Hey living thing, buy me a drink
and drive me out to the airport
give me two hundred dollars and say
the best thing anyone's ever said

if you steal every word
from your grandmother's purse
and lay them out on the dash board
we'll be fine...
we'll be fine.

Hey living thing, if you're turning in
I'll wake you when something changes
then I'll ring all the bells again
and you'll spill champagne in my shoes

We'll make rose-coloured smoke
from bad horoscopes,
confetti from news pages
and you'll be mine...
you'll be mine.

and the same heart attack
will keep feeding back
right under the street
skipping every other beat

(Hey living thing, let me in to the world you live in)

Hey living thing, you've waited for it
for billions counting backwards
like a dog on a fire escape,
like a bird in a basement

Now release your breath from its paper bag
and no matter what you hear
if green lights should rain down tonight
it means tomorrow's another year

The same heart attack
will keep feeding back
right under the street
skipping every other beat

Hey living thing, you're breathing again
you're breathing again

Hey living thing, you're breathing again
you're breathing again

Hey living thing, you're breathing again
you're breathing again


Lyrics submitted by ohkamikaze

Bird in a Basement song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentA call out for help, asking for some 'living thing' to energise the narrator.

    'Hey living thing, buy me a drink, and drive me out to the airport. Give me 200 dollars and say the best thing anyone's ever said.'

    The 'best thing' is along the lines of 'get out of here; make something of your life'. It goes both ways also, with the narrator promising the other that he will wake them and 'ring all the bells'.

    This idea of helping lift another up out of the standard life is upheld by the verse about a dog on a fire escape, a bird in a basement. This is, symbolically, what each of the characters in this song are like in their lives.

    I think this one is a very powerful, positive reflection on what 'good love' is.
    Alzaon March 08, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAn interview in Jmag of Paul Dempsey: "It's about words as a powerful means of escape and renewal. The somewhat whimsical idea that, if somebody gave you a small wad of cash and a plane ticket and toppped it off by saying the greatest thing you've ever heard in your entire life, then that would be all you'd need to go and live happily ever after. The 'grandmother's purse' is a childhood memory, the secret repository from which springs all things good and mysterious in the world. I thought that addressing someone as 'living thing' was funny, your name or species doesn't matter, just the fact that you're somehow miraculously alive."
    pavlovaon January 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti really don't know what this song is about. would anyone like to shed some light on the matter??
    SecretScumon December 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn Sydney, Paul dedicated this one to his grandmother - to whom it seems there's a reference in the song, if that gives you something to start with.
    satori-birdyon January 28, 2010   Link

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