"The Perfect Song" as written by and Bryan Devendorf Scott Devendorf....
Ten years older than I was
When I brought you down to see
What I thought would make you fall in love
Where an old canal would dream
"Someday, man, I'm gonna be no different than the other rivers.\"
I tried to look at you but I couldn't break the ice
We stood out there for an hour and were freezing
You put your hand around my back
I guess you thought I needed that

I never try to find you
I hope you don't remember me
But I hope you're not alone

You wanted me to take you home
You said you'd rather be alone
I never thought of that
The car was warm and we had wine
But I couldn't find the perfect song
Now I own furniture, a 401, and crow's feet
And I can't even remember the car
Sometimes I can feel your weight when I close my eyes
Seven times I was under you

I never try to find you
I hope you don't remember me
But I hope you're not alone
And I don't wanna know what you're thinking
I'm looking out the window
Just drinking and drinking and drinking

Shallow frame and shaky sticks but I know there's a river in me
Shallow-minded adult tricks but I know there's a river in me

I never try to find you
I hope you don't remember me
But I hope you're not alone
And I don't wanna know what you're thinking
I'm looking out the window
Just sitting there
Sitting down and fucking drinking


Lyrics submitted by SuperSista, edited by hlwim

"The Perfect Song" as written by Bryan Devendorf Aaron Dessner

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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The Perfect Song song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentMy favorite song off the self titled album, which is amazing by the way. His lyrics carry so much weight, his voice makes that weight even heavier. Unbelievable talent, very emotionally charged, tasteful music on every one of their albums.
    echoanddrakedotcomon May 14, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Commentam i the only one who can understand Matt Berningers voice?

    I cba to rectify every mistake but the crucial one is:

    "where an old canal with dreams / someday man.....etc"

    the whole first verse is a pun. first he says 'take you down to see' ('see' and 'sea' are interchangeable)
    then makes allusions to canals and rivers.

    Mr. Berninger, if there were an award for best lyrical skills, you would get it. I salute you.
    10203040on March 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsometimes i can feel your weight when i close my eyes
    seven times i was under youi never try to find you

    i hope you dont remember me
    i hope your not alone
    i don't wanna know what your thinking

    It was a brief burst of passion, only seven nights they spent.

    i'm looking out the window
    just fucking drinking

    shallow frame and shaky sticks but i know there's a river in me
    shallow minded adult tricks but i know there's a river in me

    Broken with a woman, getting drunk and depressed.
    His body is a shallow frame, the shaky sticks his legs, but he knows he can be more.
    The woman played him, but he can go on.
    viccieon November 06, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIt's about an awkward brief relationship Matt had early in life, probably one of his first attempts at a relationship or connection, and reflecting on it makes him feel embarrassed about it.

    "The car was warm and we had wine, but I couldn't find the perfect song"

    This line shows how he was nervous about trying to set the mood to please her, but wasn't able to

    "I hope you don't remember me, and I hope you're not alone."

    He has no ill-intentions for this woman, yet he's so embarrassed about what they did have together "seven times I was under you" and hopes that she's forgotten about it, even though he's sometimes reminded of it "sometimes I still feel your weight when I close my eyes."


    It's the most apathetic non-love song. I love how the National addresses such uncomfortable feelings in their music that we've all felt at one point or another. It wasn't a one night stand, but rather an awkward, unsuccessful attempt to woo someone that didn't work out. And he's ashamed of his failure. But he remembers it every now and then, and just hopes that she doesn't remember it too. But he wishes well, for her, hopes she's not alone.
    betsapp91on March 28, 2014   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correction"The CAR was warm and we had wine, but I couldn't find the perfect song.
    Now I'm furniture. 41 with crows feet, and I can't even remember the CAR."
    ThreeGreen21on April 13, 2011   Link
  • -1
    General Comment"nine years" best guess: "we were open in our dreams"
    "we stood out"
    "now I own furniture a 401K and crows feet"
    "and I can't ever rember the car"
    jolly2on May 05, 2007   Link

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