"Hard to Find" as written by and Matthew D. Berninger Bryce David Dessner....
I can see the glowing lights
I can see them every night
Really not that far away
I could be there in a day

I wonder if you live there still
I kinda think you always will
If I tried you'd probably be
Hard to find

What I feel now about you then
I'm just glad I can explain
You're beautiful and close and young
In those ways we were the same

There's a lot I've not forgotten
I let go of other things
If I tried they'd probably be
Hard to find

They can all
Just kiss off into the air
They can all
Just kiss off into the air

I don't know why we had to lose
The ones who took so little space
They're still waiting for the east
To cover what we can't erase

I'm not holding out for you
I'm still watching for the signs
If I tried you'd probably be
Hard to find

They can all
Just kiss off into the air
They can all
Just kiss off into the air


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by jahjahjeh, Naninger, flamebroiledchicken, Rasser, LNgoo

"Hard to Find" as written by Matthew Donald Berninger Bryce David Dessner

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Hard to Find song meanings
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16 Comments

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  • +15
    General CommentDid anyone else notice that inside this amazing album, The National pay homage to other great artists and albums?

    The Beatles - Play Let It Be
    Nirvana - Or Nevermind
    Elliot Smith - You're a needle in the hay
    Morrissey - Bona Drag was still on
    The Violent Femmes - They can all just kiss off into the air
    flagg1975on May 12, 2013   Link
  • +11
    General CommentI love this song so much, probably my favorite from the new album. Great imagery, beautiful lyrics. It's funny some people say it reminds them of the Great Gatsby, I'm from LI and it reminds me of the shores in summer. For me it's about someone you broke up with and you know the relationship could never really work out, maybe you don't even love them anymore but the memories and what you shared are so vivid and you think back about this person and it just makes you wonder
    b0sendorferon May 19, 2013   Link
  • +5
    General CommentIndelible memories. The past being omnipresent. Pure love.
    kristaseleneon May 26, 2013   Link
  • +5
    General CommentIt reminded me of the feeling I had, driving into the town I had grown up in nearly twenty years previously, suddenly recalling a girlfriend I had barely seen since leaving school. And the weird feeling that our eighteen year old selves were still lurking somewhere in that small town we'd both long ago escaped.
    el_hon December 02, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think this song can be related to any lost love situation. whether you view the glowing lights as a city, or maybe as heaven. what's most beautiful about this song is that the imagery is shaped by your own personal experiences, and you see what you have been through. other songs do this too, but this song more-so than any song i've ever encountered. that's what makes it my favorite on the new album.
    thenationalon June 27, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General CommentMy interpretation of this song may be a bit different than others but we'll see.

    I feel like this song is about a guy who grew up in a smaller community and fell deeply in love with a woman in his social circle. Maybe they dated, maybe they didn't but they always felt their personal relationship with one another was bigger than the social circle itself.

    "I can see the glowing lights
    I can see them every night
    Really not that far away
    I could be there in a day"

    He thinks to himself at times about going back for her and trying things again. It's clear he is trying to justify the decision by saying it couldn't possibly be a wasted trip. "Really not that far away" would seem like distance but I think it's more about his feelings for her. She's so close to his heart that he could justify making one last try for her.

    "I wonder if you live there still
    I kinda think you always will
    If I tried you'd probably be
    Hard to find"

    The community is a smaller one, one that typically traps people for life. He was lucky enough to get out but hates himself for leaving her there. He fears she may be stuck there but wouldn't want to see him if he came back.

    "What I feel now about you then
    I'm just glad I can explain
    You're beautiful and close and young
    In those ways we were the same"

    The first line suggests to me that his feelings for her haven't changed at all since he left. The second line suggests that as he's grown and matured, he's now able to understand how he feels about her and why he feels that way. The third line makes it seem as if his opinion of her is based on what he knew when they were growing up together. In his head, she's still that young and beautiful woman he grew to love when he was younger. And the final line suggests that he doesn't feel like he's been able to grow without her. The thought of being with her keeps him young and youthful.

    "There's a lot I've not forgotten
    I let go of other things
    If I tried they'd probably be
    Hard to find"

    Through the years he's been away, he's let go of the small city/town lifestyle and outlook. He doesn't feel like he could ever go back to that but he knows he could go back to her.

    "I don't know why we had to lose
    The ones who took so little space
    They're still waiting for the east
    To cover what we can't erase"

    This is where I feel he's talking about the social circle they both belonged to. They both lost their friends over the years but nothing was as painful as losing each other. The took "so little space" suggests to me that while they cared about their friends, they weren't anywhere near as important and impactful in their lives as they were to each other.

    "I'm not holding out for you
    I'm still watching for the signs
    If I tried you'd probably be
    Hard to find"

    He tries to tell himself that he's not "holding out" for her but he hasn't been a given a reason by anyone or anything to move on to anyone else. And if he did move on, he thinks he'd lose that last bit of hope of finding love with her again.

    Now my interpretation could be completely off. But that's what comes to my mind when I've listened to the song. Beautiful work as always by The National.
    EdwardCon May 28, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song coming out at pretty much the same time as Gatsby is perfect. "I can see the glowing lights / I can see them every night." Wonder if they glow green?
    Whirling10on May 16, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI get the feeling he is singing about someone who is dead, that he loved. And so he is drawn to death as well ("Really not that far away / I could be there in a day").

    But he also knows that if he goes looking for her, she'll probably be "hard to find". So he'll treasure the memories of her and of himself with her instead.
    Rasseron June 01, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI feel that this song could be about anything. However, the way I interpret it, I feel it's about the recent shootings that happened in Newtown, CT. I don't really know much about Matt Berninger, but I feel like this could be a song he wrote to try to relate to a parent of one of the children that died. The verse:

    "I don't know why we had to lose
    The ones who took so little space
    They're still waiting for the east
    To cover what we can't erase"

    This verse really reminds me of something like that. the line, "The ones that took so little space" relates to the children. The shooting happened in the east. It seems through all the covering, such as gun legislation, we still can't erase the terrible events that happened in that town.

    Wonderful song though. Favorite song on the album. The National have done well again on this album.
    DarkwingDanon June 04, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJust gives me the feeling like he is staring at the stars and pondering lost friendship or love in denial about some things and feeling regret. He wonders if she has looked at the same sky as her and when and where she was and how she felt and if she was think along similar terms or whether she was only stringing him along during all the great times they had together.
    SansLegendon June 15, 2013   Link

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