"I Drive the Hearse" as written by and Steven John Wilson....
When this freedom stains my coat
With the winter in my throat
When I'm lost I dig the dirt
When I fall I drive the hearse

And silence is another way
Of saying what I wanna say
And lying is another way
Of hoping it will go away
And you were always my mistake

Given time I fix the roof
Given cash I speak the truth

And silence is another way
Of saying what I wanna say
And lying is another way
Of hoping it will go away
And you were always my mistake

When I'm down I drive the hearse

When this boredom wears me out
Then the sky begins to cloud
Sleeping with my ball and chain
When she cries I take the blame

And pride is just another way
Of trying to live with my mistakes
Denial is a better way
Of getting through another day
And silence is another way
Of saying what I wanna say
And lying is another way
Of hoping it will go away
And you we're always my mistake

When I'm down I drive the hearse


Lyrics submitted by CoyoteLongshot

"I Drive the Hearse" as written by Gavin Richard Harrison Colin Edwin Balch

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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I Drive the Hearse song meanings
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25 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentAbsolutely about a man cheating on his wife/gf. The freedom that stains his coat(skin, he feels it all over himself), is her trust. Driving the hearse means he is the one that's in control of the relationship falling to pieces. He feels guilty for cheating, he wants to tell her but can't. He hopes the mistake he's made, will just somehow go away. Not about murder or suicide, unless you use those words as metaphors for killing the relationship.
    satanaesinagogaon January 17, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis is a tough one to figure out - I think this song is much more personal for SW. It does have the recurring themes of reflecting on a love that had gone bad (like in a number of his other songs). This song is the closer to the 14-song cycle where SW has shown us all these traumatic "incidents" both personal and otherwise. I see "Drive the Hearse" as a metaphor for SW's songwriting - when he's feeling down, he writes these songs about these twisted things he sees, and he "Drives the Hearse" - with these stories about death and tragedy in tow (also ties into the song "the Incident", where "dead souls . . . hitch a ride a while"). Maybe stretching a bit, but it fits for me . . .

    BigRed97on September 20, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis is about a failing relationship. Can relate to these pretty hard now.

    Chrissalixon October 21, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"When this freedom stains my coat
    With the winter in my throat
    When I'm lost I dig the dirt
    When I fall I drive the hearse"

    Makes me think of a man who goes out to walk, even in the rain, to escape from his unhappy relationship. Maybe the freedom mentioned is rain.. and is better as far as he is concerned than the warm prison of his house. "when I'm lost I dig the dirt" ... gardening perhaps?

    maybe the "hearse" is one of those horribly massive cars people seem to get because they're sensible and good for herding kids around.

    "Silence is another way
    Of saying what I want to say
    Lying is another way
    Of hoping it will go away
    You were always my mistake"

    The man has given up even arguing with his wife anymore. He just shuts up and tries to put up with it. Maybe he only married her because he didn't think he could find anyone better?

    "Sleeping with my ball and chain
    When she cries I take the blame"

    The first line makes me think of them sleeping together at night. He feels tied to this woman he doesn't love any more and the second line... perhaps its just my observations, but women always seem to get more pity in these kind of situations. Maybe it's because women are more vocal about problems than men. But this man is hurting and upset as well... but he gets blamed for the shortcomings in their relationship.

    "Pride is just another way
    Of trying to live with my mistakes
    Denial is a better way
    Of getting through another day"

    The mistake being marrying this woman, or not talking soon enough about how it isn't working? Pride because his life is seemingly perfect.. nice house, nice job, house, car, kids, wife etc...?



    This song makes me very sad. If my father was able to express his emotions better I suspect his outpouring would be along these lines.




    kiiabbyon September 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think kiiabbi pretty much got it right. I myself was thinking about something like that. good job, man.
    sirxanderon September 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNot sure why no one said this, but "When I'm lost I dig the dirt" probably refers to digging a grave, no?
    Oggranakon October 18, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe coat in the opening verse could be the same coat in "Time Flies" and, as stated in Time Flies how "The Coat You Wore to Alton Towers is still the way I see you now" - young, beautiful, optimistic. Now the coat is stained with life and we are all "driving our own hearses" because we may as well be dead if we are not enjoying the one and only life we have here on Earth.
    DTFANIAMon December 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJeez. What could these lyrics mean?
    Anilandon September 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, I'm not sure they're entirely correct, either... I'll be certain in a few weeks. >_>
    CoyoteLongshoton September 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSounds very much like the protagonist is in a really unhappy relationship/marriage that for some reason he can't escape from, so he drinks and pretends he's ok.
    Yaridovichon September 07, 2009   Link

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