I am the only one
Searching for you
And if I get caught
Then the search is through
And the stories you hear, you know they never add up
I hear the natives fussing at the data chart
Be quiet, the weather's on the night news

Empty homes
Plastic cones
Stolen rims, are they alloy or chrome?
Well I've got style
Miles and miles
So much style that it's wasted
So much style that it's wasted
So much style that it's wasted

Now, she's the only one
Who always inhales
Paris is stale
And it's war if we fail

And in the migrant hotels, they never sleep, they never will
Their souls are crumbling like a dirt clod, hold
Your cigarette cuts to the inside

Empty homes
Plastic cones
Stolen rims, are they alloy or chrome?
Well I've got style
Miles and miles
So much style that it's leaving
It's pattern's torn and we're weaving
This battle's torn and we're weaving

Lyrics submitted by summerbabe, edited by TinyDancer1

Frontwards Lyrics as written by Stephen Malkmus Scott Kannberg

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., WORDS & MUSIC A DIV OF BIG DEAL MUSIC LLC

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Frontwards song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment"It's about moving forward. Obviously." ;)
    TheSighon June 04, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne of the great Pavement openers along with 'Grounded'.

    Ripping on the middle class coming from someone who's from a fairly affluent family. come across as sarcastic I think,.
    acorm88on March 27, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTheir souls are crumblin'
    Like a dirt clod. Hold
    Your cigarette cupped to the inside.
    westing202on September 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about trying to act cool to get girls to be interested in you. This approach to picking up girls has no mixed results. It always fails.
    morrisseyscooton May 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Stolen rooms, or the alloy of chrome "... actual lyric is "stolen rims are they alloy or chrome".

    Probably my favorite Pavement song... Like many of their early songs though, it's pretty hard to say what it is actually about. To me it appears to be a song about unrequited love...
    isotope23on March 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love how they can say this shit and not sound pretentious -'Well I've got style/ miles and miles/ so much style that it's wasting' is probably one of my favorite lyrics ever.
    polythenepamon March 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Well I've got style- miles and miles, so much style that it's wasted."

    yeah, my favorite thing ever. i don't know why this never made it onto one of the albums.
    Snevikon April 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt made it onto the wonderful Watery Domestic EP, which is awesome on it own. Last EP with Gary 2 Sniff...

    Anyways this song is about moving on, progressing past mistakes and negative emotions, and bad circumstances around you.

    Start with the chorus: Empty homes, plastic combs, stolen rims are they alloy or chrome?

    This is a snapshot of daily life, and one thats not very attractive. Using cheap plastic combs, empty abandoned houses, someone's rims got stolen.. were they alloy or chrome?

    "Be quiet the weather's on the night news" Parents yelling at kids while they watch monotonous weather reports. Who hasn't experienced these things?

    The rest of the lyrics echo this sentiment: migrant workers who slave away at cheap labor, souls are crumbling, in the way a dirt clod crumbles in a firm grasp, I like that simile btw ^_^. And the famous "I've got style" lines. SM says them as if its a burden, trying to have style, miles and miles... i take it almost as if he is tired of trying to have style; of trying to establish himself, and so the skills he does have are wasted.

    The fabric (his life) is torn ( hard times) but theres the hope of weaving something beautiful regardless, we are all still weaving it out.

    In the live version at Brixton Academy Sm says before they play: "Frontwords in the name of this song, it's about moving forward.... obviously" The live version is quite good as well.
    couldBanyoneon July 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI take SM's lyric about style in relation to the rest of the song as having multiple meanings- on one side he is kind of giving an f-u to rat-race middle america and some of its banal everyday bleakness- and on the other, through a hint of sarcasm, giving an f-u to anyone that actually believes a line like that about themselves. By the contrast of these meanings to the lyric's statement he spaces himself from either camp.
    wes78on December 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI much prefer the live version that's at the end of the second disc of the Slanted and Enchanted deluxe edition release, as opposed to the studio version. But great song either way. I also love the Los Campesinos! cover.
    welshman217on December 06, 2008   Link

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