If I run uphill, I'm out of breath
If I spend all my money, I've got no money left
If I place all my chips on only one bet, I'm all in
And it's a surefire bet I'm going to die
So I'm taking up praying on Sunday nights
And it's not that I believe in your all might
But I might as well
As insurance or bail
Because institution's like a big bright light
And it blinds you into fear and consuming and fight
And you've been in the desert underneath the charging sky
It's just you and God
But what if God's not there?
But his name is on your dollar bill
Which just became cab fare
For the evangelists, the communists, the lefts, and the rights
And the hypocrites and the jesuits and the blacks and the whites
In the belly of the beast in the Atlanta streets
Or up in Laurel Canyon, the verge of Middle East
Still they're dying on the dark continent
It's been happening long enough to mention it
Have I mentioned my parents are getting back together again?
It's been twenty-five years
Of spreading infection
Somehow we're not affected
So my mom, she brushes her hair
And my dad starts growing Bob Dylan's beard
And I share with my friends a couple of beers
In the Atlanta streets
In the belly of the beast



Lyrics submitted by y plus white girl


The Charging Sky song meanings
Add your thoughts

14 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General Comment:Hm, I get a sense that the songs is supposed to mean that people are religious and gracious and think that by being good to God, it's almost like money to spend, so they take all the good they've done, and do something they want to, reassured that it's okay, 'cause they've been so good.

    Faith is no longer about faith. Now it's about ourselves, where we want to go, and what we want to do.
    blueoftheskyon January 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:This is probably my favourite song from the album, or at least in the top three. When I saw her live, she changed 'Atlanta streets' into 'Manchester streets', which was kind of nice. I guess it doesn't matter where the place is, seeing as Atlanta and Orlando are mentioned, the point is that it could be happening anywhere.

    I love this because of the quirky guitar riffs.
    thecomaboyon October 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Hi, i love this song; i think it is my favorite one on the album. I don't know what it really means because i pay more attention to the music than the lyrics. Does anyone know where can i find the tabs to play this song in guitar?

    Thanks...jonny
    jonathane40on October 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:i think its talking about how faith's become a just in case thing. "ill pray and go to church just enough to get me into heaven, in case god really does exist"

    and faith isnt faith, its just insurance.
    pimpmylizon April 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:also, I'm pretty sure the line is "institution's like a big bright light" not lie.
    ratanxon May 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Yeah, I agree with ratanx - we should get it amended.

    Its like faith is there to save you but discarded and spent when you don't need it.
    toolejon August 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST! indeed.
    THE SYSTEM!
    capitalism, faith.. YADDA YADDA.

    good lyrics.
    sanscosmon November 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I think it is about feeling secured about life even if it is false security because people are scared of the future. Whether it be a fear of going to Hell even if you don't believe in it, or fear of loneliness when she talks about her parents getting back together. She knows her parents getting back together is a bad idea, but she won't do anything about it and rather wants to feel secure and happy by drinking beer with friends to forget about it. I don't know what the middle part means though...
    nitsuaon February 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:i might be completely off, but does anyone else think she's referencing sudan at some point?

    "Still they're dying on the dark continent
    It's been happening long enough to mention it
    Have I mentioned my parents are getting back together again?
    It's been twenty-five years
    Of spreading infection
    Somehow we're not affected"

    like showing how americans completely disregard the problems going on in other parts of the world. these things may come up in passing conversation but "somehow we're not affected."

    i don't know.
    i could be wrong.
    moreadventurous__on May 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I definitely agree with moreadventurous, I can't claim it to be my first thought when I heard the song by I did think that she was referring to Africa as the "dark continent"

    "But what if God's not there?
    But his name is on your dollar bill
    Which just became cab fare
    For the evangelists, the communists, the lefts, and the rights
    And the hypocrites and the jesuits and the blacks and the whites"

    I think Jenny Lewis as a sense of humor about all of these "hypocrites" who aren't really doing ANYTHING but disagreeing with each other, i.e. "it's been 25 years of spreading infection, somehow we're not affected"
    epedra17on July 20, 2008   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