I’ve been watching a slow thaw come around.
I’ve been waiting in the cold and hazy blue.
I’ve been driving alone out to the edge of town.
I’ve been thinking too much of you.

Last snowfall left splinters and some winters never end;
neither wane nor wear.
And sunshine is like lovers and some summers just pretend;
only warm the air.
It’s that I’m tired of the feeling here.
It’s too near to death, it’s too jobless year-round.
It’s not the weather in the city or the highway moan.
Not the streets or the buildings, neither wooden nor stone.
Every reason to leave this place behind, why I should be alone,
Are made of flesh and bone.

I’ve been thinking of exile.
I’ve been thinking hit the highway and head up North.
I’ve been thinking cross the bridge and don’t turn back.
The only warmth is a warmth alone.

He packed up, took 75 northbound to a brand new life and
Waved goodbye to the world in the rearview mirror.
Saw it clearer in hindsight,
The shape of its skyline traced in a flame from the windows ablaze,
The people restless and the streetlights glowing like
Many beacons in the sea or like a lantern lit
For the ones still lost out in the dead of the night.
Like lightning striking darkness once, no thunder, no pain.

Have you ever watched a slow thaw come around?
Have you waited in the cold and hazy blue?
There’s an airport there out near the edge of town.
I’ve been thinking too much of you.

Settled in that still forest like another phantom
or another shadow cast by choice.
A noiseless chorus blows through the leaves and trees
and brings a peace at last
From a place where the song kept changing
just when he was starting to get it.

When he was starting to trust there’d be a day
he’d find a way to keep the rust at-bay,
There’d be a day he’d find a hum to help him muffle the past.
Like thunder underwater, he hears it fading
and feels no pain at all.

To a Boring, Desperate City,
It’s been weeks since I’ve been around you.
Has the fear begun to fade away like sunlight
when it sinks into the lake?
Are they now building up, or breaking down
and boarding up the fronts?
Has the whole town been foreclosed now?
And what happened to those youthful dreams
sunk deep in the river weak?
Or got tangled up in weeds or else they’re stumbling drunk
on Wealthy Street? Or making plans to leave?
I need to leave. I can’t marry this place.
I won’t bury the past. I just need a change of scenery.
I will hold these old streets sweetly in my head like her.
And I will praise their bravery always and again.
Let tongues confess the plague of joblessness
a temporary illness.
Let us wave their flag from there to here then over
and again and let us hope for better things
though we may not ever get them.

We will rise again from ashes one day.
Until then, just roll me away
I must leave, but swear I will carry you in me until the end.

So, Tuebor, my home!

Your desperate friend,


Lyrics submitted by eltroyo11, edited by DrawnAstray

Safer In the Forest/Love Song For Poor Michigan song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    Memoryi'm from california, but i spent some time in western and central michigan in july over summer break, and i knew that some parts of the state were in bad shape because of the economy and the layoffs (mostly stemming from the closing of GM, i think)–but i was astonished at how widespread it really is. driving through the numerous towns and rural highways over the span of the day, the poverty and hardship was deafening. it seemed that every other house was in shambles and the vast majority of the local businesses were all boarded up. i can't imagine having that happen to your city (let alone whole state)–the place you call home. i feel for you, michigan residents. <3

    but from what i saw of grand rapids, that city, oddly (compared to everything around it), looked like they're doing more than okay. i'd never felt under-dressed just walking down a downtown street before. it was weird how nice GR seemed to be compared to areas just a few miles out. but i'm not sure, i kind of just drove around for maybe a half hour (i think mostly in circles) then walked a few blocks around where i could find a parking spot. but maybe there are bad parts that i didn't see, so my perception is skewed–i don't know. anyone familiar with+/from grand rapids, feel free to correct me.
    charcoalsketchon September 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbeautiful
    IMABEARon September 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionAnd I will praise their bravery always and again.

    I think it's:
    And I will praise their bravery always til the end.
    choth42on November 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPure. Fucking. Poetry.
    mxbradyon January 12, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI had to look up the meaning of "Tuebor." It turns out it is latin for "I will defend," and it is also the state motto of Michigan. That line at the end makes me want to live in Michigan and defend it myself... I agree with mxbrady - this is incredible poetry.
    modestmooseon February 01, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti also had to look up tuebor and as i wiped my eyes, again, while listening to these guys, im so amazed that ive only just heard of them...only just now for not even a month...i mean it when i say they are cleaning out my old soul...they make me want to believe God again...because i remember what it FEELS like to cry...rising from ashes...i hope that doesnt sound too crazy, but ive had a bad, last ten years, and im seeing hope now....i only wish my late wife could have heard this poetry, this band...she could have used the hope, too.
    adacus67on August 29, 2012   Link

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