"33" as written by and Claudio/todd Sanchez....
It's not what you have learned but what they said about you under your shirt.
You know they never will.
They'll make sense of what you gave them.
And now it's all down hill from here.

Well in this case you break my fall.
We're bringing it home.

Patrick short flip and outside boundary lines.
I'm running you down.

Well nothing looks right from up here.
Inside out I'm still unclear about the things you might have said.
Flat line equals frantic endeavor but I guess this will have to do now.

Patrick short flip and outside.
We're bringing it home. Hold on to the things you favor most.

Shift right and let it run down.
If my peace could find a way out.
Let go of the youthful honesty.

Lyrics submitted by RivalSchools

"33" as written by Travis Stever Claudio Sanchez

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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33 song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI’ve decided to do in-depth analysis’ of all of Coheed and Cambria’s studio tracks in chronological order so that myself and others might have a better idea of the story line of the universe and how the songs and the comics connect to each other.

    I'm going to give a line-by-line (omitting repeated lines) of my interpretation of each song and explain how it corresponds to the comics.



    Fans have always been certain of two things regarding the song “33”. One, it’s that the song is about Patrick McCormick, Josephine’s fiancé. Second, we know that, much like ‘A Favor House Atlantic’, ‘33’ is a chase song. This is due to both the lyrics and the general tempo of the song. While this made my job a little bit easier, there were still quite a few puzzles to unravel once delving into the thick of the lyrics. And then comes the title. This track is definitely the most oddly titled track on the album, since it’s a mere number that is no mentioned anywhere in the comics. All the other track titles can be traced back to the subject matter of the songs with only a little conjecture and acute observation. However, ‘33’ is listed nowhere in the lyrics, nor are there any numbers referenced at all, so why the song title so? As you’ll see at the end of this interpretation, after much thought, page-flipping, and notepad scribbling, I think I’ve settled on a very solid theory as to the meaning of the title.
    As to my theory involving the song proper, after analyzing the lyrics and the perspective of the narrator, I have come to believe that this song is actually sung by the soul, or ghost, of Josephine. She has recently died but is not at peace enough to move on past the boundaries of the mortal plane. So, instead, she does what any lovestruck-just-deceased ghost would do: she follows her beloved, who is currently running for his life. As she sees Patrick run, she speaks to him and tries to help, but of course he can’t hear her. She’s there to see his end, just as he was there to see her end, and the whole time, in the back of her mind, she once again thinks of the words he said: “Will you marry me?” and “I’ll never let anything happen to you”.


    ”It's not what you have learned
    but what they said about you under your shirt,
    you know they never will.” – (Josephine is remarking how her parents never really trusted Patrick. They didn’t pay attention to what was in his heart [under his shirt] but instead voiced that they didn’t really trust him. Even though Josie knows Patrick has learned and grown into a responsible young man, her parents will never see that.)

    ”They'll make sense of what you gave them
    and now it's all down hill from here” - (She tells Patrick that they only base their opinion of him based on the evidence they’ve seen of how well he treats Josie. He’s made mistakes in the past, but with this latest fiasco [the Devils raping her] is the worst and with her dead, it’s never going to get better for him. It can only go downhill from here.)

    ”Well in case you break my fall
    we're bringing it home” - (Josephine is understandably upset about dying but she is upset about it even more because Patrick just proposed to her earlier that day and it just feels to her like she’s fallen and her world has crashed down around her. She tries to assure Patrick that if he still loves her and doesn’t just drop her and move on to somebody new now that she’s dead, then she’ll try and help him to safety.)

    ”Patrick, short flip, and outside
    boundary lines.” - (Josie laments the fact that in only a couple hours Patrick’s live has been flipped completely upside down. In that short time, he’s been engaged to Josie, jumped and beaten, seen her raped, dealt with the guilt, watched her be killed, run for his life and has just watched more friends of his die at the hands of a monster that is out to get him. What’s happening is completely out of line with what he’s used to in life and he feels like he’s going crazy as Josie watches it all from beyond the grave, beyond the boundaries of the living realm.)

    ”(I'm running you down)” - (As Patrick runs from Coheed, who he thinks will hunt him down, it is in fact Ryan’s ‘Firstborn’ who is running after Patrick. The Firstborn is the very first Mage that Ryan experimented on and turned into an Onstantine Priest and who Ryan has now sent to eliminate Patrick since Patrick witnessed Josephine’s death. As the Priest grows ever nearer to Patrick, Josephine looks on as she follows Patrick.)

    ”Ooh yeah, well nothing looks right from up here” - (Josephine isn’t used to being dead or the abilities that come with being a ghost. As she floats high above Patrick, she notices how things look different from up here.)

    ”(Inside out)” - (Again, Josephine is getting used to being dead. She feels very disoriented and unusual since she no longer has a physical body to contain her.)

    ”I'm still unclear about the things you might have said.” - (She wonders if Patrick was truly serious about wanting to marry her and staying with her forever. If he was so much in love with her, why did he run away without seeing if she was alive or to try and find out what was happening? Why didn’t he listen to her and not leave the abandoned factory? Twice now he was not able to keep his promise to “never let anything happen” to her, so if he can’t keep one promise, does that mean he can’t keep his other promise [to love her forever]? She’s basically saying “What happened to your promise to keep me safe?”)

    ”In pieces they stagger embedded” - (As Patrick enters a seedy bar in the wrong side of town in order to get a gun from an old friend from Patrick’s less reputable past, the Priest breaks into the bar and begins slaughtering everyone, including Patrick’s friend. Many of them are stumbling around missing limbs and impaled by the Priest. The vision of them staggering around with pieces missing if embedded into Patrick memory.)

    ”Rush me to the emergency room” - (Josephine hears the injured patrons as they die. Many of them call out for help and she sympathizes with them and relates back to her own thoughts as she died.)

    ”Flat line equals frantic endeavor
    but I guess this will have to do now” - (Josephine knows that if they were at a hospital and flatlined there, they would at least know that someone had tried to frantically save them. But, knowing most won’t make it that long, Josephine does what she knows she would’ve wanted done and mourns for them as they die, hoping that will be enough to put their souls at rest. She would like to do more, but she can’t, so she hopes that will do for now.)

    ”Patrick, short flip and outside
    we're bringing it home - (Josie tries to encourage Patrick that she’s trying to help him make it through this. Even though she’s dead, she’s hoping they can make it through this together.)

    ”Hold on to the things you favor most” - (As Patrick runs, Josephine tries to tell him to keeps his hopes up and think about the things he loves most and to think of his love for her.)

    ”Shift right and let it run down.” - (Josephine encourages Patrick to drive fast and drive true to get away from the Priest. “Drive that car as fast as you can and just let that thing try and run after you.”)

    ”If my peace could find a way up
    let go of the youthful honesty.” - (As Patrick drives away and the Priest and Josephine both follow him, she begins to realize that Patrick may not survive. She thinks that is he dies, then they could be together again and her soul could be at peace and could move on. But if that happens, that leave Claudio as the only Kilgannon child left, which means he’s going to have to grow up and let go of his youthful ideas and naïveté, just as Josephine and Patrick have had to.)

    **After he gets away, Patrick pulls up to a phone booth and tries to call the cops. As he’s on the phone, the “FBI” show up and tell him to drop the gun he got at the bar. As he approaches the agent, it transforms into the Priest, which continues to transform into a horrible monster that stabs him through the heart. As Patrick dies, he thinks of Josephine and how ‘his own sadistic end mirrors hers’, as according to the comic. As she sees him die, she again wonders about his promise to love her forever and realizes she’s still uncertain if he meant it or if he can still follow through with that promise after failing to keep his promise of keeping her safe. She wonders if he’ll find her in death and follow through with the words he said and love her forever. As the song finishes, she says, for one final time, “I’m still unclear…”**

    For those wondering about the title, “33” and how it applies to the song, I have a theory. It’s revealed in the comic that Patrick proposes to Josephine (who accepts) early in the morning before school. Now, if we take it as granted that Hetricus, the planet where all this occurs, has a 12 hour day/night cycle similar to our planet, then we can plot out the timeline of the events surrounding Patrick by following the events as listed in the Bag.On.Line Adventures, since these comics more closely follow the timeline of the album and were done much closer to the album’s release. I believe the Amory Wars, while a more accessible comic, is not completely consistent with the timeline that the original album was written for. The mainly refers to the time leading up to ‘Time Consumer’ when Coheed kills Maria and Matthew. At that point the album and Amory Wars comics begin synch up again.
    Let’s assume that Patrick proposes to Josephine between 8am and 9am. Now, in the B.O.A. comics, we see Coheed get off work without every actually seeing his family in the morning (he works night shift). This was deemed unacceptable for the Amory Wars because Sanchez wanted a scene with the whole family together to give us a reference of what is ruined in the course of the album. However, the morning scene completely negates the original timeline and I feel that in employing artistic license for the sake of exposition it is not canon to the album’s original written storyline. In fact, the B.O.A. comics more closely reinforce the albums original storyline and track listing overall, so I’m drawing my reasoning from the Tuesday timeline presented in The Bag.On.Line. Adventures more so than that presented in the Amory Wars, though I’ll reference the Amory Wars timeline for Wednesday, since the B.O.A. comics never got that far.
    So, if Coheed gets off work from the night shift and arrives home after the kids have left for school, then he is not told of Josephine’s engagement (Cambria reads Josie’s mind and finds out later). So, we can assume that the engagement happens at around 8 or 9 in the morning on Tuesday. For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to say 9am. Now, the next time we see Patrick and Josephine is during ‘Devils in Jersey City’, which takes place that same Tuesday night. While that is happening, Coheed arrives home at 9:13pm (21:13). We are not told what he does all day between getting off work and arriving home.
    So, we have a verifiable 12-hour gap between the proposal and when Josephine and Patrick are assaulted. Now, switching to the Amory Wars (which cover Wednesday) We know Coheed kills Josephine at 1am and that Mayo enters the house and the battle break out at 2am, giving Patrick and unaccounted-for hour to run away. We then see Claudio, after running from the Priest, saying goodbye to Newo at 5:03am Wednesday, 3 hours after the battle in ‘Everything Evil.’ At this point we can see it is still quite dark outside, meaning that the sun probably doesn’t rise until around 6am. This is important, since we next see Patrick at twilight or dawn, depending on how you wish to interpret the lighting. However, since we see Patrick visit a bar and there are quite a few people inside, we can assume is it not 6 or 7 in the morning, since most bars aren’t even open that early, much less filled with patrons.
    So we can assume that the scene at the bar, the car chase, and the scene at the docks where Patrick dies are all at dusk. Now, considering that 9pm is depicted all being well back sunset in both “Devils in Jersey City” and “Time Consumer” in the B.O.A. comics, we can surmise it is at least an hour before that time or more. Judging by the bar’s amount of customers when they were still alive, the bar did not seem very crowded, so we can infer that “Happy Hour” had yet to start, so the bar scene probably took place before or just before 6pm, yet the sun was quite low so it was probably close to 6pm. If we assume Patrick drives away not long before at 6pm, and we can estimate a small time gap (15-20minutes) between his leaving the bar and arriving at the docks then that places Patrick’s time of dying sometime between 6 and 7 in the evening, exactly 33 hours after the projected 8 to 9 in the morning when he proposed to Josephine.
    So, in essence, it’s been 33 hours since the happiest day of Patrick’s life has become the worst day of his life and his life is ended.
    Winged_Dualityon August 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPerhaps this song does have double meaning?? Claudio himself has admitted that the song is about a Knicks game he went to see but i agree with iheartjesse... that they wouldnt put a song on the cd that had nothing to do with the story so somehow it is tied in with the story. How? I dont know. But i guarantee it is cause if its not thats just really stupid on Coheeds part then
    ap0llo2113on November 01, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentnow even though the comics are out and everyone knows this is wrong:
    i still think this is about Patrick Ewing.
    FunnyPunkKidon April 01, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm not entirely sure but i think Patrick is killed by an Onstantine Priest that the Red Army or Ryan w/e sends after him since he sees them when Coheed takes this hammer and finishes Josephine, Patrick is hurt and is running away when he calls the FBI from a toll phone or something and when one FBI guy arrives and reveals itself as a Onstantine Priest it fights Patrick who(albiet badass) get impaled and dies. I think he might've gone to the hospital or bought a gun or something regardless many an impalement goes down in Patrick's spine.
    mrfudgeyheadon April 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWinged Duality is amazing.

    That's all I can say. Purely fantastic explanation.
    SeanZiiion December 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCoheed and Cambria are NOT emo. They are pure ROCK. In fact, they are the revival of MELODIC rock. THey are just amazing. Of you think their lyrics are good, go listen to them. The guy can sing like no other. His range is rediculous. I love these guys. AMAZING.
    forum8cgson April 15, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEMO RULES
    WhenTheStarsFallon April 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm with WhenTheStarsFall.
    xcurtxon May 15, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentstop labeling the music, its people like you who cause this genre mix up shit. this it to the first guy.
    kris xxxon May 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwith every period in music, there's an opposing antithesis. 'emo' (whatever the hell it is, don't ask me) will have its 5-10 years, then people will eventually despise it and go to something else. same with disco, hair metal, etc. (which had it's own times)
    rustedhopeon May 23, 2002   Link

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