"Depreston" as written by and Courtney Barnett....
You said we should look out further
I guess it wouldn't hurt us
We don’t have to be around all these coffee shops

Now we've got that percolator
Never made a latte greater.
I’m saving 23 dollars a week

We drive to a house in Preston
We see police arresting
A man with his hand in a bag.

Hows that for first impressions
This place seems depressing
It’s a Californian bungalow in a cul-de-sac

Its got a lovely garden
A garage for two cars to park in
Or a lot of room for storage if you've just got one

And its going pretty cheap you say
Well it’s a deceased estate
Aren't the pressed metal ceilings great?

Then I see the handrail in the shower
A collection of those canisters for coffee tea and flour
And a photo of a young man in a van in Vietnam

And I cant think of floorboards anymore
Whether the front room faces south or north
And I wonder what she bought it for

If you've got a
Spare half a million

You could knock it down
And start rebuilding

If you've got a
Spare half a million

You could knock it down
And start rebuilding

If you've got a
Spare half a million

You could knock it down
And start rebuilding

If you've got a
Spare half a million

You could knock it down
And start rebuilding


Lyrics submitted by shaneboyar, edited by Robert128

"Depreston" as written by Courtney Barnett

Lyrics © THIRD SIDE MUSIC INC.

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Depreston song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThe meaning of this song is obvious; she is shopping for a house in the suburbs after living in the city for too long (she's gonna save money by making her own coffe because there aren't so many coffee shops out in the suburbs). It becomes an existential experience. She ends up wondering about the previous occupant of the home, an old lady who died there, and maybe her son was killed in Vietnam, and somebody with a half a million dollars will probably just come along and demolish the house anyway.
    Robert128on March 26, 2015   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation@Robert128 You're right, but I feel there is so much more to this song (maybe you agree and couldn’t be bothered writing it all out, fair enough).

    It's about how we treat and think about other people. It’s asking how much do we really care about our neighbours (as in people other than ourselves)? The concept of looking for a house is used as a driver/example of how we are more often interested in looking after ourselves than caring about other people’s stories, love and suffering. I think the storyteller (Courtney, I guess) is saying that she realises that the home and the stories that are left behind are of more significance than whether it has polished floorboards, north-facing rooms etc. And now that she sees the significance of what was there, she couldn't live there/doesn’t want to live there as it isn’t her ‘home’.

    This ties into the ‘half-a-million/knocking it down’ idea, that so many of these stories just get destroyed and forgotten about (as Robert128 said).

    But the song is also about suburbia, growing up and how you’re meant to live your life. Many of us grow up with our family, go to school, get a job, get married, buy a house etc… Courtney is questioning the whole idea, does it bring happiness? Why is it the right way to live life? By following the same path are you just destined to die in a Californian bungalow and be forgotten about?

    As with the whole album, there is also something undeniably Australian about this song. Not just the references but the whole concept. Being Australian and knowing the culture we live within unlocks another layer to this song and the album (not having a go at people who aren’t Australian, just an observation).

    This is a very timely song that will resonate with a lot of people.
    theorfordonianon April 30, 2015   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis song makes me feel so sad when I listen to it. The lyrics themselves aren't overtly depressing (despite the title) but there's something about the feeling of it and the music. I suppose because I can picture the exact part of Preston she would be singing about, and that feeling of the old lady dying maybe by herself in the house she's owned for 50 years... I can't really even put it into words properly right now but it is overwhelmingly sad to me. Beautifully sad, but sad nonetheless.
    xanyaon May 04, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, I think it's about an existential crises caused by societal and social influence.

    I sense some oppression here. She's not too enthusiastic about seeing the town ("I guess it couldn't hurt..."), and her first observation is a man being arrested. And then she's dealing with pressure from the realtor and her partner.

    So, she's standing in the house, realizing the passage of time and how this is where someone else's life took place. A life I'm sure was very meaningful to them, but means nothing to her. And the realtor doesn't give a shit--They just want to sell the house, and they'll push any benefit to potential buyers. ("It's cheap because of the whole deceased thing... But! Look at the ceilings! Look at the lovely garden! Don't have two cars? No problem! You can still make use of it! No? Don't like it? Well, you can always tear it all down...")

    And she is just like, "What is the point of saving all this money to buy a house that you'll spend your life paying off just so you can die and someone else can profit off of it?"

    Up to this point all of the outside forces were guiding her along, and she's just going with it and it's really starting to get depressing.

    So, instead of worrying about meaningless details like the location of a door like most people would, she's having profound, albeit depressing thoughts.

    I think the takeaway here is that if you let other people decide what's best for you, what you need, and what you desire, you're sacrificing what it means to think for yourself. You're buying into a dream and a lie, and the needless suffering could've been avoided if you had just stopped and listened to yourself

    JamzXIVon September 16, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, I think it's about an existential crises caused by societal and social influence.

    I sense some oppression here. She's not too enthusiastic about seeing the town ("I guess it couldn't hurt..."), and her first observation is a man being arrested. And then she's dealing with pressure from the realtor and her partner.

    So, she's standing in the house, realizing the passage of time and how this is where someone else's life took place. A life I'm sure was very meaningful to them, but means nothing to her. And the realtor doesn't give a shit--They just want to sell the house, and they'll push any benefit to potential buyers. ("It's cheap because of the whole deceased thing... But! Look at the ceilings! Look at the lovely garden! Don't have two cars? No problem! You can still make use of it! No? Don't like it? Well, you can always tear it all down...")

    And she is just like, "What is the point of saving all this money to buy a house that you'll spend your life paying off just so you can die and someone else can profit off of it?"

    Up to this point all of the outside forces were guiding her along, and she's just going with it and it's really starting to get depressing.

    So, instead of worrying about meaningless details like the location of a door like most people would, she's having profound, albeit depressing thoughts.

    I think the takeaway here is that if you let other people decide what's best for you, what you need, and what you desire, you're sacrificing what it means to think for yourself. You're buying into a dream and a lie, and the needless suffering could've been avoided if you had just stopped and listened to yourself

    JamzXIVon September 16, 2017   Link

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