Every dollar counts
And every morning hurts
We mostly work to live
Until we live to work

She said, "You know, there's nowhere else to go."
But change in rows
It struck me that the two of us could run

Words away from cars
And all the stars in bars
Where a little bit of condensation means so much
And a little bit of change is all your little fingers touch

I said, "You know, there's nowhere else to go."
But change in rolls
It struck me that the two of us could run

Cause honey with you
Is the only honest way to go
And I could take two
But I really couldn't ever know
Honey with you
And a little battered radio
We could try

So lead my feet away
Cause all they do is stay
And I don't think your eyes
Have ever looked surprised

She said, "You know, there's nowhere left to go."
But with her fund
It struck me that the two of us could run

Cause honey with you
Is the only honest way to go
And I could take two
If I really couldn't ever know
Honey with you
And battered radio
We could try


Lyrics submitted by japobere

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  • +6
    General CommentTo me, this song is about running away from society itself.

    "Every dollar counts
    And every morning hurts
    We mostly work to live
    Until we live to work"
    As a person grows up, they're pushed to pursue not only a career, but a steady income. At first, it's because you need money for everything. Then, it's about getting money for everything.

    "She said, "You know, there's nowhere else to go."
    But change in roles
    It struck me that the two of us could run"
    Someone is saying that this is all life is: money. Then, he suddenly realizes that they don't have to live like that. They can get away from it and live a different life. They can pursue their dreams.

    "Worlds away from cars
    And all the stars and bars
    Where a little bit of condensation means so much
    And a little bit of change is all your little fingers touch"
    They believe they can live a simpler lifestyle, no celebrities, no bars. They're see the importance in things like water and stop taking life for granted, because they'll have no financial support.

    "Cause honey with you
    Is the only honest way to go
    And I could take two
    But I really couldn't ever know
    Honey with you
    And a little battered radio
    We could try

    So lead my feet away
    Cause all they do is stay
    And I don't think your eyes
    Have ever looked surprised"
    All we need is eachother and our music. Take the lead, because I'm not as prepared as I thought I was. But you are, and you're prepared for anything.

    "She said, "You know, there's nowhere left to go."
    But with her fund
    It struck me that the two of us could run"
    They've tried to run, it isn't working out as well as they'd hoped, but they're not giving up because they have eachother.


    To me, it's escaping to a better place (even if it's figuritive) with the one you love. Just my take on it.
    letsrunon November 19, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"But change in rows" should be "but changing roles"
    "worlds" instead of "words" away from cars
    cspancobraon January 09, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI think this song as a whole getting away from the normal course of a life. Which is growing up getting a job and getting sucked into the day to day. I think running isn't about eloping but trying to get off the grid completely away from everything that we end up having no choice about doing. When he sings "She said you know there's no place left to go" I think he's talking about everyone being so connected that even if someone wanted to disappear go off the grid it's not really that easy anymore. Which is why at the end of each chorus her says, "We could try!". I think the little battered radio would be both the means of existence=music and the only connection to the outside world. The album is called Contra I think most songs are aligned against something in some way.
    ercleidaon February 14, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song seems to me to be about the stunted realities that so many people are being forced into with the current economic conditions. Even if people are employed and may have "stable" jobs, most people "work to live" in jobs they don't like to the point that their growing careers end making them "live to work". The theme of "running" in the chorus and title seems to come from a dire need for freedom from the oppressive situations that we are placed in against our wills. As jfoxx mentioned above, the place he seems to be describing in the second verse seems to be Africa, "where a little bit of condensation means so much". While the idea of a more communal and simpler life away from "all those stars and bars" seems more beautiful to the vocalist, he also recognizes the lack of glamor inherent in this lifestyle, mentioning that "a little bit of change is all your little fingers touch". In other words, in the face of the cutthroat economic policies exercised by America and its largely white power structure, Ezra Koenig seems to be viewing life in Africa as a sort of escape. This less complicated life, based on more traditional and tribal values of family, sharing, and music appears to be "the only honest way to go". And while such a lifestyle (almost akin to communism or socialism in its abandonment of capitalist motivations) is often regarded as 'good in theory but not in practice', Koenig suggests that "we could try". With "you" (love), and "a battered radio" (music, no matter how rudimentary), life would again return to its most essential needs, without any of its unnecessary bullshit.
    The Tallest Manon June 11, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirst verse: explains that we become our jobs rather than thriving like we should

    2nd: I don't really know, maybe it's eloping

    3rd: Is probably a sexual reference to the "condensation" in cars when u have sex and little bit of change is the amount to pay for sex. or maybe not since this has to do with the last verse so..
    but definitely sex

    4th: same as 2nd

    5th: seems like trying to compromise optimism

    6th: looks like running away needs some more thought

    7th: Eloping is financially possible

    8th: maybe communication is really the problem instead of money

    poway112on January 12, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's "change in rolls", like when people keep a change jar in their house. The girl has a stash of money ("but with her fund") and the guy is talking about how they could take the money and either elope or just get away from their day to day lives for a while. The "battered radio" thing almost makes me think they're taking a road trip.
    The only line that trips me up is "I could take two but I really couldn't ever know"
    Anyone know what it means?
    loveAZon January 16, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think that by "take two," he means "think twice" about eloping. But no matter how long he thinks about it, he can't be sure that he's making the right decision. Besides, he doesn't want to waste time.
    GodSavethePreenon January 17, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCorrections from the booklet:

    "changing roles" instead of "change in rows/rolls"
    "worlds away from cars" instead of "words away"
    "'cause all they'll do is stay" instead of "'cause all they do is stay" (minor change, I know)
    "battin radio" instead of "battered" at the very end
    Christa426on February 04, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really think this song is about moving to Africa. He talks about leaving to a place where there are no cars, far from stars and bars (the US), where condensation means so much (clean drinking water). It could be somewhere else.. a 3rd world location though.
    The reason I thought Africa, was because I really think the last chorus he's saying "apartheid radio", even though it doesn't align with the lyrics in the booklet.
    jfoxxon February 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Worlds away from cars
    And all the styles and bars
    Where a little bit of competition means so much
    And a little bit of change is all your little fingers touch"
    ksquaredon January 31, 2011   Link

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