"Grace Cathedral Park" as written by and Mark Edward Kozelek....
A rare and blistering sun shines down on grace Cathedral Park
There with you I fear the time, when air gets dark
You know I don't spend days like this
Caught up in lost times of youth that I miss

Can almost hear roller coasters, see sailboats in the sea
Hear noise and screaming
Weaving in and out of happy music box sounds
But here on the ground we're so far away from that
Time turned older now

We walked down the hill, I feel the coming on of the fading sun
And I know for sure that you'll never be the one
It's the forbidden moment that we live that fires our sad escape
And holds passion more than words can say

Tell me why are you like this? Are you the same with anyone?
Save me from my sickness and tell me why do you treat me like this?
Tell me why are you like this? Are you the same with anyone?
Save me from my sickness and tell me why are you like this?
Why are you like this?

Lyrics submitted by ThreeMilesDown

"Grace Cathedral Park" as written by Mark Edward Kozelek

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Grace Cathedral Park song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI have this particular view of this song. To me I think this girls he's singing about is his first love or someone he loved along his youth, but somehow they didn't stick together for some reason not stated in the song, maybe because she moved or maybe because she was always confused about her feelings, but the thing is he has never quite forgotten her. And now, probably after years, she came to visit him and made him remember everything, making latent feelings come to surface again.

    He's afraid of nightfall, probably because she'll leave again. And deep inside his heart, he knows it's too late. She's the one he loves, but at the same time she won't be the one that'll spend the rest of lifetime with him as he realizes walking down the hill. Time just passed. She can be married now...although she still gets to him, what makes him ask: "why are you like this, Are you the same with anyone? Save me from my sickness and tell me, Why do you treat me like this?"

    Beautiful, yet sad song.
    Guigouon March 26, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthe's with a girl and they have a lot of fun together and get along well but he's afraid of the relationship dying. then, in his eyes, it starts to. he's asking "Why are you so nice to me? Why do you love me? Am I special or do you act like this around everyone?" "Save me from my sickness" means help me see that we could get along and that this relationship doesn't have to end.
    matrixmouse7on June 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"we walked down the hill
    i feel the coming on
    of the fading sun
    and i know for sure
    that you'll never be the one"

    best lines ever
    sean7711on October 08, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentso pretty.
    oh.pinknesson January 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Save me from my sickness" means, basically, "save me from my love for you." People who have had a history of abandonement usually can't stand to be in relationships, whether or not the other person loves them or not.
    charrbinon October 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhere is this park, and is it related to the hill on which certain people paid twenty five cents to light a little white candle?
    hab204on July 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about knowing things between himself and this girl won't work out, because she has this side of herself that is very emotionally distant and careless with him, and he can see that things can't change, and he just wishes she would be open and honest with him and tell him why she's like that with him.

    he wants some understanding. really I think the "sickness" is the hope he has or whatever, that extended "holding your breath" when someone is absent, and all you want is closure/a reason so that you can put things to rest...but until that person comes clean with you, you are merely spending your time waiting for them to do so. you feel sick and just wish the person in question would explain things already, and you wonder if she or he treats anyone else the same careless way they're treating you.

    "can almost hear rollercoasters
    see sailboats in the sea
    hear noise and screaming
    weaving in and out of
    happy music box sounds,"

    i adore these lines... they paint such a calm picture to me, grey skies, yet a warm summer day, waves lapping in the distance, bright lights on the horizon from the ferris wheel... beautiful! even the music itself makes me think of carnival games with spinning lights and tilt-a-whirls, cotton candy, clowns, toy boats, cards on bicycle wheels... it's a great song for relaxing.
    delialon July 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah hab204, they are the one and same place. Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Personally I like the Decemberists take on the area better, but I can't complain about this version.
    FallSemester_on November 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is quite possibly the most achingly beautiful paean to lost youth and love that I've ever heard. The writer never spells out whether his partner's treatment of him is positive or negative, yet makes it clear he can never reconcile it with the way he feels about himself.

    On a personal note, I started my honeymoon with the most wonderful girl in the world in San Francisco. While she slept off the jetlag I took my MP3 player to the grounds of Grace Cathedral, lay down on a bench and played this song while the sun went down. There I cried like a baby as I let go of all the negative thoughts that plagued me in the past and looked towards the future. Thank you Mark Kozelek and Red House Painters.
    turricanedon September 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correctionis anyone more san francisco than rhp? kozelek is translucently translating his experiences feelings in his early days of just living the san franciscan life. i just did a little research and google earth'd the locations mentioned in the song, as well as priest alley song. if interested, go check them out, the street views are a great way to define and get an interpersonal aspect on the songwriting process, see just what mark was going through. i'm still lost as to where colorful hill is, anyone reckon he was giving hippie hill his own nomenclature?

    56 cushman st - grace cathedral park. 1601 turk st. - golden gate elementary (now relegated).
    gueveraliveson July 07, 2010   Link

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