Rolling around a lifetime on a name that spells my past
Carried through the mile markers up towards some last laugh
And if fools could only prosper, I'm afraid what they might say
From a podium built on generations bleeding what they make

Because here it comes
Watch them all jump right in
Tell me, how could you refuse to float with the rest of them?
You were born into it, there's no shame if you drift
Down the bloodline

Feeling temperamental underneath a broke sun
A certificate of excellence, but no proof on your pay stub
And if money's not a problem, I suggest you best believe
There's ten dollars on the table, and a million up his sleeve

And here they come, watch them all pass us by
Tell me how could you refuse to look one in the eye?
Two sheets to the wind all over again
Down the bloodline
Down the bloodline

Yes, it feels scary to be ordinary
In a world that don't know your name
It would not be weird if I just disappeared
Blowing my back out, trying to hope I wake

Looking for a doctor with a cure for a broke heart
Seems I spent it all on a miracle just to watch it fall apart
Now there's no room for ill-complaining, I know it's all just what it is
Cherry-pick my best believers and send them off with a kiss

Because there they go
Watch them all wave goodbye
Tell me how could you refuse to think it's a wonderful life?
Two shoots to the wind all over again
Down the bloodline
Down the bloodline
Down the bloodline


Lyrics submitted by wafflecne

Bloodline song meanings
Add your thoughts

8 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    My OpinionOkay, so this is just my interpretation based on what I see in the lyrics and what the other songs seem to be about.

    I think there are a couple of topics in the song, but the most prevalent seems to be politics.

    "Rolling around a lifetime on a name that spells my past
    Carried through the mile markers up towards some last laugh
    And if fools could only prosper, I'm afraid what they might say
    From a podium built on generations bleeding what they make"

    This whole verse speaks to the fact that a politician's name can dredge up so much slander and can make or break their path through politics. Even the history of your own family can affect your future.
    And "podium built on generations bleeding what they make"? Come on, that is so obviously a snark about taxes.



    The second verse is commentary on people who vote one way all the time without considering the actual candidates and what they stand for. "You were born into it, there's no shame if you drift" is basically what most people do. They are born into a family with specific political beliefs and they vote that way the rest of their lives.


    The third verse is pretty much about money being what makes the wheels of politics move. "There's ten dollars on the table, and a million up his sleeve" is more than likely referring to bribes and lobbyist backing of candidates.



    As for the rest I'm really not sure, given my analysis was done in the space of about 10 minutes. Maybe later I'll have a more complete context.
    shironoon July 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentx
    wafflecneon May 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti don't quite get the meaning of this song
    i really want to know
    i like the melody of this
    nwel20on May 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentseems to be singing about feeling insigificant, just one more person in his bloodline, didnt really get much more out of it that that its fairly hard to make sense of
    MrBaldyon May 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't figure out the meaning XD
    bear_hug20on May 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt is about being from aprestigious family and only having mediocre success; the feeling of alienation from his own family.
    bathosdrifton May 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's not a Conor Oberst song.
    Nik Freitas wrote it and it was released under "Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band", and I guess that it's just how it should be labeled here.
    munkhbaton March 16, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionIt's about trying to distinguish yourself from a given reputation -- in this case, trying to defy a family name. "Rolling around a lifetime on a name that spells my past..." Maybe you've been in a small town where everyone knows each other. 'Those are the Smiths. Smith, Sr. had a serious drinking problem. It ruined him and he wound up taking it out on his family." These kinds of rumors, true or not, begin to define a group or a family, and people tend to treat them out of this rumor. But it goes deeper than that. "Because here it comes, Watch them all jump right in, Tell me, how could you refuse to float with the rest of them? You were born into it, there's no shame if you drift, Down the bloodline." 'It wasn't just Smith, Sr. Smith, Sr.'s sister, father, wife's brother, oldest son, and cousin were all drunks, too.' And the important part: 'DON'T BE TOO SURPRISED IF SMITH, JR. WINDS UP A DRUNK HIMSELF.' Who could blame him?

    I wish it was that simple. Unfortunately for our singer here, it isn't simply a drinking problem as "two sheets to the wind" implies. "And if money's not a problem, I suggest you best believe, There's ten dollars on the table, and a million up his sleeve." Not a drinking problem. What's up his sleeve? What could make him feel like a million bucks? How about some heroin?

    The narrator reassures us, "Yes, it feels scary to be ordinary, In a world that don't know your name," but is that so bad? You can build your name. He was born with it. It's an expectation of other people, perhaps even including himself at this point, "It would not be weird if I just disappeared, Blowing my back out, trying to hope I wake."

    This anxiety is so pervasive that it even affects his our little Smith, Jr.'s relationships: "Cherry-pick my best believers and send them off with a kiss." Either by disappointing them by aligning himself to naysayers' expectations or simply being paranoid, he drives everyone who takes faith in him instead of the rumors surrounding his family name.

    And it's all justified. Because he can blame it on his bloodline. A vicious cycle perpetuated by belonging instead of breaking away.

    Just my interpretation. Thanks for reading.
    proudjesteron February 26, 2013   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