Forty-seven strings are pulled
by this angelic "beating" girl
and it breaks our hearts to hear
the music that comes out of her.
shoulders hang on folded chairs
this will be our church tonight
we have dug out foxholes here
not an atheist in sight.
laughing shaking taking oaths
breaking sacramental cups
we pour the magic in our coats
thinking it can leave with us.

but it’s the wrong way out
20 steps but it’s so harming
when they talk out loud
bend to brace your fingers on me

I’ve been breathing evil air
sharing needles with the sky
looking up remembering
Regina said they're just old light.
but you somehow understood
my oversaturated skin
you held your hand up to my neck
and played me like a theremin
i see london i see france
and all the things that we won’t do
and if i never leave this chair
maybe i can go with you.

but it’s a long way out
20 steps but it's so harming
when they talk out loud
bend to brace your fingers on me
it’s a long way out
past the bar and past the awning
past the easy crowd
back into the end

we have found our solace here
in this unexpected place
like a startled, dying man
kneels in prayer just in case
and while the night sky sadly lit
all that you were sleeping through
death took my friend benjamin
but he left his keys with you
so I’ll kiss the air instead
as not to disturb your sleep
and if you never wake my love
maybe you can come with me

but it’s a long way out
twenty steps but its so harming
when they talk out loud
bend to brace your fingers on me
it's a long way out
psat the bar and past the awning
past the easy crowd
back into the end of harmony
back into the end of harmony
back into the end of harmony
back into the end

Lyrics submitted by espionage

The Living Room song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentsheela: i'm really certain it's more about ben, her friend who passed away, then playing at a venue...

    i know the living room is a venue, but people also used to hold "viewings" of the deceased in their own homes. probably in living room. plus the title is likewise slightly double-intended, considering it's about being at a funeral (the dead) and it's a LIVING room. sorta like how it's ridiculous to call it a "wake" when they can't...
    alrauneon July 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is such a pretty song. I only wish i knew the meaning . . .
    it may be about her family
    and how she can't leave it's "grasp."
    Milfred101on May 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm pretty sure this song is about the death of her good friend Ben, and it seems to describe the scene of his wake or funeral.
    Such a fucking tear-jerker.
    lweston May 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the Samson reference [and I don't know who I love more, Amanda or Regina]. Anyone know where I can find a recording?
    WhereIsJF?on December 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOhhhhhhh a Regina ref!
    That excites me.

    If you ever get a chance to hear songs they've played together, or even Amanda's covers of Regina songs, please do. ie. Ghost of Corporate Future, On the Radio, etc. ...or even contact me and I'll hook you up. :)

    ps. I know I'm a nerd.
    registentionalismon March 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is a reference to Amanda performing, and the fleeting nature of performance, the inevitability of death. The Living Room is a name of a nightclub which Regina Spektor performed at (and supposedly Amanda did too).

    "we pour the magic in our coats
    thinking it can leave with us"

    Recordings can't make up for the real thing; at some venues, recording devices like cell phones are not allowed, but people hide them.

    "but it’s so harming
    when they talk out loud"

    Sometimes, people talk out loud at inappropriate moments (like during Glass Slipper). This might be the case of a concert in the honour of the deceased.

    "past the bar and past the awning"

    Another reference to being at a venue. I agree with the interpretation that the setting is at the wake of a funeral.
    sheela_lon June 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTHAN* playing at a venue. ugh.
    alrauneon July 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with you, alraune, I think the entire song is deeply tied to loosing her friend Benjamin, whom she was probably very close to.

    To me, the song is her remembering things about him, and realizing all that she's lost. In the middle where she says "... And if I never leave this chair, maybe I can go with you." she's thinking about suicide, about "going with" him because she can't stand being without him.

    Overall, one of my favourite songs of Amanda's, I wish I had a copy that wasn't Live. Makes me cry every time.
    lovestainon July 31, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentjust thought i'd post this, it's a blog post about ben…
    robin510on October 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about both things - I remember hearing Amanda talk about how she was watching Baby Dee (the "angelic beating girl") playing at a venue and thinking it was like being at a church service, with all these believers in music gathered round. And since being in a church is often a place to commune with loved ones you've lost, music serves the same purpose with Ben ("he left his keys with you" - as in watching a musician perform opens the door to feeling close to Ben again). I think the parts about it being 'a long way out' and 'back into the end of harmony' are about how difficult it is to leave the music and the perfection of a concert behind and go back into real life, where there's no harmony, musical or literal. And that makes sense of the title 'The Living Room', which is of course a music venue but also the place where you feel like you're truly *living* and where you feel most peaceful. Leaving the venue is like leaving the comfort of your living room or house to go outside into the much scarier real world. The "if I never leave this chair, maybe I can go with you" line seems to say that she feels like if she keeps trying to prolong the concert and the music forever, never leaving, maybe she'll be able to go with Ben or get him back. Of course she can't - even if we try and "pour the magic in our coats", performance is so ephemeral that we can't stay there forever.
    textbook enigmaticon October 12, 2009   Link

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