"Dead American Writers" as written by Richard Colburn, Gary Lightbody, Peter Buck, Scott Mccaughey, Garrett Lee, Iain Archer and T. Stewart....
Here's to every time that you rock a boat
Here's to every word that you ever wrote
There were clues but it was never clear
You've got to choose your own way out of here

I could say anything you need, anyone you knew,
Anything you see, anything you say,
Anything you need, anyone you knew, anything you
It would be this it would be this.

I've been waiting for the spark myself,
I've been scrambling in the dark for health
I have read your words a thousand times
All this spark but smashed up love and crime.

I could say anything you need, anyone you see
Anything you knew, anything you say
Anything you need, anyone you knew, anything you
It would be this, it would be this

I've been choking on the bones and tears.
You are the smoking gun that thrown the years
A broken heart won't get you far enough,
All beat up waiting through the roof

I could say anything you need, anyone you see,
Anything you knew, anything you say,
Anything you need, anyone you knew, anything you
It would be this, it would be this


Lyrics submitted by BetterOffWithoutYou

"Dead American Writers" as written by Gary Lightbody Richard Colburn

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Dead American Writers song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentSo can anybody tell me why this song is called dead american writers? Where the fuck are their names? :( Still it's a good song.
    Shonakon August 06, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song is fantastic! When I think about Dead American Writers (Hawthorne, Twain, Hughes, Thoreau, Fitzgerald, Salinger, Steinbeck, Morrison etc) their canonized works have in common is that they are all revolutionary social criticisms. They each put a mirror up to society and show us through humor, satire, irony and metaphor our follies. In Huck Finn, Mark Twain through Horatian satire attacks the institution of slavery and Christian hypocrisy through a lowly protagonist who in the end chooses to set out for Indian territory rather than become part of a society full of ignorance folly and greed “You've got to choose your own way out of here”. The book was and still is in some places banned, for various reasons because it “rocked the boat.” Steinbeck and Morrison do this through symbolic gestures as well. Each of these writers at one point or another has had their works banned by populations that didn’t like their social critiques.

    Let us consider Fitzgerald for a moment and his great American novel, The Great Gatsby. One can’t help to think of the valley of ashes which is supposed to represent the death of the American dream. Wilson who represents the Working class American male is “waiting for a spark” and struggling just to make ends meat while the wealthy are indulging in greed and idleness. This is a classic theme of American Modernity in literature. In the end of the novel Nick, our protagonist in the book certainly leaves the reader with a final image of Gatsby who represents the American dream as “smashed up love and crime.”

    Still–the chorus is a mystery to me. I would love to hear some opinions.
    Mercury21on March 03, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, it also seems to be about an aspiring writer who looks up to dead American writers. "I've been waiting for the spark myself" is like he is saying he is waiting for the spark of a really great idea. And the chourus is like he is saying that as a fan of the writers, he knows everything about them, every word of every book, everything about their lives, and the whole song shows this. I heard this song by chance on Waterloo Road, and I've downloaded it and had it on repeat since, it's absolutely beautiful. And it makes me want to read The Great Gatsy yet again =D
    redbedon June 25, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is what i got for the last part:


    I've been choking on the bones and tears
    You are the smoking gun that thrown the years
    A broken heart won't get you far enough
    I'll be up waiting through the tire and rough
    disasterbuttonon July 12, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI interpreted it as, "You are the smoking gun, the throne, the years."
    InkFeatheron August 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentin the album's booklet with lyrics it's:
    "you are the smoking gun, the throne, the years"
    lovesaturdayon February 14, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song, one of my favourites
    Chocolate42on April 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationGoing to agree with an aspiring writer's dream; however, I feel like the line 'A broken heart won't get you far enough' is referring to the idea that some of the great writers (Fitzgerald in particular) wrote their best works whilst horridly in love rather than in heartbreak.

    Couldn't be sure, but.
    Ravecaton October 06, 2013   Link

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