"Tourist Trap" as written by and Oberst....
It's not the road we used to know
They tore some buildings down
The traffic's like a pack of dogs

There's fewer trees, windows, fleas
There's concrete on the lawn
There's people here but you are gone

And I find still swimming through time
Afraid some days I've reached the shore

"Make yourself free"
Man said back to me
Now my heart is like an open door

And the road finally gave me back
But I don't think I'll unpack
Because I'm not sure if I live here any more

It's not my weight that makes me faint
or the sugar in my blood
but the way these strangers stand so close

They say my name like a guessing game
"Is that really you?"
No, I don't think it ever was

In the spring
When the world's turning green
I only think about the fall
The frets on the board
My progression of chords
Oh, how I want this to resolve

And the road finally gave me back
But I don't think I'll unpack
Because I'm not sure if I live here any more

Now the road finally gave me back
But I don't think I'll unpack

Because I'm not sure if I live here
No, I'm not sure if I live here
No, I'm not sure if I live here
Anymore


Lyrics submitted by lovebite_, edited by Tara180h

"Tourist Trap" as written by

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Tourist Trap song meanings
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48 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentdoes anyone else think that the line "there's people here but you are gone" might refer to neely jenkins? they grew up together in omaha...
    flippant thoughtson October 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song seems to be about how Omaha is expanding and becoming an urban city (or "tourist trap"), when he always viewed it as his small, rural home town. This is much like his career in the sense that he really started from scratch with his friends to form Saddle Creek and produce these records for themselves, and now, that close, personal attachment to their music is being shared by millions and millions of fans; (sadly, much of whom are only following the latest trend. These are the people I believe he's referring to with the lines
    "they say my name
    like a guessing game
    is that really you?
    no I dont think it ever was").

    He's explaining how when he returns home, he only wishes that times could be like they were, when things were simple and he could love and be loved by his true friends.

    Such an unbelievably beautiful song. Does this song remind anyone else of John Lennon's Happy Christmas (War is Over)?
    kate_2674on January 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentim pretty sure the lyrics are
    "the frets on the board,
    my progression of chords"
    as in, the fretboard of a guitar, chords... as in, well chords.
    rhymeswithfilthon January 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit seems like this song is a realization of sorts. he's written a lot about wanting to go back home and stop touring. i think this song is about how he finally got a break and could spend some time home, and it wasn't what he remembered. his hometown has changed, people he knew have gone, and it's just not the place where he belongs anymore.

    how he says that all he can think about is the fall, and "the frets on the board, my progression of chords". most likely he is going back on tour in the fall, and he is looking toward that with an anticipation he never thought he would feel.

    i mean, it's really obvious what this song means, it's not cryptic or metaphorical (or if it is, the metaphor is over my head). but it is moving in a way... the realization that not only has your home changed, but you have too, and you just don't belong there anymore.
    sweatersdotcomon January 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is what i got:

    it's not road we use to know
    they tore some buildings down.
    the traffic's like a pack of dogs.

    there's fewer trees when those fleas
    concrete on the lawn
    there's people here but you are gone

    and i'm fine,
    still swimming though time
    afraid some days ive reached the shore
    "make yourself free, man"
    said thats me
    now my heart is like an open doors

    and road finally gave me back
    but i don't think i'll unpack
    cause im not sure if i live here anymore

    its not my weight
    that makes me faint
    or the sugar in my blood
    but the way these strangers stand so close

    they say my name
    like guessing game
    "hey, is that really you?"
    No, i dont think it ever was

    in the spring
    when the worlds turning green
    i only think about the fall
    the frets on the board
    my progression of chords
    oh, how i want this to resolve

    and the road finally gave me back
    but i don't think ill unpack
    cause i'm not sure i live here anymore
    splitintwoon January 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalso, i think its "make yourself free, the man said to me, now my heart is like an open door."
    rhymeswithfilthon January 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCORRECTIONS:

    there's fewer trees, windows, fleas
    there's concrete on the lawn

    MAN said that to me

    It's not my weight that makes me faint,
    or the sugar in my blood,
    but the way these strangers stand so close

    the freTs on the board
    triple07on January 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentman I love this song, it's probably one of my favorite BE songs and I only heard it a few days ago.
    triple07on January 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits a bit plodding...anyone else dissapointed with his new ep?
    quirky_but_kewlon January 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno I'm not disappointed at all I love it

    can't freakin wait for cassadaga
    triple07on January 28, 2007   Link

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