The music played with a calming frequency.
The speakers gently seeped the sound of ambient keyboards and light percussion,
Creating a seductive soundtrack to our midnight drive through curtains of blackness.
The windows were cold to the touch, reflecting the icy conditions in our immediate extremity.
Salt stains and fingerprints littered the glass,
And streets with melted snow cascaded down it's length.

The music pulsed louder, yet gentle, like the far away squeal of a pot of boiling water.
The skylight was glowing faintly with a vague hints of an impending dawn.
The car raced along a painfully straight stretch of road,
And she hadn't so much as turned the steering wheel two degrees in the past twenty minutes,
Nor hardly spoken.

As we were, so perfect, so happy.
I'll remember, only our smiles because that's all they've seen.
Long since dried, when we are found, are the tears in which we had drowned.
As we were, so perfect, so happy.

Why are you doing this' she spoke without expecting a response.
Her voice penetrated the still air of our speechless drive, so silent my heart had jumped.
I'm not doing anything, I said, but I didn't even believe that myself.
This is what's best, for me, for you, for us, or maybe just for me,? I thought,
As a tear formed in the pit of her eye.
The music poured through the speakers
And we were losing ourselves in the cadence.
She looked down momentarily and closed her eyes
For a bit longer than a standard blink.
Then she was crying.
Then she was shouting.
Then I was shouting, now pouring confessions, having no answers, or solutions,
And we barely could even hear the questions.

As we were, so perfect, so happy.
They'll remember, only our smiles because that's all they've seen.
Long since dried, when we are found, are the tears in which we had drowned.
As we were, so perfect, so happy.

Don't put me underground, I was meant for a life somewhere else.
Please Lord give me the way out before both of us haunt you.
We'll steal tonight. (We'll steal tonight.)

As we were, so perfect, so happy.
Don't remember, only your smiles because that's all they've seen.
Long since dried, when we are found, are the tears in which we had drowned.
As we were, so perfect, so happy.

Our cracking voices became part of the music.
The car pressed on faster through he night.
As our voices lowered,
The cadence again overtook the air.
Up ahead there was a curve approaching.
She made no indications of slowing.



Lyrics submitted by ThisismyUsername, edited by Tanngrisnir, MiriamWin

"The Approaching Curve" as written by Joseph Principe, Timothy Mcilrath, Brandon Barnes, Christopher Chasse

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Approaching Curve song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment:This song is defenitely about break up, that's for sure. but yeah it gets more and more intense until what they are saying doesn't make any sense anymore. In the end i think they both die in an accident because she never turned the wheel or atleast made no indication of it. People will always remember them as just a happy couple with no problems but there was more to it than appearances had let on. pretty sad
    dazedbysoundon July 30, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:Also we should really look at the use of symbolism in this, i mean the fact that in the beginning they were on a 'painfully straight' road and in the end it turns and she did nothing to change it pretty much symbolises their relationship, she didnt want it to end so she changed nothing dispite the outcome.
    E-Doubleon August 24, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:I believe this song is about two people who are overwhelmed with a array of emotions towards each other. The song seems to continue hinting at the fact that nobody else is aware of their problems and it seems that for some reason they must keep these feeling and issues private. The song also leads us to believe that these are two people who are generally happy and well liked people who nobody would expect are actually suffering from excessive emotional pain.

    Obviously these two have some sort of feelings for each other, and have no idea how to go about dealing with them. the line "The skylight was glowing faintly with vague hints of an impending dawn." tells us that these two have been driving together all night and now the sun is starting to come up. Also as the song continues it seems that there may be an issue even stronger at hand other then a complicated relationship.

    Perhaps they cannot be together for some reason, or it also seems at some points they are trying to break up. I have a strong inclination that the girl in this situation is pregnant and that the guy has decided he has to break up with her in order to save his future. "�This is what�s best, for me, for you, for us, or maybe just for me,� I thought,as a tear formed in the pit of her eye." this leads to an argument and they simply don't know how to handle the situation. Finally in a rash, distressful act the women decides to drive the car off of the road seeing as how her man is planning to abandon her. Upon their deaths however nobody will know about the sadness of these two because nobody knows but them.

    I think this is a great song and anyone who has ever been riddled with emotional issues that they can't seem to deal with, or complications on simple things can definitely relate to this song. One of my favorites by the band and I'm sure anybody who has been through any kind of complicated emotional issues with someone else and manages to hide their emotional distress from everyone else everyday would agree with me. Great song of bittersweet relationships.
    Nikolas67on February 09, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:What an amazingly poignant song. The lyrics build up a lot of atmosphere- "The windows were cold to the touch." and it creates such a feeling of disconfort and despair- "She hadn't so much as turned the steering wheel two degrees in the last twenty minutes. Nor had we spoken." The straight road they're driving on is highly symbolic- it suggests a stagnant relationsship that isn't very sucessful. I adore that line about "pouring confessions"; that's such a dramatic image.
    The chorus is retrospective- looking at how the couple will be remembered by other people- "They'll remember only our smiles, 'cause that's all they see." They don't see the problems in the realtionship. And then she drove into a wall/off a cliff.
    fearon October 26, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:The song is not as clear cut as some have suggested it be with regards to a break-up or suicide song. I don't think it has much to with death at all except in regards to the death of their relationship. The main theme of this tune is the breakdown of a relationship that was once good and the idea that relationships are not easy or clear cut. Many loving relationships end, and many loveless ones linger.
    In this case, and for reasons only lightly touched on, the male has decided on a break or separation. It doesn't really matter hy but it is hinted at with the line "Then I was shouting, now pouring confessions, having no answers, or solutions, and we barely could even hear the questions", but the woman is less agreeable with the outcome, evident by her comment "why are you doing this?". It is clear that they once had something great and even as it deteriorated projected that to the outside world even as they were decending into tears. They both still care and perhaps even love each other but the male has decided it is better for both (or maybe just him) to separate, rather than stay together simply because they are used to it and it is what they know.
    The drive could be for any reason, perhaps they took a drive to talk about things and the part we hear is after the decision has been made, they may be returning from a trip that did not go well and has led to this point.

    The title of the song (The Approaching Curve) is a metaphor for this decision to separate. It is a new curve in the road, something different and neither know what is around the bend. I don't think it is clear that death is imminent even though some lyrics suggest that may be the case. I feel when he refers to "drowing'" it more symbolic of the relationship. He is saying that the tears that killed (or drowned) their relationship will have "long since dried" down the track after their separation. I feel he is saying that even though it is bad now these tears will dry and everyone will only remember their good times because that is all they showed. "As we were, so perfect ,so happy. They'll remember, only our smiles because that's all they've seen. Long since dried, when we are found, are the tears in which we had drowned. As we were, so perfect, so happy."

    The final part about the curve aproaching and her making no indication of slowing does not mean she has decided to crash and take their lives. It is a metaphor for the unknown. Yes she may have that in her mind, she may not, I don't think we are meant to know that only that it is an ption in the unknown ahead. I think no one knows what is going to happen at that curve or in the future around that bend. It is symbolic of the ending of their relationship, the curve you cannot see around to the other side. The bridge of the chorus and instrumental gives us "dont put me underground, I was meant for a life somewhere else". I do not think he is talking about underground as in being 'dead and buried'. Being put underground would be outcome if they stayed together, trapped in this happy/unhappy cycle. He wants a life somewhere else, not this life.

    The part where he says "Please love give me the wheel, before both of our hearts you will steal tonight" is the clearest indication that they both did, and perhaps still do love each other. He is saying that if he doesn't take the wheel and direct things where he wants to go (ending it) that love could steal their hearts and direct him into something he does not choose.
    fullcore88on August 13, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I think the main part of the song is about a breakup, but theres details buried within the song like all of their other's. I think "Salt stains and fingerprints littered the glass' implied that they had sex in the car. The boy knew he wanted to break up, but it wasn't the right time yet.

    Painfully straight stretch of road, implying that the relationship wasn't going anywhere. Not turning the steering wheel could imply that the girl did everything the same way over and over again, no diversity in their relationship. "or hardly spoken' and when she asked 'why are you doing this' could imply that she knew it was coming, but couldn't accept it. She had sex with him so he might've considered staying with her, it was her last effort to save the relationship. When he said; 'im not doing anything', she knew he was lying, and started to cry and accuse him, so he shouted back. They poured confessions and questions, but neither could answer.


    Also, i agree with Lightening.J :

    the lyrics are messed up in places. it should go like this:
    "they'll remeber only our smiles, becuase that's all they've seen"
    "Don't put me underground, i was meant for a life somewhere else please love give me the wheel, before both our hearts you will steal tonight"


    this implies that he's bargaining with her to pull over and let him out. he doesnt want to die, he has other things hes supposed to do. He begs for the steering wheel, before she kills both of them.

    'theyll remember only our smiles, cause thats all they've seen.' meaning that everyone else only saw the good in their relationship, never the bad. which took up more than the good did.

    'The car pressed on faster through the night____As our voices lowered, the cadence again overtook the air_____Up ahead there was a curve approaching, she made no indications of slowing.' they both knew what was going to happen, and they both seemed to accept it. The the girl has made up her mind. she accelerated through the night without turning the wheel....



    Everyone has their own thought on the song, thanks for reading mine. Rise Against <3 <3 <3 <3
    Brothamanon December 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I think this song is about a breakup, or something, I could be wrong, but I love it. The new CD is amazing, I suggest you buy it, if you haven't gotten it already.
    RavenSanon June 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I'm listening to the album on their myspace and this is my favorite song so far. It's just so intense.
    eltroyo11on July 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:is anyone else reminded of vanilla sky when listening to this?
    Kaizokuon July 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:the lyrics are messed up in places. it should go like this:
    "they'll remeber only our smiles, becuase that's all they've seen"
    "Don't put me underground, i was meant for a life somewhere else please love give me the wheel, before both our hearts you will steal tonight"

    I think the song is pretty self-explanatory, for the most part, but it confuses me at points. becuase it says in some areas of the song that a girl is driving, but in others, they make it sound like the guy is driving. i might just need to rethink the song, but i don't know.
    Lightning.Jon July 07, 2006   Link

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