She gets so broken up, she can't mend
And I get so blown away, I can't understand
How this little apartment always stays so cold
Our love's in currency that I can't hold

We could build, we could build Havana

I get so lost in this arcade
Her misery blows me off the midway
There's a subtle perfume underneath her words
Some gold between us next to all that hurts

We could build, we could build Havana (x2)

When some guy shows up from her past
I get so blown away that I have to ask
Am I only someone here who burns your toast?
I don't want to spend my years on someone's ghost

We could build, we could build Havana (x3)
Build Havana
Oh yeah

Lyrics submitted by daturkel, edited by OpenMindAudio

Build Havana song meanings
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    Song MeaningIn "Build Havana," the singer describes the fear that he and his romantic partner could build a life frozen in time, beautiful but historic, haunted by memories of a glorious past but not growing into a living future. He sees that fear most poignantly in the remote sadness of his partner, but he shares responsibility for the relationship, returning always to a fear of what "we" could build, and not blaming his partner. It's not a song of despair: the singer sees some hope. Rather, it's a song of warning of what they could build. The fact that he feels willing to express the warning implies a hope they could build something better.

    The warning is continually evoked in the refrain, "We could build, we could build Havana." Havana is one of the New World's most beautiful cities, built on the enormous riches of the early Spanish empire. It's also frozen in time, famous for its insular economy, decaying Spanish Colonial architecture, and preservation (through dire necessity) of 1950s machinery. (The actual Havana has changed a lot since the song was written, but the metaphor still holds, as do most of these details.)

    Aside from the refrain, explicit references to Havana are only hinted at in the song, somewhat obliquely. There are at least three details that feel tied to the city, each evoking a space eclipsed by time and progress. In the first reference, the singer fears, "Our love's in currency that I can't hold." Like the communist currency of Cuba, which is worthless off the island, his love seems to have little practical, translatable value. And yet, in the second reference, the speaker still sees a flash of the relationship's value, "Some gold between us next to all that hurt," just as Havana's frozen-in-time beauty hints at the immense Spanish fortunes that built the old city. the final reference is very oblique, when the speaker fears he'll spend his years "on someone's ghost," echoing the strain in Cuban politics of continually blaming current events on the ghost of the past.

    Set against these fears of frozen love, the speaker sees the consensual misery of his lover, who "gets so broken up, she can't mend," and whose "misery blows [him] off the midway." This mutual perception of sadness deepens the song, taking it beyond a simple anthem of blame and speaking to the pursuit of a mature love. The speaker doesn't want to live in Havana, on the echoes of their past romance, and he doesn't want to be a stop-gap fixture in her life — "someone here who burns [her] toast" — while she pines for past loves.

    By sharing the fear they could build Havana, a city frozen in time and space, he expresses the hope they'll build something more enduring and beautiful. And yet the beauty of Havana, a city in decay, reminds us that all living things, including romantic love, decay and die.

    A beautify and evocative song.
    OpenMindAudioon November 04, 2016   Link

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