"Suburban War" as written by Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, William Butler, Tim Kingsbury, Richard R Parry and Jeremy Gara....
Let's go for a drive, see the town tonight
There's nothing to do but I don't mind when I'm with you

This town's so strange they built it to change
And while we sleep we know the streets get rearranged
My old friends, we were so different then
Before your war against the suburbs begin

Before it began

Now the music divides us into tribes
You grew your hair so I grew mine
You said the past won't rest
Until we jump the fence and leave it behind

My old friends, I can remember when
You cut your hair, I never saw you again
Now the cities we live in could be distant stars
And I searched for you in every passing car

The night's so long
Yeah the night's so long
I've been living in the shadows of your song
Living in the shadows of your song

In the suburbs I, I learned to drive
You told me we would never survive,
So grab your mother's keys, we leave tonight

But you started a war that we can't win
We keep erasing all the streets we grew up in
Now the music divides us into tribes
Choose your side, I'll choose my side

All my old friends they don't know me now
All my old friends are staring through me now
All my old friends they don't know me now
All my old friends they don't know me now
All my old friends, they


Lyrics submitted by Fatzers, edited by nukethun

"Suburban War" as written by Regine Chassagne Jeremy Gara

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Suburban War song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +7
    General CommentThis and The Suburbs are my favorite songs of the album.
    From my point of view, the whole album thaks about the grown up, the suburbs refers to their childhood, and each song its a chapter in life, check out the lyrics of each song in the right order, and perhaps you will agree with me.
    I think "Suburban War" its about choosing different paths in life and leaving the past behind, go away from the suburbs. In this song he went back to his old town, and without the people he used to know its like visiting a new strange place. They used to live in the suburbs together till the person he talks to in the song choose his/her own path and after that, evertone else do the same thing. The "cut of hair" means the way to go and the "grew of hair" its the time walking across that path. All the final paragraph could mean that he had walk away from his friends paths, and thats why they dont know him now.
    enriquedelayeurreaon July 28, 2010   Link
  • +6
    General CommentMy favourite off The Suburbs.
    mogssaion July 23, 2010   Link
  • +6
    General CommentThe end lyrics and large pounding drums is so powerful. "All my old friends they don't know me now. All my old friends are staring through me now." Amazing.

    DWAlmonteon August 03, 2010   Link
  • +6
    General Comment'You grew your hair so I grew mine'
    'You cut your hair, I never saw you again'
    That second line breaks my heart.


    Applewormon August 15, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General CommentFairly sure it's...

    "The night's so
    Yeah the night's so long"

    Brilliant, brilliant song.

    A great year for nostalgic melancholia with this and High Violet...
    breaveson July 24, 2010   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationI am not so used to writing interpretations in English, but I hope this will make sense. Along the same line as enriquedelayeurrea:

    The you and the I are two sides of the same person - or the same person in two different places depending on the choices he made when he was younger. One escaped the suburbs, and one chose the suburban path. The two meets up as the one that escaped visits his childhood suburb: He meets his surburban self. To be a bit more specific, though confusing, the suburban self is his younger self which is part of the the group of old friends who flirted with rebellion but never really went through with it.

    In this interpretation, the song is about how he tried to go through with his suburban war as one person ("you grew your hair so I grew mine"), but eventually had to leave a part of himself and his friends behind ("you cut your hair, I never saw you again").

    Is this too far fetched? (It may as well just be an old friend?).

    Another thing I have been wondering is whether it is actually a conversation where the you and the I change during the song.
    bernoulli01on August 06, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General CommentFirst minute or so...Smiths inspired?

    Take me out tonight where there music and there's people and the young and the light
    Driving in your car I never never want to go home because I haven't got one anymore...

    Try it out XD
    SynergisticEnergyeXchangeon August 10, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song becomes more powerful and poignant to me after every listen of the album. I had the leaked copy where this was track #9, whereas the vinyl has it as the second last track and it makes so much difference in placement.

    For me, the first part of the song is unbelievable. The chords, the ukulele and the slide guitar are so perfect. It also reminds me of a Fleetwood Mac song or songs way before.

    What makes it such a brilliant song is the 2nd part, which is almost a signature of Arcade Fire. The build up and incredible lyrics gives me chills. If I can see them live, this might be one of the most powerful moments ever in my live music experience.
    DWAlmonteon August 07, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationWhen kids grow up, they leave the suburbs, hence "the war on the suburbs"; also, urbanization is constantly trying to make the suburbs more like the cities, more technology, more transportation, more people, less personality. My town has recently begun building a new freeway and a new high-speed railway, and I can really understand what the singer means when he says his town is disappearing. I am leaving for college in the next two years, and my town is changing all around me already. I can't imagine what it will look like when I finally come back.

    And about the friends - they are childhood friends, the ones you said you would be friends forever with, but you grow up, and you lose touch. My friends and I all go to different high schools and we are too different now. We're growing apart. And this is what he means.

    Now that he's growing older, he sees that the drive to escape the suburbs is gone, and the suburbs seems like a much nicer place to live than the large, impersonal cities preferred by young people.
    IsoldeGSon March 25, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthe lyrics in this song are so powerful!
    "There's nothing to do but I don't mind when I'm with you"
    "You said the past won't rest until we jump the fence and leave it behind"
    "My old friends, I can remember when
    You cut your hair, I never saw you again
    Now the cities we live in could be distant stars
    And I searched for you in every passing car"

    i think it's about growing up in the suburbs and wanting to run away with someone close to him (like a girlfriend) because he might be fighting with his parents, the war, but then the person he's close to leaves him or the town(probably leaves the town because the lyrics "i search for you in every passing car" seems like he is looking for them because they moved), and he forgets about all his friends, and everyone else he cared about.
    Also this thought occurred to me while listening: the person close to him runs away without him, based on these lyrics "You cut your hair, I never saw you again"

    just my thoughts great song love the new album
    musicxon August 05, 2010   Link

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