"Missed the Boat" as written by Isaac Brock, Eric Judy, Tom Peloso, Jeremiah Green, Johnny Marr and Joe Plummer....
While we're on the subject
Could we change the subject now?
I was knocking on your ear's door, but you were always out
Looking towards the future
We were begging for the past
Well, we know we had the good things
But those never seemed to last
Oh, please just last

Everyone's unhappy
Everyone's ashamed
Well, we all just got caught looking
At somebody else's page
Well, nothing ever went
Quite exactly as we planned
Our ideas held no water
But we used them like a dam

Oh, and we carried it all so well
As if we got a new position
Oh, and I laugh all the way to hell
Saying, "Yes, this is a fine promotion"
Oh, and I laugh all the way to hell

Of course everyone goes crazy
Over such and such and such
We made ourselves a pillar
We just used it as a crutch
We were certainly uncertain
At least, I'm pretty sure I am
Well, we didn't need the water
But we just built that, good God damn

Oh, and I know this of myself
I assume as much for other people
Oh, and I know this of myself
We've listened more to life's end-gong
Than the sound of life's sweet bells

Was it ever worth it?
Was there all that much to gain?
Well, we knew we missed the boat
And we'd already missed the plane
We didn't read the invite
We just dance at our wake
All our favorites were playing
So we could shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

Tiny curtain's open, and we heard the tiny clap of little hands
A tiny man would tell a little joke, and get a tiny laugh from all the folks
Sitting, drifting around in bubbles, and thinking it was us that carried them
When we finally got it figured out, that we had truly missed the boat

Oh, and we carried it all so well
As if we got a new position
Oh, and we owned all the tools ourselves
But not the skills to make a shelf with
Oh, what useless tools ourselves


Lyrics submitted by ripelivejam, edited by asjniem, sheionizes, passionatesleepyhead, RocketFall, tejedu, Ye Olde Gangsta

"Missed the Boat" as written by Isaac Brock Eric Judy

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Missed the Boat song meanings
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  • +9
    General CommentSong meanings are often subjective. Let me show you this song from my perspective.

    I believe this song is about humankind itself, something very unique and something we often take for granted. If you take a look, you will notice the prevalence of communal words such as "we" and "everyone". "Missing the boat" to me is something human beings have been very good at for the past 6000 years or so, beginning with the idea that we are rulers over nature. This idea changed human nature and created the world we live in now. One where we live each day working endlessly for money, in hopes that it will provide happiness. One where we deplete natural resources, such as fossil fuels, not thinking about the implications we are having on all other life and the future. We develop all these seemingly great ideas and act on them impulsively, as if we have no conscience. This is the reality of human nature. It has been deeply ingrained into each generation, making it normal. However, these consequences are beginning to catch up with us. People are finding out each day that we are being lied to. Life is looking less and less like the blissful dream we were told about. Perhaps "the way to hell" is a fine promotion from humanity. Whatever is going on, one thing is clear. Human beings have certainly "missed the boat". We are drowning in this thing we have created, and we will continue to do so until we make a 90 degree turn and change our basic fundamental beliefs.
    mingwersenon November 15, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI believe this song is about Opportunity, Lady Luck Machiavelli's ideas on opportunity. Machiavelli writes "On Occasion" Accompanied by an image of a woman (Opportunity) standing in the midding of the ocean on a wheel with two boats around her. In the English translation towards the end it reads " Wise up a bit, you klutz, you've missed the boat" which is about missing the opportunity.

    "I was knocking on your ears
    Don't worry, you were always out
    Looking towards the future
    We were begging for the past"

    There's the common phrase "opportunity aknocking" which could relate to knocking on your ears, a more direct knock to a person but they still miss the boat and regret missing the opportunity because its missed due to thinking about other opportunities that aren't happening so the real ones go right by.

    So I wouldn't say its so much as a relationship, but the relationship between people and Lady Luck, or opportunity, as depicted in the image for Machiavelli's poem.
    rockssandon February 06, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI love this song. Below is how I interpret the lyrics.

    While we're on the subject
    Could we change the subject now?
    I was knocking on your ears
    Don't worry, you were always out
    Looking towards the future
    We were begging for the past
    Well, we know we had the good things
    But those never seemed to last
    Oh, please just last

    We are too busy regretting the past to plan for the future. We have so many opportunities (knocking on our ears), but we are too busy worrying about the mistakes we have made to take advantage of new opportunities (we were always out). We yearn to return to the good times of the past, hoping they would just last, instead of focusing on the future to create new good times.


    Everyone's unhappy
    Everyone's ashamed
    Well we all just got caught looking
    At somebody else's page

    Everyone compares themselves to other people, wishing we could have their lives. We're unhappy and ashamed because we believe our life is not good enough compared to others.


    Well, nothing ever went
    Quite exactly as we planned
    Our ideas held no water
    But we used them like a dam

    People are stubborn. We have a picture of how our life should be, and even if our plans are completely impossible or illogical (they held no water), we stick to them anyway (used them like a dam).


    Oh, and we carried it all so well
    As if we got a new position
    Oh, and I laugh all the way to hell
    Saying, "Yes, this is a fine promotion"
    Oh, and I laugh all the way to hell

    This doesn't mean hell in the religious sense. Everyone should know Isaac is an atheist. Hell means a horrible life. We act like things that don't matter do (we carried it all so well), clinging to achievements that don't really make us happy (like a promotion at a job we hate). We laugh all the way to hell, meaning we act like our life is going exactly how we want, when it isn't.


    Of course everyone goes crazy
    Over such and such and such
    We made ourselves a pillar
    But we just used it as a crutch
    We were certainly uncertain
    At least I'm pretty sure I am
    Well, we didn't need the water
    But we just built that good goddamn

    This seems like mostly a rehash of previous themes. I'm tempted to think that he means people literally go crazy. Our pillar is the fake "great" life we build for ourselves, used to convince ourselves that our life meant something. No one is ever really sure what they want though. In the end, we realize that most of it didn't matter (we didn't need the water), but we did it anyway. I think it's intentional that it went from "dam" to "goddamn", it shows that as we near the end of our lives, we look back and can really see what didn't matter, which leads to anger and regret.


    Oh, and I know this of myself
    I'd assume as much for other people
    Oh, and I know this of myself
    We've listened more to life's end gong
    Than the sound of life's sweet bells

    Isaac is speaking from experience, but it's a good bet that most people feel the same way. We spend so much time planning our life that we miss out on so much. This reminds me of the John Lennon quote: "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."


    Was it ever worth it?
    Was there all that much to gain?
    Well, we knew we'd missed the boat
    And we'd already missed the plane

    When we look back, we question our actions. Was it ever worth it to pretend to enjoy life? What did we gain other than fleeting contentment? We always have a nagging feeling that we are making the wrong choice, that we're missing the boat.


    We didn't read the invite
    We just danced at our own wake
    All our favorites were playing
    So we could shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

    Tiny curtains open and we heard the tiny clap of little hands
    A tiny man would tell a little joke and get a tiny laugh from all the folks
    Sitting, drifting around in bubbles and thinking it was us that carried them
    When we finally got it figured out that we had truly missed the boat

    The curtains opening is the end of a show, the end of our lives. We are the tiny man, and the tiny clap is the meager acceptance for our meager accomplishments. We think we're important in peoples' lives (it was us that carried them), but it doesn't even matter. Only at the end do we realize that we lived for all the wrong things, we truly missed the boat.


    Oh, and we carried it all so well
    As if we got a new position
    Oh, and we owned all the tools ourselves
    But not the skills to make a shelf with
    Oh, what useless tools ourselves

    Everyone has the opportunity to lead a great, happy life (we owned all the tools ourselves). But we don't know how to do it, how to make the most of our time. "what useless tools ourselves" sums up the entire song: it is about deeply regretting the way we have lived, blaming ourselves for having missed the boat.
    landisthegnomeon October 30, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhile we're on the subject
    Could we change the subject now?
    I was knocking on your ears
    Don't worry, you were always out
    Looking towards the future
    We were begging for the past
    Well, we know we had the good things
    But those never seemed to last
    Oh, please just last

    I think it is your own conscious trying to tell you over and over to start living as you want to but just ignoring it hoping things would get better while you stay the same...fear of change. Then while you are happy you think you have it figured out but always in the back of your mind you have that voice telling you it is all going to go away because what you have on earth is temporary.


    Everyone's unhappy
    Everyone's ashamed
    Well we all just got caught looking
    At somebody else's page
    Well, nothing ever went
    Quite exactly as we planned
    Our ideas held no water
    But we used them like a dam

    Everyone is unhappy/ashamed/depressed/confused etc...and we try to look at others and copy them to see if we can gain the "happiness" and "success" they have but the problem is we are all looking to each other (using each other and comparing ourselves to them (though they are no better off than we are) and if we fit in then that will be what holds us together aka a dam) and making the same mistakes over and over when really we have what we are looking for inside of us...which also comes into play in the last verse of the song.

    Oh, and we carried it all so well
    As if we got a new position
    Oh, and I laugh all the way to hell
    Saying, "Yes, this is a fine promotion"
    Oh, and I laugh all the way to hell




    Of course everyone goes crazy
    Over such and such and such
    We made ourselves a pillar
    But we just used it as a crutch
    We were certainly uncertain
    At least I'm pretty sure I am
    Well, we didn't need the water
    But we just built that good goddamn


    I think the pillar here is God...everyone is going all crazy trying to figure out the "meaning of life" so they created some higher being to give themselves a nice fluffy answer...using God as the crutch to make them feel like they have a purpose. There wasn't an actual reason or need to create a higher being but once you hear it or think about it you start to believe it but you always have that doubt inside you.


    Oh, and I know this of myself
    I'd assume as much for other people
    Oh, and I know this of myself
    We've listened more to life's end gong
    Than the sound of life's sweet bells

    Everyone goes around worrying about the future, wondering what happens when you die, where you go, what your purpose was instead of living in the present and enjoying what you have and this entire experience.



    Was it ever worth it?
    Was there all that much to gain?
    Well, we knew we'd missed the boat
    And we'd already missed the plane
    We didn't read the invite
    We just danced at our own wake
    All our favorites were playing
    So we could shake, shake, shake, shake, shake

    I think he is speaking from someone who has just passed away's perspective in this verse... was all the stuff I did in my life all the suffering and pretending I put myself through worth the effort? I'm dead and it doesn't even matter now. I didn't read the invite (didn't listen to your conscious telling you to live life for you and how you want) but now that you have passed on into the next life you realize that either way it doesn't matter because after this life your atoms/molecules/matter/consciousness transcend and you see how meaningless all your worry and effort was, so it is his spirit dancing at the wake out of happiness and new found enlightenment.

    Tiny curtains open and we heard the tiny clap of little hands
    A tiny man would tell a little joke and get a tiny laugh from all the folks
    Sitting, drifting around in bubbles and thinking it was us that carried them
    When we finally got it figured out that we had truly missed the boat

    I think this is again talking about how we have to put up this personality to everyone and be "normal" and amusing...or respected in some cases...and even fooling yourself...but you catch yourself daydreaming about how this isn't really you but feeling it is too late to change.



    Oh, and we carried it all so well
    As if we got a new position
    Oh, and we owned all the tools ourselves
    But not the skills to make a shelf with
    Oh, what useless tools ourselves

    here he is saying we have every capability (tool) to achieve happiness and enlightenment within ourselves but we have no idea how to do it making our powers useless if you don't ever learn or utilize them. (quantum physics really)



    that's all i got hehe....I highly doubt this is at all what he had in mind but that is what it means for me.
    AlwaysBloomingon September 13, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenttypos galore -- why not wait til the album comes out next month to finalize the lyrics?

    anyhow, this is probably my favorite track off of the new album. the backup vocals are awesome.. and the vocal inflections that make modest mouse -- just super.
    emotianon February 18, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think it is we made ourselves a pillow
    noone1111111111111111111on March 02, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWas it ever worth it?
    Was there all that much to gain?
    Well, we knew we'd miss the boat
    And we'd already missed the plane

    A tiny man would tell a little joke and get a tiny laugh from all the folks
    Sitting, drifting around in bubbles and thinking it was us that carried them
    When we finally got it figured out that we had truly missed the boat

    This part may be about religion and how destructive to one's life it can be. I believe the plane is heaven. They had already missed it because it doesn't exist. A plane goes upward, into a fabled land of bliss. But was it worth it? Is there something to gain by going for Heaven and missing it? No.
    Now, to the tragic part of the song. Missing the boat. Boats remain terrestrial. The boat could be a metaphor for life. Going for the plane, missing it, and in doing so causes you to miss the boat. Now, there is more going on in this song, and my theory may not have been intended by Brock. This song is a great mantra of not letting your life waste by. Almost as good as "lives", but no.
    sonicmariolinkon June 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyea favorite song on the album. 3:20 into the song is amazing. reminds me of a total throwback to their old stuff. i really enjoy this album! it sounds like a career that someone got promoted in and he truely deserved it but missed the "boat" on the rest of his life. but i think it runs deeper then that, maybe someone else can elaborate on it! :)
    midwestproducton February 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song, even though its not out yet.
    MARCH 20!!!

    can't wait.
    modestmousenirvanaon February 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful album, I definitely enjoyed it more than good news

    Anyways, I think this song is about being denied from heaven
    blunt_girlon February 19, 2007   Link

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