"One for the Cutters" as written by and C Finn J Kubler....
When there weren't any parties,
She'd park by the quarry,
Walk into the woods until she came to a clearing
Where townies would gather and drink until blackout,
Smoke cigs till they're sick, pack bowls, and then pass out.

Windows wide open to let the hard rock in,
theirs was a rage that didn't need much convincing.
The girls gave her glares, but the boys were quite pleasant.
To be totally honest, they didn't seem much different.
When there weren't any parties,
Sometimes she'd party with townies.

Out on the parkways, after the parties, it was always arousing,
When they'd rev up their engines.
It's hard to describe, so she kept it a secret.
The girls that she lived with, they knew nothing about it.
The night with the fight and the butterfly knife,
It was the first night she spent with that one guy she liked.

She gave him a ride to some kid's house in Cleveland.
He stayed there for two weeks. The cops finally found him.
He didn't seem that different, except for the blood on his jacket.
He didn't seem that different, except for maybe his haircut.
He didn't seem much different.
They didn't seem that different, up until this one little incident.
They didn't seem much different?

Now, the cops wanna question everyone present.
They parade every townie in town through the station,
But no one says nothing, and they can't find the weapon.
The girl takes the stand, and she swears she was with him
Her father's lawyers do most of the talking.

She's sick of the questions, sick of the concept of justice and fairness.
Who the hell cares who gets caught in the middle?
She smokes and she ponders this riddle
When one townie falls in the forest, can anyone hear it?
When one townie falls...when one townie falls in the forest, does anyone notice?

One drop of blood, an immaculate kiss?
Mom, do you know where your girl is?
Sophomore accomplice in a turtleneck sweater...
Dad, do you know where your kids are?
Sniffing on crystal in cute little cars,
Getting nailed against dumpsters, behind townie bars.

It's a cute little town, boutiques and cafes.
Her friends all seemed nice, she was getting good grades,
But when she came home for Christmas,
She just seemed distant and different.


Lyrics submitted by idolatry

"One for the Cutters" as written by J Kubler C Finn

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One for the Cutters song meanings
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16 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentthe title of the song is an obvious reference to the movie "breaking away". a great movie that has been forgetten to a certain extent. As a dude who lives in a college town and went to college in a couple of college towns this is my obvious choice for best song on the album. The Hold Steady are always best when you feel, "I know these people". I've been both the townie and the guy hanging out with townies and it's true "they do seem just like us" till some moment when you're like what is wrong with these dudes. the townie concept is a great idea for a song that i've never seen exploited before. when it comes down to it it's all rather feudal and there's a tension in the air that is rarely acknowledged. This song is like a romeo and juliet for a college town where romeo's family lives in a trailer and juliet is a rich girl from a prosperous town 200 miles away.
    kh991269on July 19, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn this case "townie" is a reference to a college-age person living in a college town who doesn't attend the school in that town. The song is definitely taking some elements from the movie "Breaking Away", which deals with friction between students at Indiana University and locals, referred to as "cutters" since historically, stone cutting at the local quarry was the main source of employment in the town.

    The song seems to be describing an affair between a (presumably rich) college girl, and a (presumably lower-middle class) townie, in which the girl is wrapped up in a murder investigation when her beau kills another townie.
    fungusboy09on October 21, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've been listening to this song since May, but I'm still just noticing new things. The quarry got my interest recently. I didn't think of it is a recurring Hold Steady setting, but then I read that the Party Pit was a quarry. The quarry is also mentioned in Southtown Girls.
    More importantly, while I was paying attention to the whole quarry aspect of the song, I noticed the line "windows wide open to let the hard rock in." The double meaning of "hard rock" here is so cool. The quality of song writing in songs like this is why I love the Hold Steady.
    cournfieldson December 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinitely "immaculate keds". Chilling song.
    dgm1985on June 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWas anyone else thrown off by the harpsichord intro at the beginning? I wasn't expecting that at all, great, great song though.
    BitterBuffalo89on June 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsomething i forgot to say...if you like the hold steady, check out the book "Jesus' Son" by denis johnson...all short stories about people like the ones described in the hold steady songs...amazingly good
    kh991269on July 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlike KH991269 said, this song definitely seems to be a reference to Breaking Away (and thus Bloomington, Indiana). I actually go to IU, and there is an excessive amount of Cutter pride.
    downthestaircaseon August 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcutter pride? no clue what that is. what does townie mean in america? its what chavs used to be called down here in the west country of england, we called them townies or janners, but im guessing its something different in the US? any help would be nice!
    SamuelHWon September 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is just about getting involved with the wrong crowd, but not realizing it at first --> "they didn't seem much different"
    then when its all done youre a different person
    gbrooks322on November 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Hold Steady paint so many portraits of trashy people, but this one is a view of trashy people through a middle class lens (the college girl) my question is, are the guys in the band working class trash themselves or more like the well-read college types that mimick, mock, follow and fear trashy people? T

    hey seem so obsessed with alcoholics in busted cars, I'm wondering if this is autobiography or zoology.
    interpretatoron January 05, 2009   Link

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