The second half, right?

We started a fire;
That was never supposed to burn out.
You started a band;
That was cool for a while but it turned pretty bland.

I started a fight;
With the neighbor next door
And his pesky wife.
You started a job;
That you hate when your sober
And hate even more when you're not

I know you hate me too,
Always say you do

And you moved to Japan;
Thought a clean bill of health and a camera
Could show you the plan.
I bought a bird that repeats what i say,
But I'm lonely is all that he's heard.

You found a guy,
That is clearly the opposite me
With a black motorbike
I dicked around,
But it's just like a movie that's picture
Is off with the sound

I know you hate me too
You always say you do

And you started to write
It was subtle at first
But the danger was clearly in sight

I don't reply
Due to a lack of an ego
And laziness cuts like a knife

You say that you're good
Had a baby with biker
And named him Forest Whitaker
I'm laying low
On the probable chance
You convince me to give him a home

I know you hate me too
You always say you do
And I know that you hate me too
Always say you do.

Lyrics submitted by BrandNewAVA, edited by ehghtwr, Mellow_Harsher, Weirdo921

Forest Whitaker song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentThis song/band is amazing. I freaking love Bad Books, Andy Hull, Kevin Devine...I love it all.
    Aristason October 12, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation"the second half, right?"
    Implies that this messy relationship has been going on for a while. This sentence is also in a certain way ironic, therefore the singer himself sees how ridiculous the things they're doing really are.

    "We started a fire that was never supposed to burn out."
    They started a fight that is never going to end, since both of the people in the relationship don't wan't to give in, so it goes on and on and all it does is destroying more and more things.

    "You started a band that was cool for awhile but it turned pretty bland."
    That's about the attitude to start things that are great at the start, but soon become negative, and is therefore a metaphor for their relationship and maybe even for their childish fights.

    "I started a fight with the neighbor next door and his pesky wife.You started a job that you hate when you're sober and hate even more when you're not."

    This refers to them always doing stuff without thinking about the consequences. He started a fight with the neighbours to let his anger out, but didn't think about the fact that he was getting into a fight with people he'd rather not be in trouble with; he acted out on his emotions instead of thinking about the consequences of his behaviour and that's probably the reason why their fights keep going on.

    "I know you hate me too, always say you do."
    I don't think she really hates him and I don't think he believes it, either, but I think he does get hurt by her telling him so, even though it simply happens during their infantile fights.

    "And you moved to Japan, thought a clean bill of health and a camera could show you the plan. I bought a bird that repeats what I say,but I'm lonely is all that he's heard."
    The part about Japan is again about how light headed they do the stuff they do. The second part is pretty self explanatory; the singer doesn't feel satisfied at all with their relationship, he actually feels lonely.

    "You found a guy that is clearly the opposite me with a black motor bike"
    Since he always behaved in a way that messed up their relationship and therefore hurt her, she tries to make him jealous with another guy.

    "I dicked around, but its just like a movie that's picture is off with the sound."

    Instead of trying to behave better to earn her forgiveness, he starts "dickin' around" and only always realises what's the right thing to do when it's too late

    "And you started to write; It was subtle at first, but the danger was clearly in sight. I don't reply due to a lack of an ego and laziness cuts like a knife"

    The singer seems to overanalyses things, for example he panics as soon as she simply messages him. This behaviour leads to her feeling rejected and therefore nurtures their fights.

    "You say that you're good; had a baby with biker and named him Forest Whitaker. I'm laying low on the probable chance you convince me to give him a home"

    I think this simply serves to foreshadow more trouble that has yet to come, and therefore to imply that their future won't be any brighter; their relationship will never work out.

    I think that they both try to keep the relationship going, but it's simply not meant to be. It's kind of a sad song, since, no matter how hard they try, they never seem to succeed. At the same time, there's something uplifting in it, since they both have yet to come to the realisation that they won't ever work out and therefore still have hope.
    emptyhomeon November 01, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPretty sure it's you had a baby with biker, not Micah.
    fungi2510on September 08, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song still blows my mind along with Kevin Devine's vocals.
    xplagueon October 08, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIncredible song. I kind of like the concept of it, of a relationship where the two people obviously love each other very much, but they're also very impulsive and they don't think how their actions will affect one another. It leaves you with an interesting question, then: If two people love each other very deeply, is that enough for a relationship to strive?

    It seems like this song is saying no, it's not enough, and in fact it's quite detrimental.

    Still not sure about the Forest Whitaker reference, though.
    iaskyousmileon July 17, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"We started a fire / That was never supposed to burn out."

    While another comment referred to this fire as a fight, I think it's the relationship itself. Love is supposed to be a passion that never burns away, but the trend with this couple is a hot and hasty beginning fading into coldness or even hatred. This happens with everything they start - bands, jobs, living arrangements - and eventually it happens to their relationship too.

    The couple breaks up, either before or after one of them moves to Japan. They both attempt to move on with their lives by dating new people, buying pets, etc. After a significant amount of time (at least long enough to get pregnant and have a baby), one of them starts messaging the other. There seems to still be a spark of attraction on both sides; the fire that was never supposed to go out really hasn't. What's unclear is whether that fire is the passion of rekindled love, or the same destructive flame of boredom - "laziness" and "loneliness," according to the song - that has burned through the rest of their lives.
    leaflibraryon October 30, 2015   Link
  • 0
    QuestionThis song isn't about the actor Forest Whitaker??
    sokornyon February 05, 2016   Link

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