"President of What?" as written by and Benjamin Gibbard....
I saw the scene unfold on a rainy Sunday
Creases indicating fold that kept four walls from caving in
I took a little more of what I take for granted
And filled my plate for fear that gears would turn

And wheels would roll away
Something's got to break you down
Entered the scene (i'm told) on I think it was Monday
You drove straight through and mined that quarry
For all it could bleed 'til dry
I took a little more 'til I got taken for granted
Cause beautiful boys gave chase
And when they arch your backbone

It's such a dreadful sight
I'll react when faces find you
With jealous fits that gag and bind you
Cause nothing hurts like nothing at all
When imagination takes full control


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"President of What?" as written by Benjamin Gibbard

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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President of What? song meanings
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  • +2
    My InterpretationThis song is absolutely about irrational jealousy in a relationship.

    “I saw the scene unfold on a rainy Sunday
    Creases indicating folds that kept four walls from caving in
    I took a little more of what I take for granted
    And filled my plate with fear that gears would turn
    And wheels would roll away”
    Something's got to break you down [x2]”

    He started imagining her screwing around while he was in a bad place mentally; a “rainy Sunday”. But he went a little further this time and imagined her leaving him now; “.. with fear that gears would turn/and wheels would roll away”. He knows it’s a bad idea; it’s an irrational fear. But regardless, he’s convinced that she’s going to find someone else, either because of their persistence or because she’s tired of his jealousy. “Something’s got to break you down”. He recognizes it’s unhealthy but he keeps doing it.

    “Entered the scene (I'm told) on I think it was Monday
    You drove straight through and mined that quarry
    For all it could bleed 'til dry
    I took a little more 'til I got taken for granted
    'cause beautiful boys gave chase
    And when they arch your backbone
    It's such a dreadful sight”

    He’s practically blind with jealousy again; like before, when he references “creases indicating folds”, he’s talking about seeing the corners of a room but not understanding them or maybe just not caring; this time, he doesn’t even know about the day. He’s imagining things again, due to a fight that really took it out of him “you drove straight through and mined that quarry/for all it could bleed til dry”; so the scene got more vivid and angry. He’s feasting on that fear again. “'Cause beautiful boys gave chase/and when they arch your backbone/it's such a dreadful sight” is clearly about him thinking she’s cheating on him.

    “I'll react when faces find you
    With jealous fits that gag and bind you
    'cause nothing hurts like nothing at all
    When imagination takes full control

    I saw the scene unfold [x4]”

    He’s acting out again and recognizes that his fear and jealousy and anger come from nowhere except his insecurity and imagination when she’s approached by people; “I'll react when faces find you/with jealous fits that gag and bind you/'cause nothing hurts like nothing at all/when imagination takes full control”. He sees that it’ll be the end of them and it hurts her, but he can’t control it; his mind gets carried away at practically nothing at all, or when she says “it was nothing”. “I saw the scene unfold” is clearly just him talking about how he sees it over and over and how it could go every time; he’s either mocking himself, quoting the argument, or trying to justify it. Regardless, it’s clearly about jealousy. I think the title might come from something she’d said from a fight when he asked her not to go out or something like that, when he tried to control or “gag and bind” her; “You’re the president of what?”

    Excellent song though, and this is just my interpretation.
    deernoiseon September 29, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdeath cab for cutie just sticks these images in your head and it always reminds you of something, and it's special like that. the way it makes you think, you know?
    takeourcarson June 02, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI know =) .
    skapunkemoon June 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentditto.
    replayingtragedyon June 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'll follow the trend and agree.
    death cab for cutie really is a talented and unique band though. Quite good.
    leadmyskepticsighton July 25, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love the line "'cause nothing hurts like nothing at all / when imagination takes full control"

    sosososo very true...
    WhenFiresWhisperon August 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfor years ive been closely watching parents and children.
    ive noticed how the succes in children, later on, really starts very early, in the home.
    all boys and girls are born with their own special talents.
    these talents have there greatest chance to grow in a friendly loveing home.
    meAmoreon September 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti have a belly button :o
    poisonawellon March 09, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is one of their best
    dbs706on April 22, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI totally agree with the comment about the images being stuck in your head. They are so vivid, and sharp and even though from the lyrics there isn't a clear image being conveyed something just comes up in your mind and in my mind its always a a black and white image, or in sepia and there is sorrow under the hoppy beat. love this band
    inculuston April 18, 2004   Link

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