Tonight will be
The night that we
Begin to ease
The plugs out of the dam.
And we will stand
Knee deep in the flow,
The undertow
Will grab our heels and won't let go.
And while we hold,
Our legs quivering,
The water rises now
To our teeth
When we just let go
And sail belly up to the clouds,
The rocks scraping our backs.
To breath in the air will be
The only thing that we have
And all the wasted nights
And empty moments
In our lives flushed away
As we sway with the rhythm
Of the waves bobbing us up.
Crests fall to troughs we feel our gills open up.

And sail belly up to the clouds,
The rocks scraping our backs.
To breath in the air will be
The only thing that we have
And if the hook sets in
The bottom of our lungs,
We'll rip it out and lick the blood off with our tongues.

The despair can ravage you
If you turn your head around to look down the path
That's led you here,
Because what can you change?
You're a vessel now
Floating down the waterways.
You can take your rudder
And aim your ship,
Just don't bother with the things left in your wake.
Just sail belly up to the clouds,
The rocks scraping your back.
To breathe in the air will be
The only thing that you have
And your love will be warm nights
With pockets of moonlight
Spotlighting you as you drift,
The actor in this play.
And you walk across the stage,
Take a bow, hear the applause,
And as the curtain falls,
Just know you did it all
The best that you knew how
And you can hear them cheering now.
So let a smile out and show your teeth
Because you know you lived it well.


Lyrics submitted by wimplucy, edited by Mellow_Harsher

This Is Not An Exit song meanings
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  • +3
    General Comment

    Tonight will be the night that we begin to ease the plugs out of the dam.

    • The dam is resistance to past actions, specifically the shameful ones. To ease the plugs out is to stop pretending like the past has no consequence.

    And we will stand knee deep in the flow, the undertow will grab our heels and won't let go.

    • The reality of the past takes hold

    And while we hold, our legs quivering, the water rises now to our teeth when we just let go

    • The past overwhelms and submission becomes a must.

    and sail belly up to the clouds, the rocks scraping our backs.

    • So let the past carry forward despite the fact that it hurts.

    To breath in the air will be the only thing that we have

    • Breathing is the constant of life in this song

    and all the wasted nights and empty moments in our lives

    • nights spent playing video games, watching porn, getting high, bored and lonely, ect...

    flushed away as we sway with the rhythm of the waves bobbing us up. Crests fall to troughs we feel our gills open up.

    • learn to live with the past, find meaning in it, and the emptiness disappears.

    And sail belly up to the clouds, the rocks scraping our backs. To breath in the air will be the only thing that we have

    • if you can't count on the fact that you are breathing you can't count on anything

    and if the hook sets in the bottom of our lungs,

    • if something disrupts you're breath...

    we'll rip it out and lick the blood off with our tongues.

    • own it!

    The despair can ravage you if you turn your head around to look down the path that's led you here, cause what can you change?

    • don't worry about the past because it can't be changed.

    You're a vessel now floating down the waterways.

    • Instead, let the past carry you forward.

    You can take your rudder and aim your ship, just don't bother with the things left in your wake.

    • Make better choices in the hear and now rather than letting the details of the past consume you.

    Just sail belly up to the clouds, the rocks scraping your back.

    • Submit, let go, endure.

    To breathe in the air will be the only thing that you have

    • no kidding, your going to die sooner or later

    and your love will be warm nights with pockets of moonlight spotlighting you as you drift, the actor in this play.

    • until then, you've got to find a way to enjoy your life.

    And you walk across the stage, take a bow, hear the applause, and as the curtain falls, just know you did it all the best that you knew how and you can hear them cheering now.

    • Despite how messed up you were, you did the best you could so move on and let the past go. Your friends, family, and everyone else want the best for you

    So let a smile out and show your teeth cause you know you lived it well.

    • fin
    P to the Gon March 29, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    WOW...what can i say that hasnt already been said? This song is beautiful in all the ways that a song can be. I put this one in category: "songs that can save you" because this song has helped me in so many ways, just listening to it is a reminder of how great life is. This song has kept me looking forward when all i wanted to do was look behind me. On late nights i spend on the computer, i can feel so empty insided, I listen to this song to cleanse myself of all those meaningless superficial moments in life. "lick the blood off with our tongues" reminds me that even when life sucks, embrace it with everything in you, because life is so awesome, and pain is just a reminder that we're alive! Thanks Chris, for this song, and thanks other fans, for recognize that beauty

    Leecheron April 20, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    To me this is the best lyric ever written and only CC knows what his song is really about. What’s so cool about music is that it speaks to people in different ways. The listener could interpret it totally different than the writer intended it to be.

    So here is what this song means to me: I see the "Flow" as life and the "Rocks that scrape our backs" as the bad things that happen is life, the "Crests fall to troughs we feel our gills open up", there are ups and downs in life but somehow we adapt to the changes. And the best line is the song "and if the hook sets in the bottom of our lungs we’ll rip it out and lick the blood off with our tongues". No matter what happens there is always a way out, it might be painful but nothing is as bad as we make it. "If you turn your head around to look down the path That’s led you here, Cause what can you change?" don't drag your past with you into the future.

    The one thing I don’t quite get is the title of the song. Maybe CC was thinking about suicide, maybe life was giving him more than he could handle, but then these words came to him and “he ripped it out and licked the blood off with his tongue”.

    If this is not what CC mean by this song that’s ok, but this is how it speaks to me. I want this song to play at my funeral.

    headphones&darkroomon February 16, 2008   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaning

    Chris left enough clues about the song to reveal what its about and its fairly obvious considering his choice of metaphors:

    The song is about dying, specifically coping with one's own death and to a lesser extent death of people you know.

    The theme is most obvious during the chorus, which in traditional songwriting highlights the message of the song. With the term "belly up" being a slang for dead. Then the metaphor is further developed with the Spirit floating into heaven imagery via the sailing into the clouds, etc.

    The dam and the flood bits are pretty obviously a metaphor for the incredible emotions one may feel at the end of their life. And could also be a more direct metaphor for crying. This is confirmed by the bridge, where he sings the lines about dispair, but he cleverly twists this into a positive by likening us to transforming in that moment to a spiritual vessel and riding the unstoppable force into new territory. Pretty solid songwriting technique.

    The rest is even more obvious but you get the idea...

    iplaymusicforfunon July 18, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    "and your love will be warm nights with pockets of moonlight spotlighting you as you drift, the actor in this play. You walk across the stage, take a bow, hear the applause, and as the curtain falls, just know you did it all the best you knew how and you can hear them cheering now. So let a smile out and show your teeth cause you know you lived it well."

    I can't even describe what this song means to me. I wish i could.. cause it's beautiful.. ::wipes a tear:: <3

    Broken Hearton January 22, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    the imagery(sp) that he creates with these lyrics is breath-taking. this is by far my favorite std song...hes the most amazing song-writer ive ever known.

    XcrossmyemoheartXon February 11, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    this song is the reason why i will forever be a fan of saves the day. this song is like a god walking among mere mortals.

    rural_rebellionon September 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    "Just sail belly up to the clouds, the rocks scraping your back. To breathe in the air will be the only thing that you have.." When he breaks into the chorus it's amazing. I don't know exactly what he's going for but I can only picture two people floating on the shoreline of a beach or bay, and life is as simple as that, floating in the water and breathing.

    swashbucklingpunkon February 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This is by far the most touching inspiring lyrics I've ever heard, This song-writer is THE most talented person of our time. WOW.

    Acoustic Soulon February 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    yep yep... made me cry one time its so powerful, but not because i was sad... this song just made me think of something so great and wonderful... this song is beautiful... chris is a fucking geneous.

    Phildoon April 12, 2002   Link

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