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Coming Up Close Lyrics

One night In Iowa, he and I in a borrowed car
Went driving in the summer, promises in every star
Out in the distance I could hear some people laughing
I felt my heart beat back a weekend's worth of sadness

There was a farmhouse that had long since been deserted
We stopped and carved our hearts into the wooden surface
We thought just for an instant we could see the future
We thought for once we knew what really was important

Coming up close
Everything sounds like welcome home
Come home and oh, by the way
Don't you know that I could make a dream that's barely half-awake come true
I wanted to say - but anything I could have said I felt somehow that you already knew

We got back in the car and listened to a Dylan tape
We drove around the fields until it started getting late
And I went back to my hotel room on the highway
And he just got back in his car and drove away

Coming up close
Everything sounds like welcome home
Come home and oh, by the way
Don't you know that I could make a dream that's barely half-awake come true
I wanted to say - but anything I could have said I felt somehow that you already knew

Coming up close
Everything sounds like welcome home
Come home

Coming up close
Everything sounds like welcome home
Come home Come on home
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THIS is THE Til Tuesday song. Much better than Voices Carry (IMHO). I don't know, somehow I think it's about young love. Possibly a first love. Maybe it was closer to being perfect than she realized at the time. Possibly the "ignorance is bliss" syndrome before the pitfalls of adulthood sink in. I suppose that's kind of an abstract meaning, not literal, but that's how it seems to me.

This is a GREAT song and really the one that hooked me on Til Tuesday and Aimee Mann. Folksy, jangling acoustic guitars and that lead bass guitar. Aimee's vocal delivery has never been better - the way she pauses on words or sqeezes words into a phrase. Man, what a song.

@Digi-G Despite being 21 when this song was initially released, I never personally discovered it until I was 35 in 2001. I'm 55 today and it's still one of the most captivating and mesmerizing songs I've ever heard. The inventive melodies, the lead bass - as you said - all the sparse and tastefully executed flourishes from the piano and guitars, especially towards the end... It really paints an image in the listeners mind. And I agree... THIS is THE Til Tuesday song. It was the 2nd single from that album... but I...

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I don't think it is fair to say that this song is better (or worse) than Voices Carry. VC certainly was more radio-friendly but still a great song.
Each of these two songs tells a very different story. VC is about a troubled relationship while this one is about a magical night that came and went. I think this one is actually easier to hear as it relates to a pleasant experience.

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I like this song as well but then there are so many Til Tuesday songs I love. If on the album “Voices Carry”, the band related tales of the failed relationship between then band member Michael Hausman and Mann—among others [I don’t feel this was the sole influence] and the album “Everything’s Different Now” portrayed the aftermath of Mann’s relationship with Jules Shear, then perhaps “Welcome Home” and this essentially title track song told of Mann and Shear when things were looking up.

The three albums recorded by Til Tuesday until the band broke up contain great songs that really didn’t find the larger audience they were deserving of in one sense but perhaps they were always little gems depicting the anguish of rocky relationships along with the fragments of love left behind—surprise gifts of song for the discerning listener.

I just love Mann’s wail “Come on home” followed by the ooh ooh ooh ooh oohs at the end of this song. The beauty of some songs is that a day, a feeling, the joy of new love—can pass but the essence of the associated emotions can be captured to be enjoyed over and over again.

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Okay, here's is what I think happened. Young girl 19-21 visiting friend/ acquaintance/ new love. I'm leaning toward the idea of a couple at the end of summer of their freshman year with Her visiting Him.

"One night In Iowa, he and I in a borrowed car. Went driving in the summer… And I went back to my hotel room on the highway. And he just got back in his car and drove away."

The interesting thing is why would they be in a "borrowed car" when he has his own car.

The relationship simply did not work out because of simple class structure: rich girl / poor guy. Any girl that could "make a dream that's barely half-awake come true" is incompatible with a guy that's realistic, can realized that the unstated narrator young girl effervescent idealism will go out the same way the that old farmhouse with neglect:

"There was a farmhouse that had long since been deserted We stopped and carved our hearts into the wooden surface We thought just for an instant we could see the future We thought for once we knew what really was important."

She will move on once the excitement of the "newness" of a thing is gone (she's a hard core rich neophyte, he thought.) My favorite telling lines (and I have already worn out two LPs):

"We got back in the car and listened to a Dylan tape. We drove around the fields until it started getting late."

(Rhyming "tape" and "late" is brilliant.) Of course, it's dated to the cassette mixed-tape era, but the the artist mention in the line is what's relevant. Mixed-tape era in relation with Bob Dylan is around "Oh, Mercy" Dylan. But I'm thinking; the narrator is listening to the earlier works of Dylan, probably before the "Basement Tapes" in the early 70s. In which case, the tape content probably fall under one of 3 categories: goodbye songs, social commentaries, and others. Here, I think it's all about the goodbye songs. The narrator's memory, shrouded with regret, is obviously trying to reconcile here with youthful insecurities combined with intuiative realization that it was her own personal inability to commit leading to the reason that they did not married and rebuilt the "Old Farm House" into the house that in their old ages can still show that "We stopped and carved our hearts into the wooden surface." was that either he left on his own volition (disillusioned or being a realist) or that she, somehow drove him away.

"We thought just for an instant we could see the future. We thought for once we knew what really was important…

And I went back to my hotel room on the highway. And he just got back in his car and drove away."

I love this song it made me nostalgic about the pre-playlist era, whether tape or cds and of the aimless driving of youth; because it's the only option for intimacy. Of course, ultimately it's all about Aimee Mann Incredible Voice and Story Telling. Quite in the vein of James Joyce's "Araby"! Amazing!

Song Meaning

@fusehub close. She's not rich. "His car" is the borrowed car, probably the usual suspect: "Mom... can I take the car?"

I agree they're probably 19-ish. Could be the aftermath of the first year at college, a volunteer or camp experience. "We should totally meet and I can show you farm life - you could take the bus from the city, and if you're parents are concerned about you sleeping at my house, there's a motel on the highway, where the bus stops."

@fusehub So what you're saying, basically, is he wasn't a blue-pilled cuck and was turned off mostly by her "strong and empowered" feminist ideals which were fooling her to believe she was bringing more value to his table than he was assessing. Hmmm... :)

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My question about these lyrics pertains to the title itself and the way it's used in the chorus. What does "coming up close" actually mean? I can't think of a time or an instance where I would ever use that phrase to describe something.

And why does everything sound like "Welcome home" and "come home"? I'm inferring that's the way he was making her feel while they were in each other's presence... but I've been wrong before.

And, as usual, no sooner than after I've just posted the question, I think my answer just arrived. "Coming up close"... The phrase "coming up" is the same as "ending up" and the use of "close" is like "close but no cigar". So, she "came up close" but not close enough to actually win, even though to her it seemed like "a done deal" until he inexplicably vanished.

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