"Company Calls Epilogue" as written by and Benjamin Gibbard....
Synapse to synapse, the possibility's thin.
I'm dressed up for free drinks and family greetings
On your wedding, your wedding, your wedding date.
The figures in plastic on the wedding cake that I took were so real.

And I kept a distance, the complications cloud
The postcards and blip through fiber optics,
As the girls with pigtails were running from little boys wearing bowties
Their parents bought and "I'll catch you this time!"

Crashing through the parlor doors, what was your first reaction?
Screaming, drunk, disorderly, I'll tell you mine.
You were the one, but I can't spit it out when the date's been set.
The white routine to be ingested inaccurately.

Synapse to synapse, the sneaky kids had attached
Beer cans to the bumper so they could drive
Up and down the main drag.
People would turn to see who's making the racket.
It's not the first time.

When they lay down the fish will swim upstream
And I'll contest, but they won't listen
When the casualty rate's near 100 percent,
And there isn't a pension for second best or for hardly moving

Crashing through the parlor doors, what was your first reaction?
Screaming, drunk, disorderly, I'll tell you mine.
You were the one, but I can't spit it out when the date's been set.
The white routine to be ingested inaccurately.

You were the one, but I can't spit it out when the date's been set.
The white routine to be ingested inaccurately.

You were the one, but I can't spit it out when the date's been set.
The white routine to be ingested inaccurately.


Lyrics submitted by jephque, edited by sarahfc

"Company Calls Epilogue" as written by Benjamin Gibbard

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Company Calls Epilogue song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentThis song feels like an ex you never really got over but tried to "be friends with" is getting married to someone not you. And invited or not you drunkenly show up to object. Love lost.
    superdeluxeon May 20, 2002   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationMy interpretation of the song is very similar to others, but I'd just like to break it down for everyone.

    "Synapse to synapse: the possibility's thin.
    I'm dressed up for free drinks and family greetings
    on your wedding, your wedding, your wedding date.
    The figures in plastic on the wedding cake that I took were so real."

    Our narrator is running through his memories, numbing himself (synapse, to synapse), and realizing that he has no chance at getting his old love back. He's dressed in a suit, or tuxedo, and is simply there to drink and numb himself while the woman he loves is getting married to someone else. The figures in plastic that he took represent his almost childish desire to ruin the wedding and tear holes in their love like the love he had was torn.

    "And I kept distance: the complications cloud
    the postcards and blip through fiberoptics,
    as the girls with pigtails were running from little boys wearing bowties
    their parents bought them: "I'll catch you this time!""

    He kept his distance from her after they broke up while she kept him updated on all the great things happening in her life. The young girls and boys represent innocence in spite of the dark reality going on around them. "I'll catch you this time!" is indicative of the narrator's desire to win the bride back.

    "Crashing through the parlor doors, what was your first reaction?
    Screaming, drunk, disorderly: I'll tell you mine.
    You were the one, but I can't spit it out when the date's been set.
    The white routine to be ingested inaccurately."

    I'm not sure if this is during, or after the ceremony, but our narrator bursts out screaming, trying to tell her that she was the one for him and that he should be her groom, but that he simply couldn't say it when she had gotten engaged. The white routine, being the wedding, is played out wrong and is taken in inaccurately as opposed to how it maybe should have played out.

    "Synapse to synapse: the sneaky kids had attached
    beer cans to the bumper so they could drive
    up and down the main drag.
    People would turn to see who's making the racket.
    It's not the first time."

    This stanza is after his outburst and after they have kicked him out. He describes the car with beer cans attached to the back to rattle, saying "Just Married" on the back. Synapse to synapse represents yet again, his numbness. People would turn and look and see that the couple had just got married. It's not the first time it's happened (obviously).

    "When they lay down the fish will swim upstream
    and I'll contest, but they won't listen
    when the casualty rate's near 100%,
    and there isn't a pension for second best or for hardly moving..."

    The narrator imagines the bride and her newly married groom having sex, or "laying down." The fish swimming upstream being symbolic of impregnation. I'm not entirely sure how he would contest that, but maybe he means he'll contest his imagination, but "they," being his imaginary caricatures of them wont listen and continue on. The casualty rate being near 100% is a reference to pregnancy, more specifically sperm, as is the "pension for second best, or for hardly moving."

    The chorus is then repeated, and then acoustic chords, sans drums, are played as the final two lines of the chorus are sang.

    "You were the one, but I can't spit it out when the date's been set.
    The white routine to be ingested inaccurately."

    This represents his admitting defeat. At least, that's how I view it.
    Savagehunteron April 06, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti can't believe i am the first person to write about this song.. i just have to say that every time i listen to this song, it makes me happy and sad at the same time, it is about a weading, and it just talks about the people there and how there drunk... yeah its kinda late, so iam gonna stop but OOOO these guys are amazing.
    starskittleon April 19, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"when they lay down the fish will swim upstream and i'll contest but they won't listen when the casualty rate's near 100%, and there isn't a pension for second best"

    This to me, means that this other guy is going to have a kid that should be his, and that Ben will never be able to see it grow up or know that joy because he came in 2nd place.
    holdenthefurieson October 05, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is a beautiful song which has an enormous bearing on my life. Everyone has that one first love, who you never truly get over.
    Emberlyon December 27, 2004   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaningwhen i listen to this song, i picture myself bursting through the door uninvited, and sitting there, smirking at him from across the room, just to catch him off guard, my eyes wide with madness, haunting.

    the sad thing is, i could already picture that scenario playing out in my life before i even knew what the song was about.......
    lovepaulineon January 21, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song and i think its best to listen to it right after you've listened to company calls. i can totally picture this guy running through the doors to the church yelling "i love you" or something because the girl he loves and has loved either a) knows how he feels about her but doesn't feel the same way back or b) doesn't know how he feels about her at all. i'm thinking b is more like it. he knows that he can't stop it or do anything (possibility's thin, the casualty rate's near 100%) but he's still trying....maybe it's the alcohol. this is my favorite death cab song.
    fraeuleinon July 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenteverytime i hear this song i get this crazy feeling of regret. i love it when the words make you feel them. i think the meaning is obvious.."you were the one but i can't spit it out when the date's been set." but it still gives me chills. dcfc is incredible.
    brighteyesbleedon August 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment..from what I wrote about 'company calls': it comes down to this one person who can be the speaker's happiness, but they are 'taken' by someone else, so the speaker's salvation is even more tragically cut short
    Imbriferon September 25, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti have to say i like the alternate version from the Forbidden Love EP more, for some odd reason. damn good song though.
    myeyesareopenon September 29, 2002   Link

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