"Locked In The Trunk Of A Car" as written by Robert Baker, Gordon Downie, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois and Gordon Sinclair....
They don't know how old I am
They found armor in my belly
From the sixteenth century
Conquistador, I think
They don't know how old I am
They found armor in my belly
Passion out of machine revving tension
Lashing out at machine revving tension
Rushing by the machine revving tension

Morning broke out the backside of a truck-stop
The end of a line a real, rainbow-likening, luck stop
Where you could say I became chronologically fucked up
Put ten bucks in just to get the tank topped up

Then I found a place it's dark and it's rotted
It's a cool, sweet kinda place
Where the coppers won't spot it
And I destroyed the map, I even thought I forgot it,
However, everyday I'm dumping the body

It'd be better for us if you don't understand
It'd be better for me if you don't understand
Yeah

Then I found a place it's dark and it's rotted
It's a cool, sweet kinda place
Where the coppers won't spot it
And I destroyed the map that I'd carefully dotted,
However, everyday I'm dumping the body

It'd be better for us if you don't understand
It'd be better for us if you don't understand
It'd be better for me if you don't understand

Let me out
Let me out
Let me out
Let me out
Let me out
Let me out
Let me out


Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death

"Locked in the Trunk of a Car" as written by Gordon Sinclair Gordon Downie

Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

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Locked In The Trunk Of A Car song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +4
    General Comment Like all hip songs, there are multiple threads or ideas woven into the song, not always strongly related, but in this case they all focus around bodies.
    The song starts off, quite plainly with an archaeological, or other type of dig, where a skeleton has been found - there's lots of archaeology going on around Kingston all the time - that's what I do. In fact I have have worked in McBurney Park in Kingston that used to be a graveyard & is commonly called "Skeleton Park". There is a summer music festival there (Skeleton Park Music Festival) & the Hip have recorded a song called "Skeleton Park" that hasn't been on an album, but was available as a specal download for a wireless company.
    The 'chronologically fucked-up' section (an archaeological term) happened decades ago in a village NW of K-town whre a pot-hunter/looter was trying to sell a red ocher burial mound skeleton out of the trunk of his car.
    The cool, sweet, dark, rotted section refers to an incident that took place in the late 80's or early 90's north of Kingston (Barry's Bay) just south of Algonquin Park, where a guy took a girl in the summer, killed her & hid her body in the woods & went to visit it & have sex with it, for a while. Of course Gordie's not going to talk about this in interviews. kinda bad PR - he usually justs makes up stuff on the spot for his own intertainment - a mystery is also good.
    The last section is about the mental anguish of committing a crime where a body has been dummped in a wooded rural area outside of a city & finnaly the screams of a kidnapped victum locked in the trunk of a car.
    I don't see any link to the FLQ incident - the body was never dumped.
    edge24on July 28, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt'd be better for us if you don't understand.
    danszon September 15, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis may be one of the darkest songs I've ever heard.
    OpinionHeadon October 05, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI had the pleasure of meeting Gord in a small Q&A session and one of the questions that was asked of him was what the meaning of this song is. He explained he was trying to get into the mind of a serial killer when he wrote this and that this song is very dark and actually disturbs him which is why he tends not to perform it live. I think that it is naive to believe that any single Hip song has only one meaning/or significance. Most have many I believe. Gord is a brilliant artist - there are very few folks, (if any), that can truly get inside his head in my opinion. I SURE LOVE TRYING THOUGH!
    laurieloo82on February 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe anthem of a serial killer. Though he 'dumps the body', it is the serial killer who still feels locked in the trunk of a car...until he can find his next victim.
    President55on March 18, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGord Downie has said in an interview that the song is a metaphor for a suffocating relationship.
    rosene_80on July 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song means a few things, really, but the general theme is about this person who has suddenly "woken up" in a very bad place for him, and he doesn't want to be there anymore. The lines "They don't know how old I am, they found armour in my belly. From the sixteenth century... Conquistador, I think." Seems to suggest that he's been "sleeping" for a very, very long time, and he himself isn't sure exactly how long it's been.

    "Morning broke out the backside of a truck-stop
    the end of a line a real, rainbow-likening, luck stop
    where you could say I became chronologically fucked up."

    I think what the narrator is doing right here is describing the last thing he remembers... where it all went wrong and he became "chronologically fucked up" and went to "sleep". He's describing in a sense, the when and where it happened, as he's trying to put the pieces together.

    "Put ten bucks in just to get the tank topped up.
    Then, I found a place it's dark and it's rotted.
    It's a cool, sweet kinda-place
    where the copters won't spot it
    and I destroyed the map, I even thought I forgot it,
    however, everyday I'm dumping the body.
    It'd be better for us if you don't understand.
    It'd be better for me if you don't understand"

    I think right here is where the narrator is describing the events, as they happened and how he was in a sense "romanced" into this bad place for him, and how he made a not-so-clear headed decision to destroy any possible way back, because he thought this place was perfect for him. Whether this is a lifestyle choice or anything like that, I can't really say. The "dumping the body" line is basically the narrator going through the motions of everyday life, as he's trying to adjust and stay on course with this choice he made.

    The ending, where he screams over and over again "LET ME OUT!" is him deciding that this was a wrong choice, that he's let himself "sleep" for far too long and that he was a bone head for making the choice to begin with. He wants to rectify it, he doesn't want this anymore and he's practically begging for someone to find him and let him out, so he can get back to life. Basically I think this song is a metaphor for an anti-social life, where bad experiences lead to bad choices and someone believing that it's "better if you don't understand", meaning that he's done something or he's experienced something that he's not terribly proud of, and maybe it's what let him fall into the haze/sleep that he's wasted so much time on.
    raiduon June 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlthough the song is about ending a relationship, I also agree with biggreenmonkey, where the song serves as a testament to the FLQ killing of Pierre Laporte during the October Crisis. The lyrics fit so perfectly for the event. I've used these lyrics in a university paper and the prof started listening to The Hip thereafter. Good grade too!
    Bob Zareon August 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAftermath of the ending of a relationship dealing with the results and reminiscing juxtaposed with an actual murder (don't know much of Pierre Laporte, but I'll look into it).

    raidu- I agree with you except for the last part. I think this is where either the narration switches from the criminal's point of view to the victim's, or that this point reveals that the criminal and victim are one in the same.
    ProudesterMonkeyon September 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI find myself thinking that the singer is initially singing from the point of "view" of the dark and rotted place somewhere in the American South which, for century after century has been where murderers have disposed of their victims. After that the point of view shifts to the latest murderer who is still haunted by the memory of what he did, confessing via this song while telling the listener it's safer for both of them if if the listener doesn't figure out that it isn't just a song.
    Letmeinon June 04, 2007   Link

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