"Keep Ringing Your Bell" as written by Kevin Patrick Devine and Margaret White....
I'm counting out dollars while I limp to your brownstone.
I can just barely cover what I need to get back home.
And I know we're allowed indiscretion in our lives,
But I've been making mine count every night for a while.

I keep deleting your number and name from my cell phone,
But I call every day; that's as far as my act goes.
What you have helps me turn down the noise that I make,
But when it stops it just pokes me and keeps me awake.
My friends always warned about living cliches
But my friends aren't there when I meet you these days.
I count people and street signs from the back of your car
And then skip back excited to wherever they are.

I take risks in the stall while they talk by the bar.
I won't go back outside 'til my memory starts
Erasing itself into something less brutal,
Some beautiful bullshit I pretend to belong to.
For as long as the trash tucks itself into bed,
And the beat of my heart and the heat of my breath
Keep me hopeful and distant and proud of myself,
I'll keep ringing your bell every night around twelve.


Lyrics submitted by helenrips, edited by supermom77

"Keep Ringing Your Bell" as written by Margaret White Kevin Patrick Devine

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Keep Ringing Your Bell song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commenthey crashingxlights,

    get over yourself asshole. it was a type-o. give the kid a goddamn break.
    drinkliquidclockson August 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favorite song on the new album along with "You are the Daybreak." I listen to this song obsessively every single day, as well as the rest of the album. It's just so pure and honest. Kevin Devine is one of the great songwriters of my generation, and I'm honored to get to listen to his words, as well as getting to shake his hand.
    Oneofthoseartkidson May 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHis voice sounds so golden in this song.
    Absolutely perfection.
    rufusbabyon September 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti'm surprised no one has realized that this song is about heroin

    there's tons of references

    he first "limps" to the "brownstone" (which itself is slang for heroin, but then skips back after being in the back of the car with the person he's singing to (his dealer- he probably scored a fix)

    the dollars he's counting out to "get back home" are his money to score a fix- he has just enough to stop being dopesick (to him, getting high again is getting back home)

    it "pokes him and keeps him awake" (obvious needle reference)

    "My friends always warned about living cliches
    but my friends aren't there when I meet you these days."
    the cliche of a junkie musician


    "I take risks in the stall while they talk by the bar."
    he's shooting up in the bathroom




    so yeah, this is a junkie's lament about his addiction

    i don't think KD is on heroin, perhaps he wrote this as a tribute to elliott smith, who i know he admires and who was a junkie for a time
    justinORLYon May 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou may be right about the heroin but brownstone also has a different meaning in New York City, a "brownstone" is understood to be a terrace or rowhouse clad in brownstone. New York City brownstones tend to be found in certain older neighborhoods, which are perhaps most common in Brooklyn. The other reference most likly are about cocaine, hes been singing about it since miracle of 86
    splitintwoon July 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhen i saw him play this live he said beforehand that it was about cocaine and i quote, "that damn disco dust will get you everytime." so there you have it.
    matt isaREALboyon August 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno really that disco dust does get you EVERY time.
    JonnyTheMohawkon February 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno really that disco dust does get you EVERY time.
    JonnyTheMohawkon February 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI saw Kevin Devine a few months ago and he said that he quit coke and drinking, and now just smokes a ton of pot...
    imeasy1892on June 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is definately about cocaine, as said above. he deletes his dealer's number from his cell phone, with the intention of quitting, but thats "as far as (his) act goes", in that he calls every day and continues to use.
    imeasy1892on June 19, 2007   Link

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