Free, alone.
The predawn white light's coming on.
Bottle on the night stand.
I count disasters on my free hand now.
Run for cover there's a big one coming.
You'll be lucky if you're at ground zero.
You'll be lucky if it's got your number.
No one said that this life was easy.
Did that no one ever live a life this hard?
It gets hard.
The bills are scattered in the yard.
Ashtray monument.
A life spent waiting in cement.
After all, it's not that bad.
I still have pictures.
I look back at all the things that we once did.
You said, "I love you."
I guess you did.
Remember our life.
I did the dishes while you read out loud.
Best friends, strangers now.
Were our kids all we could call common ground.

Lyrics submitted by emoJustin

Ashtray Monument song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +1
    General Comment

    great song i don't really have a clean explanation for it though blake introduces it as a song for your parents on the live cd...i still don't get it

    maybeilllcatchfireon March 10, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    The best line of this song is "I count disasters on my free hand now." It has so many different interpretations and connotations:

    1. Why is his hand free? Because he's no longer clasping somebody else's hand. He's alone.

    2. Why counting disasters? Because when you're depressed, the slightest negative can feel monumental. For most a disaster is a singular event, like filing bankruptcy, a loved one dying. His disasters are multiple; everything is going wrong and everything is an overwhelming burden. The fact that he is counting disasters, rather than just accepting them, emphasizes the fact that he is not simply reflecting, but also dwelling, analyzing himself. He is obsessed.

    3. Why his hand? Because the hands are primary sensory organs of the body. His empty hand is numb, without feeling, useless. The hand is also the manipulatory organ of the body, used to control the environment, and his loneliness leaves him impotent, weak, and useless.

    4. Why just one hand? Because an idle hand is the devil's playground and can get you into trouble. He's already referenced drinking/drugs in the third line of the song, and clearly his other hand is busy self-medicating.

    This single line is what I like to quote when people ask why I like Jawbreaker so much.

    MTZon March 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think this song is about a couple who have divorced and have children and now thier marriage is through the person sees that the only thing that they still had in common when they divorced is their children. They also have known A LOT of misery

    Lord Pembrokeon March 29, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I agree with Lord Pembroke, this song is definately about divorce.

    impossibledreameron April 23, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    When I first heard this song without paying too much attention to the lyrics, I figured it was about a guy looking back on a bad relationship (you said I love you, I guess you did), but the lyric "I did the dishes while you read out loud" brought about more meaning to me-Yes, it is about divorce. The separated parents are struggling, so the children have to take on new responsiblities and end up growing up too fast. In the present, the grown child looks back and "counts distasters on his free hand"

    dyingstarton June 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    defineately right about the divorce thing. my personal favorite jawbreaker song.

    imnotdonon March 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i don't think its about a divorce, it seems to be about a couple that are only stay together because they have kids.

    mechpope13on December 15, 2009   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!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Standing On The Edge Of Summer
In regards to the meaning of this song: Before a live performance on the EP Five Stories Falling, Geoff states “It’s about the last time I went to visit my grandmother in Columbus, and I saw that she was dying and it was the last time I was going to see her. It is about realizing how young you are, but how quickly you can go.” That’s the thing about Geoff and his sublime poetry, you think it’s about one thing, but really it’s about something entirely different. But the lyrics are still universal and omnipresent, ubiquitous, even. So relatable. That’s one thing I love about this band. I also love their live performances, raw energy and Geoff’s beautiful, imperfectly perfect vocals. His voice soothes my aching soul.
Album art
Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell gives Adam Reader some heartfelt insight into Jane’s Addiction's hard rock manifesto "Mountain Song", which was the second single from their revolutionary album Nothing's Shocking. Mountain song was first recorded in 1986 and appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dudes starring Jon Cryer. The version on Nothing's Shocking was re-recorded in 1988. "'Mountain Song' was actually about... I hate to say it but... drugs. Climbing this mountain and getting as high as you can, and then coming down that mountain," reveals Farrell. "What it feels to descend from the mountain top... not easy at all. The ascension is tough but exhilarating. Getting down is... it's a real bummer. Drugs is not for everybody obviously. For me, I wanted to experience the heights, and the lows come along with it." "There's a part - 'Cash in now honey, cash in Miss Smith.' Miss Smith is my Mother; our last name was Smith. Cashing in when she cashed in her life. So... she decided that, to her... at that time, she was desperate. Life wasn't worth it for her, that was her opinion. Some people think, never take your life, and some people find that their life isn't worth living. She was in love with my Dad, and my Dad was not faithful to her, and it broke her heart. She was very desperate and she did something that I know she regrets."
Album art
When We Were Young
This is a sequel to 2001's "Reckless Abandon", and features the band looking back on their clumsy youth fondly.
Album art
No Surprises
Same ideas expressed in Fitter, Happier are expressed in this song. We're told to strive for some sort of ideal life, which includes getting a good job, being kind to everyone, finding a partner, getting married, having a couple kids, living in a quiet neighborhood in a nice big house, etc. But in Fitter, Happier the narrator(?) realizes that it's incredibly robotic to live this life. People are being used by those in power "like a pig in a cage on antibiotics"--being pacified with things like new phones and cool gadgets and houses while being sucked dry. On No Surprises, the narrator is realizing how this life is killing him slowly. In the video, his helmet is slowly filling up with water, drowning him. But he's so complacent with it. This is a good summary of the song. This boring, "perfect" life foisted upon us by some higher powers (not spiritual, but political, economic, etc. politicians and businessmen, perhaps) is not the way to live. But there is seemingly no way out but death. He'd rather die peacefully right now than live in this cage. While our lives are often shielded, we're in our own protective bubbles, or protective helmets like the one Thom wears, if we look a little harder we can see all the corruption, lies, manipulation, etc. that is going on in the world, often run by huge yet nearly invisible organizations, corporations, and 'leaders'. It's a very hopeless song because it reflects real life.
Album art
Head > Heels
Ed Sheeran
“Head > Heels” is a track that aims to capture what it feels like to experience romance that exceeds expectations. Ed Sheeran dedicates his album outro to a lover who has blessed him with a unique experience that he seeks to describe through the song’s nuanced lyrics.