I'm gonna take a stab at this
Surely we'll be alright
Make a decision with a kiss
Maybe I have frostbite
And when I shuffled on back home
I made sure all my tracks in the snow were gone
Tissue and bone it was a tryst
This isn't a gunfight
Checking it off of my list
Unable to write
Five years, countless months and a loan

Hope I'm ready, able to make my own, good home

They go we go, I want you to know, what I did I did,
They go we go, I want you to know, what I did I did.

They go we go, I want you to know, what I did I did,
They go we go, I want you to know, what I did I did.

::vocalizing::

They go we go, I want you to know, what I did I did,
They go we go, I want you to know, what I did I did.


Lyrics submitted by rainandrev, edited by Aesopiano

Ready, Able song meanings
Add your thoughts

32 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +8
    General CommentThis is song MEANINGS, right?

    This song seems to me to be pretty clearly about guilt and cheating on someone you truly love.

    The lines that make this the most clear:

    "And when I shuffled on back home
    I made sure all my tracks in the snow were gone"

    "I want you to know what I did, I did"


    The lines:
    I’m gonna take a stab at this
    Surely we’ll be alright
    Make a decision with a kiss
    Maybe I have frostbite

    seem to suggest the decision to TELL the loved one about what was done, to come clean.
    And, perhaps the ultimate meaning behind this song, the question of whether you have it in you to go through with it, to mend what's been broken:

    "Hope I’m ready, able to make my own good home"
    torchieon June 15, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthis song is so amazing. brings me chills right next to "in the flowers" by animal collective :]
    undErneethon May 18, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My Opinion"They go we go, I want you to know, what I did I did."

    I always hear it as them saying, "Ready, able I just want you to know that I love you." I don't know why. But yeah, and I like it that way more than the actual lyrics.

    Lyrics aren't that important to me. Being a true musician means you allow your listeners to interpretate their lyrics in any way they want to.
    themusicspeakson February 27, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the protagonist is leaving behind a situation that he regrets, like either torchie or jonathonjonathon's interpretations.

    "make my own good home" might relate to a fresh start without the mistakes or memories of his past.

    While the characters in his story will dissolve and be lost in time("they go, we go"), he wants the tale to be passed through history so that others can learn from it. - I think the protagonist is now addressing the listeners; "i want YOU to know what i did"
    elmstreeon May 08, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI agree with the theory started by torchie, relating to the character's adultery and guilt.

    I believe that there is more to be said of the structure of the music and its relation to the lyrics.
    Think about the drastic difference between the music of the verse and that of the chorus. I think that this is intentional.


    (I will call the very first thing that happens the verse and the second part the chorus, so that the song is structured verse-chorus-verse-chorus-ending)

    The verses sound very awkward. The music is subtle, there is a serious lack of any tones, and the chords are sporadic and unresolved. I think that the verses represent the character's own inner thoughts while relaying the affair to his lover. There is a sense of nervousness and indecisiveness in the music, as in his thoughts.

    The choruses are very fleety and legato, the type of music that is normally associated with thinking, dreaming, or storytelling. I'll go with storytelling. I believe that these choruses are bits and pieces of what he is actually saying to his lover, unlike the verses, which are internal.


    Now, taking it line by line, we see that this theory works out.

    I'm gonna take a stab at this;
    Surely we'll be alright.
    Make a decision with a kiss;
    Maybe I have frostbite.

    This is the first verse, which is completely internal. This is happening inside the character's head.
    He immediately feels a wave of fear wash over him and reassures himself that it'll be okay. Before he begins, he kisses his lover, but it doesn't feel the same as usual. He justifies that fact to himself by saying that maybe he has frostbite.


    And when I shuffled on back home,
    I made sure all my tracks in the snow were gone.

    This is the first chorus, just a small piece of what is being said to the lover.
    He is simply expressing his shame and regret to his lover. Maybe he doesn't say exactly this word for word, but rather "I made sure all my tracks in the snow were gone" symbolizes his expression of immediate regret. He is not covering his tracks out of fear that the lover will find out; he is covering his tracks because he is ashamed of himself.


    Tissue and bone, it was a tryst;
    This isn't a gunfight.
    Checking it off of my list,
    Unable to rewrite.

    This is the second verse, again, internal.
    We infer that, in the bits that we haven't heard, the conversation erupted into a "gunfight," and he's lost for words, because he doesn't know how to explain that it was only a stupid physical--"tissue and bone"--tryst. He thinks it inside his head--perhaps this should be punctuated more like this:
    Tissue and bone, it was a tryst!
    This isn't a gunfight!
    He's very frustrated that in this situation he can't find the right words. On top of that, he's even more frustrated with himself for having done this in the first place. He's "checking it off of [his] list," but "unable to rewrite," almost saying to himself, "Are you happy now? You've done it. Congratulations. Now you'll never be able to erase this. Was it worth it?"


    Five years, countless months, and a loan,
    Hope I'm ready, able to make my own good home.

    This is the end of his speech, the last thing he says to his lover before their final goodbye. It's an apology. He's apologizing for having completely nullified everything they put into their relationship, and expressing reconciliation, hoping that he'll never again hurt someone like this (that he'll make a good home next time).


    Now, musically, there is a huge sense of moving forward. We've hit an incredible climax, and it just keeps repeating, pushing and pushing, while the character says at last (note I am hearing something different than what's at the top of this page)

    "Before we go, I want you to know, what I did I did."

    This is his final goodbye. He's done it; it's over. He's lost his lover for good. There's no going back, but he still loves him/her, so he maintains his honesty, his open heart.

    "Before we go, I want you to know, what I did I did."


    This is by far the most powerful song I've heard in quite some time. Grizzly Bear has hands-down the most talent in the music industry right now. These guys are incredible.
    komicon November 02, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHas anyone ever seen the music video to this song?... It's quite the stop-motion masterpiece! You should check it out!!!

    <3 Grizzly Bear
    CleverPhraseon May 03, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's *Unable to rewrite*, which would make more sense in the context of the song. I also gree that it is *Before we go, I want you to know, what I did I did,*
    maximus300on July 24, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"this isn't a gun fight" I think references a line from Hallelujah

    "Maybe there's a God above but all I've ever learnt from love is how to shoot somebody who who drew you"

    Hence, why he is so particularly ashamed, confused and filled with regret- his lover did not deserve the infidelity.
    Opium.Dollon October 30, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh this is so good.
    ccontrappostoon March 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI’m going to take a stab at this
    surely will be alright
    make a decision with a kiss
    baby I have false spite

    and when I trek alone back home
    I make sure that I trek in the snow
    ----

    tissue and bones, it was a trick
    this isn’t a gun fight
    checking it off on my list
    unable to rewrite

    five years cast once, and far alone
    hope I’m ready, able to make my own
    goodbye

    They go we go, I want you to know, what I did I did,

    treesonthemoonon March 09, 2009   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain