la la la" in the background of this song is so fine.
    Kittenclawon April 14, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI saw the National play live in a small setting a couple years ago and someone yelled out for them to play City Middle.

    Matt (who had been drinking red wine out of a bottle the entire night) said, "that's a really beautiful song and these guys play it really, really well, but I just can't because... it makes me too fucking sad."

    So take that for what you will.
    cold cruiseron November 22, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentWhoever said Karen is a drug does not know the national very well...Matt Berninger (the lead singer) married to a woman named Carin, and all references to Karen are pretty obviously references to her. Actually anyone who thinks they're making drug references in any song is probably wrong. "Good Mixture" almost certainly means a good mixed drink, the national make constant and obvious allusions to alcohol (in like every other song), and basically never talk about drugs.
    namelessmusician1on June 08, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General Commentworth noting that don delillo's "white noise", which deals extensively with the idea that the modern matrix of information and sensation overwhelms us, has a chapter in which several academics discuss pissing in sinks as a way of getting in touch with the folklore of america -- and then, two chapters later, tenessee williams is mentioned. i'm certain that the song has nothing to do with the book, but it's entirely possible that berninger was reading it or flipping through it at the time.
    utter imbecileon November 24, 2009   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningAny reference to "Karen" is not a reference to drugs. All references are infact about his (now) wife, "Carin". Look it up. (Nod, "Kittenclaw")

    Secondly, the line "I'm on a good mixture" is simply the right amount of alcohol or mixed drinks. Listen to a dozen songs written by Matt and you'll see that this is very clear as noted by "n3il89".

    Lastly, the phrase "to gator" simply means to creep slowly and almost hidden, like an "Alligator". Which is infact the name of the album this song is from.
    Closedeyeson August 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Good mixture" is a great mixed drink...Berringer makes a similar reference in Fake Empire to putting something in your lemonade

    I think it means he has a great buzz from the drink and wants to do awesome.

    "go gator around the warm beds of beginners" is referencing sex with less experienced women
    n3il89on April 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentvery stream-of-consciousness lyrics, I get the picture of someone who just wants to go out and numb themselves on alcohol or whatever and turn their brain off, but for whatever reason it's one of those nights when things just don't happen, 'click', and he ends up thinking about stuff even more than before, but in drunken random snippets like the odd memories. I've never heard of the phrase 'go gator' either so I can't offer anything. I adore the 'la da de da da da' chorus at the end; it's so spooky, and yet has this kind of monotonous feeling (compare to one of their other 'la de da' lines in 'Racing like a Pro') that they convey so well in their songs. Wanting to rise above the mundane, or at least escape it for a while, not succeeding very well. I guess that part is also reminiscent of drunken wordless slurring or just lack of inspiration (not on The National's part! just of the narrator, can't even be bothered to try and string a sentence together any more so just hums along). Meh, I'm rambling. Love the song anyway, very melancholy.
    discomb0bulatedon October 16, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is about Karen and Jim from The Office
    mechpope13on January 30, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionThe Click = ideal intoxication.

    sorry if someone already noticed this but I was recently reading 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' by Tennessee Williams and this passage struck me:

    Big Daddy: What makes you so restless, have you got ants in your britches?
    Brick: Yes, sir...
    Big Daddy: Why?
    Brick: - Something - Hasn't - Happened...
    Big Daddy: Yeah? What is that?
    Brick [sadly]: - the click...
    Big Daddy: Did you say the click?
    Brick: Yes, click.
    Big Daddy: What click?
    Brick: A click that I get in my head that makes me peaceful
    Big Daddy: I sure in hell don't know what you're talking about, but it disturbs me.
    Brick: It's just a mechanical thing.
    Big Daddy: What is a mechanical thing?
    Brick: This click that I get in my head that makes me peaceful. I got to drink till I get it.

    I had always really liked this song but never understood the Tennessee Williams reference which inspired me to have a look at a few of his plays. In the first one I picked up I stumbled across this, so yes in classic National style, there is an ode to the coping powers of a libation. Cheers.

    Ps the play is really good too, if you were interested..
    weathered4on October 31, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA need for Special Pretty things. It's all too much. Too much sensory information.
    the_associateon December 20, 2005   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
explain