we talked as the moon disappeared
discussed the finer points between honest and sincere
and she talked of how we’re so alone
I said, “hey at least they tap our phones
and listen in the walls.”
“did you hear that clicking on the line?”
“yeah it happens all the time.”
“so I guess we must be doing something right.”

I said to her “my songs are all a lie
I won’t write another ‘till the day I die.”
She asked me “why?” I said “I don’t know it just feels wrong.”
she said “well then write something new
something made of me and you.
something that’s free from the background noise of the machine.”

then she said “every song you write can be a folk song.
so long as everybody can sing along and you
don’t mind if they sing a little out of key.”
I said “how do you know me so well?”
she said “we’re all just the same in the end.
we just try to play the game as best we can.”
“as best we can?”
“as best we can.”

I said to her “this place is a machine.”
she said “I know ‘cause I have seen what it has done to you
from the embers in your eyes to the bottle in your hand
I want you to know I understand
why you had to die
why you had to lie
so many times before.”

I tried to transcribe my desire
threw my guitar into the fire
okay I lied it was just the fireplace
no it wasn’t lit, in fact the truth is that it
has not seen flames in so many years.
but at least my eyes saw tears
as they went streaming down your face
and we watched the wood and wire rest on brick
as I started to feel sick because I knew you knew I knew
that tomorrow I’d be back
singing songs about Iraq, telling stories of train tracks
that I have never walked along

so I’ll write for you a song that’s called ‘honesty’
and I’ll tell you to give it up
because it’s just an empty cup
and when the whiskey is all gone it just picks up and moves right on like every drifter that you’ve kissed
and every greyhound that you’ve missed
and every lunar eclipse
when the shadow of the earth is plain for all to see
the fruits of this economy.

the earth is a black hole; it’s just a crater in the moon
an empty promise that he’ll call back soon.
it’s the most ancient of songs
the revolution that went wrong
when we forgot what we were fighting for
and we were passed out on the floor
when the cops broke down the door
they were confused by what they saw
so they went back to their cars.
told each other “we could take ‘em, but they’re sleeping so why wake ‘em?”

then one cop came back inside and left water by our sleeping heads
because he knows how it feels to try to drink yourself to death
and he knew that we’d need it in the morning
and then suddenly without warning, the house burst into flames
and he carried us outside where we slept for three more days
we woke up and looked around the house had burned to the ground

and I was starting to feel free, when you said look and see
my guitar was lying next to me
so I picked it up started to play
and we sat there for the whole day
in the ruins of a prison we had built for ourselves
of rhetoric and cigarettes
empty bottles empty threats
and a thousand gallons of spray-paint.
now all up in flames.
so all we could do was laugh and claim it for the ELF

we burned ourselves out of our home
so that we would be free to roam
and I could start writing songs about wishing I had a bed to call my own
wishing I had chains, wishing I had a home
because I lie but I am not a liar
I’m just so fucking tired
of being a slave to liberation
a servant to the fire.
because fire’s not alive it just does its best to pretend.
but we all know in the end
that it’s just a parasite like a smoker asking for a light.
it can’t live without some help
but then that’s what it means to be alive
even when you’re DIY doing everything yourself gets lonely sometimes.

and how I wish that you were here
so I could spit upon my fears
grab you by the hand and go underground to meet the man
who whispers in my ear
and tells me that I should give up hope
that this is just my teenage angst
yeah? well I’m almost 20 years old and the end is not in sight
maybe it’s around the bend, near that sign that says “The End”

I guess it doesn’t matter since this train shows no signs of stopping.
it’s headed straight for nowhere
but I hear it makes a brief stop in the South Pole
that’s where I wanna go:
where honesty will kill you because it’s honestly 65 below.
but before you freeze to death
you can read the writing in your breath
and see it was written by some ass;
no you’re not really on a train; you’re just skipping class.
that’s the closest I can get to the freedom of a kiss.

I held my dreams in my hand
and I crushed them when I made a fist
to shake at the machine that deprives me of my sleep.
this place is like a movie-set. the actors all have their regrets
and the camera sees it all from where it’s hidden in the wall.
and it thinks we’re all insane for not using our real names
as if they didn’t know what we do and where we go.

so I’m a little paranoid, well I’m just a little boy
playing games with walkie-talkies in the streets.
when the weight of all our feet made cracks in the cement
and we could see what was underneath
and it wasn’t the beach
it was just the livid truth that I had lost my youth.
I’m older now than I have ever been before.
and time keeps marching on despite the teargas and all the orders to disperse
and things keep getting worse, or is it always just the same?

we declared war on standing still.
so long as we keep moving things will
get better someday.
so lets wait for the chorus to come around again
then throw our fists up and pretend
that our voices will be heard
when everybody knows the words
and sings just like the birds
that used to live in the trees that once stood
where this basement now explodes and we all have punk rock shows

and everyone’s too drunk to listen to the bands
but the singer understands
he knows he’s just the soundtrack to the progress of our deaths
and singing is just the mechanics of breath and melody
it’s a verbal remedy.
but I’m still so fucking lonely
and I really can’t remember what was wrong
when I sat down to write this song
because that was so very long ago.


Lyrics submitted by displacedfever

Ballad of the Last Six Months of My Life song meanings
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