"At The Hundredth Meridian" as written by Robert Baker, Gordon Downie, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois and Gordon Sinclair....
Me debunk an American myth?
And take my life in my hands?
Where the great plains begin,
At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian,
Where the great plains begin

Driving down a corduroy road,
Weeds standing shoulder high
Ferris wheel is rusting off in the distance
At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian
Where the great plains begin

Left alone to get gigantic
Hard, huge and haunted
A generation so much dumber than it's parents came
Crashing through the window
A raven strains along the line of the road,
Carrying a muddy, old skull
The wires whistle their approval,
Off down the distance
At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian
Where the great plains begin

(At the hundredth meridian) At the hundredth meridian
(At the hundredth meridian) At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian
Where the great plains begin

I remember, I remember Buffalo
And I remember Angelo
It would seem to me I remember every
Single fucking thing I know

If I die of vanity, promise me, promise me,
They bury me some place I don't want to be,
You'll dig me up and transport me, unceremoniously,
Away from the swollen city-breeze, garbage bag trees,
Whispers of disease and the acts of enormity
And lower me slowly, sadly and properly
Get Ry Cooder to sing my eulogy,
At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian
Where the great plains begin

At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian
At the hundredth meridian
Where the great plains begin


Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death, edited by rmm

"At the Hundredth Meridian" as written by Robert Baker, Gordon Downie, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois, Gordon Sinclair

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

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At The Hundredth Meridian song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentAwesome song...."It would seem to me I remember every single fucking thing I know!"
    Drink_and_Fighton August 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've always thought "the Hundredth Meridian" was a metaphor for the 49th parallel, and all it means to Canadian Artists. They have to go there, they must be carried there to be considered successful, but they lose themselves there. If you change "The Great Plains" could be the flat countryside of central North America, or it could be plain as in ordinary, nondistinct, homoginized, as American Music tends to become. Much of what he cries to be carried away from (swollen city-breeze, acts of enormity) seem very american.

    The song is an acknowledgement that they may have to travel south of 49 (across the 100th), but they will not allow it to change them.
    Spacemooseon September 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRy Cooder is a blues artist That Gord Downie looks up to
    Fully__Completelyon March 07, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe hundredth meridian (longitude) is where the plains begin.
    ThatOtherGuyon September 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYep, the meridian of 100 degrees west runs pretty much smack through the middle (north-south) iof the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas, nips off the corner of Oklahoma then runs on down through Texas just west of San Antonio and is quite literally "where the Great Plains begin".

    On the surface, this song looks like an evocative indictment of the rural American midwest. I can see how you'd go from that to drawing a parallel between the desolate nature of the landscape and the desolate nature of the culture, but I'm not totally convinced that's the intent.
    Blue_Manon February 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, I lived behind that line for a small bit of time in my life. It seems to be a weird indictment if you bringing up a Dutch City and an American guitar god in the same song. The culture is desolate from the Red RIver of the North westward. According to an article I've read in USA Today, The northern Great Plains of the 1990's and 2000's is now what the Deep South was from the 1930's to say the 1980's was. Poor as poor can get...and I've seen it driving between Williston, North Dakota and Glasgow, Montana.

    I find the meaning to be about the American musical landscape. It's rare that anybody finds a great band and if they are found, they die off as quickly as they appear. The American landscape prefers music that's easily to listen to and therefore, it's easy to consume. Nirvana wasn't like that, Days of the New wasn't like that, Alice In Chains wasn't like that. Modest Mouse shouldn't be like that, I guess for the most part they aren't. Listen to their new album to see what I mean.

    Neither are The Hip, at least now. I started with Road Apples and Fully Completely, Road Apples was easily my favorite because it was easier to listen to. I love Up To Here as well. Those two albums are the easiest to consume by the band. They are great because they are easy to consume rock and roll. Fully Completely was tougher for me so I should give it another go. I love Day For Night though. I also have In Violet Light and In Between Evolution and they are the most complex albums by them. I started out of order but I will eventually get on the horse. This is the best band on Earth and I wish they would play in North Dakota. You wouldn't know how many Canadians we get from Winnipeg on a weekly basis. That would be awesome in my mind.
    OpinionHeadon March 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that this song has absolutely nothing to do with the American musical landscape. If he was talking about that he would have referred to a parallel (e.g. 49th parallel). 100 degrees longitude runs through Canada and the U.S., and is an east-west divider, not a north-south. I think he is talking about the purest part of Canada, the "great plains" that are, for the most part, untouched by urban plight. He says that if he "dies of vanity" he should buried at the hundredth meridian, away from the overcrowed, overconsuming city. If he "dies of vanity", he will at least be buried where life is simple, and without the big city attitude.
    IvoKenton June 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCan someone tell me what the hell Gord Sinclair is saying in the backgroung during the chorus?????
    IvoKenton November 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThat a bi Kenny. HAHA! Couldn't tell you what Gord S. is saying but it sounds good. Let's jam this song soon.
    Nolesy101on July 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Hundredth Meridian is the border between Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
    MikeCraigon March 17, 2007   Link

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