is it enough to have some love
small enough to slip inside a book
small enough to cover with your hand
because everyone around you wants to look

it is enough to have some love
small enough to slip inside the cracks
the pieces don't fit together so good
with all the breaking and all the gluing back

and i am still not getting what i want
i want to touch the back of your right arm
i wish you could remind me who i was
because every day I'm a little further off

but you are, my love, the astronaut
flying in the face of science
i will gladly stay an afterthought
just bring back some nice reminders

and is it getting harder to pretend
that life goes on without you in the wake
and can you see the means without the end
in the random frantic action that we take

and is it getting easy not to care
despite the many rings around your name
it isn't funny and it isn't fair
you've traveled all this way and it's the same

but you are, my love, the astronaut
flying in the face of science
i will gladly stay an afterthought
just bring back some nice reminders
and i would tell them anything to see you split the evening
but as you see i do not have an awful lot to tell
everybody's sick for something that they can find fascinating
everyone but you and even you aren't feeling well

but you are, my love, the astronaut
flying in the face of science
i will gladly stay an afterthought
just bring back some nice reminders

yes you are, my love, the astronaut
crashing in the name of science
just my luck they sent your upper half
it's a very nice reminder
it's a very nice reminder

and you may be acquainted with the night
but I have seen the darkness in the day
and you must know it is a terrifying sight
because you and i are living the same way


Lyrics submitted by hello_ily

Astronaut: A Short History of Nearly Nothing song meanings
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45 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThis will probably just sound strange...But this song reminds me of Doctor Who.
    Mainly the Doctor's relationship with Rose in the last couple of series.
    I need to stop watching so much TV.
    X.notXsoXperfect.Xon July 11, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General Commentamanda palmer posted a blog about this song and video. its in relation to a person she was dating at the time who drifted away from her. the astronauts must feel a similar feeling of extreme distance in space, ya?

    also, the "i want to touch the back of your right arm" lyric is in relation to a tattoo of his that she sketched on one of their dates, which she really liked. and apparently that sketch was her only real memento of the relationship.

    they fell out of contact for a while, so i think when she says 'i would gladly stay an afterthought/just bring back some nice reminders' that shes ok waiting for him while he does his own thing, as long as he has soomething to show for it, or as long as its worth it [for him and her.]

    'the random frantic action' line is a direct quote from a book entitled "a short history of nearly everything" and which AP thought to be "one of the most beautiful explanations of how electrons work" in her opinion.

    also, the Frost poem that she borrowed that line from is about being familiar with the darkness in a city, both literal and figurative. shes saying that although darkness may be present in obvious situations [as in the dark of night] it can also be hiding in unexpected places [in plain daylight] and she reminds him that they both have that knowledge.
    irdevonkon September 14, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI love this song... but no idea what it's about :(
    73on July 05, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this is about someone is acquainted with a person who is always busy with others.

    "is it enough to have some love...
    because everyone around you wants to look"

    If you're involved with someone who gets a lot of public attention, everyone wants to know what's going on and there's no privacy.

    "it is enough to have some love
    small enough to slip inside the cracks.."

    Again, a need for privacy not found in celebrity status.

    "..i wish you could remind me who i was
    because every day I’m a little further off"

    The two are drifting apart, and neither are free from the whiles of daily life.

    "but you are, my love, the astronaut
    flying in the face of science
    i will gladly stay an afterthought
    just bring back some nice reminders"

    But she congratulates the "astronaut" on his/her accomplishments while reminding them to talk about his/her experiences.

    "and is it getting easy not to care
    despite the many rings around your name
    it isn’t funny and it isn’t fair
    you’ve traveled all this way and it’s the same"

    The rings are rumors/gossip/the things that made the person well-known in the first place. Fame isn't as glamorous as what the person perservered for.

    "and i would tell them anything to see you split the evening
    but as you see i do not have an awful lot to tell
    everybody’s sick for something that they can find fascinating
    everyone but you and even you aren’t feeling well"

    Everyone is looking, but she asks to spend time with him/her.

    "and you may be acquainted with the night
    but I have seen the darkness in the day
    and you must know it is a terrifying sight
    because you and i are living the same way"

    There's something going on in the life of the "astronaut" that parallels the narrator's life, and will lead into disaster.
    sheela_lon July 13, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI am absolutely living this song right now.
    "Astronaut" is (at least to me) about loving one who does/can not love you back. Even the title implies that the person is far away, be it literal or otherwise.
    One of my favourites, for sure.
    __ampersandon July 20, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJust for the record:

    "You may be acquainted with the night" is a reference to Robert Frost's poem, "I have been acquainted with the night." At the moment I don't have anything more to say on its significance, but there may be something interesting there, if anybody cares to look.
    theskyhasclawson October 19, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationAmanda Palmer has a knack of writing thought-provoking and mood-evoking lyrics.

    This song appears to me to be a dissatisfaction with her spouse.

    She notes that she's not getting what she wants. Yes, he is an astronaut, committed to his work, but at the end of the day, who's his Final Frontier? Space, or Amanda?

    It has a foreboding end to it, as she writes that things are going awry for him at work, and he's rapidly approaching the state of mind Amanda's been at this whole time. Maybe THEN he'll get why she is the way she is.

    Maybe.
    DannyArchilaon August 11, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMs. Palmer gave this link (annointed.net/…) in response to interpretations of the song.

    It's about the wives coping with the loss of their husbands on the space shuttle Columbia.
    amazingnelleon July 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI so did not think that this was literally about astronauts. I thought this was about being in love with someone who could barely love you back because there's something else their consumed with: work, war, being famous...And they may say they love your back, but they're dedicating so much time to that other thing that it's hard to remember that.

    That's what I got, but if Amanda said it was about Astronauts...I guess that's the same thing, though.
    lupinsmoon12391on August 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think amanda meant the song to be interpreted both literally and symbolically, like most of her songs. she likes to write her songs in a manner that almost anyone can relate to them. that's what i think anyway.

    this song is absolutely beautiful. it has my favorite amanda-isms in it, the intro with banging piano that is sort of unnerving, but a beautiful chorus that balances it out, not to mention amazing lyrics. love it love it love it.
    mangostaon January 15, 2008   Link

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