Cars by the water, water that makes this place stand still
Looks like they're thinking, thinking of jumping
I wake to the church bells playing those funky tunes, hey jude
Up in the tower, carillonneurs thumping

I'm trying to love you but you treat me like a hotel
You're coming and going, but you never say where
I'm trying to love you, but I see your heart is elsewhere
Amsterdam says goodnight

I'm dragging my suitcase through Chinatown and the Zeedijk
The racket it's making banging a tourist
Now this is my home,
Though these roots will only ever be so long
It is what it is

I'm trying to love you but you treat me like a hotel
You're coming and going, but you never say where
I'm trying to love you, but I see your heart is elsewhere
Amsterdam says goodnight

I'm trying to love you but you treat me like a hotel
You're coming and going, but you never say where
I'm trying to love you, but I see your heart is elsewhere
Amsterdam says with steel in her voice
"I may seem rude to you but I prefer to hear it straight
And not have to wade through the bullshit between the lines
I know I'm beautiful, and I shouldn't work, but I do
And I can do better than you."


Lyrics submitted by niteflite01

Amsterdam Says song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentTo put it really simple its about loving a woman who doesn't love you back. Just look at th echorus when he says

    "trying to love you but you treat me like a hotel"

    which sounds like she just wants a short time with him and just uses him.The last lines sound like him breaking free of that hold she has on him.

    "I know I'm beautiful, and I shouldn't work, but I do
    And I can do better than you"

    Really great stuff. Bell X1 do such simple and brilliant acoustic songs, I actually can't understand why they don't do more
    igotfootroton June 26, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAs opposed to this song being about a person, it's actually about the city of Amsterdam too.

    Paul Noonan, lead singer and lyricist for Bell X1 spent some time living in Amsterdam (where one of his friends was incidentally a carillonneur, hence the reference in this song) with a girlfriend of the time.

    This song is about his regretful failure both to settle with his girlfriend, and in the city itself - despite being in love with both of them. It's about alienation, and never feeling quite good enough.

    The final verse/chorus sees the city speak back to him;

    "I may seem rude to you but I prefer to hear it straight
    And not have to wade through the bullshit between the lines
    I know I'm beautiful, and I shouldn't work, but I do
    And I can do better than you."
    niteflite01on June 30, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBell X1 have written many beautiful songs but this is my favourite because I can relate to it so personally. There is a melancholic sense of disillusion, rejection and inferiority in the song that is perfect.

    I lived in the Netherlands as an expat for three years and at the end I felt like this. You admire the place, you marvel at the way it works in spite of itself, you even start to fall in love with it a little. It smiles at you, lets you in a little, but it doesn't want you to stay, not really. Foreigners come and go, they are part of the fabric of the place but they can never really be a part of it. You will never be good enough. Amsterdam doesn't love you in return. For it you are a "hotel". And so your roots will only grow so long.

    I suspect Noonan was in love with a Dutch girl too, which would have amplified the feelings about NL, as it's unusual for a Dutch girl to choose a non-Dutch partner and relationships can be tough. I expect his relationship with the girl paralleled that of his relationship with the city.
    misty11410on November 17, 2014   Link

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