Oh this hurricane’s blowing us thin
This never ending swirl of American sin
Where I strayed on my knees to a bottomless cage
Where they throw dollar bills and hope to be saved
The poshest scarf on the warmest day…
Its enough to make you give up ….she says...
I know I know I know …it shows

As we sleep in this broken Cadillac
We watch the world leave it doesn’t look back
I gotta say that…when my heart attacks
Don’t return it…it will fire right back...
So let’s just lie here as they paint us black…

Oh this earthquake is shaking our hands
Free at the wrists just as we started a dance
The hardest thing next to diamond rings
Is the coats we have to wear just to make ends meet
I got this year and fifty more to beat…
Its enough to make you give up….she says…
I know I know I know….so let go…

The nervous ticks only the holy get
The country treats as the cities get sick
The lunatics and the Harlem tricks
The country treats as we all get sick…



Lyrics submitted by stere0atypical

American Low song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentok. i LOVED northstar. especially the first album. but the fact that music like THIS has come out of the break up almost makes it okay. wow.
    Shelbzzon October 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song seems like it could be a few things all in one awesome tune...It seems to me like it's a comment on poverty in the city, living a poor life and how everything just seems so pointless, right down to simple things, like the poshest scarf on the warmest day. But through it all, he's still trying to make it with the girl.
    Die by Duskon October 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthese first three songs show so much friggin potential... I'm tempted to say I like these first three better than any three from Northstar, and I loved Northstar. Hopefully they will be able to break through- this is amazing stuff.

    The song seems to be about the loss of control in day to day life in America, but everything Nick writes is very cryptic so I'd guarantee there is a specific reason for each phrase.
    Krwlng_n_mie_sknon November 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment I gotta say that…when my heart attacks
    Don’t return it…it will fire right back...

    One of my favorite lines EVER.

    lost__chanceon December 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWas in total shock and awe after listening to this song...it is very very deep. I believe it is talking about how this homeless couple keeps living there life even though all these obsticals. Then once they realize how much more of their life they have to go through of this they just give up on life and die. American Low meaning the lowest class, homeless and poverty struck, or American Low meaning that America is full of so low of people that they don't even realize that there are people out there who live life like there is always a natural disaster, like being poor and having nothing but each other like after a hurricane or a earthquake. And America cares so much about people after they lose it all, natural disater reference again, but America doesn't care about the people who have had nothing to lose at all.
    Blink0on January 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBesides being a good song, it is an attack on America. No one pays attention to people in need until everyone is in need. The rich is being compared to the poor, the country to a select few. It takes a national emergency to make everyone care. It's a shot at patriotism.
    stevenatfeon January 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is such a beautiful song and I just can't get enough of it. Nick's voice is so amazing. I agree that this song is about the lower class and struggles.

    The line that stands out most to me is
    "The poshest scarf on the warmest day
    Its enough to make you give up she says...
    I know I know I know... it shows"

    I think this song is about a couple who is maybe just starting out and having a rough time making ends meet. She is saying that it makes her want to give up when she sees people with such expensive things that aren't really needed. It's almost like they are showing off their money by wearing something so expensive at a time when they don't need to wear it. It's like those people throw their money away on things they really don't need, while others try so hard and can never make ends meet or buy things they do need... like a scarf on a cold day.
    waiting_to_fallon February 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentStevenatfe, the song was written and released online before the hurricane hit the gulf. The lyrics were posted on songmeanings by August 27th and Katrina hit land on August 25th in Florida, but didn't compare to the impact that it would make in New Orleans, on August 29th. I doubt that there was even time for Cassino to write, record, and post the song online even just based on the events in Florida, & have someone find out about them & post their lyrics in 2 days. I guess the the first line could have been inspired by the news reports of the large upcoming storm, but I think it was just an unfortunate coincidence. However, what you said has a lot of truth and it is very odd how similar the lyrics are to the situation in NO. I don't believe it to be an attack on "America" however, but rather a cultural comment about Western Culture. If you follow the band much they have mentioned that they are pretty broke themselves, and I definetly think this song is about their own poverty (especially if you listen to it with "Gin War" and "Platona").
    Krwlng_n_mie_sknon April 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs for the meaning of the song...

    Oh this hurricane’s blowing us thin
    >The hurricane is a metaphor for the pressure they are under
    This never ending swirl of American sin
    >After they broke up with Northstar, they continued to make music >without a label, so the "American sin" is their continuing attempt to >follow their dream, even though they have no income
    Where I strayed on my knees to a bottomless cage
    >"strayed on my knees" = they are in a weak position, inside the "bottomless cage"= music industry/ America's bottom class
    Where they throw dollar bills and hope to be saved
    >Think of the biblical parable of the poor woman who gave her last >coin, while the rich man gave a dollar when he could afford much >more. Nick is reminding us that we need to give whatever we can >to help those in need, not just what we have left after we buy >our luxury items.
    The poshest scarf on the warmest day…
    >Talking about the rich parading wealth. The scarf is only for >show, since it would be completely unnecessary
    Its enough to make you give up ….she says...
    I know I know I know …it shows
    >The verse ends with the narrator in complete despair.

    As we sleep in this broken Cadillac
    > Homeless
    We watch the world leave it doesn’t look back
    > Looking out for help, but getting none
    I gotta say that…when my heart attacks
    Don’t return it…it will fire right back...
    > Another expression of hopelessness, if he breaks down don't
    > help him now, he's only going to do it again.
    So let’s just lie here as they paint us black…
    > Giving up while society writes them off, "paints them black" is
    > referring to Northstar fading away

    Oh this earthquake is shaking our hands
    > The pressure makes it harder for him to make music that will help
    > them reach their goal.
    Free at the wrists just as we started a dance
    > The only "hopeful" line of the song, it seems he has been
    > released from his obligation, and sees a possibility things could
    > get better.
    The hardest thing next to diamond rings
    Is the coats we have to wear just to make ends meet
    > "the coats"= whatever people are forced to do to make money,
    > (shitty job, deal drugs, prostitution)
    I got this year and fifty more to beat…
    > He's in his mid 20's, so 50 more = mid 70's, avg. life expectancy
    Its enough to make you give up….she says…
    I know I know I know….so let go…

    The nervous ticks only the holy get
    > The truly holy have their own struggle
    The country treats as the cities get sick
    > The wealthy are celebrating, while the poor are starving
    The lunatics and the Harlem tricks
    > Implying these are effects of poverty, insanity, and illegal activity
    The country treats as we all get sick…
    Krwlng_n_mie_sknon April 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think stevenatfe was more refering to Sept. 11 rather than the hurricanes...
    That being said, it ties with what Krwlng_n_mie_skn said and then you pretty much the whole song figured out...
    Amazing song, truely amazing...
    TANSDon June 14, 2006   Link

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