I've gone as far as I can go
The rest you must do alone
With your pants around your knees
You said "don't leave me please"
But this is as far as I can go

And so I swivel on my heel
And soon the green becomes the grey
Now that my sister's cleaned my car
I can depart from where you are
I never liked the country anyway
The birds, they steal things from my sleep
They sing the promises I couldn't keep

Last night I dreamed the alphabet
Out of my voice, all pretty plastic shapes
Muted microphones
Turned in my hands to ice cream cones
And the silence was all syrupy, all candy, tarts and cake
The saccharine shine of baby spit
The secret trail it leaves upon a tit
Oh, the sad curl and smear of baby spit
I said "yes" but I did not agree to this

Last night I dreamed of paper trails
Dolls without faces joined infinitely with fingerless arms
Blank as the air was dead and sound is chasing the stillness all around
Is choking the vibrations
Beady little tales of sewing needles and a ball of string
Tear them apart and make them sing
Of sewing needles and ball of string
My useless heart, a wedding ring

Apologies are boring and they're trite
But if desired, I will see what I can find
As soon as the concrete comes into view
Pencil to paper we'll move for you
Squeeze our time together to lines and lines and lines of fifty words
Across the page
Big decision all contained in a phrase
I know I promised you all along
Forgive me please, for I cannot

Lyrics submitted by sepata

Paper Trails song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI think it's "the saccharine shine/smear of baby spit."
    Mandalaon July 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentand the secret trail it leaves upon the tit
    miss_motoon July 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe first time I listened to this poem, I imagined a young girl sending letters to her boyfriend back in the country, probably her home town before she moved to London (that's why her sister is there to "clean her car"). In the letters she promises to have sex with him, then realizes she's not ready when they meet in person again. Then, the more I listened to the random energy, I started to wonder if the "promise" was for a commitment, instead of sex. The "wedding ring" and the imagery of unity, of things being sown together and dolls joining hands, makes me think this boy expected her to love him and marry him, moving back to the country.
    Coffeejunkie891on May 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI think the song speaks to a general fear of commitment and the traditional, settled life. At the start it does seem to reference sex, but as an example--she doesn't want to go that far, not yet. The guy is more ready to commit and is pressuring her to do so.

    The country represents the traditional, I believe. In the city she can be an independent woman.

    I believe there's a fear of having children ingrained here as well. All the images she pulls can relate to children (dolls, ice cream, cake) turned into something negative. The dolls are scary, without the proper limbs; the ice cream inhibits her expression musically and emotionally. It's "saccharine"--sweet, but nauseatingly so. Baby spit is beautifully juxtaposed with the "secret trail it leaves upon the tit" line. She's afraid to settle, get married, and have kids.

    ("Apologies are boring and they're trite") I think this speaks to her not really feeling remorse at first. However, she does squeeze out an admission of guilt: it was her fault for leading him along, making promises she could not--or would not--keep.

    However, moving to the city and remaining independent allows her to freely write and express. The song is about choosing yourself over the traditional life of marriage and kids and commitment. Lovely.
    mistypantson December 29, 2012   Link

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