"Sequestered in Memphis" as written by and C Finn J Kubler....
It started when we were dancin'
It got heavy when we got to the bathroom.
We didn't go back to her place,
We went to some place where she cat-sits.
She said, "I know I look tired, but everything's fried, here in Memphis."

Man, they want to know exactly which bathroom
Dude, does it make any difference? It can't be important

Yeah, sure, I'll tell my story, again

In bar-light, she looked all right,
In daylight, she looked desperate
That's all right, I was desperate, too
I'm getting pretty sick of this interview.
Subpoenaed in Texas, sequestered in Memphis
Subpoenaed in Texas, sequestered in Memphis

I think she drove a new Mustang
I guess it might be a rental
I remember she had satellite radio
I guess she seemed a bit nervous,
Do you think I'm that stupid?
Well, what the hell?

I'll tell the story, again?

In bar-light, she looked all right,
In daylight, she looked desperate
That's all right, I was desperate, too
I'm getting pretty sick of this interview

[Repeat: x4]
Subpoenaed in Texas, sequestered in Memphis

[Repeat: x4]
I went there on business, subpoenaed in Texas, sequestered in Memphis


Lyrics submitted by Alcoholandirony

"Sequestered in Memphis" as written by Tad Kubler Craig Finn

Lyrics © Reservoir One Music, RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC

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Sequestered in Memphis song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentHey, the chorus isn't "Arrested in Texas, extradited to Memphis."
    You get subpoenad and sequestered when you're a WITNESS. He had a casual romp with a woman in whom the authorities have a keen interest. Also it's not an interview when you're the suspect, it's an interrogation. And his boredom and fatigue are part and parcel with his innocence. He's telling them it cant be important, it can't make any difference. It's the prerogative of a witness who's been subpoena'd and sequestered to ridicule the cops inquiries. It's a familiar comic tale of a guy who has a little fun only to find out it causes way more problems than pleasure. More funny if you think of the singer as married. He goes to Memphis on business, then has to explain to his wife in Texas why he's been subpoenad and flown back to Memphis to testify or whatever.
    tpksummerson July 04, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYep, cat sits (line 3). It's baby-sitting but, for a cat. It's an opportunity to hang in a house or apt that isn't your own. There are lots of reasons for not wanting to go back to your own place w/a guy you pick-up in a bar. Not that I would really know about stuff like that.
    artmavenon June 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentelementar,

    In the case of this song, fried is referring to being burnt out or tired. The girl is just justifying why she looks so haggard.
    clittleelttilcon December 31, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFun song. It's about a guy that gets involved with a girl who ends up being a criminal and is being questioned by the police. The verses are a little lacking, but hopefully Craig makes up for it with other songs. Not a bad song.
    Alcoholandironyon May 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenteverything about this song is awesome
    ianzon May 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalcoholandirony already said what it's about. The Hold Steady don't really have a need for a website like this in a sense. the songs are all somewhat explicit. whereas other lyricists like to throw in different lines that can be taken a number of ways, craig just describes a scene or situation. whereas most songwriters aim toward a traditionally pretentious version of poetry, craig, in a style similar bukowski melds poetry and prose accompanied by head bopping melodies. it's cinematic in it's scope and quick characterization. we know these people. they might be based on the guy next to you at the bar.
    kh991269on July 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt is indeed "cat sits" FYI.
    tjwellson December 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPeople don't seem to agree why he had to go back to Memphis. Either ...

    - he got accused of assaulting her
    - she turned out to be a criminal
    - she got pregnant

    Probably one of the first two, because those explain why he gets interviewed.

    Also I don't understand this line:

    "I know I look tired, but everything's fried here in Memphis."

    Why would fried foods make someone look tired?
    elementaron December 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt sounds to me like he is being questioned for a serious felony, like murder (or rape, but I think murder).

    He admits to having sex with her. (DNA evidence)
    The cops what to know "exactly what bathroom". (possible crime scene site)
    He has to keep repeating his story. (to see if he changes his story)
    He's getting pretty sick of this interview. (interrogations are long, drawn-out ordeals)
    He describes her car, a Mustang, might be a rental, satellite radio. (all details the cops would want to know, cross reference, and enter into evidence/use to eliminate the suspect.)

    He is innocent, the song is too cheery for him to have killed her....

    I just figured this out right now. I've always loved this song, but didn't understand. Kind of strange...
    hottoddyon December 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song renews my faith in music. I live in the styx of Kentucky where they arrest you for looking cross-eyed. I'm completely and utterly serious when I say that in my past life (after first moving here in 92) was arrested in the following years no less than 20 times. And for the most minor of infractions. Oh the pain. Now I can laugh (almost). This song is entirely relatable. Good fun.
    writingcandeeon February 16, 2010   Link

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