"20th Century Towers" as written by Nicholas Harmer, Christopher Walla and Benjamin Gibbard....
We'll correct collegiate mistakes
A shower of formal ideals completely soused
The heart's on our sleeves
As they drowned we could hear them screaming
"Oh, what a tragic way to see our final days."

I attempt to talk up the town
"The answers are in the arches of the 20th Century towers
And in comfortable cars in motion." And yet it still remains
This incessent refrain:
"You're just like the rest: Your restlessness makes you lazy."

Keeping busy is just wasting time
And I've wasted what little he gave me (all around)
I know the conscious choice was crystal clear
To clear the slate of former years
When I sang softly in your ear and tied these arms around you


Lyrics submitted by jephque

"20th Century Towers" as written by Christopher Walla Benjamin Gibbard

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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20th Century Towers song meanings
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38 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI dont understand. The song is actually my favorite, but nobody else agrees. It seems he's writing from a very stale and dry and cold point of view. Like he's lost something more than just a relationship...
    Cheesepickleon April 11, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, it's one of my favorites as well, but I haven't a clue what it's about. I really like "completely soused," 'cause you just don't hear the word "soused" much these days.
    theneedleskipson June 19, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, it's one of my favorites as well, but I haven't a clue what it's about. I really like "completely soused," 'cause you just don't hear the word "soused" much these days.
    theneedleskipson June 19, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is amazing. i dont know what it is about either but it really doesnt matter. it makes me die each time i listen to it. thats the only way to describe it.
    light in auguston June 29, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentif someone knows what it is about PLEASE tell us! lol.
    fish eat steelon April 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentim not sure, and i havent heard this song, but it sounds like this guy had all these ambitions when he was young, that he would make the most of life, and he had all these ideals that he wouldn't be like the older people that he saw just being lazy and wasting their lives away... and he's been trying to do that for so long now, and he has realised that he's not getting anywhere, and he is growing up, and his ideals are changing...and he just wants to stop trying and start to let himself live.

    guesswork ^ ...any ideas?
    sambo28on April 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou seem to be on the spot sambo, before i got up to this line "yet it still remains, this incessent refrain: "you're just like the rest. you restlessness makes you lazy." I thought it might've been about some sort of armageddon or the world coming to an end.
    noschoolspirit7on May 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen Ben hits the "All around" part, I nearly die.
    antennason October 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree antennas. That line.. kills me everytime. Also, does your name come from GY!BE?
    emojuiceon October 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentInstead of following logic and reason, the choice to remain with someone (" i know the conscious choice was crystal clear") was the correct one. The song is about two things at least, but one of them is moving on from an old relationship ("to clear the slate of former years") and finding love somewhere else ("when i sang softly in your ear and tied these arms around you"). Or maybe it's about Jesus. Good song either way.
    kozmikon December 14, 2004   Link

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