"Benson Hedges" as written by and Nathaniel Joseph/dost Ruess....
Holy ghosts,
When do you come out to play?
'Cause if the Lord is gonna find me,
He'd better start looking today.

Last week my baby hit the slopes.
I spent the weekend setting traps in the road.
I should have been cutting out my eyelids,
You'll never guess what baby did when she got home.

Na na na na
Now at least the birds are singing to me,
But what they're trying to say,
I don't know.

(you're beautiful)
I think they come from the cold
(for all your big mistakes)
I think they come from the cold
(you stayed the same)
To the city that don't snow.

So I drove until we both broke down.
I was stranded in a border town
Believing the motel TV would bring me to safety,
But between MTV and Mr. O'Reilly
I've come to find, that I can't be defined
So I turned it off, now convinced I would cross
Took one last look at the gold
As it shattered on a mountaintop

Now I believe the sun, it's like a symphony.
But what it's trying to play,
I don't know.

(you're beautiful)
I think it's come for the cold.
(for all your big mistakes)
I think it's come for the cold.
(you stayed the same)
To the city that don't snow.

C'mon, Holy ghosts
When do you come out to play?
'Cause if the Lord is gonna find me,
He'd better start looking today.

So I can rise with the river
We all float before we sink
So pray for satellites,
Pray for courtesy
And pray that it can climb mountains to me!
I say goodbye to the canyon.
I will set sail to the streets
Where I don't care to be forgiven
I want to be forgotten.
I don't care to be forgiven
When Lord I only want to be forgotten!

Now I receive a call from my family
And what they started to say
Brought me home.

(you're beautiful)
They think I'm beautiful
(for all your big mistakes)
They think I'm beautiful
(you're beautiful)
For all my big mistakes.


Lyrics submitted by SomthinCorporat, edited by adngai

"Benson Hedges" as written by Andrew Dost Nate Ruess

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Benson Hedges song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +3
    Song MeaningI think the song is about looking for meaning in all the wrong places. In the opening line, "if the Lord is gonna find me he better start looking today" is a backwards. You find the Lord, he doesn't find you. The narrator is just sitting back and waiting for meaning to find him instead of seeking it.

    The line "Believing the motel TV would bring me to safety, But between MTV and Mr. O'Reilly I've come to find, that I can't be defined" is also pretty messed up if you think about it. He's placing his hopes on a motel TV, and then he watches two of the most vapid things ever placed on television (MTV and Bill O'Reilly) and when those don't draw him in he gives up and decides that no one will ever understand him.

    The other line I'm basing this on is when he's talking about the birds and says "I think they come for the cold." Birds don't come for the cold, the fly away from the cold. The line makes no sense until he says the same thing about the sun. Well the sun kind of does come for the cold, in a sense. The sun comes when you're at your coldest to warm you up. Which is a very self centered way of explaining the sun's orbit. Going back, that means the narrator thinks that the birds came "for the cold," i.e. they came to help the narrator when he was at his coldest. But birds will never do that, because they're cold themselves. The narrator is self-centered and expects others to go out of their way to help him because he's unwilling to help himself.

    This interpretation makes for a very different reading of the last section of the song, "They think I'm beautiful for all my big mistakes." It's a very beautiful sentiment, but at the same time it's unreasonable to hope for. I think just like in All the Pretty Girls and At Least I'm Not As Sad, we're not meant to take the narrator at face value. No one will ever love us for all our worst qualities. We have to take it upon ourselves to become better people.
    Radical3on January 09, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWell here's what I got from this song (one of my favorites-btw) feel free to disagree:

    Holy ghosts,
    When do you come out to play?
    'Cause if the Lord is gonna find me,
    He'd better start looking today.

    -Nate's not big on religion, but he lives in a place where a lot of people are. People who claim to have been "found by Jesus." Nate's planning on leaving so he's joking that if he is going to be "found" the Lord needs to start looking soon, because he's about to leave

    Last week my baby hit the slopes.
    I spent the weekend setting traps in the road.
    I should have been cutting out my eyelids,
    you'll never guess what baby did when she got home.

    -Nate's girlfriend (who i believe lived in NYC at the time) went skiing over the weekend, something fun and exciting whereas in Arizona, where Nate lives, there's not really anything fun to do. Instead he's planning his move to NYC which, because it's so far away requires several stops or "traps." The second two lines are about how boring Nate's life is compared with his girlfriend who did something else exciting when she got back from skiing.

    So I drove until we both broke down.
    -both him and the car

    I was stranded in a border town
    believing the motel TV would bring me to safety,
    but between MTV and Mr. O'Reilly
    I've come to find, that I can't be defined
    so I turned it off, now convinced I would cross
    Took one last look at the gold
    as it shattered on a mountaintop

    -at a motel in the middle of nowhere he turned on the tv hoping to find something comforting but found only things like MTV (reality shows I imagine) and the O'Reilly factor which, although they both have huge groups of fans, Nate doesn't have any interest in them and now any last doubts he had about leaving Arizona for NYC have vanished and he looks out at the mountains (Appalachians?) and sees the sun set or shatter over one of them.



    -Now any last thought that he might not want to make the move
    Schibrion December 07, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI love the imagery in this song. I always picture driving around in a shitty old van on a highway somewhere through the desert.

    This is just me speculating but the aforementioned "border town" might be Benson, Arizona. It's a tiny town in the middle of nowhere and there's a lot of run down motels...it sort of fits with the song.

    Nate has said the title of this song is a reference to a character in The Baxter, but I think it could be both.
    dustonthedashon October 07, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentnot entirely sure, but nate is a democrat, and he's said in "oceans" that he doesn't believe in god, also in his line here "I don't care to be forgiven, i just want to be forgotten", so i feel this song may be directed towards christians and republicans "holy ghost, when will you come out to play"; "mr. o'reilly"- bill o'reilly of fox news. i believe he wants people to stop trying to save him or bring him to the straight and narrow, and that people should love us for who we are, not who we should be, as he says in the last stanzas: "
    Now I receive a call from my family
    and what they started to say
    brought me home.

    (you're beautiful)
    They think I'm beautiful
    (for all your big mistakes)
    They think I'm beautiful
    (you're beautiful)
    for all my big mistakes. "
    thefredwasfredon June 25, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about regret and insecurity, and coming to realize that your failures and mistakes don't matter in the long run.

    The speaker starts by expressing his uncertainty with what he should do, and his feelings that he isn't understood or represented ("I've come to find that I can't be defined"). He's not sure what the world is trying to tell him ("Now at least the birds are singing to me / But what they're trying to say, I don't know" and "Now I believe the sun is like a symphony / But what it's trying to play, I don't know").

    Throughout, his own uncertainty is overpowering the voice of those who care about him ("You're beautiful for all your big mistakes" in the background of "I think it's come from the cold") trying to tell him that it all doesn't matter. Ultimately, just after he's given up ("We all float before we sink" ; "I don't care to be forgiven, I want to be forgotten"), he "receives a call from [his] family / and what they started to say brought [him] home", and he finally realizes that "They think [he's] beautiful for all [his] big mistakes."
    Xiconon April 14, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIsn't it "I think it's comfort in cold"?
    shrodeson July 26, 2009   Link

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