"15 Minutes" as written by and Julian Casablancas....
It was all just a dream, Oh no
Yet I wish it was real
All my pets they were there and they smiled
Take a shit, it was fine

Everybody's so inviting
They've got in it for me I know
It's not that I don't really love you
It's just that I don't really know
The hateful things you think you want to say
Time will turn them into jokes

Yes it was all just a dream, Oh no
Was it real? I don't know (I hope so )
If it was you were all there with me
Overjoyed and at peace

Here we go, can I play?, can I watch?
He would like one more night in your life
I saw worlds, they don't stop they're like us
They go fast like a sun that's been shot

Everybody at the party
Shouldn't worry if I'm there
Everybody at the party
Shouldn't worry what they wear
'Cause today they'll talk about us
And tomorrow they won't care

This whole life is it a dream? I can't tell
I got up, then I waved then I fell
I recall you were all there with me
Overjoyed and at peace

First time around
Second took so long
Third time's the charm
Circle of fourths

Five days to rehearse
Six to make it work
Seven notes in a scale
Eight in some countries

Nine in fancy keys
Ten is you and friend
Eleven seconds to hell
And of course twelve major chords


Lyrics submitted by electricityscape

"15 Minutes" as written by Julian Casablancas

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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15 Minutes song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentDefinitely one of their geniously written lyrics (well i could argue that they all are..)
    15 Minutes is obviously a reference to Andy Warhol's famous quote: "Everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes."

    I think this song is about a “normal” guy who is with a “famous” girl (who has worked really hard to get where she is and is now living her dreams) for a while… and I guess it’s for a very short period. And for the short time that he’s with this girl he’s experiencing the fast-paced, exciting, cameras-in-your-face, etc. part of a celebrity life.

    “It was all just a dream, oh no
    I wish it was real.”
    “All my pets they were there and they smiled
    Take a shit - it was fine”.

    So he’s referring to dreams and mentions that his pets are there and they’re smiling at him…You know how when you have a dream it seems just like your real life but there’s always something surreal /something that doesn’t fit (e.g. your pets smiling at you???)… And it’s this surrealness of dreams that separate them from your memories. So his time with this girl wasn’t actually a dream… something went wrong in their relationship and it ended so fast that it seemed more like a dream or a hallucination for him.

    “Everybody's so inviting
    They've got it in for me I know”

    People love famous people. They also love to gossip about them and … let the world know about their personal issues, fallouts, whatever through TV, internet, magazines, etc. He’s thinking about the good and the ugly of this “now life”.

    “It's not that I don't really love you
    It's just that I don't really know”

    He really likes this girl but he’s not sure if he wants to be with her forever… he’s not sure if he really wants to be “the it girl’s man”.

    “The hateful things you think you want to say
    Time will turn them into jokes...yep.”

    I’m not sure what the “hateful things” are but whatever it is the girl is thinking about them but in the future she wouldn’t even acknowledge that she ever thought about them or said them.

    “Yes, it was all just a dream, oh no
    Was it real? I don't know,
    I hope so...”
    “Here we go! Can I play? Can I watch?
    He would like one more night in your life.”

    Yes this guy is enjoying the high life and he wants to keep it that way… And the fact that “he’s asking” the girl gives the impression that it’s up to the girl whether he gets to live this life or has to go back to wherever he came from.. So he has to be careful and be a “nice preferable guy” for this girl (“Can I do this? Can I do that?”).

    “I saw worlds they don't stop; they're like us
    They go fast like a sun that's been shot”

    Hmmm…I love how they play fast halfway through…it definitely fits the mood/theme of the song.
    I guess this guy is comparing people to planets… some planets rotate faster then Earth some rotate slower… “Fast like a sun that’s been shot”: (if the sun bursts then there’s no control over where its pieces will fall and burn what ……..well if it ever does happen then its death for most planets but maybe not the universe cause people think maybe its infinite). Right now he’s seeing what it’s like to live a high/fast-paced life but he sees that it’s also a dangerous life. Because in today’s world there always is and always will be headliners…e.g. if someone famous dies then their death will be reportedly instantly and everywhere as compared to a unfamous (?I don’t think that a word?) person’s death. If you’re famous then you may have no control over what’s being printed/photographed/said about you. Also this also reminds me of how we have better faster technology but we also have more atrocities occurring worldwide daily than ever before. Again… the good and the bad of life.

    “Everybody at the party
    shouldn't worry if I'm there
    Everybody at the party
    shouldn't worry what they wear
    Cause today they'll talk about us,
    and tomorrow they won't care”

    So in this short relationship or in this fifteen minutes of worldwide attention, people “will care” if you’re present or not, if you’re gay or not, or if you showed up in your pj’s or in all in versace. But as soon as someone else is today’s “it person” then the world forgets about you. Cuz “today” is now “yesterday”.
    (Well… no life is perfect).

    “This whole life is it a dream? I can't tell
    I got up, then I waved, then I fell
    I recall, you were all there with me;
    Overjoyed and at peace”

    Again he’s mentioning that “short sweet dream that you had and that could have lasted longer if it weren’t for that alarm clock that woke you up” feeling.

    “First time around
    Second took so long
    Third time's a charm
    Circle of fourths
    Five days to rehearse
    Six to make it work
    Seven notes in a scale
    Eight in some countries
    Nine in fancy keys
    Ten years we've been friends
    Eleven seconds to hell
    And of course, twelve major chords”

    I won’t elaborate on this part cuz I think the posts above explain well. But I’ll add that for some people it takes a lot of hard cold work to get where they want and for others it’s some advantage that they have (e.g. they’re pretty, they have connections, they’re born a millionaire, etc). And it can either take years or even minutes to ruin someone’s life.

    So yes he was famous for just fifteen minutes.


    So this is what I think when I listen to this song:
    endless_strokeon October 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentforgot to mention: 'sunchild' brought up the line '10 yrs we've been friends, 11 seconds to hell'. i'm certain it means how easy a longtime friendship can be ruined by the trouble brought on being in a band such as they are.
    terri kayeon August 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentObviously a song about fame, or a homage to Warhol, or whatever. With the experimental phase of the second half of "First Impresssions", they sound like the Walkmen, especially with this song's drunken waltz of the first half that suddenly changes into a punk drive of fast chords
    bkat004on January 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe really does sound drunk! sounds like a Pogues/ramones mix. love this song.
    citizenerased19on February 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, too. Damn this album, I can't find a song that I don't dig.

    I won't try and interpret this whole song, but I really like this little stanza--which must be about dumping some girl.

    It's not that I don't really love you
    It's just that I don't really know
    The hateful things you think you want to say
    Time will turn them into jokes...

    ...yep.

    that last little nonchalant "yep" cracks me up. as if to add some additional indifference to the whole phrase.

    The music during this intro is brilliant. harmonizing guitars, clever and insistent tapping from the drums. It's just a great song.
    marcgon May 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI absolutely love this song! It is one of my favs. Oh snd he does sound drunk, but who cares it is awesome!
    mishmishelleon June 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTen years we've been friends
    Eleven seconds to hell

    it kind of sounds like he says ELEVEN SECONDS IN
    which does make one wonder...
    sunchild23on August 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh yeah and its obviously about the price you pay to become famous..such a cliche...not to say its not a good song though
    sunchild23on August 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthe does sound drunk, but i wonder it it's just to make the song more fun than singing it regularly. it works, so i guess it doesn't matter, & only the band know for sure. but in other songs on this record, he changes his voice so it's just enough out of the ordinary to be wicked cool for that specific song. i don't know why people knock this album. i guess they haven't listened to it enough.
    terri kayeon August 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhere he says "Circle of fourths", well, Cirlce of Fifths is a musical diagram that shows the relationship between pitches, in an interval of 5. is there also a circle of fourths?

    and they have the whole: "Seven notes in a scale

    ...And of course, twelve major chords"

    so obviously it's all just music theory refrences. but yeah. yay music theory.
    thetorieon September 14, 2006   Link

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