nervous john rescues all the whores
bleeding nose and all
taste of metal, when you're hit straight on
frozen dimes and throwing flashes
clouds of angels
liquored pink and underage

steal your sweet decline, this is the longest goodbye

loose breaks on a one eyed continental
engine willing
interior stained
china rattles wish
cold pacific shallows
spells and fits resurrected
calls you in, calls you in

steal your sweet decline, this is the longest goodbye
aching to get your pocket picked
bottles and bones, shade and sympathy
kick the glass out of your path
calls you in, calls you in, calls you in

traps for your fingers, fire for your mouth
stones for your passage, brass for your jaded
underneath the baking clouds and hardening starless skies

lick your collarbone clean
cold pacific shallows
spells and fits resurrected
calls you in, calls you in

steal your sweet decline, this is the longest goodbye
aching to get your pocket picked
bottles and bones, shade and sympathy
kick the glass out of your path
calls you in, calls you in, calls you in


Lyrics submitted by Ugly_Casanova

Bottles & Bones (Shade and Sympathy) song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about kicking addiction. It seems to be about a girl saved from a whore house where she is addicted to coke and liquor. Bottles = Booze, Bones = Coke.

    The car reference has to deal with her withdrawal.
    "china rattles wish
    cold pacific shallows
    spells and fits resurrected
    calls you in, calls you in"
    She is shaking and cold a common withdrawal symptom, and is having spells and fits, and they make her want to continue with her old habits. But she is also a functioning person. There may be a headlight knocked out, and she may be stained internally from the prostitution, but her engine is still running.

    She wants her pockets picked because she doesn't want to be able to buy her old habit. If she cant afford it she won't be able to do it. She also needs to kick the glass, or kick the alcohol. As she kicks the bottles away, she pushes them away and they call her back.

    She has all these things holding her back. Traps for her fingers, fire for her mouth.

    "Brass for your Jaded"
    She got arrested for her bad experience. I see that as the only thing that fits. Brass = a police officer, and jaded = the lull after a really bad experience.

    "Underneath the baking clouds and starless skies"
    Is just showing the urban setting, the smog clouds that block the stars in a city.

    "lick your collarbone clean
    cold pacific shallows
    spells and fits resurrected
    calls you in, calls you in"
    Again another reference to the withdrawal of a drug addict.

    And kicking a drug habit and also a lifestyle is the "longest goodbye", because she cant quit thinking about it, she keeps on getting withdrawal symptoms that make the goodbye longer.

    Very beautiful imagery.
    okkervil2222on October 28, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentpossibly one of the best songs ive ever heard
    cheesenuggetton September 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy goodness...incredible.
    deathcabdriveron December 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of the greatest song I have ever heard...mostly due to the incredible melody of it. Unfortunately I am still in the dark as to what the lyrics could possibly mean. If anyone can shed light on it, I would very much appreciate it. If anyone is interested, this song was played in the movie: Stranger than Fiction, starring Will Ferrel and Emma Thompson.
    Manny Soetjeon June 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo Me, (probably not Tim Rutilli) it seems like this song is written about a terminally ill person. Or possibly a bad relationship.
    rooze1992on June 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song reminds me of the lifestyle of someone who has lived to excess far too long, perhaps OD'ing a few too many times on coke and drinking themselves to blackout every night. Like he realizes his chance to live has passed, and he's lamenting what he's become and what could have been. The imagery is superb - the coked out whores with bloody noses, the decrepit Lincoln with one headlight (the engine is willing, but the sheet metal is weak - perhaps even a metaphor for himself), the idea of a cold, desolate, industrialized Americana, and a general sense of self-pity and longing.
    steampoweredlawnon July 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm pretty sure the creater is saying that he wants to cover up the person's death or departure by savoring every moment they have to sing the "longest goodbye" to reminise. It's a very layered song that comes together in a way that I havn't really heard in modern music execpt radiohead. Very much worth listening to, as is the soundtrack to Stranger than Fiction which this is on.
    threeye8fingeron July 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCalifone songs are always written very abstractly, perhaps not intended to be understood fully by anyone

    that's the beauty in it, i guess
    tobaccopaton November 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is about many things i guess..im probably wrong.. i tink the young girl who john is rescuing liquored, pink, and underage-drugged, innocent, young. they're abused im guessing..i think its about innocence dying or them dying...

    traps for your fingers (they cant get out or they're trapped)
    fire for your mouth (not sure maybe torture or its figurative speech)
    stones for your passage (like headstone for their passing or like stone walkway for them to walk on)

    steal your sweet decline (their innocence being stolen)

    thats what im guessing..
    but i love this song :) even if i dont know what its about.

    pandabearjpon December 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCan I just say how chilling the line and title is, "bottles and bones / shade and sympathy"? -
    mirroring each other, perfectly. Just perfect.
    LipstickTourniquetson December 02, 2010   Link

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