I decided on that evening
That I was through with sitting still
I stood up and started moving
With a childlike fascination
For those doors that don't have locks
And the stairways that were blocked
So I dug through the obstruction
Put my fist around the railing
And each step was far apart
And far away from steps before it
And the air was getting thinner
Until I couldn't breathe at all
And if I happened to look behind me
There were miles and miles of stairs
Enough so I couldn't see the doorway
But I knew that it was there
And on the last step I was dizzy
Because there were stairs in all directions
But I found another door
And through the door there was the attic
Without old clothes
Without a ceiling
Everything had opened wide
Into the jaws of something bigger
And suddenly I saw that I was
Upstairs and outside and freezing on the roof
Finally it had found me
The answer, the feeling, and the truth:

That I'm small
That I'm small
That I'm small
I'm smaller than the smallest fireball


Lyrics submitted by UsedToVacation

Stairs to the Attic song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThese lyrics are beautiful. I would surely like to meet whomever wrote them.
    Maddog553on February 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's odd having first heard The Antlers through their album Hospice which was so sorrowful and melancholy, hearing them so joyful and escapist here. I sort of imagine this song about (as it suggests) climbing a staircase and climbing away from all the stress, anger and fear of our everyday lives and finding relief in the fact that everything that makes up our lives is, in the grand scheme of things tiny. I know that's a bit cliche and cheesy, but that's how I see it.
    choggspacedon September 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo start, this album is decidedly under-appreciated and needs more comments in general.

    More specifically, this is definitely the culminating point of this album. It's basically a continuation of "In the Attic," the first song of the album. Whereas the narrator is searching for something in the first song (but only the ghosts know it, and the narrator's heard it but can't remember), this song shows him finding what he's looking for and has been looking for in basically every other song in the album.

    The lyrics in this song are pretty trippy. The image of the stairs and the doors and such throws out any possibility of literal meaning. Instead, I think we're seeing a moment of insight and clarity, almost a religious moment where the narrator suddenly step out of himself and away from the general self-centered attitude people inevitably have to see himself in relation to everything. He finds himself up on the roof again staring at the stars, and he realizes how small and insignificant he is after searching for his place the entire album
    BaruchSon January 24, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis is a magnificent musical representation of what it feels like to be searching for the answers to life and the universe. The lyrical narrative is more metaphorical than literal, and represents the lead singers ambitious search to find the answer (cause) to life (effect); where the attic represents the answer (to everything i.e god), and the ladder represents the search. On the closing track, "Stairs to the Attic", Silberman describes the staircase expanding, similarly to the universe.
    Lambinwolfon February 17, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis is a magnificent musical representation of what it feels like to be searching for the answers to life and the universe. The lyrical narrative is more metaphorical than literal, and represents Peter Silberman’s ambitious search to find the answer (cause) to life (effect); where the attic represents the answer (to everything i.e god), and the ladder represents the search (each step representing a leap through time and space). On this track, “Stairs to the Attic”, Silberman describes the staircase expanding, similarly to the universe.
    Lambinwolfon February 17, 2013   Link

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