"Cologne" as written by and Benjamin Scott Folds....
Here in Cologne
I know I said it wrong
I walked you to the train
And back across alone
To my hotel room
And ordered me some food
And now I'm wondering why the floor has suddenly become a moving target

Four, three, two, one,
I'm letting you go
I will let go
If you will let go

(Four, three, two)

Says here an astronaut
Put on a pair of diapers
Drove eighteen hours
To kill her boyfriend
And in my hotel room, I'm wondering
If you read that story too?
And if we both might
Be having the same imaginary conversation

Four, three, two, one,
I'm letting you go
I will let go
If you will let go

(Four, three, two)

Weightless as I close my eyes
The ceiling opens in disguise

Such a painful trip
To find out this is it
And when I go to sleep
You'll be waking up

Four, three, two, one,
I'm letting you go
I will let go
If you will let go


Lyrics submitted by OhNo789

"Cologne" as written by Ben Folds

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Cologne song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +7
    General CommentThis is spectacular song-writing, and laced with a subtle power that creeps out of Folds' near-whisper, as well as the laugh-out-loud second verse.

    The first thing Folds' gets here is a laugh, as an American somewhat hyper-conscious about his (mis)pronunciation of the German Koln. On a German tongue, it's not quite as simple as an aftershave. But then this becomes a tragic love-song involving an American whom I believe has come to visit his girlfriend who has been living temporarily in Europe, and ostensibly just told him that she will be staying there, ending their affair.

    I love the four, three, two, one countdown, as it reads and sounds a little like those self-help mantras. 4,3,2,1 I'm letting you go!

    Folks who are not Ben Folds fans may be startled or annoyed by the reference to the zaniest news story of the last decade appearing in the next verse. But, really, when you are in heartbreak mode, even a story like that of the NASA astronaut who drove from Houston to Florida wearing a diaper, so determined to kill her lover that nothing, not even potty breaks, was going to stop her -- even this can make you somehow think of your lost love.

    And finally, my favorite line of the entire song, because it is so very authentic:

    "When I go to sleep, you'll be waking up."

    For the singer here, soon to suffer from transatlantic heartbreak, the emotional distance and the physical distance would be overwhelming, but this is exactly the sort of thought that would make the drastically divergent lifes they are about to enter feel so utterly incompatible -- "when I go to sleep, you'll be waking up......"

    Absolutely fantastic stuff.
    zemblaon August 26, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is so powerful. I heard it this past weekend (a few days before Way To Normal hit store) for the first time and loved it from the start.

    Beautiful song.

    I, too, love the "4, 3, 2, 1... I'm letting you go" part.

    I noticed the first time that he says "4, 3, 2, 1... I'm letting you go, I will let go if you will let go" but continues on to countdown again but not finish ("4, 3, 2... ohhhhh). It seems that he cannot get himself to actually let go. She might have let go, but he can't seem to, hence he's singing this song and never makes it to "1", where he previous stated he would let go after.

    Really really great song. Ben's the fucking man.
    beyond_retardedon September 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionLove the song, and the whole astronaut thing is brilliant but I still cringe when I hear the word "diapers".

    I don't think anyone can pull off using the word "diapers" in a song, not even Ben Folds.
    willhirschon January 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnobody else need interpret the actual meaning. zembla's reading is perfect. good job.
    mr miyagion September 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree, Zembla couldn't have said it any better.
    Cameron5tevenson October 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the song actually pertains to Ben's divorce last year from his wife who was from Australia.

    So far, this is my favorite song off the new album.
    FoldsFanForeveron October 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEven though a lot of the songs seem to apply, Ben said that none of them are about his divorce
    alikat91190on October 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI attended his show at Terminal 5 on the 30th of September. He talked about the counting down. To him, it symbolized what people do when they first fall in love and are talking on the phone. The "you hang up" "no you hang up" "ok, we'll both hang up at the same time"
    Mirestellaon October 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFantastic, heartbreaking song. It constantly amazes me how songwriters like Ben manage to come up with new ways to say "the same old thing." I can see the tears filling up his eyes that cause the floor to "become a moving target."
    ChadVerbumon October 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like Ben's new album. I think the countdown (4,3,2,1 I'm letting you go.) is a play off of the astronaut story. It sounds like the countdown for a rocket to launch into space.
    annnnnn10on December 05, 2008   Link

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