I fell in love with a hooker
She laughed in my face
So seriously I took her
I was a disgrace

I was out of line; I was out of place
Out of time to save face
See the open mouth of my suitcase
Sayin' leave this place

Leave without a trace
Leave without a trace
Leave without a trace

I tried to get a good job
With honest pay
I might as well join the mob
The benefits are okay

Standing in the sun with a popsicle
Everything is possible
With a lot of luck and a pretty face
And some time to waste

Leave without a trace
Leave without a trace
Leave without a trace

I tried to dance at a funeral
New Orleans style
I joined the Grave Dancer's Union
I had to file

Trying to do the right thing, play it straight
The right thing changes from state to state
Don't forget to take your mace
If you're out walking late

I liked to see your face
You left without a trace
You leave without a trace


Lyrics submitted by zencicada

Without a Trace Lyrics as written by David Anthony Pirner David Pirner

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Without A Trace song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment

    The way I see it, this song is about being frustrated with the world around you and all the expectations that people have on you. "Trying to do the right thing / Play it straight / The right thing changes from state to state" is another way of saying that everyone will always expect different things of you, which means that no matter what you do someone will always think you've done wrong. And when that happens, you might feel like you just want to leave without a trace and disappear. It's a complicated world... :)

    This is a great song with an equally awesome and aesthetically pleasing video. Seeing Dave Pirner as a smooth-talking politician is definitely something special! :)

    Reverend Duckon May 05, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I dont know if there's a deeper meaning to this song or not, but I've always looked at it in a similar way, I guess, to tzovas - the first and last verse are 1 person, the middle verse is another. I always just looked at it pretty much at face value - it's about a hooker. Verse 1 - Guy picks up a hooker, likes her, whatever. Verse 2 - Girl trying to find a job, ends up as a hooker ("standing in the sun w/ a popsicle anything is possible" - little seductive maybe - "with a lot of luck and a pretty face.") Verse 3 - guy's concerned about hooker, take your mace if you're out working late in case some bad stuff starts to go down. When the hooker leaves, she's gone w/out a trace.

    Like I said, I always took it at face value. I dont know if there's any deeper meaning to this or not.

    nuku42on November 10, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I just love the line: "Standing in the sun with a popsicle. Everything is possible"\nIt paints a great picture in my mind of a small kid playing outside in the summer with their whole life laying ahead of them and nothing but possibilities.

    linksfiendon November 25, 2021   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I can't believe no one has written abou this song. It is one of my favorite Soul Asylum songs. I really don't know what it means. It is just a funny song that rhyms so it makes for a good song to sing in the shower. The beginning of the song is just so surreal that it is hilarious. Obviously the band thought well of the song since the album title came from this song (Grave Dancers Union). This title in itself is humorous. This song is funny but as far as I can think, doesn't have much meaning.

    metalandolpon September 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song is an example of what I like to call a hidden treasure that can be buried in albums. These hidden treasures are what differentiate the ordinary from the extra-ordinary record.

    This is a favorite of mine from the Grave Dancers Union record too. I am not sure what is intended by the lyrics but I have interpreted it as the singer telling us of his strange decisions and the consequences which result. Again as previously noted, it could just be amusing nonsense.

    grogleyon December 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    doesn't it say "I was out of pace" in the song instead of "place"? Anyway, that's just a detail. Great great song! Funny and clever lyrics.

    Dave Pirner might be talking in first person but I think he kinda tells the stories of 3 different people in strange situations. In the end, they feel like leaving the place without a trace. They feel ashamed and guilty and they wish they'd disappear.

    tzovason May 13, 2007   Link

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