"The End Of The Tour" as written by John Linnell and John Flansburgh....
There's a girl with a crown and a scepter
Who's on WLSD
And she says that the scene isn't what it's been
And she's thinking of going home
That it's old and it's totally over now
And it's old and it's over, it's over now
And it's over, it's over, it's over now
I can see myself

At the end of the tour
When the road disappears
If there's any more people around
When the tour runs aground
And if you're still around
Then we'll meet at the end of the tour
The engagements are booked through the end of the world
So we'll meet at the end of the tour

Never to part since the day we met
Out on Interstate 91
I was bent metal you were a flaming wreck
When we kissed at the overpass
I was sailing along with the people
Driving themselves to distraction inside me
Then came a knock on the door which was odd
And the picture abruptly changed

At the end of the tour
When the road disappears
If there's any more people around
When the tour runs aground
And if you're still around
Then we'll meet at the end of the tour
The engagements are booked through the end of the world
So we'll meet at the end of the tour

This was the vehicle these were the people
You opened the door and expelled all the people
This was the vehicle these were the people
You opened the door and expelled all the people
This was the vehicle these were the people
You let them go

At the end of the tour
When the road disappears
If there's any more people around
When the tour runs aground
And if you're still around
Then we'll meet at the end of the tour
The engagements are booked through the end of the world
So we'll meet at the end of the tour
And we're never gonna tour again
No, we're never gonna tour again


Lyrics submitted by Spacecow

"The End of the Tour" as written by John Linnell John Flansburgh

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The End Of The Tour song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis is what this song means: Kurt Cobain died April 1994. John Henry was released September the same year. Kurts death was THE issue on the music industry's nimd during the second half of that year. The girl with the crown and scepter is Courtney - look at the cover of the Hole album.

    The references to the two of them being flaming wrecks etc are metaphors for their troubled - drug ridden relationship. The people inside are the fans, the industry, the entourage, all the hangers-on whose existence was facilitated by Kurt and Courtneys success. When Kurt killed himself he opened the doors and let all those people out.

    The end of the tour is the time of Courtney's death when she and Kurt will supposedly meet up again in heaven/the afterlife/whatever.
    juancircledon June 06, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about a couple torn apart by death.

    There's a man and a woman, very much in love. One day, though, the girl is killed (quite possibly in a car wreck). Obviously, the guy is crushed and shocked at the death of the person he loved. However, he winds up finding some degree of solace when he realizes that they'll "meet at the end of the tour"--in other words, when he dies, they'll see each other again.

    To go into more detail about their relationship, the "girl with a crown and a scepter" is the narrator's girlfriend/love interest--the person who dies. He describes himself as being "bent metal", while she's "a flaming wreck". She's the one who was killed; he was just crushed by it. At "the end of the tour", though, they'll see each other, and they're "never gonna tour again"--they'll never have to be apart anymore.

    A few other thoughts. It's possible the girl lingered for a while after whatever killed her, which is why she says that she's "THINKING of going home"--she was in serious condition, and they didn't know if she'd make it. I'm not sure of that, though.

    I've also always interpreted the part where he talks about how they "kissed at the overpass" to be about a literal kiss, not a head-on collision as many have suggested.

    In short, though...

    "The tour" = life.
    "The end of the tour" = death.
    "Home" = the afterlife.
    "A girl with a crown and a scepter" = the girl who dies.
    "A knock on the door" = the narrator discovering that the girl is dead. Maybe the police or someone came to his house to inform him that his girlfriend had been killed. It could also be a metaphor for him realizing that she's not coming back.
    "The vehicle" = again, probably life, or MAYBE a literal vehicle.
    "The people" = the girl.
    "[Opening] the door and [expelling] all the people" = the death of the girl, assuming that "the vehicle" is a metaphor for life.

    It's a deep, beautiful, amazing song. Definitely my favorite song of all time.
    HotelDetectiveon November 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I was bent metal you were a flaming wreck when we kissed at the overpasss
    I was sailing along with the people driving themselves to distraction inside me
    then came a knock on the door
    which was odd
    and the picture abruptly changed"

    sooooooooooooo good!
    the end of the tour is the end of this girls life. she gets killed when the narrator (john l.) crashes into her on the highway.
    theparasprinteron May 01, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow, that might be right. Good call, dude. That explains the churchy references in the bridge.
    Otomodachion January 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentall i know is that john linnell sang this to me at their latest tours
    chillisunfireon March 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is what I think: The girl with the scepter is a news reporter on channel WLSD. She is reporting the tour of two wreck cars. All there is alot of people coming to see it, noting else and it is geing old for her.
    One of the cars can see itself at the end of the tour.
    There are way too many places for the tou to go, but if the other car is still there, it will meet up with it.
    They were always on the tour since the accident on the overpass. Where the other car hit the door on the singing car and caused the people inside to be thrown out of it.
    great geo234on March 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is what I think: The girl with the scepter is a news reporter on channel WLSD. She is reporting the tour of two wreck cars. All there is alot of people coming to see it, noting else and it is geing old for her.
    One of the cars can see itself at the end of the tour.
    There are way too many places for the tou to go, but if the other car is still there, it will meet up with it.
    They were always on the tour since the accident on the overpass. Where the other car hit the door on the singing car and caused the people inside to be thrown out of it.
    great geo234on March 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthmph, well... since this didn't get posted before for some reason, I recently discovered that WLSD is a religious radio station. This sort of fuels an interperation of the song which suggests that "the tour" is just life, and seeing someone at the end of the tour means meeting them on the other side. I don't think that either of the Johns would write a song about a car accident that they'd caused... it just doesn't seem to fit who they are - it seems like it's more a pretty striking metaphor for death.
    windmills221bon August 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me this is a simple song with very little meaning. Its about a touring band and life on the road. its a hard job which can seem to go on till the end of the world.

    Guessing tmbg got sick of it on a tour bus one day and penned it, grand song though but doubt it has any relevance to life/death/religion/love.

    some people read too much into the painfully obvious
    incompleteon September 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIncomplete- I think your understanding of the song is mirrored in your name. There's certainly more to this song. This is what I believe it's about:

    The girl is a reporter, complaining about the "scene" or current culture or whatever... Then "Never to part since the day we met out on Interstate 91." This is switching the narration to the view of the car. It continues with "kissed at the overpass." This is the accident. "The knock on the door" is the car expressing its surprise at hearing the sound of the accident, then the picture changes, aka the car dies/afterlife whatever.
    DrWormon March 10, 2008   Link

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