I'm on watch here
So close your eyes and get some rest
I'm here to watch your heart
It's been faulty from the start
I'm the ribs in your chest

I'm not an angel
I never mean to make you cry
Jumping through my hoops
With dissention in the troops
And a smile and a sigh

What's that over your shoulder?
Fear of getting older?
Stay with me.

Sing me a love song
From your heart or from the phone book
It don't matter to me
I'm an apple, you're the tree
I won't fall when you're shook

What's that over your shoulder?
Fear of getting older?
Stay with me

It ends with a kiss
It ends with a tear
It ends with the lights out
Bathed in our fears

Tell me nonsense
I don't want sincere
I saw the lightning
Cut through the last winter sky of the year

Stay with me
Keep with me


Lyrics submitted by nutshell7, edited by niteflite01

The Phone Book song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +1
    My InterpretationTo me this song is about seeing a loved one (like your parents, as the line "I'm an apple you're the tree, I won't fall when you're shook") grow old and being there for them when they get sick.

    Almost self explanatory, the first verse says that he is watching over the bedridden person, maybe at the hospital after a health scare.

    In the second verse he is kind of apologising ("I'm not an angel, I never mean to make you cry"). Maybe he wasn't always the best person he could be when growing up but the person now sick was always there for him regardless of how unreasonable he was ("jumping through my hoops with dissension in the troops") with "a smile and a sigh".

    The third verse, at first puzzling he is essentially asking the person to say anything at all to him. It could be from the heart or "from the phone book", which could be anything really, as long as something is said he would feel better since it means the person is getting better.

    In the chorus he notices ("what's that over your shoulder?") that his loved one is coming to the realization that he is older now, maybe too old ("fear of getting older") and is afraid of the end being near but he wants the person to "stay with" him.

    *Originally posted by me on Genius.
    rpgmakeron October 15, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat a song. When you encounter a song as good as this it bolsters your faith in, and love of music.
    eeza23on November 10, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTom said that this song was very personal to him..and to me it sounds a bit as if he'd written it for Edith. She was diagnosed with a serious heart condition and the lyrics "I'm on watch here, so close your eyes and get some rest, I'm here to watch your heart, it's been faulty from the start, I'm the ribs in your chest" is a beautiful way for him to tell her how she shouldn't worry, and that he will be there for her through this. He will be strong "I'm an apple, your the tree and I won't fall when your shook." Another way of saying he will be strong for them in this time of worry.

    The rest of the song also states how he doesn't care about all the pretentious things others care about in a relationship, all he wants is her to be safe and to stay with him (maybe he's praying that she mustn't die).

    Also this shock of finding out about her illness has made him reflect on how he's been. And he apologizes for his conflicting opinions.

    "It ends with a kiss, it ends with a tear, it ends with the lights out bathed in our fears, tell me nonsense, I don't want sincere, I saw the lightning cut through the last winter sky of the year"
    Their conversations ends with her crying and them both fearful of what's going to happen. He's trying to stay positive and cheerful for her, as this news to him was like 'lighting cut through the last winter sky of the year' which I guess would be very dark and disturbing.

    Simply beautiful.
    sirenneon February 20, 2016   Link

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