"Chartered Trips" as written by and Mould....
Well I picked up my belongings in a nylon carry-all
I hear the porter call
He said "The sky's the limit on this chartered trip away"
I guess I'd better stay

Out there on the desert, I see trees on every wall
Nothing's ever solved
He said "The sky's the limit on this chartered trip away"
I guess I'd better stay away

I thought I owed myself a trip away
I wanted to go to places I have never been away
I looked at the pictures, imagine where the lay away
On a beach, by the sand, where their clothes all lay, clothes all, clothes all lay away

I picked up my belongings in a nylon carry-all
I hear the porter call
Horizon is oblivious, chartered trip away
Guess I'd better stay

Out there on the desert, I see trees on every wall
Nothing's ever solved
Horizon is oblivious, chartered trip away
Guess I'd better stay away

I thought I owed myself a trip away
I wanted to go to places I have never been away
I looked at the pictures, imagine where the lay away
On a beach, by the sand, where their clothes all lay, clothes all, clothes all lay away

I picked up my belongings in a nylon carry-all
I hear the porter call
Said "There's no returning from this chartered trip away"
Guess I'd better stay

Said "There's no returning from this chartered trip away"
Said "There's no returning from this chartered trip away"
Said "There's no returning from this chartered trip away"
Said no return...


Lyrics submitted by OwnPersonalDemon, edited by jpaulo

Chartered Trips song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentBecause Zen Arcade is a concept album about a boy who dreams he runs away from home, this would be the part where he takes a bus out of town.
    ZEROpumpkinson December 22, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationWhen I was younger I thought this song was about an acid trip. But it's not. Then again, when I was younger, I thought every song was about LSD.

    Anyhow, this song ties in nicely with the Zen Arcade concept of a child running away from home and realizing that its not any better. The chartered trip away is an illusion. No matter where you are - the illusion is that a better place is elsewhere. Go travel my friend.
    TdyYrLoveon October 21, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song
    ClicheGuevaraon February 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song, as far as i'm concerned, is amazing. i think it's about leaving town and kind of becoming disillusioned with the outside world when you realize it wasn't the answer you thought it would be.
    misirlouon September 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentamazing song
    josinson December 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favourite song, the guitar is incredible...
    Pohjolaon July 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis has to be the best song on one of the best albums of all time.

    It's so great. I love the vocal style used in this song, it sounds a bit different than the others. My favorite part is near the end when they repeat "said there's no returning on this chartered trip away" a few times to really emphasize that idea.

    Anyways, I am at a loss as to what "out there on the desert, i see trees on every wall, nothing's ever solved." means. Any idea?
    mtj027on September 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTo expand on the interpretation that this song is about a boy who dreams about running away and taking a bus out of town - which ties into the album's concept - I'd say "Chartered Trips" is about contemplating a "trip away."

    As the saying goes, "the grass is always greener..." and running away to a different town seems like the solution to a problem, but "nothing's ever solved."

    We assume the protagonist takes the "chartered trip away" because by the time we get to "The Biggest Lie" he is considering returning back to his day job, girlfriend, and home town, but is disillusioned with the hypocrisy of it all.

    Regardless of what "Chartered Trips" actually means, it is hands down my favorite Bob Mould penned Hüsker Dü song.
    Bennyshambleson April 25, 2014   Link
  • -1
    General Commenti've read in an old interview that this song is about a young boy going off to war.
    kissofthecobraon January 23, 2006   Link
  • -1
    General Commentyeah, i agree with the idea of it being about a kid going off to war.

    the line; "i looked at the pictures, imagine where the lay away, on a beach, by the sand, where their clothes all lay away," reminds me of those old army enlisting scams where they advertise seeing the world and traveling to great places.

    the last line; "said" there's no returning from this chartered trip away," is more support for this theory.

    i think a chartered trip means a chartered trip to death. like it's certain that if you see the outside world and join the army, that you will die, metaphorically that is. just an idea
    will5on June 09, 2007   Link

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