"Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors" as written by Thomas Michael Smith, Christopher Dominic Urbanowicz, Russell Leetch and Edward Owen Lay....
Pull the blindfold down
So your eyes can't see
Now run as fast as you can
Through this field of trees

Say goodbye to everyone
You have ever known
You are not gonna see them
Ever again

[Chorus:]
I can't shake this feeling I've got
My dirty hands, have I been in the wars?
The saddest thing that I'd ever seen
Were smokers outside the hospital doors

Someone turn me around
Can I start this again?

How can we wear our smiles
With our mouths wide shut
'Cause you stopped us from singin'

[Chorus]

Someone turn me around
Can I start this again?
Now someone turn us around
Can we start this again?

We've all been changed from what we were
Our broken parts left smashed off the floor

I can't believe you
If I can't hear you
I can't believe you
If I can't hear you

(We've all been changed
From what we were
Our broken parts
Smashed off the floor
We've all been changed
From what we were
Our broken parts
Smashed off the floor)

Someone turn me around
(We've all been changed
From what we were)
Can I start this again?
(Our broken parts
Smashed off the floor)
Now someone turn us around
(We've all been changed
from what we were)
Can we start this again?
(Our broken parts
Smashed off the floor)


Lyrics submitted by dustfinger

"Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors" as written by Edward Owen Lay Christopher Dominic Urbanowicz

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors song meanings
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58 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentI think its about how people get depressed, but without any real physical reason, ie. people have enough to eat, health, family, money, security etc, but still there is something about modern life that doesn't make us happy and leaves us kind of numb/detached without being responsible for our own actions.
    The chorus, he can't shake this depressive feeling, but he's questioning how it could be when there is nothing really wrong with his life: "have I been in the wars?", and he hasn't really been exposed to true misery: "The saddest thing that I'd ever seen
    Were smokers outside the hospital doors"...

    The first two verses are maybe some kind of attempt to get some emotion/feeling- like a test to bring it out- like in Fightclub where people kick crap out of each other just to feel something.
    Bensitoon July 02, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song's meaning becomes clearer to me when I try not paying too much attention to who "you" and "I" are referring to.

    This song is full of irony. It's basically the story of a man in his hospital bed, knowing that he's going to die. When he reviews the things everything that he did in his life, he feels like he has wasted his life away for doing bad things ("dirty hands"). He has been living his life recklessly, not caring how the bad things that he did affected people around him ("blindfold down..eyes can't see..run as fast as you can.."). He is frustrated with his regrets, and he gets even more sad when he realizes that there are people out there wasting his life away ("smokers outside the hospital doors"). He only wants one more chance to live so that he can change the way that he's been living. He wants to "wear his smile" which means sharing his message to people so that they will believe him and won't waste their life away just like he did. But he knows that people can't believe him because he's going to die (mouth is "wide shut" and "i cant hear you")

    The irony is, this man in the hospital really wants to change his life, but he has no more chance. While the smokers outside the hospital doors have the chance to change their lives, but they don't want to.

    I'm not sure about how the singer intended this song's meaning, but we can interpret it positively. The end of this song is the main part of the song:
    "we've all been changed from what we were
    our broken parts smashed off the floor"
    In this life, maybe we started as good people. But because of the hurts and pains we got in the past, we've been changed to someone who is bitter. We're not good anymore, just the way we used to be. But regardless of all our broken parts, let's not be like this man who regrets everything that he did in his last moments. We should check ourselves, are we being who we wanted to be? Are we proud of our lives? Are we good? Are we going to end our lives with regrets? For sure, I don't want to die a broken man.

    Oh and btw, the video's really beautiful, although i'm not sure yet how it connects to the song. :)


    -Thanks to SparksOfGold, Dale Sundstorm, and chadhappens for inspiring me in finding the meaning of this song. This song really inspires me.-
    PurpleDeeon October 03, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentComing from a background in the emergency department, to me, this song refers to losing a patient. Usually after working your arse off to save a life, and the patient dies, all the staff go outside the ER to smoke, and get rid of the stress...

    Say goodbye to everyone
    You have ever known
    You are not gonna see them ever again - Refers to nameless patients that die.

    My dirty hands, have I been in the wars? - In my opinion could refer to the blood that you have on your gloves while treating.

    Someone turn me around
    Can I start this again?
    Now someone turn us around
    Can we start this again? - Begging to have another shot at saving the patient's life, just to have a redo.

    We've all been changed
    From what we were - Seeing people die, changes you.

    Our broken parts
    Left smashed off the floor - There is always blood (broken parts) on the floor of the ER after a hectic case.

    Probably not what they tried to convey, but hey, this is what makes poetry so BRILLIANT!
    Stass88on January 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat first returning single from Editors.... the first part, "Pull the blindfold down/ So your eyes can't see/ Now run as fast as you can/ Through this field of trees" sounds considerably bleak, but it's weird cos the tone of the music completely contradicts the bitterness of the lyrics... can't wait for An End Has A Start...
    dustfingeron May 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYay I'm the second commentor! In what I suspect (or hope) will be a long line of comments! I'm really into this new song, and I have high hopes about the new album. I think this song is about irony, hence Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors, and looking back on your past with regret, but those are just hunches. I'd love to know the story behind the song.
    Crazeeon May 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me this song is about a tradegy. It opens with a reference to someone involved in an accident of some type, which they were partially responsible for. Seems like the writer was either present or feels guilt at not preventing it. The person involved in the accident ends up in hospital on life support or something and family and friends gather around. The person passes away and the writer believes she is gone and there is no after life where they will be re-united.
    Music10022on May 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto me its about a failed relationship, someone is so wrapped up with emotion about the partner that they don't want to face things at the moment, hence "pull the blindfold down so your eyes cant see anymore". In relation to the title, its pure irony, smokers outside a hospital, a hospital where your a treated for illness yet people still smoke outside one, not sure just yet how this ties into the meaning.
    The song finishes with the person in question wanting to move on, "someone turn me around can i start this again?"
    Its such an amazing song, may have a lot of meanings to it perhaps.
    dain84on May 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI first heard this song 2 days ago, already it has got 20+ plays on my iTunes playlist. its amazing. Ive not hears the first album properly becasue ive been listening to *An End Has A Start* over and over again. On the strength of what i've heard from the forst album, it diesnt sound as good as the second.

    this song rocks though..!!!!!!!
    TrickSeeon May 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is for me about cancer."i can't believe you if i can't hear you"refers to the patient finding out he has cancer.also the hospital and the lines about not seeing friends again,and also tom smith is reflecting on unrequited love therefore twining disease wth being heart broken
    josephmozzaon May 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree that this song is about tragedy
    but "Pull the blindfold down/So your eyes can't see/Now run as fast as you can/Through this field of trees" appears to be a play of irony with the old joke of 'what's the definition of tightness?'
    someone being told to do something which is clearly beyond their capability.. so, oppression is in there somewhere, as we see again with "How can we wear our smiles/With our mouths wide shut/'Cause you stopped us from singin'"
    this really is a sad song :(
    love it lots though, very poetic
    jimmy_m5588on June 09, 2007   Link

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