in the stick count for the song
with knowing you’re gone
glancing up at where you lived
when you lived here

i see you suddenly alive
and nearly smiling
i stop and hold my breath
and watch the way you used to be

the full moon makes
our faces shine
like over-ironed polyester

then disappears behind the clouds
and leaves me under empty rows
of night windows

we could walk to where these streets
get pulled together
blinking, lined with gravel
shoulder squared towards an end

where the radio resounds
from doppling traffic
where the power lines
steal esses from the hourly news

de-pluralize our casualties
drown the generals out in static
we turn and watch our city sprawl
and send us signals in the glow
of night windows
night windows

(but you’re not coming home again
and i won’t ever get to say)

remember how
i’m sorry that
i miss the way
could we

night windows


Lyrics submitted by ConsciousPilot

Night Windows song meanings
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20 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commenti tried my best to decipher these lyrics from a live version of the song that i have. if you see anything you think is wrong, please let me know and i'll fix it. this song is amazing, can't wait to hear more new weakerthans
    ConsciousPiloton October 24, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think you did a good Job on this One. I´ve only heard the Live Version from the Glen Gould Studio and it´s breathtaking. I hope they come out with a new album sometime in 2007 !
    gazelleon December 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthere's a great version of this song and another new weakerthans track called "Sun in an Empty room" that can be found here:
    ashinynewmachine.wordpress.com/2006/10/25/live-versions-of-new-weakerthans-songs/
    ConsciousPiloton December 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is really good. I like the line "remember how I'm sorry that I miss the way it could be"
    I think this song is about someone moving away, and then looking back on the city where they used to live, and realizing that life is going on for most people the way it was.
    leahleahleahleahon March 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLike a lot of Weakerthan songs, I think this leaves a lot open for interpretation. It could be about a former lover, maybe a friend who's moved away. But I think it's about losing a friend in war.

    It's really great imagery. Our protagonist is walking down the street (a common theme with the Weakerthans) and sees his dead friends house. He thinks about "the way things used to be."

    Walking that same street with the friend. He sees the powerlines and thinks about the news, and how The generals are depluralizing the casualties, words (how the government is trying to make things sound better than they really are).

    And then at the end he thinks about how his friend isn't coming home, and they'll never be able to walk down the street and say, "remember how..." or "i’m sorry that..." or "i miss the way it could be..."
    SenatorAtomson August 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsuch a great song.
    avengedsurviveon September 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLike "Sun in an Empty Room" off the same album, the title "Night Windows" is actually the name of an Edward Hopper painting (remember they lyric from "Hospital Vespers" off of Reconstruction Site --- "I brought books on Hopper and the arctic"?)

    I'm curious as to whether other people think possibly that the dead person recalled in this song (that he sees "suddenly alive") could possibly be whoever is references in the (Manifest)(Hospital Vespers)(Past Due) sequence from Reconstruction site -- like the dead person is a recurring "character" in the same way that Virtute the cat is?
    kviiion October 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's also worth mentioning that this song furthers the theme of "reunions" throughout the album -- this one being an impossible reunion, that exists only in the narrator's imagination, and his longing for it.
    kviiion October 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust on an off-note, both 'sun in an empty room' and 'night window' are Edward Hopper paintings, just to put the songs into context
    mr-numbon October 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe truly beautiful thing about this song is the imagery. Even though we have an image to accompany it (the Hopper painting), the lyrics themselves paint wonderful pictures. I also believe this song is about a close friend, probably from childhood, who has died in the war.

    “In the stick count for the song / of knowing you’re gone.”

    I believe the narrator is taking a night walk, missing his friend, and either listening to music, or creating one (this one in his head). Therefore the song becomes the song of “knowing you’re gone.”

    “I see you suddenly alive / and nearly smiling. / I stop and hold my breath / and watch the way you used to be. / The full moon makes / our faces shine / like over-ironed polyester, / then disappears behind the clouds / and leaves me under empty rows / of night windows.”

    I believe the moonlight creates a shadow in the window of his old home, which is not inhabited by others. He thinks for a second that it could be his friend, he could still be there, and he watches. However, when the light changes, it all goes away and he’s simply there beneath night windows.

    “We could walk to where these streets / get pulled together, / blinking, lined with gravel / shoulder squared towards an end. / Where the radio resounds / from Doppling traffic, / where the power lines /steal esses from the hourly news.”

    This is where the imagery gets really lovely. It also slides perfectly into the news, assuming that’s where he heard his friend died.

    “De-pluralize our casualties, / drown the generals out in static. / We turn and watch our city sprawl / and send us signals in the glow / of night windows.”

    I believe this is a contrast of the war to how they live. The information about the war gets lost in people’s daily lives, lights on at night.

    “(But you’re not coming home again / and I won’t ever get to say…) / remember how… / I’m sorry that… / I miss the way… / could we…?”

    A very sad end, admittance that the person is dead and little daily phrases won’t be able to be used anymore in conversation, just like night windows can never exist as a simple human thing. They are so much more than that.
    pricillacoxon December 07, 2007   Link

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