"Division Day" as written by and Steven P. Smith....
There was grown man dying from fright
So surprised by the things he'd say
With a giant fantasy life
Running 'round on feet of clay

Naked except for a perpetual debt
That couldn't be stripped away
An unrightable wrong that moved him
Along closer to division day

Spent a long time living with that
Never could give it a name
And when you don't know what you're
Looking at it makes it much harder to take

Mostly they'd meet when he was
Asleep and have some sick exchange
That stuck him as wrong and moved him
Along closer to division day

I can't make an exception for a bad
Connection that only goes one way
Sell out for a song where I don't belong
With you on division day

The moon stood up on the ridge
Looking down where the water shines
And a man looking over the bridge
Like he done so many times

Thinking about how to stay out
Out of troubles way and
Flying to fall away from you all
It's over division day
Beautiful division day

Thinking about how to stay out
Out of troubles way
Flying to fall away from you all
It's over division day
Beautiful division day


Lyrics submitted by dragonflower44

"Division Day" as written by Steven P. Smith

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Division Day song meanings
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31 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentnow, i'm not the kind of person that thinks that *every* single song written by Elliott is either about drugs or suicide. But this one makes me think of suicide, and that's my intepretation of it. Nothing to do with supposed biographical facts, it's just sounds like a suicide songs. The upbeat melody sort of confirms it, it's like the character in the song leads a shitty life until he comes to the decision
    So it's dark but uplifting in a twisted way.
    I'm not sure if there's some particular meaning to the words Division Day, like if it's something like a weird holiday I don't know about cos I'm not American, but for me I have always seen it like the day of your death, when your soul and body go separate ways.
    Maybe that's just bullshit, but I like my intepretation.
    dorareeveron February 08, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Mostly they'd meet when he was asleep
    And have some sick exchange
    That stuck him as wrong and moved him along
    Closer to division day"

    Elliott's stepfather Charlie molested/abused him at a young age. This basically foreshadows Elliott's death (moves him closer to division day) because he has wanted to die ever since...
    randommusicdudeon July 14, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Mostly they'd meet when he was asleep
    And have some sick exchange
    That stuck him as wrong and moved him along
    Closer to division day"

    Elliott's stepfather Charlie molested/abused him at a young age. This basically foreshadows Elliott's death (moves him closer to division day) because he has wanted to die ever since...
    randommusicdudeon July 14, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about someone who keeps getting themselves or has been in certain situations that they messed everything up in. They might have felt that they have messed everything up or just assumed so. So I think they are planning to get away from all that negitivity and everything else so they dont feel horrible anymore. Division day could be the day when you seperate yourself from everyone. Because everyone sucks.
    buwhahaon March 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentdorareever, i like your interpretation, i don't think it's bullshit at all :)

    the bridge part very much strikes me personally as something about suicide.

    the rest of it, in my opinion, is about a harmful relationship(s) and how he desires to break away from it... "a bad connection that only goes one way". and the "sick exchange" that "struck him as wrong" could refer to any type of unhealthy dynamic between people..

    but yeah, concerning the upbeat nature of it, and the happy way that he sings about "division day", it seems like the person in this song has been able to separate himself from the past and the person/people.. "...moved him along closer to divison day".

    love this song.. it's liberating
    pollyethyleneon April 02, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyeah, this song's about suicide, as are many of his songs - the divison day part, it could be to do with his fear of hell and the judgement day and stuff, but elliott also wrote a lot of his songs in portland, oregon. division is a huge street that cuts through southeast portland, so that in part could be where the name came from. the city is also split down the middle by the willamette river, with various bridges connecting it. suicide is made pretty accessible just by the pure number of bridges and their towering heights over the watery grave that so many before him experienced. he chose death by knife, but i'm sure each time he crossed on of those steel and concrete behemoths he thought about it...
    tedaciouson January 31, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think of division day being the day he would divide himself out of the equation that is life.
    whaton November 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's painfully clear what this song is about. The sick exchange haunts the narrator throughout his life and is a factor in his urge toward suicide. The fear of hell makes sense, too. This was a churchgoing family, and it almost seems that the narrator would prefer suicide and hell to meeting up with a certain churchgoing family member in heaven. I don't see how Elliott could not have been abused as a child. That's the subject of the first song on his first album, and it isn't a subject that comes up at random. Somebody did something to him.
    ESophileon August 08, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI agree with randommusicdude. This is one of Elliott's saddest songs lyrically, but one of his happiest melodically.

    Division Day from my understanding is division of body and soul, the day you die. I believe the song is mostly about sexual abuse from his stepfather. Every time he would it would push him closer to division day, to suicide.

    "Spent a long time living with that
    Never could give it a name
    And when you don 't know what you' re
    Looking at it makes it much harder to take"

    There are accounts from friends of Elliott's that said he spoke of repressed memories, that he blocked out, but were of abuse, and they confused him and left him emotionally distraught.

    The second and fourth verses I believe are direct references to the abuse. The perpetual debt, that refers to the pain that will always be there from what he did to him. The pain that would lead to his death, that he clearly prophesized his suicide from a young age. The longer you live with that fantasy, the more engrained it becomes in your beliefs, and it builds up and becomes reality.

    This song I feel expresses how Elliott felt he was fated for suicide from early on.
    junkbondtrader7on January 13, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commenteverytime i hear this song i try to figure it out. it's so deep. anyway it's such a great song
    asknoquestionson July 02, 2003   Link

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