cradled in the arms of a dream, i sit on my bed and sing. tonight has given a new soul to the grave. i've screamed and crowed, but it won't let go. what if i try all my life, and i still can't get it right? plug the same three songs from twenty years ago. when the morning comes to find me by the window, my breathing will be the only sound, and hope will be the world revolving. hope i'm not enjoying this wrong.
Lyrics submitted by PLANES
26 Is Too Soon song meanings
Add Your Thoughts
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!
I knew him when I lived in Eugene. His band would come and sleep on my floor from time to time. One day, we had this nasty falling-out. It lasted for a long time. But eventually, we got to be friends again. But that didn’t last, because during the time we weren’t talking, he’d gotten into heroin and I didn’t want any part of that. So I disassociated myself from him again.
A little while later I was working at Oasis, this pizza place on Hawthorne in Portland. He came in one day on a rehab excursion and he was all dressed up. It was obvious that he was sober. He was cool. You could just tell. He would get passes to get out of rehab to go have lunch with a friend or catch a movie… stuff like that. He started stopping by the pizza place more and more.
By the time he got out of rehab he started dating my roommate. So, when I was writing $100 Room, he would be coming over to watch movies and eat candy with Miranda. And I’d come downstairs and show them songs I was working on. By that time, our friendship had been through a lot. He’d seen me at my worst and he’d seen me at my best. We had real love for each other. The idea that we were still boys after all the bullshit we’d been through… I don’t know if I’ve ever been on the same page with someone like that. I really felt him, you know?
I remember him sitting down with me one day and saying the nicest thing I’ve ever heard. He said, 'Do you know what the definition of genius is?' I said,'I don't know, being really good at something?' And he said, 'Not just being good at something, but making it look easy. You play guitar that way.' That meant a lot to me coming from him.
One day, Curtis came over to my house to see my new guitar. He picked it up and started singing. And my boy doesn’t sing. He just doesn’t, you know? That’s when I knew he was getting high again. That night, I had to ask him to leave because he was nodding off and it was scaring me. After he left, I wrote 26 Is Too Soon. I just had a bad feeling that he was going to die.
I tried to tell people he was using again, but he would deny it and tell them I was full of shit. Everyone believed him and pretty soon, all these people started coming into my work to yell at me for spreading rumors about Curtis. Then, three weeks later, he came into my work again with a rehab pass. He wanted to apologize for making me out to be a liar. He told me that one of the first steps he had to take to get better was letting the people in his life know that he really did love them. I hugged him. That was the last time I hugged him.
Three days later, I was having a party at my house and he called. He said he was leaving for tour the next day and he wanted to borrow my van. I was like, 'What the fuck do you mean you’re going on tour and you don’t have a van?' He said, 'Yeah dude, our van broke and we need your van.' It was so obvious that he was high. So high that I just passed the phone over to Dan. And that was the last time I spoke to him. He died the next morning. It was his birthday and he was celebrating.
The funeral was three days later.
Continent is about the two weeks surrounding his death. It’s about meeting this weird girl who blew my mind and having a one-night stand, juxtaposed against Curtis dying, my sister Sandy moving away, and then finding out that she was actually going to marry my roommate, so I had to move out.
The day he died, Dan picked me up and broke the news. We went home and smoked a huge joint on the porch and broke down together. I just remember thinking that nothing would ever be the same again. That’s what Stoned is about.
So, 26 Is Too Soon is the hypothetical response, Continent was the immediate response and Stoned is the three-years-later response. I don’t think that there are going to be anymore songs about Curtis. I’ve come to a place in my life with his memory that I know it isn’t my fault he died. But to this day, Dan and I will lend our vans to anyone who asks.
When Curtis died, my head was obliterated. That’s why Bridges Worth Burning is so angry and lost. Because I looked at myself and my work and thought, 'What am I doing? None of this matters.' I never hated anyone, you know? I was just working through my own bullshit, and people just happened to be listening-in. I’ve sung for at least ten thousand people about this shit, and it turns out this shit didn’t matter in the fucking first place. Looking back right now, talking about this, I feel very foolish for a lot of the pictures that I’ve painted and the stories that seem so degraded."