"Breakneck Speed" as written by and Johnson Hook....
Breakneck speed
Tying up your hands
'Cause you're landing back on your feet
You know what I mean

Vowel change
I remember when our voices used to sound the same
Now we just translate

'Cause I'm still amazed you made it out alive
After what you did
Born on your feet, running
Forest fires underneath your bed

But it's good to be back
Good to be back
Good to be back

Spell it out
I always skip the words
'Cause all the pictures are so bright and loud
Better off than now

'Cause I'm still amazed you made it out alive
After what you did
Born on your feet, running
Forest fires underneath your bed

'Cause it's good to be back
Good to be back

Super fun
At the movies, drunk and young
Double knots that came undone

But the big bad years are gone
Yeah, the big bad years are done
And gone away
I remember when our voices used to sound the exact same
Now we just translate

'Cause I'm still amazed you made it out alive
After what you did
Born on your feet
Running, forest fires underneath your bed

But it's good to be back
Good to be back
Good to be back


Lyrics submitted by lxsdr, edited by P514sub

"Breakneck Speed" as written by Graham Fraser Wright David Thomas Monks

Lyrics © SONGS MUSIC PUBLISHING

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Breakneck Speed song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +1
    My InterpretationI can't help but think it's about someone the song writer knows who had a rough childhood and dispite going through some tough times has come out the otherside alright ie. "The big bad years are gone" and "It's good to be back". Lines like "born on your feet" seem to suggest this person was left to fend for themselves from an early age.

    I think drugs and drink were a problem for this person because of lyrics like "super fun at the movies, drunk and young" and "Cause I'm still amazed you made it out alive after what you did". This line is then followed by "running forest fires underneath your bed" which could be a reference to where drugs/drink were stashed.

    Seems like this sort of childhood/upbringing is happening more and more around the world where parents don't care what their kids are up to or do and then the kids are doing drugs/drinking schneaky, schneaky. Either way, I wouldn't want to be a kid in the 21st century.
    TheJoostieon August 01, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI agree with the interpretation that the singer is singing to someone who came through some bad experiences early in life, but "lived to tell about it."

    For me, the key lines are "born on your feet, running forest fires underneath your bed." Born on your feet suggests that the singer's friend had to grow up fast, and deal with things that most of us were, hopefully, sheltered from. Forest fires underneath you bed could mean something more specific, maybe even as extreme as sexual abuse or violence. But to me it suggests that, whatever the specific problem or torment was, how sad that even a place that is supposed to feel safe and warm like your own bed was not safe- did not feel safe- because the ever-present danger or torment was always that close.

    I think that is why this song is so moving- because all of us can relate to that safe place that we had, or wished we had, in our childhood, protected by our covers, our room, our house, our dog, and our parents. But many of us also remember the things that tormented and threatened us when we were children, and have memories of bringing those fears to bed with us, and trying to forget them in the darkness of the night. This connection makes the song real, and since the song seems to have a happy ending "you made it out alive," we can relate happily to that too.




    dcbaon November 12, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am so in love with this song. Just getting back to the way things were. Beautiful.
    Christa426on March 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYup pretty much my new favorite Tokyo Police Club song. Back to the beginning, when things were good.
    osentandon May 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti dont understand the "forest fires underneath your bed" part
    madiem929on June 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is about growing up with friends, and then things start to change. Like, when you're young, your voices tend to sound "the same" before puberty. If you want to take that literally anyways. And I guess him and his friend grew apart as the years went on.
    fatcatx2lon September 06, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt seems like this is about a someone who used to be a very good friend (our voices used to sound the same (they probably didn't literally sound the same but used the same sort of speech made the same sort of jokes because they were such great friends)) who was born into a perfectly good life with good friends (born on your feet) but then maybe went through some tough times likely to do with drugs and he sort of drifted apart from that person during that time but then eventually they came back (cant believe you made it out alive, and the big bad years are gone)
    arleymanon October 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me I apply it to a break up or the end of a friendship. Overall I see it as someone venting about how as they look bad on the relationship they realize that it was not good for them & that they are so happy to be out. The lines: vowel change
    I remember when our voices used to sound the same now we just translate means that at one time they were extremely close and related to each other, they could basically read each others mind and know what they were thinking without talking or knew what they were saying without explaining themselves; the kind of friends that can finish each others sentences. If you think about it grammatically, vowels are the key to a word; every word has a vowel, and if you take it away or change it, the entire meaning of that word is transformed. Therefore, now they no longer sound the same or understand each other, all they can do is try to translate (as if it's another language completely different from their own).
    I think the lines: breakneck speed tying up your hands cause you're landing back on your feet, further explains the person with which the speaker had the relationship. THe lines: born on your feet, running, forest fires underneath your bed further this thought and I think that it all works together to explain that this person is running from something, whether it be a bad family life, or a troubled past, the person was born on their feet running away from their past and their troubles. However, when they found the speaker and formed a relationship with him/her, they stopped running. They stopped moving their feet and they used their hands to tie 'double knots.' If you think about double knots, we make them to be sure that something doesnt come undone, so that it stays. So this person found a reason to stop running and stay; they wanted to stay so much that they tied double knots & make ties with the speaker, or in other words, they took refuge with the speaker and formed a deep relationship.
    Well, that may seem like a happy song for the person, but for the speaker, apparently their life was hell. He/She refers to this time as the 'bad years.' Most likely, the problems from the person they had a relationship with were thrown onto them, and life got tough. Maybe their friend/lover came from an abusive home and was abusive themselves, or had a drug problem, etc. Overall, the relationship was bad.
    Once the speaker is out of the relationship, they are extremely glad. They are back enjoying their youth & their life. "super fun at the movies, drunk and young double knots that came undone." THe ties between them and the other person are undone and now they are free. Not only that, but they keep repeating:but it's good to be back, good to be back, good to be back; meaning its so good to be themselves again, free from the hold of their unhealthy relationship.
    Finally, the speaker reflects and wonders how that person could get right back on their feet after such an unhealthy relationship... how could they not be devestated after losing the one person who made them feel safe etc. Also, after having done such terrible things, whether it be abuse to them, or intense drug use etc, how they could live with themselves, or how they didnt die making bad choices. But then they realize that they have always done it; they have always been on their feet running away from their problems & always will (from the lines: 'cause I'm still amazed you made it out alive after what you did. born on your feet, running forest fires underneath your bed). They come to the realization that they could never have changed that person, and they had to save themselves and get out. The lines:spell it outI always skip the words 'cause all the pictures are so bright and loud better off than now, explain the speakers confusion at the breakup or end of the friendship. Even though there were good memories (pictures so bright and loud), they have to skip over them and not think about them because if they do, they may get sucked back in. Thats the way most unhealthy relationships are. At the moment they are alone and weak and if they think about the good memories, they may think they were better off then. But, when they sit down and think about the pain and the problems, they realize its better to be back being their true self (but its good to be back, good to be back, etc...).
    sem106on December 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI like the think this song is about reuniting with an old friend that you've grown apart from. "I remember when our voices used to sound the same, now we just translate" meaning we used to completely understand each other, but now when they talk its not the same, they have to translate.
    evvvvvaon May 19, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about a guy and a girl who grow up together and try to maintain their friendship past puberty even though society says that they should be sexually attracted to each other and want to date. The singer points out that their voices used to sound the same (i.e. they probably both had high pitched kid voices before puberty) but now they "just translate", meaning that since puberty and growing up, everything has either romantic or sexual implications that they have to avoid for things to not be awkward. I don't think the line about being amazed at getting out alive has anything to do with trauma; rather, it's a humorous musing about how rough puberty is for everyone. "Forest fires underneath your bed" sounds like a reference to the sexual awakening that happens when you grow up and realize that boys don't have cooties anymore.
    zeeshineon January 19, 2015   Link

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