"Cigarettes, Wedding Bands" as written by and Creighton ; Barrett Rob Hampton....
Working man's day wage, just piss it away
Leaves it out in the weather

Failure, he said, times two breeds contempt
Wash your hands of it forever

Violence, it ripped through the old dogwood fence
See the hope, see it unravel

Drunk brother said he could reason with them
While they lied at night, they lied at night, while they lied
While they lied at night, they lied at night, while they lied

The picture was left on the front porch, well that's it
I love you, don't you ever think of me?

My body knows there's a hell with my soul
We don't even know the difference

The dead folks in the clouds, for crying out loud
While they lied at night, they lied at night, while they lied
While they lied at night, they lied at night, while they lied

And why, did we live so long?
So long
So long

The house is not the same since we left it that day
Old friends seem to wonder
Our parents had cigarettes, wedding bells
While they lied at night, they lied at night, while they lied
While they lied at night, they lied at night, while they lied

And why, did we live so long?
So long
So long

While they lied at night, they lied at night, while they lied
While they lied at night, they lied at night, while they lied
While they lied at night, they lied at night, while they lied
Oh


Lyrics submitted by Yeahdand, edited by justasjeff

"Cigarettes, Wedding Bands" as written by Creighton ; Barrett Benjamin Bridwell

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Cigarettes, Wedding Bands song meanings
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20 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI think this is how it goes.

    "The working man's day, we just piss it away.
    We sit out in the weather.
    Familiar," he said, "times do breed contempt.
    Wash you hands of it forever."

    The violence, it ripped through the old dogwood fence.
    See the whole scene unravel.
    The drunk brother said he could reason with them...

    While they lie tonight, they lie tonight, while they lie. 2x

    The picture was left on the front porch. The back said,
    "I love him, don't you ever think of me.
    If my body goes, then to Hell with my soul.
    We don't even know the difference."

    The dead folks in the clouds are crying out loud...

    While they lie tonight, they lie tonight, while they lie. 2x

    "And why did we live so long?"

    Long 2x

    The house, not the same since we left it that day.
    Old friends seem to wander.
    In our parents' hands, cigarettes, wedding bands...

    While they lie tonight, they lie tonight while they lie.
    2x

    And why did we live so long?

    Long 2x

    While they lie tonight, they lie tonight, while they lie 3x

    Oh...
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    And now, my analysis. The whole song outlines a marriage that's on the rocks with the parnets probably only staying together because of the kids or for religious reasons.

    In the first part, you hear the father speaking, saying that even though life isn't necessarily hard on them he's getting bored with life as it is and he and his wife are growing apart. I believe the husband threatens the wife with divorce when he says, "Wash your hands of it forever." (Husbands out there, never say the D word. It can cause a lot of emotional damage even if you don't mean it.)

    This is followed by a fight out in the yard. The violence mentioned in this song isn't necessarily physical but I believe that's what it's speaking of when "it ripped through the old dogwood fence". The kids may have been on the other side of the fence listening to the fight, and it "ripped" emotionally from the kids overheaing the fight. The older (presumably) older brother is drunk, but he tries to break up the fight.

    The chorus is cool, because the word, "lie", has a double meaning. They lie while they are lying in bed, basically. A man and woman sleeping together is supposed to be symbolic of love, but the parents don't love eachother.

    I believe the next verse is talking about an affair the wife is having. She leaves a picture of the guy she's cheating with, with a note on the back. The wife has gotten to a point of not caring about whatever religious reasons they had for staying together.

    While they were together, it was destructive to the kids for them to be arguing all the time, but this is just as bad when one parent suddenly decides to leave on bad terms. this is why "the dead folks in the clouds are crying out loud".

    After the split, their lie is that this is somehow better, but the kids are still being hurt by all of their problems.

    This is followed by the question, "Why did we live so long?"

    This is a powerful song, because even those who haven't these types of isssues at home know what it feels like to think that their life is just dragging on with no hope for a better tomorrow. Somehow a song like this brings some comfort when you realize that there are people who know what you're going through.

    Any young people being affected by this, call 1-800-HIT-HOME

    God bless,
    Nemamiah
    Nemamiahon January 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionThe working man's day, we just piss it away
    We sit out in the weather
    "Familiar", he said
    Time soon breeds contempt
    Wash your hands of it forever
    Violence, it ripped through the old dogwood fence
    See the whole scene unravel
    Your drunk brother said he could reason with them
    While they lied at night

    And the picture was the left on the front porch
    The back said, "I love you, don't you ever think of me?"
    If my body goes, then to hell with my soul
    We don't even know the difference
    The dead folks in the clouds, for crying out loud
    While they lied at night
    And why can we live so long?

    The house not the same since we left it that day
    Old friends seem to wander
    But our parents' hands: cigarettes, wedding bands
    While they lied at night.
    Pepsi90919on April 10, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the song is generally about a parent's failed marriage, and consequently a child who's grown to fear/loathe relationships, or at least become very cynical.
    The beginning lines could refer to simply walking through life, going through life without much care "pissing it away.".
    The line "we sit out in the weather" could refer to being dead, buried in the ground. Weather the line is "failure" or "familiar," either way it sounds like a father's advice to his child, don't get too close to someone, wash your hands of familiarity.
    I really like the line, "Violence it ripped through the old dogwood fence, See the whole scene unravel." The "old dogwood fence" is the antithesis of a white picket fence. The family wasn't perfectly happy, there was dysfunction and things unraveled. I think the song then takes a turn into questioning faith, which is obvious with my favorite line "But dead folks in the clouds, for crying out loud." Also, the repetition of the lines "they lied at night" seems to discuss hypocrisy or dishonesty despite what was preached. His parents were lying at night, lying next to one another despite their failing relationship. I wonder if the line "our parents' hands: cigarettes, wedding bands" is equating cigarettes and wedding bands. The cigarettes signifying a sort of silent, slow killer. Smoking is a danger, yet people continue years upon years and it wears on them, much like a bad marriage?
    Overall just a great song
    armistice08on June 26, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the repeating line might be:
    While they lied at night, they lied at night, while they lied.
    Yeahdandon October 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think it's

    Violence it ripped through the old dogwood fence
    See the hole, see no gravel

    and...

    The house is not the same since we left it that day
    Old friends seem to wander
    On our parents' hands, cigarettes, wedding bands
    tpalmon October 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUpon further listening I think it's

    "See the whole scene unravel"

    Also...

    The picture was left on the front porch, the back said
    "I love you, don't you ever think of me?"
    TooFreshon October 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought the line was, "If my body goes, then to hell with my soul" -- but maybe that's just because that would be a cool lyric.
    sein514on October 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGoing by the corrections and what I hear, here's a revised version:
    -----------
    Working man's day, we just piss it away
    We sit out in the weather

    "Familiar," he said, times two breeds contempt
    Wash your hands of it forever

    Violence it ripped through the old dogwood fence
    See the whole scene unravel

    Drunk brother said he could reason with them
    While they lie-de-die,
    they lie-de-die,
    while they lie.


    The picture was left on the front porch, the back said
    "I love you, don't you ever think of me?"

    If my body goes, then to hell with my soul
    We don't even know the difference

    But dead folks in the clouds, for crying out loud!
    While they lie-de-die,
    they lie-de-die,
    while they lie.

    And why, did we live so long
    Long x 2


    The house is not the same since we left it that day
    Old friends seem to wander
    Our parents hands: cigarettes, wedding bands
    While they lie-de-die,
    they lie-de-die,
    while they lie.

    And why, did we live so long
    Long x 2

    While they lie-de-die,
    they lie-de-die,
    while they lie.

    Oh....
    ---------
    The "for crying out loud!" line gives me chills, too. Crazy good.
    ouchmyappendixon November 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcrap,
    -
    But dead folks in the clouds? For crying out loud!
    -
    Seems more contextually correct.
    ouchmyappendixon November 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is one of the most underrated BOH songs. Actually, I'm pretty sure it's my favorite. Also, I disagree with the lyrics in respect to the current line "failure, he said, times two breeds contempt." In this case, I believe TooFresh's line is correct when he says "firmiliar, he said, times two breeds contempt." This makes alot more sense, and possibly is a reference to a quote contributed to Aesop: "Firmiliarity breeds contempt." In essence, this means that the more you get to know something the more it bothers you.
    chrome_aviatoron December 04, 2007   Link

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