"Language City" as written by and Dante Decaro Arlen Thompson....
Language City is a bad, old place
We all know
Where eyeballs float in space
We all know

We were tired, we can't sleep
It's crowded here, none of us leave
Language City don't mean a thing to me

Audiences, the same program is always on
I'd infer, it's best to avoid the law
When your wife wakes up and sees
Shut the blinds and block out the street
Language City don't mean a thing to me

[Chorus]
All this working
Just to tear it down
All this working
Just to tear it down

Language City is a bad, old place
We all know
Eyeballs float in space
We all know

We're tired, we can't sleep
It's crowded in the street
Language City don't mean a thing to me

I been here so long my heart is a parking lot
Hollow feet rooted to the spot
But the fields are beyond belief
From tower out to where I can see
Language City don't mean a thing to me

[Chorus]

On the telephone
On the telephone
On the telephone
Someone's counting the hours
In a paper room
In a paper room
In a paper room
Somebody's counting the hours

Know I know it's true
From above this room
Somebody's counting the hours
The hours
The hours
The hours

Oh the long bitter road
Let us down
Oh the ringing telephone
There's no one around

We are not at home
We are not at home
We are not at home
We are not at home
We are not at home
We are not at home

We are not at home
We are not at home
We are not at home
We are not at home
We are not at home
We are not at home

Hang on the telephone
Hang on the telephone
Hang on the telephone
Hang on the telephone


Lyrics submitted by wrat

"Language City" as written by Dan Boeckner Arlen Thompson

Lyrics © THIRD SIDE MUSIC INC.

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Language City song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentIt's a great song. This seems to be a common theme through a lot of his songs. Wikipedia says he is from Lake Cowichan in BC, Canada, it's only a small town, so it may describe some of his anti-city sentiment.

    But I have been full of shit before so I don't know. :)
    mozillaman0on May 31, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song has several likely references to Modest Mouse.

    "Where eyeballs float in space" is possibly referring to 3rd Planet's "Eye in the sky that can't be stopped." and the later half of the song mentioning someone above, hypothetically God, counting the hours also satisfies this theory.

    "I been here so long my heart is a parking lot" seems almost a direct reference to the song "Custom Concern," "Goes through the parking lot fields" and is the strongest reference, as it deals with the same themes of dredging social experiences.

    "Hollow feet rooted to the spot" could be a much less solid, general reference to "Life Like Weeds"

    "In a paper room" is another strong piece of imagery that evokes the song "Paper Thin Walls" and also fits the social theme.

    Finally, for a bit of a stretch, "On the telephone counting the hours" may be referencing "Styrofoam Boots" God-character, as the phrase "counting the hours" is uttered earlier in this song in reference to God, and in the mouse song: "Every time anyone gets on their knees to pray/Well, it makes my telephone ring" but this may just be want.

    There seems to be an awful lot of lines in Wolf Parade songs that remind me of Modest Mouse, but it might all be coincidence.
    BlueCadetThreeon December 09, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaybe it's

    "When I interfere, it's best to avoid the law"

    But...it's really hard to tell with Dan. Oh, and this song is dealing with the same hate of modern cities that Dan is always talking about. Modern World, Soldier's Grin, Handsome Furs Hate this City, etc.
    omegadaxeron May 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhatever this song means, its amazing no matter what. The only comment I can think of while listening to it, is yes. I like it. I like that they take lyrics to another level by just giving blunt messages about issues. Like the crowded cities that are always runing lives and the society.
    Amazing.
    ummmyeahon June 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI started by wondering what Language City is, but I had no idea so I decided to come back to that.

    The most apparent theme seems to be the observation of the repitition and meaninglessness of the modern life.
    Lines like "All this working Just to tear it down" demonstrate the perpetual cycle of building and rebuilding finite structures who's greatness never seems to last. This contributes to the sentiment among the workers that they're just "counting the hours" watching the clock go by at their unsatifying job.


    This brought me back to wondering what Language City was, we know it is a "bad, old place" "Where eyeballs float in space."

    I'm thinking it is the tower of Babel he is referencing - the biblical fable where man set out to build a structure to reach the heavens as a testiment to man's greatness but where God confused their common language in to many dialects to prevent them from completing the project. Eyes float in space might be referencing man's ambition to build into the stars and certaintly the biblical babel was "old and bad" in God's eyes.
    Not saying this song has a Christian meaning or that the band is religious. but I think he is taking God as representing objective good and man's ambitious and perpetually failing effort to build the greatest city as being an empty pipedream that attempts to defy that objective good.

    So the song traces the evil/pointless/unfulfilling nature of modern life back to biblical time saying we've come nowhere and gained nothing despite the civilization we believe we have built.
    Frank Boothon June 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom an interview with Dan:

    "Language City is about a coke party, where 'language city' is a metaphor for the pointlessness of staying up all night talking about nothing, and there’s also a bit of my trip to Russia in there too because there’s a pretty heavy party scene in Russia – something I found pretty terrifying…and fun."

    Source:
    nightlifemagazine.ca/magazine/view/…
    Specialiston June 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Language City is about a coke party"

    Frank Booth just got owned.
    omegadaxeron June 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment/facepalm

    Oh well, wild stab, I prefer my metropolis version.
    Frank Boothon June 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just discovered the one and only thing that bothers me about Dan's songs, in almost everyone there's a reference to stuff meaning nothing or only one thing. Has anyone else noticed this?
    russeon July 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have a feeling that a lot of songs are a lot simpler than we make them. They have more to do with day to day struggles and some extended biblical allegory.
    mytwohandson July 19, 2008   Link

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