"American Slang" as written by and Brian Fallon....
Look what you started,
I seem to be coming out of my skin
Look what you've forgotten here
The bandages just don't keep me in

And when it was over, I woke up alone

And they cut me to ribbons and taught me to drive
I got your name tattooed inside of my arm
I called for my father but my father had died
While you told me fortunes, in American Slang

Look at the damage,
The fortunes came for the richer men.
While we're left with gallows,
Waiting for us liars to come down and hang.

And when it was over, I woke up alone

And they cut me to ribbons and taught me to drive
I got your name tattooed inside of my arm
I called for my father but my father had died
While you told me fortunes, in American Slang

And here's where we died that time last year,
And here's where the angels and devils meet.
And you can dance with the queen if you need,
And she will always keep your cards
Close to her heart ooh
So close to her heart before they tear you apart

When they cut me to ribbons and taught me to drive
I got your name tattooed inside of my arm
And I called for my father but my father had died
I called for my father but my father had died
While you told me fortunes, in American Slang
You told me fortunes, in American Slang


Lyrics submitted by eltroyo11

"American Slang" as written by Brian Fallon

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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American Slang song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThere is an acoustic version performed by Brian Fallon only ... youtube.com/… ... You hear the pain in his voice and with every note he play ... He is a gift for our generatrion
    killingcharlemagneon July 17, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSmitZy: I know what your talking about. I thought it was near impossible that this CD would be as good as the others, and whilst I am a fan thru and thru, I was prepared for some mediocre release. But now, dare I dream the near impossible?

    Boy, I m excited. :)
    Beamson May 02, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThere are no words for this song. It is brilliant.
    manprettys_pantieson June 09, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI hear this song as about his father. He opens the song by addressing him directly: "look what you started" referring to himself
    "look what you've forgotten here" - his father has left him

    "I called for my father, but my father had died" This is such a powerful line. It really moves me. His father is not dead, but he is left to feel that way because, instinctually, he calls out for him, but he is not there. On Handwritten, in the song "Keepsake", Brian also addresses his father, continuing the theme of death: He is "just sniffing out blood; just a little taste of where I came from" Brian is obviously referring to his father in Keepsake, and again uses language suggesting death: "At the bottom of this river, where I put you down to lay, so I could live with it". It wasn't until I heard Gaslight follow American Slang with Keepsake at a show this year that I truly heard American Slang as a song that is about his father.

    I believe the queen to whom Brian refers is his mother. I also think that she is the one telling him "fortunes" to make him feel better, as he cries out in pain for his father.

    "Here's where we died that time last year" Either a pain experienced by Brian and his mother, or another reference to his father's departure as his death.
    "where the angels and devils meet" (His mother and father)
    "and you can dance with the queen if you need" Addressing his father, I'm not sure why he refers to dancing, perhaps a reference to the manner in which he departs"

    Here is my most speculative line interpretation:
    "she will always keep your cards so close to her heart, before they tear you apart" His father may try to send cards, but they are not a legitimate attempt to reconnect. Brian's mother protects him by keeping the cards away from him, "close to her heart" seems to be a reference to the intense emotional burden she shoulders in keeping the cards, as well as a subtle reference to poker players, playing their cards "close to their vest". Brian's mother is attempting to protect him, "before they tear you apart".

    Overall, a great song, and very emotional.
    fatbenchon May 27, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song cant wait to the rest of this album.
    unsponseredon March 25, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh my goooodddd..... this is so good!
    youngshieldson March 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhere are all the posts? that song was great at first i didnt like the guituar much but after hearing it a couple of times its great quite powerful aswell you can clearly picture things from it

    i loved that first part right at the start before the guituar aswell a great build up

    after 59 sound i thought it nearly impossible to make a better album but now im wondering
    SmitZyon April 20, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOk, I've been a huge Gaslight fan since Sink or Swim. I like this song but I think the majority of the album is really disappointing. And it seems like I'm the only one who thinks so...
    Like_A_Breathon June 20, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song is about being introduced to Music. Like the first time you hear the into on "Layla" or when you hear Born to Run, or even Teenage Wasteland for the first time and you realize that there's a new world out there and that you've been missing out on it for a long time. It feels like your exploding out of your skin.
    brick2.0on November 28, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningIve got the meaning.:::::
    Look what you started, (a girl just broke up with him)
    I seem to be coming out of my skin (he cant stand the pain)
    Look what you've forgotten here (she forgot something..guessing his heart)
    The bandages just don't keep me in (he has to be doing something to not think of her)

    And when it was over, I woke up alone (he woke up and she was gone)


    And they cut me to ribbons and taught me to drive( she cut him up, and teaching builds you back up)
    I got your name tattooed inside of my arm (so he could see it and think of her whenever. [a bad move on his part])
    I called for my father but my father had died (he called for his fathers help but he was dead)
    While you told me fortunes, in American Slang (she told him it would b ok.)

    Look at the damage, (she destroyed him)
    the fortunes came for the richer men.(she left him for someone with more money)
    while we're left with gallows, (a thing to kill yourself with)
    waiting for us liars to come down and hang. (im guessing she left because he lied about something.)
    (what i said before)
    And when it was over, I woke up alone

    And they cut me to ribbons and taught me to drive
    I got your name tattooed inside of my arm
    I called for my father but my father had died
    while you told me fortunes, in American Slang

    And here's where we died that time last year, (when the relationship died)
    And here's where the angels and devils meet. (when he and the new Boyfriend meet)
    And you can dance with the queen if you need, (get help from someone)
    And she will always keep your cards(think of her)
    Close to her heart oooh(think of her)
    So close to her heart before they tear you apart(turn on her)
    (all the same)
    when they cut me to ribbons and taught me to drive
    I got your name tattooed inside of my arm
    And I called for my father but my father had died
    I called for my father but my father had died
    while you told me fortunes, in American Slang
    You told me fortunes, in American Slang
    zebberon July 20, 2011   Link

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