In my dream last night everything was so bright
I could barely make you out through the light
In my dream last night there was no sound to your sight
& all your comforts were subtitled white on white

Put a penny on a railroad track
For you to pick up on your way back
How can it be that you are gone to stay

In my dream last night anything that you'd write
Would unravel & lift like a mist out of sight
But in my dream last night I guess you seemed alright
You weren't scared or anything

Put a penny on a railroad track
For you to pick up on your way back
How can it be that you are gone to stay

All the rain on the day that you died
I've never seen the reservoir so high
I guess this is as close as it gets to goodbye


Lyrics submitted by Whale Fight

White On White song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentseems pretty clear its about someone dying, an old friend he never got to say goodbye too. haunting song.
    poorarielon September 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI love the last three lines. There's so much going on, and I don't fully understand them. A couple observations:

    1) Although we're pretty sure that the addressee is dead (appearance in a dream, "gone to stay"), it's still very effective to delay the explicit announcement of their death. The final confirmation of our guess hits pretty hard.

    2) We're forced to wait two lines to find out why the rain matters to the narrator. We expect the rain to be in some way comforting (rain is often particularly associated with grief in our culture, although I think that's culturally determined and not found elsewhere). It hits hard, though, that the rain not only comforts the narrator but also substitutes for a real farewell.

    3) The specific detail of the reservoir provides a sense of verisimilitude and also marks the experience as an extreme for the narrator.

    4) Also, I love the way he emphasizes the last syllable of "reservoir" (I can't think of another word with that sound -svw-) and all the alliteration in s in the last line.

    And I'm pretty sure it's "I'd never seen the reservoir so high" not "I've..."
    dd42on January 31, 2010   Link

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