"Omaha" as written by Charles Gillingham, Steve Bowman, Matthew Malley, David Bryson and Adam Duritz....
Start tearing the old man down
Run past the heather and down to the old road
Start turning the grain into the ground Roll a new leaf over
In the middle of the night, there's an old man treading around in the gathered
rain
Well mister, if you're going to walk on water
Could you drop a line my way?

Omaha Somewhere in middle America
Get right to the heart of matters
It's the heart that matters more
I think you better turn your ticket in
And get your money back at the door

Start threading a needle
Brush past the shuttle that slides through the cold room
Start turning the wool across the wire Roll a new life over
In the middle of the night, there's an old man threading his toes through a
bucket of rain
Hey mister, you don't want to walk on water
Because you're going to just walk all over me

Omaha Somewhere in middle America
Get right to the heart of the matters
It's the heart that matters more
I think you better turn your ticket in
And get your money back at the door

Start running the banner down
Drop past the color come up through the summer rain
Start turning the girl into the ground Roll a new love over
In the middle of the day, there's a young man rolling around in the earth and
rain
Hey Mister, if you're going to walk on water
You know you're only going to walk all over me.

Omaha Somewhere in middle America
Get right to the heart of matters
It's the heart that matters more
I think you better turn your ticket in
And get your money back at the door


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"Omaha" as written by Charles Gillingham, Steve Bowman, Matthew Malley, David Bryson, Adam Duritz

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, IMAGEM U.S. LLC

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Omaha song meanings
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31 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment"Get right to the heart of matters; It's the heart that matters more": great line in a great song. Seems like another one about change
    infidelon April 18, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMy opinion:
    i think its about d-day.
    Support:
    In the middle of the night, there's an old man treading around in the gathered rain: Eisenhower, before the night of the invasion, decided to put it off for a day because of bad weather.

    Well mister, if you're going to walk on water
    Could you drop a line my way?: Many of the US soldiers could not swim, and as they had not been drilled in amphibious invasions, many sunk and required other soldiers to help them get to shore, or simply drowned. In addition, it could also mean the US high command was expecting a miracle, as Jesus walking on water was.

    Run past the heather and down to the old road: a reference to the terrain of Omaha beach, where soldiers had to advance up the road.

    Omaha Somewhere in middle America: this line puzzled me for a while, but in the end, I realized that Omaha was the middle beach, and was also American, so could be classified as "Middle America."

    I think you better turn your ticket in
    And get your money back at the door: This is telling how many of the US soldiers did not sign up for what was happening, and many felt as if they would rather go back and get a refund.

    Start threading a needle: the many ships going the thin Normandy bay could be described as "threading a needle."

    Hey mister, you don't want to walk on water
    you're only going to walk all over me: the bitterness many Americans felt after the invasion having lost friends and family.

    Get right to the heart of the matters
    It's the heart that matters more : Omaha was the "heart" of the invasion, as it had the most important objectives.

    Start running the banner down: the US flag advancing up the beach.

    Drop past the color come up through the summer rain: One of the flag holders dying and being replaced.

    Start turning the girl into the ground Roll a new love over: a bit confusing at first. However, many of the soldiers found new love in Paris, after the Liberation of Paris: a direct result of D-Day.

    In the middle of the day, there 's a young man rolling around in the earth and rain: a bit obvious, a wounded soldier falling to the ground and writhing in pain. The middle of the day was also the worst time for the Allies, as they were fully exposed to German machine guns at this time.

    Just my opinions. Tell me your guys' thoughts on this.
    Impyrockeron May 07, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentCool to see a lot of mine overlaps. Wrote this for a paper just now. Rock on Crows/fans.

    This song speaks wonders to me. It indirectly confronts the fear of wasting life on a monotonous, everyday job, as paralleled by the various descriptions of setting up a mill–a factory, essentially a machine–in a town in “Middle America.” Each verse advances these steps of constructing a mill, almost lamenting on the process of carrying out a strenuous task in order to begin the same cycle of production over and over again. The chorus echoes sentiments concerning this fear, with the feeling that the “heart” matters more than the “heart of matters” (the mill and life), showing a lack of connection between the speaker and society–detachment. As evidenced in the chorus, the speaker feels that the spectator (listener) should go somewhere else, because there is nothing of worth to be seen by his accomplishments–“turn your ticket in and get your money back at the door.” As each verse compounds on the previous one with the building of a mill, so is the idiom “turn a new leaf over” expanded to cover various topics. In the first verse the speaker feels that he is doing what others before him have done countless times, as he “tear[s] the old man down” so he can feel that he is on the forefront of his occupation. When he rolls a new leaf over, he is actually not doing anything of the sort, just repeating history; likewise, when he says to “roll a new life over,” he is doing the same. The speaker also feels that he is failing with relationships, when he “turns [his] girl into the ground” and “roll[s] a new love over.” Other themes are present in this song, such as the theme of inferiority and fear of trying. This is exemplified through the repetition of the speaker fearing old and young men “walk[ing] all over [him].” He feels that no matter what he does, he will still be outdone by others that are seemingly “walk[ing] on water.” This also is a reference to God, and the speaker feeling inferior to him. This recurring use of water and rain is transformed in the third verse with the line “come up through the summer rain,” signifying an epiphany, a redemption of sorts that is later finished at the end of the song. There, the speaker concedes his fight with life and his conflicts, and accepts his fate–coming home, accepting his ordeal.
    mdprhson January 25, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnother thing about the "heart that matters" line, is that nebraska is part of the "heartland" of america.
    j_nefariouson June 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentActually when "August and Everything After" came out I read an interview with Adam Duritz in the Omaha World-Herald where he said Omaha was chosen because he liked the sound of the name but that there was no specific reference to the city of Omaha. The booing story is an urban legend which I believe can be traced to the band kidding that they would be booed offstage when they played across the river in Council Bluffs and the Iowans would good-naturedly boo at the name Omaha.
    choirvandalon February 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI dont know this song is one of my very favorite counting crow's songs and yet i dont know much about the meaning. I guess to me its about growing up moving on and putting yourself out there not listening to what other people think.
    Brooklyn0316on April 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, it's about how life turns people over just like leaves, just like the seasons change. I agree with you, infidel, the line is powerful. This song makes me feel... sort of sentimental.
    mandaloron May 02, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOmaha: about as far from the ocean as you can get, no?
    davidecoyoteon April 30, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about coming back to a place that has not changed at all, but you think it has because really you, yourself has altered
    spydermunkie101on June 07, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti would say more like he's has been there for a long time, and nothing is changing... and the people around there arent very glamouress, and its kinda sad... and adam is like "i gotta get out"
    sambo28on May 06, 2004   Link

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