You dig down underground now
Through the soil, through the cooling clay
As the din fades above you
You’re moving
You’re secret
You’re nowhere
It’s all good
And no lights lead you onwards
No signs point you on your way
Just earth in all directions
It’s endless
It’s mapless
No compass
No north star
You’re all gone ‘cause they can’t find you
You’re lost ‘cause they don’t know the way
They blame themselves they blame each other
They’re angry
They’re sorry
They’re worried
You don’t care
The shovels scrape somewhere up there
They just want to know if you’re OK
Morse code tapped with hammers
You hear it
You know it
Ignore it
You’re on your way
Oh, but at some point you’ve gotta come up for air
You wipe the rocks and mud and dirt out of your hair
You’re blind and queasy with a growing sense of despair
You don’t know anyone
You look around trying to find someone you know
You put your hand up in the air
Just kinda wave hello
But if they do care, oh, they’re not letting it show
This can’t be new to you
There’s a feeling coming back
Connected by a thread
Pulling at your hands like a spider web
Like a kite that isn’t there…
If it’s a life of possibilities
That pulls you away that claws and tears
And challenges you to stay, well, then
If it’s a life of possibilities
That you’ve gotta live then
Don’t be surprised when they don’t remember you
Or simply don’t want to, yea yea yea…


Lyrics submitted by 66exeter

A Life of Possibilities song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentHere's what the great Travis Morrsion says about this song...

    "A couple of years ago, when I was 23/24, things got very interesting in my life. My dad, who was very important to me, passed away, and there was a host of other family craziness at the same time which is none of your business. I suppose it was what you could call character-building, and it had a really big effect on the lyrics I was writing. I suddenly became completely allergic to 99% of what constitutes punk and emo lyrics because they suddenly sounded hopelessly self-absorbed and adolescent and self-pitying.


    "I started listening to old soul and country lyrics closely: Songs written for, by and about adults about family, community, trust, communication, and songs written with some sense of perspective and not from deep within one's own butt (the vantage point of most rock lyrics.) I also started appreciating songs that genuinely sounded like they wanted everything to be better, even if they couldn't be; let's face it, most punk and rock lyrics wallow in misery and heartbreak.


    "A common trope of rock words is the celebration of the open road, of adventure, of individualism -- "Freebird" -- but it seems kind of rare that rock lyrics deal with the wages of adventure and individualism, especially when taken too far. That stuff has its price; everything has its price, actually, which is perhaps the single hardest lesson of growing up. I wanted to write a song about the price of running away, of changing one's environs continually, of declining to commit -- something that I see a lot in many of my peers, for whatever reason -- and so, voila."

    I've noticed this tendency in myself sometimes, and putting this song on always seems to help...
    simonsteron May 23, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhen I listened to this song a couple years ago, I kind of gleaned its meaning a bit, and thought "Oh, hey, that's cute," and kind of moved on.

    Then, about a year ago, I dropped out of college due to emotional problems (and generally issues with "Where do I want to go?") and lost most contact with my friends. I moved back in with my parents, took a job and they charged me rent.

    I spent a lot of nights doing a whole lot of nothing, just thinking. I didn't bother to keep contact with anybody, I just thought, and tried to get my life in order. I guess I got a little too self-involved, because, it's a year later, and I'm just now emerging from the ground.

    Today I sent out an e-mail to a bunch of my friends that I haven't talked to in a while, asking (humbly) to attend a concert with me in the next few months. After I hit send, I had a curious and overwhelming urge to listen to this song.

    What happened to me isn't exactly the same as what Morrison is talking about (my isolation was more circumstantial than voluntary), but it's certainly similar, and the effects are definately the same.


    Also, in general, I like this particular album a lot because it deals with isolation and lonliness without coming across as heavy-handed or whiney like most other emo-type stuff seems to be.
    DeBurgoon December 23, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHere's what the great Travis Morrsion says about this song...

    "A couple of years ago, when I was 23/24, things got very interesting in my life. My dad, who was very important to me, passed away, and there was a host of other family craziness at the same time which is none of your business. I suppose it was what you could call character-building, and it had a really big effect on the lyrics I was writing. I suddenly became completely allergic to 99% of what constitutes punk and emo lyrics because they suddenly sounded hopelessly self-absorbed and adolescent and self-pitying.


    "I started listening to old soul and country lyrics closely: Songs written for, by and about adults about family, community, trust, communication, and songs written with some sense of perspective and not from deep within one's own butt (the vantage point of most rock lyrics.) I also started appreciating songs that genuinely sounded like they wanted everything to be better, even if they couldn't be; let's face it, most punk and rock lyrics wallow in misery and heartbreak.


    "A common trope of rock words is the celebration of the open road, of adventure, of individualism -- "Freebird" -- but it seems kind of rare that rock lyrics deal with the wages of adventure and individualism, especially when taken too far. That stuff has its price; everything has its price, actually, which is perhaps the single hardest lesson of growing up. I wanted to write a song about the price of running away, of changing one's environs continually, of declining to commit -- something that I see a lot in many of my peers, for whatever reason -- and so, voila."

    I've noticed this tendency in myself sometimes, and putting this song on always seems to help...
    simonsteron May 23, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne of my favorite plan songs, and what they opened up with first night of the reunion shows. By far one of his best works. Travis Morrison is amazing to me because he is one of the only artists today that has such a city writing style about the hardships of life that we tend to notice and endure but not talk about.
    AmesMyManon August 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo, I can't figure out who "they" are.

    The rest of the song seems pretty straightforward. Sounds like the main character is breaking away from the past, showing independence, there's no "light to lead the way"

    They try calling, you don't answer. You come back to them, but nothing is familiar anymore.

    So who is "they"? People holding you down? Your old friends/old lifestyle?

    I'm new at this song-interpretation thing, so let's go for no flaming.
    VictorPFon April 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI take this song somewhat differently. The main character is someone who feels like he has to go out on his own to be an individual. In order to maintain "a life of possibilities" he cannot be limited by his old friends and family.

    He maintains his individualism in opposition to his old acquaintances who try to reestablish relations with him. Yet, in the end, they get tired of the unrewarding effort and move on.

    It is at this point, when the "hammers" stop tapping that the main character realizes that he is alone and starts to panic. He resurfaces and tries to find all his old friends, but he's been gone so long and not responded to them that they don't remember him.

    I think this song brilliantly makes the point that, despite all the rhetoric to the contrary, the American and Western ideal of self-sufficient individualism is unsustainable. What good is a life of possibilitites if you've got no one to share it with?
    distopiandreamguyon May 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe entire CD has a sci-fi overtone. I'm thinking its about nuclear war, yea yea... its a motherfucker, yea yea. If you hit that button...
    youeatpoopon May 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThese lyrics really speak to me right now:

    If it's a life of possibilities
    That you've gotta live then
    Don't be surprised when they don't remember you
    Or simply don't want to, yea yea yea

    My job just sent me onsite for 6 months to some deadbeat town hours away from home. It's a really great opportunity but my social life is suffering because all my friends and coworkers are going about their own things and I'm not there to interact...almost being forgotten. My biggest fear is going back after the 6 months and no one remembering me (new people there) or worse, not really caring (simply don't want to, yea yea yea)
    Drawmanon August 25, 2011   Link

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