"For What Reason" as written by Christopher Walla and Benjamin Gibbard....
This won't be the last from me, its just the start.
I hope that he keeps you up for weeks like you did to me.

I will hold a candle up to you to singe your skin.
Brace yourself: I'm bent with bitterness. I can't foresee.

When your apologies fail to ring true,
So slick with that sarcastic slew
Of phrases like "I thought you knew"
While keeping me in hot pursuit.

Tracing the plot finds
Skin touching skin.
Absence follows.

In the end, I win every time as ink remains.
Sour tastes prevail as you play back the tape machine.

When your apologies fail to ring true,
So slick with that sarcastic slew
Of phrases like "I thought you knew"
While keeping me in such hot pursuit.

Tracing the plot finds
Skin touching skin.
Absence follows.


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery, edited by benjaminikuta, Lafcadio1

"For What Reason" as written by Christopher Walla Benjamin Gibbard

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

For What Reason song meanings
Add your thoughts

46 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +3
    General CommentI'm going to tackle this line by line with my interpretation. This is going based off of personal experience, and it seems to me that everything about this song fit with what happened, so that is the reason that I believe this.

    "This won't be the last you'll hear from me; it's just the start"

    Ben is obviously enraged, and firmly declares that he isn't through destroying her. He doesn't necessarily wish her any physical harm, but he is set on destroying the idea he had of her perfection.

    "I hope that he keeps you up for weeks like you did to me"

    This where he reveals the most frustrating part of his dilemma. He spent a lot of time thinking about her. What she might be doing. Where she might be. Not answering phone calls. Unexplained absences.

    "I will hold a candle up to you to singe your skin"

    He is ridding her life of her. Destroying everything he had that reminded him of her, because it hurt too much to see it. I'm particular to the Burning the Pictures theory.

    "Brace yourself; I'm bent with bitterness we can't foresee"

    This is where I am convinced that he is not speaking to her literally, but only to the Idea he has of her. He viewed her as perfect, and this image is what he is telling to brace itself. He will destroy it because he now understands that this image never truly existed (See "Only" by Nine Inch Nails)

    "When your apologies fail to ring true"

    Pretty self explanatory. She is saying 'sorry' for the transgressions she was committing (probably the lack of interest in the relationship), but it's similar to how a person says 'I'm sorry this happened to you' when someone has a bad day. They don't truly feel it is their fault, but they do feel a form of guilt for it happening.

    "So slick with that sarcastic slew Of phrases like 'I thought you knew'"

    This is quite possibly the most revealing part of the song. This girl was distant. She was distant on purpose so she didn't have to feel guilty IF (very important key word: IF) she had to eventually let him down.

    "While keeping me in hot pursuit"

    She obviously wanted and told him to keep trying. She probably said something along the lines of 'Don't let me push you away', and encouraged him to stick to that. He kept trying to get her to Truly be in the Relationship. He continued to say endearing things and loving compliments, and she accepted, despite her hidden agenda.

    "Tracing the plot finds Skin touching skin"

    This is also a key part in the song. He is looking back during this time in which she kept him in pursuit, and realizes that these unexplained absences, this Disdain that she spoke with...she wanted to/was fucking someone else the entire time. She didn't necessarily cheat on him. They may not (and probably weren't) Officially Together, but she was definitely stringing him along while she was fucking this other guy. That bitch.

    "Absence follows."

    This is probably a reference to the Disdain that the distant one speaks with towards a person that they are not truly in love with. She never respond to his calls or anything because she was either she was in the vicinity of the guy she was fucking, or she continued to lose interest in Ben, and therefore, continued to lose interest in answering his calls.

    "In the end I win every time This ink remains"

    He feels he is on the higher ground in this situation because he knows he is the mature one. While a simple "Ben, I don't love you anymore." would have sufficed, she decided to use him as a backup plan, and therefore hurt him in many ways. This line is his way of declaring that he is able to get past her because he can express this situation through written word ("The best way to get over a woman is to turn her into literature" -Henry Miller) She, on the other hand, can't mature through this, because of the vile way in which she treated this situation.

    "Sour tastes prevail as you play back the tape machine"

    This may be a reference to the message he left when he finally tells her that he knows she has been with someone else. There is that sense of dread when you have been found out. Or it may be a reference to the messages he left afterward, trying to get answers, and how frustrated she was with Ben or herself for not actually having any.

    "When your apologies fail to ring true
    So slick with that sarcastic slew
    Of phrases like "I thought you knew"
    While keeping me in such hot pursuit

    Tracing the plot finds
    Skin touching skin
    Absence follows "

    My final prospectus:

    He dedicated himself to her. She didn't necessarily cheat, but she was unable to return the same courtesy. She was disdainful in the end (or maybe even throughout the relationship), and it ripped him to shreds. Despite his passive nature, he was so distraught by this that he is finally letting it be known how insanely fucking petty he is towards her at the time that this song was written. She promised she had no feelings for this guy, but eventually made it too obvious through her absence in the relationship.
    HandForTenderon July 23, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is vicious. i love it.
    polka_doton June 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"When your apologies fail to ring true,
    (you're) so slick with that sarcastic slew
    of phrases like "i thought you knew"
    while keeping me in such hot pursuit"

    can somebody tell me in great detail what that means, im so slow when it comes to this stuff.
    LetMeSaveYou;on September 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song great band
    emodaveon May 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song great band...such catchy lyrics. best indie band i've listened to
    emodaveon May 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEverytime I hear this song I cant help but crack a smile and think of my ex-girlfriend. Great lyrics, great song, great band.
    AntiHero16on June 02, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy favorite death cab song!
    sayitainthalighon July 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"brace yourself: i'm bent with bitterness." oooh man, could that line be any cooler? gotta love dcfc!
    DontAskMeWhyon September 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis was my first Death Cab Song---and it shows up on almost every best of and mix I make. The bass line, the vocal melody--everything about this band makes me happy.
    Eli_Cashon September 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm with Eli--this is quite possibly the best song they've written....regardless of it's downer subject matter....
    GeeMoon September 27, 2002   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain