"The Burning City Smoking" as written by and Kevin Patrick Devine....
Forty million refugees with no place on this earth to call there home
One for every aimless graduate with nothing else to show for it but loans
And those of us who make our mark use someone else's blood
Our western stain won't wash away, it won't vanish in the flood
It seeps deeper through each hurricane and tidal wave and war
Oh woah oh oh
We want everything we see and once it's gone we just want more

Atlas had those shoulders, we've got Ambien and Jameson's and blow
To bind us in a bubble and keep the newsprint nightmare distant and remote
But when we wake in gulitines and pitch our screaming fits
When the govenor strikes up the band and gags our parted lips
When the worst case shows up dressed and dazzling, ready for the ball
Oh woah oh oh
But that bubbles bound to burst and what a tragic way to fall

The tabloids tell us hate
The rat who strikes those subways closed and put's you out
Forget those fifty hour tunnel weeks
Inhaling steel dust poison through his mouth
Well if he don't deserve a pension it makes his family feel secure
If we're now so dissconected it's our reflections we ignore
And if our constant choice is skimming past the writing on the wall
Oh woah oh oh
Then I'm sad to say we're lost and I'm embarrassed for us all

So most days I can't put to rest the burning city smoking in my mind
And I play and pretend the principles are nothin' more than actors runnin' lines
And I stumble through a movie set where tourtered victims laugh
And embedded journalists who juggle knives and daggered glass
While they entertain a mob of heads of state and CEO's
Oh woah oh oh
I stagger past anarchist extras through saloon doors painted gold

So I turn and I see Uncle Sam outside a wardroube ready for a shoot
So I walk right up and talk to him, I tell him that I'm scared and I'm confused
And while they test the cameras out and get the lighting right
While the catering fills coffee cups and carves up apple pie
And while the stylists trim his beard and straighten those clothes
Oh woah oh oh
I ask his empires what made him drive us straight to hell
And as my daydream ends, he stands ashamed, a shocked and shattered shell
But there's never any answer for my starving tongue to tell
Woah oh oh oh
'Cause the director shouted action, and from offset its just as well


Lyrics submitted by buddy22

"The Burning City Smoking" as written by Kevin Patrick Devine

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Burning City Smoking song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentIt's kind of obvious that this song is about how Kevin is disappointed with the way that the world has turned out. With the state of America.

    The last verse is my absolute favorite. Hands down, the best song on the CD. Kevin always uses alliteration really, really well.
    rocksolidgurlon December 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh. My. How I love this song. It reflects all the worries of today, and then goes on and talks about the wish of everything being better. In the last verse it seems like he opens Uncle Sam's eyes to all the problems in the world.
    zbuton December 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Our western stain won't wash away, it won't vanish in the flood,
    It seeps deeper through each hurricane and tidal wave and war"
    and
    "To bind us in a bubble and keep the newsprint nightmare distant and remote"

    sorta makes me think of global warming. and the title, in a way, suggests that as well
    ChloethePirateon March 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"And while the stylists trim his beard and straighten those lapels"
    Antonskeyon November 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit is just amazing how talented he is in all areas of music- he is a lyricist and also makes catchy, innovative sounds to create amazing songs. he is also a performer, and has a sense of humor. could he get any better?
    kevindevineluvahon March 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentat the beginning of my version, he says
    "this songs about, uh, acts of god and governments, and uh, you know being afraid of.. uh, irresponsibile, bad leadership and shitty journalists, and uh,.. well it goes like this.."

    then he begins to play.
    so there's your answer, haha.


    beautiful song.
    i'm in love.:P
    liesarelieson February 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentby far my favourite kevdev song.

    "and those of us who make our mark use someone elses blood."
    nightmarryyouon June 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionThese lyrics are generally inaccurate -- but I'm not sure of what the right words. Any guesses? I'll post the whole thing as accurate as possible, throwing "**" to open/close questionable parts:

    40 million refugees with no place on this earth to call their home
    One for every aimless graduate with nothing else to show for it but loans
    And those of us who make our mark using someone else's blood
    Our western stain won't wash away, won't vanish in the flood
    **It's just** deeper with each hurricane and tidal wave and war
    Oh whoa
    We want everything we see and once it's gone we just want more

    Atlas had those shoulders, we've got Ambien and Jamesons and blow
    To bind us in a bubble, keep the newsprint nightmare distant and remote
    But when we wake in guillotines and pitch our screaming fits
    When the Governor strikes up the **band** and gags our parted lips
    When the worst case shows up dressed and dazzling ready for the ball
    Oh whoa
    Boy that bubble's bound to burst and what a tragic way to fall

    The tabloids tell us hate the rat who strikes those subways closed and puts you out
    Forget those 50 hour tunnel weeks inhaling steel dust poison through his mouth
    Well if he don't deserve a pension that makes his family feel secure
    If we're now so disconnected it's our reflections we ignore
    And if our constant choice is skimming past the writing on the wall
    Oh whoa
    Then I'm sad to say we're lost and I'm embarrassed for us all

    So most days I can't put to rest the burning city smoking in my mind
    **And I play pretend the principals are nothing more than actors running lines**
    And I stumble through a movie set where torture victims laugh:
    **An abandoned journalist who juggled knives and daggered glass**
    While they** entertain a mob of Heads of State** and CEO's
    Oh whoa
    I stagger past anarchist extras through saloon doors painted gold

    So I turn and I see Uncle Sam, walks out of wardrobe ready for the shoot
    So I walk right up and talk to him, I tell him that I'm scared and I'm confused
    While they test the cameras out and get the lighting right, while catering fills coffee cups and carves up apple pie
    And while the stylists trim his beard and straighten those lapels
    Oh whoa
    I ask ***NO IDEA?*** him drive us straight to hell
    and as my daydream ends he stands there shamed, a shocked and shattered shell


    But there's never any answer for my starving tongue to tell
    Oh whoa
    Cause the director's shouting action and from off set it's just as well
    ACAon September 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentForty million refugees with no place on this earth to call their home
    One for every aimless graduate with nothing else to show for it but loans
    And those of us who make our mark use someone else’s blood
    Our Western stain won’t wash away, it won’t vanish in the flood
    It sets deeper through each hurricane and tidal wave and war:
    We want everything we see, and once it’s gone we just want more.

    Atlas had those shoulders; we’ve got Ambien and Jameson’s and blow
    To bind us in a bubble and keep the newsprint nightmare distant and remote
    But when we wake in guillotines and pitch our screaming fits
    When the governor strikes up the band and gags our parting lips
    When the worst case shows up dressed and dazzling, ready for the ball,
    Boy, that bubble’s bound to burst, and what a tragic way to fall.

    The tabloids tell us, ‘Hate the rat who strikes the subways closed and puts you out.
    Forget those 50 hour tunnel weeks inhaling steel dust poison through his mouth.’
    Well, if he don’t deserve a pension that makes his family feel secure
    If we’re now so disconnected it’s our reflections we ignore
    And if our constant choice is skimming past the writing on the wall
    Than I’m sad to say we’re lost and I’m embarrassed for us all.

    Most days I can’t put to rest the burning city smoking in my mind
    So I play pretend the principals are nothing more than actors running lines
    And I stumble through a movie set where torture victims laugh
    At embedded journalists who juggle knives and dagger glass
    While they entertain a mob of heads of state and CEOs
    I stagger past anarchist extras through saloon doors painted gold

    I turn and I see Uncle Sam waltz out of wardrobe, ready for the shoot
    So I walk right up and talk to him. I tell him that I’m scared and I’m confused.
    And while they test the cameras out and get the lighting right
    While catering fills coffee cups and carves up apple pie
    And while the stylists trim his beard and straighten his lapels
    I ask his empire eyes what made him drive us straight to hell.
    As my daydream ends he stands ashamed, a shocked & shattered shell
    But there’s never any answer for my starving tongue to tell
    The director’s shouting ‘action!’ I’m thrown off set. It’s just as well.
    clargesobon February 17, 2013   Link

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