"Desire Lines" as written by and Bradford Cox Lockett Pundt....
When you were young
And your excitement showed
But as time goes by,
Is it outgrown?
Is that the way things go?
Forever reaching for the gold
Forever fades black
And comes up cold

Walking free.
Come with me.
Far away.
Walking free.
Come with me.
Far away.

When you were young,
You never knew which way you'd go
What it was once grace now undertows

Well everyday do what you can
And if you let them turn you 'round
Whatever goes up must come down

Walking free.
Come with me.
Far away.
Walking free.
Come with me.
Far away.

Lyrics submitted by rooney131

"Desire Lines" as written by Lockett Pundt Bradford Cox


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Desire Lines song meanings
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  • +8
    Lyric CorrectionStraight from the liner notes:

    When you were young, and your excitement showed...
    But as time goes by, is it outgrown?

    Is that the way things go? Forever reaching for the gold.
    Forever fades black and comes up cold.

    Walking free. Come with me. Far away. Everyday.

    When you were young, you never knew which way
    you'd go. What once was grace now undertows.

    "Well everyday do what you can, and if you let them
    turn you 'round - whatever goes up must come down"

    Walking free. Come with me. Far away. Everyday.
    e8ghtmileshighon October 11, 2010   Link
  • +5
    Song MeaningI think this song is mostly about how desire, and the subsequent fulfillment of that desire, can just make you desire more. "When you were young,and your excitement showed,but as time goes by,does it outgrow. Is that the way things go? Forever reaching for the goal"

    It's a cycle (desire lines), that he wants to free you from: "walking free,come with me" It sounds very similar to Buddhist philosophy.
    airron14on October 11, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthe tune has a timeless quality to it. instant classic.
    mrkoolon September 25, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOne of my favourites from Halcyon Digest.
    DrakelikesNachoson September 24, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI like the instrumentals to finish off the song. You could get lost in it. I'm gonna make sure to include this on a playlist for my next road trip. Seems like a perfect fit while driving at night. I just found out about these guys a few days ago; they were on the Conan O'Brien show playing Helicopter.
    Franny96on December 05, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is a very beautiful addition to Deerhunter's already rich thoughtful melodic stuff...

    to me it talks about the dichotomy of existence...as children, finding joy was simple because you trusted your life to others (your parents) as we become adults we search through all kinds of ways to fill the void the develops as the complete and utter trustful dependence on others shifts into a reliance on ourselves.

    we try to fill these voids with a self salvation of sorts- work, family, friends, sex, drugs, booze...."whatever goes up must come down" ...indicates the transient nature and non-dependable nature of these dependencies.

    "Walking free. Come with me. Far away. Everyday."---Walk with Christ to the Christian is a teneat of old Pauline Christianity to leave dependence to the intransient love of God and dependence on Him to be free...something people in stages of Christian faith growth have firm understanding of.

    Of course Buddhist philosophy as one poster already alluded to can also be a route to selfless dependence on the eternal rather than the temporal, earthly fillers of our search for completeness.

    This song says look to where we were when we were content and rich and walk with Him or him in the road to returning to complete freedom and contentment.

    falbriton October 12, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning"en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…" as a possible hint to the precise meaning/intent he had for this song.
    SeHablaBlahBlahon February 12, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThese lyrics should be updated to what e8ghtmileshigh put down, they sound much better, and liner notes are pretty authoritative. I like the link from SeHablaBlahBlah, it brings about something of a new way to perceive the song. In fact it kind of brings about the distinct possibility that it's praising the following of desires instead of being stuck in an endless cycle of "reaching for the gold."

    For what if "when you were young, and your excitement showed..." is a good thing. But what if this excitement and matter of course that we followed with reckless abandon was abandoned (like say abandoning the use of a desire line (desire path)) even though it is the best (quickest) path. Then when you grow up, or "as time goes by," you stop following that path, or posed as a question: "is it outgrown?"

    "Is that the way things go?" Is it really the best thing we can think of as adults to give away our passion and excitement to reach for that promotion, to be "forever reaching for the gold?" An entire life wasting away not for our passions but for our social existence, until we come to the end of our life when "forever fades black," and it ends up we have nothing to show for it, or it all "comes up cold."

    The chorus is our way to escape this, to be "walking free", not on the carefully planned and paved pathways of our society, but on the desire lines of our instinct, those paths we carve naturally which are always so much more efficient and useful. To "walk with me," or follow the people who carve out these desire lines, "far away" from these fake societies we build, and not just on the weekends in between work, but "everyday."

    Why do we abandon this in the first place? Maybe because "when [we] were young, [we] never knew which way
    [we'd] go." We began relying on others to show us the way, we needed their kindness to show us what to do with our lives. And now "what once was grace now undertows." It used to be a help, now their direction just drags us down away from what we truly feel called to do, what we truly desire.

    So what should we take from this? "'Well everyday do what you can, and if you let them
    turn you 'round - whatever goes up must come down'" Their markets will crash, their societies will crumble, their cities will fall, and their people will revolt. It may come up and be a glorious empire, but it will surely come down.

    Granted on account of the minimalistic nature of the lyrics anyone could probably argue the exact opposite of this proposal, I don't see a problem with that, no one can help but read their own ideas into lyrics.
    QOTSAEnthusiaston March 13, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSome interesting interpretations above, but again, this song is all about the jam at the end. The music trumps any lyrics.
    falangon September 18, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNo clue what this song means, but I lovingly disagree w/ the guy/girl below me; it's not about the music "at the end." The lyrics MUST mean something, at least to the band. And I would love to know what that meaning is...
    fivefortypmon January 22, 2012   Link

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