It's in the air you breathe and it's also in the water,
It's something you can't see,
you've been warned of by your mothers.

You've had enough deceit,
You know enough to see.
Join the others
When you could hardly breathe,
you were wondering why you bothered

And they gave us seven days to renounce our wicked ways
Too late to make amends
because we both know how this ends

So do the right thing or do nothing
(What will you do when they come for you?)
Or just do what is easier
(What will you do when they come for you?)
That is what I read what I swear they said to me!
Nine times out of ten they lied to me,
And after all they had the gall to say,
"Son, no one will save you now"
We want it, they got it!
They claim we'll die without it,
But something tells me they are wrong.

So what will you do when they call your name, and you're not ready to go?
Everyone will stare at you and tell you what you know.
'That you're in too deep and you can't quite keep your secrets, one and all.'
We might just make it after all, on our own
(We might just make it after all)
But we had one foot on the gas and one foot in the grave
Everyone was laughing when we said we had it made (x2)

And they gave us seven days to renounce our wicked ways
Too late to make amends
because we both know how this ends

Started with six or seven, moved on to eight or nine,
(What will you do when they come for you?)
Nobody seemed to notice, nobody seemed to mine,
(What will you do when they come for you?)
Little miss demissed can't miss like a detuned radio
I cannot believe you when you tell me what you know
And nothing will be broken if your house is made of stone
But you will know as I do it will never be a home

We want it, they got it!
They claim we'll die without it,
But something tells me they are wrong.

So what will you do when they call your name, and you're not ready to go?
Everyone will stare at you and tell you what you know.
'That you're in too deep and you can't quite keep your secrets, one and all.'
We might just make it after all, on our own
-We might just make it after all.
But we had one foot on the gas and one foot in the grave
Everyone was laughing when we said we had it made

Yeah, everyone was laughing when we said we had it made...

It's in the air you breathe and it's also in the water,
It's something you can't see,
you've been warned of by your mothers.

You've had enough deceit,
You know enough to see.
Join the others!
When you could hardly breathe,
you were wondering why you bothered.

So what will you do when they call your name, and you're not ready to go?
Everyone will stare at you and tell you what you know.
'That you're in too deep and you can't quite keep your secrets, one and all.'
We might just make it after all, on our own
-We might just make it after all.
But we had one foot on the gas and one foot in the grave
Everyone was laughing when we said we had it made (x2)


Lyrics submitted by confluence

One Foot on the Gas, One Foot in the Grave song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI disagree but fair enough, I like your interpretation!
    It's about life and death, as with some others on the album too. It seems to be an ongoing theme. Maybe you'll see where I'm coming from if you keep the idea in mind when listening to the song, but here's a few points:

    The first few lines make up the definition of death. The second part is being told you're going to die soon.

    Warned of 6 or seven days before they go (what WOULD you do?), ending up with a couple extra days, but how long can you really put it off? Seems we're living longer and longer these days, but you know it's the end sooner or later.

    The song then goes on to the next part with the decisions you'd make before 'they come for you'. What he 'read' may be referring to the bible/any holy book and he's told he has committed too many sins and can't be saved. (In this case, would you do the right thing or wrong thing before you died?) However 9 times out of 10 they've lied to him and he doesn't believe in their preachings. Similarly it's seen again in the house of stone - if you keep wrapped up and scared, you're only living half a life. We're all going to die in the end, it's unavoidable, so make the most of life whilst you can. Furthermore, the 'one foot on the gas, one foot in the grave' is again another reference to death being inevitable (trying to get away) and laughter at the irony of having it made.

    'They claim we'll die without it' - could be religion or a higher power? Within religion or humanity? etc. Nevertheless he thinks they are wrong, ever the optimist.

    If you see it this way, it goes on like this in rest of the song in the same vein. Good song, good album.
    --Angela.
    confluenceon October 28, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"We want it, they got it!
    They claim we'll die without it,
    But something tells me they are wrong."

    I think he's talking about the theory of gaining eternal salvation. It's something we all want, to live forever. Most religions claim you can "live" forever if you let God into your life because you will be brought to heaven and live on with God after you die on Earth. But then he goes on to say that he thinks they're wrong, obviously.

    "But we had one foot on the gas and one foot in the grave"

    I believe the analogy for "one foot on the gas" is that someone of faith thinks he/she has that "one step ahead of the game" mentality by believing in religion, thinking that now matter what they do in life they're going to be saved but in the end they're just dooming themselves and wasting their time.

    Angela did a really good job of interpeting this song but in the end, the meaning behind the lyrics is different for everyone who reads it. Take it as it is.
    3dkstreeton November 10, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel this song is very anti-religious, much some of the other songs on the album.
    It's in the air you breathe and it's also in the water,
    It's something you can't see,
    you've been warned of by your mothers.
    - I believe this is revering to god/Satan. Saying that they don't know it exists. But they are told that it does.
    You've had enough deceit,
    You know enough to see.
    Join the others
    When you could hardly breathe,
    you were wondering why you bothered
    - Wondering why the people weren't doubting their religion like you were.
    And they gave us seven days to renounce our wicked ways
    Too late to make amends
    because we both know how this ends
    - The response of those who felt he did the wrong thing doubting his religion.
    o do the right thing or do nothing
    (What will you do when they come for you?)
    Or just do what is easier
    (What will you do when they come for you?)
    That is what I read what I swear they said to me!
    Nine times out of ten they lied to me,
    And after all they had the gall to say,
    "Son, no one will save you now"
    We want it, they got it!
    They claim we'll die without it,
    But something tells me they are wrong.
    - saying that they lied to him before, so why should he believe that without belief in god he will go to hell.
    So what will you do when they call your name, and you're not ready to go?
    Everyone will stare at you and tell you what you know.
    - Saying that when people criticize his atheist beliefs everyone will doubt your beliefs and try and force their opinions on them.
    Crazed10on November 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the reference he talked about in the liner notes was "like a detuned radio," that's from "Karma Police" by Radiohead.
    astatusquoexileon November 20, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe way the story tells out to me is:

    someone living during an oppressive time in which religion was mandatory via gov't punishment has saw through the jaded lie of faith and realized in the end rationality will win over blind gullibility any day so they joined in the little group of faithless and they all said they had it made because they're eyes were seeing clearly and they no longer have to live in fear of a "god" and they actually lived for themselves

    but (im guessing its in a time like the Spanish inquisition, probably hanging or something similar to the drowning of witches) one of the parties name gets called up to be public executed (much similar to the actual fashion used) and is commanded to rat out his partners and such (hence the secret)
    and the 7 days played into the song because spanish tried to get their infidels to ask god's forgiveness and make amends before their deaths which are imminent

    it makes perfect sense to me....but then again I'm really friggin high.
    m0urningl0ryon September 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentprobably the best song on the cd. it's so fucking amazing. One of my top 5 songs, 1st being Abetter Place, A Better Time. Not sure yet what it's about, still just taking it in.
    alexpenney55on October 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHorn part reminds me (along with the whole song) of Keasby Nights and Point/Counterpoint...still not sure what this song is about though (maybe something about dying too early? "So what will you do when they call your name, and you're not ready to go?"

    I still need to listen to this one more
    SteelKangarooon October 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWithout a doubt, this is one of the best songs SM has every produced. From the very unique [for streetlight] opening, to that first high horn note, I was in a daze when I listened to this.

    Anyways...

    Looking at the lyrics, I think this song has a very personal story to Tomas and the whole band in it..

    "It's in the air you breathe and it's also in the water,
    It's something you can't see,
    you've been warned of by your mothers."

    Greed?

    "You've had enough deceit,
    You know enough to see.
    Join the others
    When you could hardly breathe,
    you were wondering why you bothered"

    Once again referring to greed, and how when it comes to bite you in the ass, you regret it.

    "And they gave us seven days to renounce our wicked ways
    Too late to make amends
    because we both know how this ends"

    7 days? One week... Maybe they were told by their label they had to leave[go on tour, produce new material?] within a week? Even though maybe they didn't want to, they were already "in too deep" so they had to.

    "So do the right thing or do nothing
    (What will you do when they come for you?)
    Or just do what is easier
    (What will you do when they come for you?)
    That is what I read what I swear they said to me!
    Nine times out of ten they lied to me,
    And after all they had the gall to say,
    "Son, no one will save you now"
    We want it, they got it!
    They claim we'll die without it,
    But something tells me they are wrong."

    Finally, Tomas tells us not to be puppets and stand up for ourselves, and our dreams. Just believe and stay hopeful!

    "So what will you do when they call your name, and you're not ready to go?
    Everyone will stare at you and tell you what you know.
    'That you're in too deep and you can't quite keep your secrets, one and all.'
    We might just make it after all, on our own
    (We might just make it after all)
    But we had one foot on the gas and one foot in the grave
    Everyone was laughing when we said we had it made (x2)"

    Even if others, and even YOU don't believe in yourself, you've got to keep strong and never lose the fire inside.

    "
    Started with six or seven, moved on to eight or nine,
    (What will you do when they come for you?)
    Nobody seemed to notice, nobody seemed to mine,
    (What will you do when they come for you?)
    Little miss demissed can't miss like a detuned radio
    I cannot believe you when you tell me what you know
    And nothing will be broken if your house is made of stone
    But you will know as I do it will never be a home"

    6 or 7 weeks? Then bumped up to 8 or 9? Then the talk of homes... they miss home, but no one seems to mind?

    The rest of the lyrics are repeats, but I just wanted to make note of the title of the track:

    "But we had one foot on the gas and one foot in the grave
    Everyone was laughing when we said we had it made"

    I really see this as They really went into the music business without knowing much, going wherever they could. One foot on the gas kept them going, but they also kept the other in the grave, because one wrong turn on the road of life, and they would be done, for good.



    The similarity of the horns to Keasby Nights in a certain part leads me to believe this may be KN Pt. III, or at least has a certain personal connection to the members.
    MattLabelleon October 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think I agree more with angela than the person before. I don't doubt they had label issues since they had a shit site for a while and all, but really, it's only been a year and a half or so since KN was released, so they haven't had much more a break than most other artists between CDs. I think it's more about spiting religion (agreed) and death, as it seems to be the theme to the CD.

    The allusion to KN and Point/Counterpoint was pretty cool though...
    MaianMaguson October 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm surely wrong, but I get an image of someone trying to escape judgment day.
    adeptionon October 29, 2007   Link

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