Drive across the country, tell your story walking.
No one's keeping you captive in the town that let you down (so sorry).

Blame it on the television, blame it on the company;
Don't blame it on the fundamental fact that no one owes you something.

"I've come about my share, I only want what's fair.
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not greedy.
Like everybody else, I wanna pay my dues.
(I only want someone to tell me who to make the check out to.)

Maybe we could run away and start a little repertory moviehouse or something."
She said, "Sorry but I think you might be just projecting
(but here's the dough)."

Pike street to Park Slope, Brooklyn.

"A community of dabblers who are vain and fond of biting backs
(We hate it when our friends become successful')
And a different school whose energies are spent evading income tax...
And silicone enhancements by the breastful.

Maybe we could run away and start a little repertory moviehouse or something."
She said, "Sorry but I think you might be just projecting on to me.
Why don't you try LA?"

Pike street to Park Slope, Brooklyn.

"Well when you like something, it's an opinion
But when I like something, it's a manifesto."
(Pomposity is when you always think you're right, arrogance is when you know.)

"Maybe we could start a little independent repertory moviehouse or something." She said, "Sorry but I think you might be just protecting your investment or else assigning blame."

Pike street to Park Slope, Brooklyn.


Lyrics submitted by NeoNess, edited by lionelhutz

Pike St./Park Slope song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThe way it was explained live is that it's about wanting to move to the big city in order to make it and then realizing the same crap is in the big city; it's just bigger.
    joelsephon May 04, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIn a nutshell: Life's not going the way he'd hoped, but everything will be perfect once he gets to NY (Park Slope)! And then he gets there and it turns out the problem wasn't with Seattle (Pike St.) after all.

    And meanwhile, the same character flaws that are keeping his career from taking off are destroying his relationship. Ie., his arrogance--later mentioned in the bridge--and the sense of entitlement that manifests in the opinion that he should have made it already, damnit! I LOVE the irony about that towards the beginning, the refusal to "blame it on the fundamental fact that no one owes you something;" and the claim that he wants to pay his dues while asking who to make the check out to--if it were easy, it wouldn't be dues-paying!

    So now he's in New York and still having trouble getting the career going, plus he can't make friends because he's surrounded by backstabbing hipsters and superficial socialites. And the girlfriend who's starting to lose patience suggests--ironically--moving to LA. Because the geographic cure worked out so well last time.

    And through all this he's refusing to take any responsibility for his career failures. It all falls apart at the end, when she suggests the movie house (notice, it's her who says that in the last verse) and he takes it as an indictment ("...assigning blame"), even though he'd been jokingly saying the same thing all along.
    gravity_defianton March 31, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this is delivered by someone fed up with the way things are. The world is definately messed up, definately not fair and not working like it should ("...blame it on the television..." and "A community of dabblers..."). The disenchanted narrator has finally had enough, and gets to the point where he's just done, done with it, ready to leave everything and go do something he thinks could be fulfilling but, contrary to society's values, has very little room for advancement (an independant repertory movie house can't make all that much money). And when he pitches this impulsive, undeveloped, and completely passionate idea to the one part of his old life he wants to bring with--the girl--she shoots him down.

    That's some major disappointment right there, when you finally decide that you're going to go through with it, you're going to run away and forget it all and do what it feels like you should do, and part of your perfect new world refuses to be transformed with you... it drags you back to reality, you realize that maybe it won't work, maybe you really don't want to desert everything.

    Which is why this song is, really, incredibly sad.
    Fish-chanon September 15, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is pretty good.

    i like bomb the music industry's cover of it.
    juffon December 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFor anyone who wants to know the real meaning of this song, go to this link. Before he starts to sing the song, he talks about the origin and inspiration for it. I found it while I was looking for lyrics.

    actionext.com/names_h/harvey_danger_lyrics/…
    buzzard129on January 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song might be about a fight he had with a girl, but I'm not sure. It just seems very bitter to me despite the slow tempo.
    ajteleckyon July 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThat was very well written godfish.
    iagoAdmireron June 16, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI adore this song. It's my favorite Harvey Danger song. This song is a great example of how strong of lyricst Sean is, and how much of an improvement this is over whatmmg (which was amazing as well).

    I don't see why HD was a one hit wonder band.
    dothefrugon February 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know about the rest of you, but for me, the meaning of this song was hard for me to pin down. I'm still not sure I've got it, but here's my interpretation anyway:

    The song is an argument (or meltdown) between two people, a man and a woman. The man is the bohemian, "alternative" artsy type (as evidenced by the fact that he keeps suggesting that the woman run away with him to "start a little repertory moviehouse or something"). She is sort of his sugar momma, for lack of a better term: she's in a better position economically, so she finances his creative endeavors, but she's getting pissed that they never go anywhere and fed up with his mooching. As the song wears on, she becomes more and more angry with him. (In the first chorus, she warily offers him the money. In the second chorus, she suggests he find greener pastures in LA. Finally, she accuses him of blaming her for his lack of success). This is the final straw, as evidenced by the meltdown halfway through the song. ("Well when you like something, it’s an opinion / But when i like something, it’s a manifesto...")

    I get the feeling that he lives on Pike Street, or in the general vicinity, whereas she lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Placing this at the end of each chorus advances the plot (he keeps crossing the Manhattan Bridge, going from his place to hers to ask for money) and could also be interpreted as suggestive of their differing economic situations: he's down-and-out at the edge of Chinatown, whereas she's living well in Park Slope (probably in a gorgeous brownstone). The East River is not the only thing separating them.

    The song begins from her perspective. She's already getting tired of him making excuses and blaming others for why he hasn't found success in New York City. She suggests he "drive across the country" (a shadow of her later suggestion to go to LA), then sarcastically points out that "no one's keeping you captive in the town that let you down (so sorry)."

    He defends himself: "Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not greedy... Like everybody else, i wanna pay my dues..." Then follows up this insistence on his lack of greed with... a request for money.

    She's suspicious, but gives him the dough. (I'd like to take this opportunity to mention how much I love Harvey Danger for the "sorry, but I think you might be just projecting" pun. He's projecting the blame onto her like movies are projected onto a screen. Get it?)

    "A community of dabblers who are vain and fond of biting backs
    ('we hate it when our friends become successful')
    And a different school whose energies are spent evading income tax...
    And silicone enhancements by the breastful."

    I'm not sure what this verse is referring to. It might be him blaming his lack of success on the New York art scene. (They're all so catty, you see, they'll stab him in the back as soon as he starts to threaten their fame. And that's why the money she gives him never amounts to anything.) Again, he asks for money. She suggests going to LA.

    This is where things get ugly. I've always assumed that one of them says this line:
    "Well when you like something, it’s an opinion / But when i like something, it’s a manifesto."

    And the other says this line:
    "Pomposity is when you always think you’re right / Arrogance is when you know."

    Not sure which one says which, but either way, it's evidence of their relationship completely breaking down. Also, the second line ("Pomposity is when you always think you're right / Arrogance is when you know") is just pure genius.

    He asks for money again; she refuses even to be nice and suggest alternatives. The relationship is over.
    Archaia Sophiaon July 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf you want my opinion, I think its basically a critique of a New Yorker's arrogance and ignorance to new ideas. coming from Queens originally, by Park Slope, which is a hipster populated location, I cannot tell you how many plans I've set up with my friends only to have them shot down at the last moment in favor of the same old routine(which might be driving to Park Slope along Pike Street). It really screams out how frustrating such an existence could be, where you're the only one who wants to experience life but your friends, whose friendship you value, hold you back in favor of the same old routine, and as a result, big plans are shot down as if they never even existed. I almost couldn't have said it better myself.
    mofloon November 14, 2010   Link

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