"City Of Motors" as written by Michael Doughty, Mark Degliantoni, Yuval Gabay and Sebastian Steinberg....
Three times dark, first in the mind.
Second on Java street, the dead car there.
The hood blown off with a BB gun.
Manuela said she saw the brakes fail.
Manuela said she saw the brakes fail.
An empty body but it still bled
Oil from the axle and it left a trail.
Ran down Java street and formed a pool.
Manuela saw the moon in there.
Manuela saw the moon in there.

I hear a rumbling.
I hear transmission grind.
I bear witness.
I have the clutch now.

Three times dark, third on the rooftops;
Man jumps between and grabs the rail.
Man pulls the door but the door is locked.
Man gouge the hinge and goes down the stairs.
Man gouge the hinge and goes down the stairs.
Dull bright morning and the tools are gone.
Detectives with flashlights in the elevator shaft.
Manuela tells detectives she saw him there.
Stuck in the hinge is a sliver of a fingernail.
Stuck in the hinge is a sliver of a fingernail.

Stack of tools in the Oldsmobile.
From the Motor City to the City of Dis.
They trace his travel by his credit card.
No sleep, smokes, and he's nauseous.
No sleep, smokes, and he's nauseous.
Flicks an ash like a wild loose comma.
Ash hits the oil around the pump.
Travels to the pump and the pump explodes.
Witness said he saw the car jump.
Witness said he saw the car jump.


Lyrics submitted by NeoNess

"City of Motors" as written by Michael Doughty Mark Degliantoni

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

City Of Motors song meanings
Add your thoughts

7 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is one of Soul Coughing's most terrifically visceral songs...The narrative unspools some crazy images in yr brain as you listen...I miss Soul Coughing!
    colorbars2002on June 10, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song contains one of the best lines in any song:
    "flicks an ash like a wild loose comma". thats just brilliant.
    saturnineon November 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentManuela means "God is with us".
    robdharmaon March 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentManuela is a psychic detective, who is helping the cops find a car murderer.....who ends up being murder by one of the cars he stole. Simple.
    discordian555on March 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDoughty said, "The moral of the story, kids, is don't smoke at gas pumps."
    parkerdannielon November 22, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's not that straightforward of a story, and no one here has put it in full narrative form yet..
    3 times dark gets progressively darker. I think the first is just antisocial murderous tendencies in the mind of the fugitive who accidentally blows up the pump at the end. This guy is some kind of tradesman with tools, and drives an Oldsmobile. He is probably just in the habit of pulling dangerous, life threatening stunts.
    The second is him shooting a car with a BB gun from a nearby roof, which is certainly dangerous. The car dies, and the driver probably dies in the accident caused by the shot. Manuela ("God is with us") is a witness, calls police. Manuela sings the chorus, "I bear witness".

    In the 3rd dark, the guy runs, jumps rooftops, goes down through an elevator, and escapes capture - becoming a hunted fugitive. The police trace him with forensics and his card as he travels from Detroıt to somewhere else, which is his own personal Hell ("from the motor city to the cıty of Dis", the city of Dis being an infernal city I know of from old school D and D) now that he is most likely guilty of manslaughter. He is nervous, no sleep, sick ... and the story ends like everyone said, when he smokes at a gas pump and blows it up, ending the investigation with a bang.
    nathan1149on March 20, 2018   Link
  • -1
    General Commentanother obvious story told by the most amazing muthufuck in the US.
    yiggie241on July 23, 2002   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain