"Manifest" as written by Nat Simon and Buddy Bernier....
I want to call a request through heating vents,
And hear them answered with a whispered no,
To crack the code of muscles slack and tense,
Let every second step in boots on snow,
Complete you name in accents I can't place,

That stumble where the syllables combine,
Take depositions from a strangers face,
Paint every insignificance a sign.
So tell me nothing matters less or more,
Say whatever we think actions are,

We'll never know what anything was for,
If near is just as far away as far,
And I'm permitted one act I can save,
I choose to sit here next to you and wave


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"Manifest" as written by Nat Simon Buddy Bernier

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Manifest song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThis song is about optimism. He's talking about finding joy in the realization that life is meaningless, normally a sobering experience. To him, this means that he can insert meaning wherever he wants. In this case, he puts all the meaning into a girl. I probably would, too.
    fadetoflasheson September 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm surprised this song never struck anyone as worthy of a comment. Not only are the lyrics fabulous; they for a shakespearean sonnet.... This song is one of three musically related songs: Hospital Vesters and Past-Due are the others.

    I like the line If "if near is just as far away as far"... I know what the guy means, it's about people being distant from one another emotionally, so it doesnt matter where they are... I have been in that sort of relationship before.
    trotskion September 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdamn, this is probably my favorite weakerthans song. i don't know what it is about the song/lyrics but it just feels so....comfortable and familiar.

    the last line is beyond perfect:
    "and I'm permitted one act I can save,
    I choose to sit here next to you and wave."

    wow.
    toast00001on January 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis whole album is about an amazing story, of loss and reconstruction and moving on. It's the events as they occur in life, with death in the background. Hospital Vespers, Past Due and Manifest are about the same person, someone who is dying, or in the process of fighting a disease, who is very dear to the speaker. Obviously, that person dies (Past Due) but the CD begins with a tone of hope, saying "I'm permitted one act I can save, I choose to sit here next to you and wave."
    By the time "Hospital Vespers" rolls around, the person who we have been sitting next to is slowly decaying, and desperately needs to feel the privacy of spirituality. So we (the singer, the voice of the song) come visit this person in a hospital and turn off the ever-watching nurse's camera, so that they can have one last private moment. It's so heart-wrenching I have cried listening to it.
    I've cried because the story really reminds me of my only brother, dying of cancer. How we supported him, saw him decay and then finally with the funeral and the obituaries.

    John Samsom is an amazing songwriter and much underapreciated.
    kozmikon July 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I want to call a request through heating vents,
    And hear them answered with a whispered 'no' "

    one of the best opening lines to an album i've ever heard. the weakerthans rock my face off on a daily basis
    ConsciousPiloton September 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow.
    shorty101helpon October 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's sad this song has so few comments, this song is one of my favorite by The Weakerthans.
    Sausage Finger5on March 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song, I think it's more about ambition, that being denied and hindered in life is actually a positive thing.
    Amazing to hear live, without a brass section the whole band and crowd end up screaming "BAH DAH BAHHH!" -great stuff!
    mr-numbon November 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe lyrics are just a little off, because this song (and the others on the album with the title in parentheses) are written in sonnet form. therefore, ten syllables a line. i'm impressed.
    lovesmeformeon May 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI saw them in concert about a year ago and I loved how they sang the horn part at the end of the song. Perfect opening song.
    andboothon November 08, 2008   Link

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