"Failsafe" as written by and Carl Allan Newman....
Ready to bolt
at the first glimpse of failsafe
Signing my checks
with a name that's not mine

Clocking the hours that spin round through the tail end

Scolding those hills ahead
We both had a hand in it

You and me both, kid
You and me both, kid

Raising a flag
at the first sign of failsafe
Another red flag and
we've lost half the team

I left the game
to find you at the pavement
Scolding those hills ahead
We both had a hand in it

You and me both, kid
You and me both, kid

Ooooh
Ooooh
Ooooh

You and me both, kid
You and me both, kid


Lyrics submitted by MATWI

"Failsafe" as written by Carl Allan Newman

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Failsafe song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentOriginally an A.C. Newman demo, modified and turned into a New Pornographers song. The lyrics have varied ever since it's conception, here's an old Choir Practice cover of it:
    mintrecs.com/players/video/…
    In a recent CBC Radio 3 podcast, a member of the Choir practice said that her interpretation was the fear of failure, whereas A.C. Newman himself defined it as hurting someone by saying you're doing something for 'us' but rather doing it for yourself.
    Podcast can be found at:
    radio3.cbc.ca/
    mr-numbon November 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentReady to bolt at the first glimpse of failsafe;
    Signing my checks with a name that's not mine.
    Clocking the hours that spin 'round through the tail end,
    There's gold in these hills ahead...
    We both had a hand in it...

    You and me both, kid.
    You and me both, kid.

    Raising a flag at the first sign of failsafe;
    Another red flag, and we've lost half the team.
    I left the game to find you at the Days Inn...
    There's gold in these hills ahead...
    We both had a hand in it...

    You and me both, kid.
    You and me both, kid.


    At first I thought it sounded like 'it's cold in those hills ahead', but I'm 95% sure now it's 'there's gold in these hills ahead' instead. That's what my hi-fi headphones tell me, at least!

    Sounds like someone jumping ship in a relationship, where at least one of the two acknowledge that the fault for it rests on 'you and me both, kid'.
    ForceOfN4tureon August 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBad link, Choir Practice cover can be found under the video section of:
    mintrecs.com
    mr-numbon November 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOh and apologies for the spam, but the lyric, going by A.C. Newman's definition is "you and me both care"
    mr-numbon November 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment...and the podcast is #125:
    #125 – Language Arts
    In a new feature called "History Of A Song", we chart the evolution of the AC Newman song "Failsafe". Also, Immaculate Machine drops by with a musical surprise for Grant, and we preview the Halifax Pop Explosion.
    mr-numbon November 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAgain with the spam, apologies but here's the 2004 original version of Failsafe:

    radio3.cbc.ca/concerts/AC-Newman-2004-10-25/
    mr-numbon November 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe speaker sounds trapped in a relationship. It seems this individuals is looking for an opportunity to leave his / her partner when the opportune moment arises. Failsafe could be the instance where the individual identifies reasoning to say both parties are to blame. Thus, the individual feels justified when the failsafe activity occurs to say he / she is not leaving for selfish reasons alone.

    Failsafe, then, is a “justified” opportunity / excuse to escape...in this case justified on the imposed presumption of mutual failure.
    Grizzon February 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm hearing bolt, too. It changes the meaning of the song entirely.

    It sounds like it's about two partners in crime (or perhaps the two lovers in Challengers eloping), facing the obstacles (scolding the hills ahead), changing their identity (singing my checks), etc.

    One person, the speaker, gives up (lost half the team) and finds the other still going, scolding the hills alone, and probably feels guilty for leaving.

    Weird interpretation, I know, but the song is pretty weird, too.
    Malmoon June 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with above but what exactly does 'failsafe' mean?
    DJgifon July 05, 2009   Link

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