"Vaporize" as written by and James Mercer Brian Joseph Burton....
What amounts to a dream anymore?
A crude device; a veil on our eyes
A simple plan we'd be different from the rest
And never resign to a typical life

Common fears start to multiply
We realize, we're paralyzed
Where'd it go, all that precious time?
Did we even try to stem the tide?

Why should we waste it on
Buying into the same old lies?
The longer we wait around
The faster the years go by

It's not too late
To feel a little more alive
Make our escape
Before we start to vaporize

Doubtless, we've been through this
So if you want to follow me you should know
I was lost then and I am lost now
And I doubt I'll ever know which way to go


Lyrics submitted by Konversekid

"Vaporize" as written by James Mercer Brian Burton

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Vaporize song meanings
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  • +3
    My InterpretationThis song touched my heart in more ways than one. Like dundle, I wasn't sure what it meant when I first heard it. This band, Broken Bells, tends to make songs in which the lyrics are difficult to understand. But when I looked up the lyrics and read them, I knew right away what it was about.

    You see, as we get older, out lives fly by faster. That's a fact. When you're one year old, a year is your whole life. When you turn two, a year is only half your life. So by the time you reach your fifties, a year is merely a fiftieth of your life, meaning that each year seems like less than the last. That's why our childhood seems so much longer than our adulthood. Doing the math, it's safe to say that your middle-ages will actually feel like your twenties (I think).

    There's also the fact that whenever we experience moments in our life that are particularly powerful, emotional, special, or sentimental, our brain will later replay that moment in our minds over and over, making it seem longer. As kids, we have many more novel experiences: we first walk, we first talk, we have our first kiss, et cetera. This is kind of depressing, because once we get old, death will only come nearer faster.

    So the point is that this song is about breaking away from the routine to do something incredible that will make our lives seem longer. Watching TV, playing video games, and doing the same thing day after day will make things go too fast, and waste away our lives.

    Let me break it down:

    What amounts to a dream anymore?
    A crude device; a veil on our eyes

    -It seems all we desire for (what a dream amounts to) is iPhones, TV, video games (crude devices), and to have "successful," typical lives with jobs that mean the same thing every day, which distract us from our real dreams (our eyes have been directed towards a different "dream").

    A simple plan we'd be different from the rest
    And never resign to a typical life

    -We should plan to be different and do different and new things, and to NOT be typical.

    Common fears start to multiply
    We realize, we're paralyzed

    The common fears are fears that the singer wasted his life away, and did nothing important or meaningful; that he was too caught up in the momentum of a typical society (paralyzed), and is finally realizing it.

    Where'd it go, all that precious time?
    Did we even try to stem the tide?

    -Obviously, he's wondering how is life went by so quickly, and asking himself if he even tried to make it meaningful.

    Why should we waste it on
    Buying into the same old lies?

    -Why should we waste our lives being typical (buying into the lies).

    The longer we wait around
    The faster the years go by

    -This is where I realized what the song is about. This directly references what I said about how each year goes by quicker and quicker.

    It's not too late
    To feel a little more alive
    Make our escape
    Before we start to vaporize

    -The signer knows it's not to late to do something to make him feel alive. It's not too late to escape from the typical life before he dies (vaporizes). Hence the title of the song. Vaporize = die.

    Doubtless, we've been through this
    So if you want to follow me you should know
    I was lost then and I am lost now
    And I doubt I'll ever know which way to go

    -He's not sure of he's made the right choices in life. He has lead a typical life and he's telling the audience not to do what he did, because it made him lost.



    Moral: Go do something with your life before it's too late. Every moment you spend doing something amazing will make you live longer, and every moment you spend cooped up in an office or doing some typical mindless thing, the shorter you will live. Go climb a mountain, face your fears, meet a nice girl (or guy) if you haven't already. Jump off a cliff, flirt with death, whatever you can to live longer and feel alive!

    Here's a YouTube video by Vsuace that explains this whole life thing a lot better than I did. I recommend you check out some of his other videos as well:

    youtube.com/…
    Decyphereron September 09, 2012   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThis song seems to be about settling into a mundane and "Typical Life". It starts with the realization that our dreams are unrealistic and that they are so fantastic that the majority of people fail trying to follow them, and then have to fall back on a fairly regular life. It then goes on to explain the confusion of how one failed at following there dreams and how they are seemingly powerless to fulfill them now.

    "Why should we waste it on
    Buying into the same old lies?"

    Is conveying that we shouldn't try and live like everyone else, and that we should try and carve our own more exciting path, which is reiterated in the next verse.

    The final verse is just presenting the confusion around what we should do with our lives. This kind of ties the song together by expressing that we get confused or lost following our dreams and then settle into doing what everyone else is.

    Konversekidon March 01, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis a great song! To me, the lyrics are speaking about getting older and realizing that your life is not what you once thought it would be. You also begin to realize that all the things you once thought were true, are actually not true at all, and with each day, you know less.

    We should embrace this realization and use it to make a difference, before it's too late. We should forget about those past dreams and beliefs, which we know deep-down to be useless lies. Approach each day with an open mind, do some self-reflection, and live-out the rest of our lives doing what truly makes us happy.

    wahnkeron June 18, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLove this song. Seems to be about two people that didn't want to be the typical married couple that live boring lives. They always said they'd be different, but they come to realize the years have passed them by and they've yet to do anything extraodinary. That's just my interpretation. Beautiful song.
    brisweet91on January 20, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with birsweet91
    I think It's about either a married couple or just some friends or something who are looking back on their lives and realizing that they have fallen into the same old "typical life" that they vowed to never "resign" to
    They had a plan to be different, but then couldn't get past all of their fears and the obstacles in front of them.
    They let the years go by without acting on their original plans, but now they realize that "the longer we wait around the faster the years go by" and if they continue to do nothing they will die without realizing any of their dreams.
    "It's not too late to feel a little more alive" If they can get past their fear they can "make an escape" from their mundane life. But he acknowledges at the end that it is scary to take the first steps since he does not know what will happen now any more than he did all those years before.
    doogster18on May 11, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI wasn't sure what this was about until I read the lyrics, because I mis-heard a lot. But it does indeed seem to be about how life is mundane and you conform when you don't think you will. I understand it because I was unusual as a child and did more interesting things and now I'm older I've become lazy and don't as much. I want to feel a little more alive!
    dundleon October 21, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationits never too late to live your dream.
    replicant212on April 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe lyrics i figured out are a little bit different:

    What amounts to a dream anymore?
    A cruel device
    A villain arrives
    A simple plan,
    We’d be different from the rest
    And never resign to a typical life

    Common fears start to multiply
    We realize we’re paralyzed.
    Where’d it go?
    All that precious time.
    Did we even try?
    To stem the tide.

    Why should we waste it on .
    Buying into the same old lies?
    The longer we wait around
    The faster the years go by.
    It’s not too late
    To feel a little more alive
    Make our escape.
    Before we start to vaporize

    Doubtless
    We’ve been through this.
    So if you want to follow me.
    You should know.
    I was lost then
    And I’m lost now.
    And I doubt I’ll ever know which way to go.
    relgillgirlon January 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is wonderful.
    Nutationon March 17, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is either about or totally embodies the novel 1984. E-mail me or comment back with questions as to why because I don't feel like explaining right now, it seems there are too many allusions to the events that transpire in the book for it to be coincidence.
    kingsandqueensoftheleonstoneageon April 01, 2011   Link

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