"Slipped" as written by and Matthew D. Berninger Aaron Brooking Dessner....
I'm in the city you hated
My eyes are fallen
Counting the clicks with the living dead
My eyes are red

I'm in the crush and I hate it
My eyes are fallen
I'm having trouble inside my skin
I try to keep my skeletons in

Is it weird to be back in the south?
And can they even tell
That the city girl was ever there
Or anywhere?

I'm having trouble inside my skin
I try to keep my skeletons in
I'll be a friend and a fuck-up
And everything

But I'll never be
Anything you ever want me to be

I keep coming back here where everything slipped
But I will not spill my guts out
I keep coming back here where everything slipped
But I will not spill my guts out

I don't need any help to be breakable, believe me
I know nobody else who can laugh along to any kind of joke
I won't need any help to be lonely when you leave me

It'll be easy to cover
Gather my skeletons far inside
It'll be summer in Dallas
Before I realize

I don't want you to grieve
But I want you to sympathize (alright)
I can't blame you for losing
Your mind for a little while (so did I)
I don't want you to change
But I want you to recognize (that I)

It'll be easy to cover
Gather your skeletons far inside
It'll be summer in Dallas
Before you realize

That I'll never be
Anything you ever want me to be

I keep coming back here where everything slipped
But I will not spill my guts out
I keep coming back here where everything slipped
But I will not spill my guts out


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by jahjahjeh, Naninger

"Slipped" as written by Matthew Donald Berninger Aaron Brooking Dessner

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Slipped song meanings
Add your thoughts

7 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +3
    My InterpretationI have a very painful personal reference to this song and I think it is about someone who's secretly gay and has feelings for someone who's openly gay. The openly gay person has already confessed but he/she wasn't ready to be out of the closet yet.

    "I'm in the crush and I hate it
    My eyes are fallen
    I'm having trouble inside my skin
    I try to keep my skeletons in" -> SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET

    "But I'll never be
    Anything you ever want me to be" -> I won't be your gay boyfriend/girlfriend

    The narrator is scared and confused so that he/she cut off all contact with the openly gay person, but he/she willing to fix their friendship at some point, but right now thinks that he/she never will be ready to tell that he/she has feelings too:

    "I keep coming back here where everything slipped
    But I will not spill my guts out"

    Also, he/she won't blame the openly gay person for the confession and for the night they've probably spent together:

    "I can't blame you for losing
    Your mind for a little while (so did I)
    I don't want you to change
    But I want you to recognize (that I)" -> That I'm not ready to be out of the closet.


    Personal reference:
    Ever since this happened to me, she's giving me the cold shoulder and she only messaged me these lyrics and told me the truth always can be found in music. :(
    RKMeon July 02, 2013   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningFor me, this is a song about a man who was in a relationship, and loved, and tried, but it didn't work out because he needed to travel and she didn't want to.

    "I keep coming back here where everything slipped, but I will not spill my guts out"
    He knows it's done, and there's no point trying anymore - it is what it is.

    "I'll be a friend and a fuck up and everything, but I'll never be what you wanted me to be".
    A partner, and a lover, somebody reliable. He wanted to be, but it could never work out. She needed him to be more but he could never be.

    At the end of it all, it's ok with him - he's been alone (not literally, but maybe emotionally) for a long time, and he's ok that it's just happened again.

    She's upset, but in all honesty she'll get over it.

    She's trying to make sense of him needing to pack it all in and leave her (whether it's for work or tour, or because he simply needs to leave).
    He wants her to come but she's not interested and blames him for leaving as if it's something he can control.
    She's angry, but he wants her to just recognize that it has to be done. It'll be summer in Dallas before she realises - which he hopes will help move her on from the pain.
    alkalinefanon April 17, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationMy favourite song of the new album, after three times listening to the entire album.

    In my interpretation, this song is about two different girls.

    1) The one he talks 'to' in this song appears to like him, but he doesn't really have a lot of feelings about her...

    "I'll be a friend and I'll fuck her
    And everything" --> he doesn't want to hurt her so he will be kind to her

    "But I'll never be
    Anything you ever want me to be" --> but he won't be her 'boyfriend'

    "But I will not spill my guts out" --> he won't REALLY open up to her



    2) Another girl he loved, but does not see anymore, though he still thinks of her and misses her. Being with girl 1 remembers him about girl 2.

    "I keep coming back here where everything slipped"

    --

    Anyway, I'm probaby as wrong as can be :)
    Not very good at understanding Matt's lyrics, though The National are really one of my all time favourite bands, alongside Arcade Fire and Sigur Rós.
    jacobbeon May 09, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI relate to this song very strongly and in my opinion it is about an escape and sorrow of non-fulfilment. The tricky meaning of the word 'slipped' itself.

    Neither You can meet the expectations of the place, you escaped from, nor stay in it, without loosing your mind.

    It is a painful story of a girl that got away from & comes back to a destructive place (childhood city/ toxic family/ relationship/ all together?). She became successful through her hard work.
    (clicks with - means become successful, the living dead- metaphor for workaholics).
    - 'Counting the clicks with the living dead'

    About the place, where everything slipped. She was away for a long-time. Perhaps, the reason must be personal and family related, since she comes back to it in her mind from time to time. She knows it is a destructive journey, but she needs to take it and stay strong. Perhaps it is just something reminding her of that place.

    About the slipped relationship. The people you truly, genuinely, wholeheartedly love, go 'under your skin' and it is impossible not to think about them and if the feeling is not mutual, no matter how much you hate it, you cannot resist that feeling/thought. You can't get out of your head, you simply cannot resist coming back to a place, where you escaped (slipped) from. If it is not mutual, you really want to keep in like a 'skeleton in the closet'.

    Somehow, something which should be a great virtue and sorts of strengths, support, ends up being your discreditable/ embarrassing secret (skeleton). You cannot change the other person, you take them as they are. Since she loves him/her, she tries to be there for her crush, support with everything successfully or not (being a friend or a fuck up). However the most painful realisation is that the expectations had not been met.

    About the sorrow - the grief is not a solution, sympathy is better for an understanding why she had to do escape and couldn't stay. She still feels sorry for the expectations, she hasn't met, but will get over it and the destructive non-fulfillment thought will only come back from time to time.
    silentsmi89on February 22, 2015   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI think this song is about a break up and he is describing how he feels.

    He is describing the difficulty he is having in coping with the break-up but trying to act as if it has not affected him: 'I'm having trouble inside my skin / I try to keep my skeletons in'

    However, he is also saying that he cannot see a way to live to her expectations: 'But I'll never be anything you ever want me to be / I'll be a friend and a fuck-up'

    The girl has moved back to Dallas from the 'south' and he wonders if anyone can see how much this break-up is affecting him: 'can they even tell that the city girl was ever there / or anywhere (his heart?)' since he 'will not spill my guts out'

    that's my interpretation!
    sal10on June 29, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so beautiful but very sad :( The guy I love shared it in a playlist and I think he has a lovely soul. I would like to dance this song with him someday so close and so slow in any beautiful place with warm lights around us in the middle of the night :)
    kapputton January 03, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationSeems to be about unrequited love..."I'll be a friend and a fuck-up" but not her lover. Very painful.
    MoogLeeon May 17, 2016   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain