I wrote a goodbye note
In lipstick on your arm
When you passed out
I couldn't bring myself to call
Except to call it quits

Best friends
Ex-friends till the end
Better off as lovers
And not the other way around
Racing through the city
Windows down
In the back of
Yellow-checkered cars

This city says
Come hell or high water
When I'm feeling hot and wet
I can't commit to a thing
Be it heart or hospital

Best friends
Ex-friends till the end
Better off as lovers
And not the other way around
Racing through the city
Windows down
In the back of
Yellow-checkered cars

The tombstones are waiting
They were half engraved
They knew it was over
Just didn't know the date

And I cast a spell over the West
To make you think of me
The same way I think of you
This is a love song in my own way
Happily ever after below the waist

Best friends
Ex-friends till the end
Better off as lovers
Racing through the city
Windows down
In the back of
Yellow-checkered cars

Best friends
Ex-friends till the end
Better off as lovers
And not the other way around
Ex-friends till the end
Better off as lovers


Lyrics submitted by rust3dxh3art

"Bang the Doldrums" as written by Andrew John Hurley Andrew Hurley

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Bang the Doldrums song meanings
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118 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentBang the Doldrums is one of my fave's on IoH, and I didn't seem to find it as cryptic as most other people. But anyway, here's what I think:

    "I wrote a goodbye note in lipstick on your arm when you passed out,
    I couldn’t bring myself to call, except to call it quits,"

    This is pretty straightforward. I think they (the couple, I mean - probably Pete and Jenae) get drunk and sleep together and he wants her way more than she does him. He has a thing with commitment and intimacy, I mean, even the way he broke up with her is temporary. It can't be saved like a letter or text could.

    He couldn't bring himself to call her, so he never did. 'Calling it quits' doesn't necessarily mean he called her, the lipstick note could qualify as such.

    "Best friends, ex-friends to the end,
    Better off as lovers and not the other way around,"

    There's a serious play on words here, definately added to confuse. Here's my interpretation: they were best friends, now 'ex-friends to the end'. By 'better off as lovers, not the other way around' I think he means they're not 'lovers better off'.

    "Racing through the city, windows down,
    In the back of yellow-checkered cars."

    I think this simply implies a sense of urgency and desire - racing through the city (Chicago, perhaps?) together, infatuated.

    "You're all wrong,
    Are we all wrong?
    You're all wrong,
    Are we all wrong?"

    Here I think he's simply questioning the situation. The relationship is so messed up - is it worth it?

    "This city says;
    Come Hell or high water, when I’m feeling hot and wet,
    I can’t commit to a thing, be it heart or hospital,"

    The City. Again, this could be L.A., Chicago, or New York (all of which Pete Wentz, the main lyricist, spends a lot of time). Come hell or high water is usually used to imply loyalty or staying power. Perhaps she promised to be there hell or high water, and now that both are there, what is she gonna do?

    The next line is simple: he can't commit to a relationship - he just uses the hospital metaphor to emphasis how large his phobia is.


    "The tombstones are waiting,
    They were half engraved,
    They knew it was over,
    Just didn’t know the date."

    This is probably one of the most straight-forward FOB lyrics ever. The relationship was doomed from the beginning - it was a matter of when, not if.

    "And I cast a spell over the West to make you think of me,
    The same way I think of you,"

    Maybe he's talking about Hollywood, maybe he's talking about the chick - who knows? He just wants to be accepted and thought of and loved.

    "This is a love song in my own way,
    Happily ever after, below the waist."

    Possibly one of my favorite lines on the album. This is a love song is his own way, as close as he can come to love - obsession, infatuation, and lust. Happily ever after below the waist just serves the drive the point home. Sexual satisfaction is as close to happily ever after as they'll ever come.

    Amazing song - great lyrics, but all FOB songs are mindblowing. I think I've got it down pat - who knows? Everbody reads them and thinks something different.
    Conform_and_Dieon August 06, 2007   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretationlol this is totally about mikey god
    loveaffairon April 11, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis is called 'never date your best friend since you were five because that is exactly how it will feel: best friends, ex friends 'til the end.' you will break up or almost break up and get into fights multiple times and get back together, realize that it wasn't meant to be, and then people will question your friendship for the rest of eternity...after it ends, at which point you're just friends.
    mylastnameishorrificallyaccurateon September 27, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is bassed off an old blog like someone already pointed out- said blog was about mikeyway. so technically this song would be about mikeyway, too.

    mikeyway was a special someone during warped '05, and (pete) had a crush on him at the time- it was nearly adoration. but at the same time (he) knew it wouldn't work out no matter what. here it's explained how they were bestfriends, and then had a night together, causing them to be "ex-friends" and become "lovers", which to pete's eyes was better than being just friends. ("i wish you were my bass, not just my friend")
    ztnewetepon March 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell i suppose this is kind of self explanitory song
    what the hell is the yellow ticket?
    softlyforsalvationon January 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentactually, i think its "In the back of yellow-checkered cars" (which would be a taxi)
    BulletproofScaleson January 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentObviously about Jeanae and their on-again off-again relationship.

    "I couldn't bring myself to call, except to call it quits."
    I don't think he ever felt good enough for her. He was always posting journals about wanting to call back home (probably her) but it being too late at night and people (she) might be asleep. So the only time he could ever "call" her is metaphorical, since they called it quits.

    "The tombstones were waiting, they were half engraved."
    This reflects the starting point of their relationship (probably the most recent).
    "They knew it was over, just didn't know the date."
    The relationship was over before the two decided to call it quits.

    "I cast a spell over the West to make you think of me the same way I think of you."
    That's pretty easy to understand. He finally made her feel the same way he felt about her, one way or another.

    "Best friends, ex-friends to the end. Better off as lovers, not the other way around."
    Those two are best friends, and they went through rough times, probably points where they were 'ex-friends'. He finds they're better off as lovers, or best friends, not as ex-friends (to the end).

    Well that was analyzed a lot. Haha. That's just what I got out of it. (:
    suchaxsuckeron January 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAmazing.

    I pretty much agree with suchaxsucker on everything.
    The part where Pete talks/screams is amazing. and if the Yo-ho-HO, whoa-oh-oh-oh part reminded you of pirates, it was supposed to. The Doldrums are a wind system and a sailor-ish term... but like, bang the drums, yeah. Kind of one of those jokes where people don't laugh, they just go "aaaauuugggh." but i felt pretty smart for figuring it out.
    ringinmyearson January 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHaha I wrote a review on the album yesterday (it sucked), but I said this song reminded me of pirates. That's so cool.
    shrodeson January 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentpirates rule
    wow ringinmyears thats pretty smart :)
    yeah the taxi cab thing fits better then a yellow ticket
    softlyforsalvationon January 25, 2007   Link

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