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Top of the World Lyrics

I wished I was smarter
Wished I was stronger
I wished I loved Jesus
The way the my wife does

I wished it'd been easier
Instead of any longer
I wished I could've stood
Where you would've been proud
That won't happen now
That won't happen now

There's a whole lot of sinners
That ain't gonna be heard
Disappearing every day
Without so much as a word
Somehow

I'm afraid I broke the wings
Off that little songbird
And she's never gonna fly
To the top of the world How
To the top of the world

I don't have to answer
Any of these questions
Don't have no guide to
Teach me no lessons

I come home in the evening
Sit in my chair
One night they called me for supper
But I never got up
I stayed right there
In my chair

There's a whole lot of singing
That ain't gonna be heard
Disappearing every day
Without so much as a word
Somehow

I think I broke the wings
Off a little songbird
And she's never gonna fly
To the top of the world
How
To the top of the world

I wished I'd had known you
Wished I had shown you
All of the things I
Was on the inside
But I'd pretend to be sleeping
When you'd come in in the morning
To whisper goodbye
Go work at the rain
I don't know why
Don't know why

Cause everyone's singing
We just want to be heard
Disappearing every day
Without so much as a word
So how?

Gonna grab a hold
Of that little songbird
And take her for a ride
To the top of the world
Right now
To the top of the world
Song Info
Copyright
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Submitted by
Submitted on
Jun 17, 2003
10 Meanings
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I prefer Griffin's version to the Dixie Chicks'. Her voice is just crystal clear. The song is about a man who neglects his children and his wife, and he regrets it after he dies. He didn't give her encouragement, he wasn't demonstrative where affections are concerned. The ending where she sings "top of the world" over and over always gives me chillbumps.

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This song is about a man who dies and he is looking back on his life regretting all the things he did. Basically, wishing he spent more time with his family and hopes he did not ruin his children's lives with his actions--or lack there of. The Dixie Chicks do a good cover and have a cool video, but that is only shown at concerts right now.

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So, did the Dixie Chicks write this or did Patty Griffin write it? I didn't know until now that the Dixie Chicks did a version of it. Apparently this is off their album Home which came out in 2002. Impossible Dream came out in 2004. But I have a live version of Patty doing it and her saying: "This song isn't on any of my records yet, we just recorded it. And it's called 'Top of the World.'" So...who wrote it?

Patty Griffin wrote it!!

It was recorded originally for the album "Silver Bell" which was scheduled for release in 2000, but was shelved when the record company was taken over.

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i think that this song is one of the most beautiful songs she has ever done. it is so easy to feel the power and emotions behind the lyrics. and, in some ways, i think it's one of the most relatable too. everyone has something that they deeply regret. the words and the music just evoke certain memories that just make me want to put this song on repeat over and over and over again.

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I think this an amazingly beautiful & sad song.

ComparedPallid: I don't own any Dixie Chicks, but according the liner notes of Impossible Dream, all songs, including this one were written by Patty Griffin.

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She recorded two versions of this song. First, in 2000, in her "unreleased" Silver Bell album. That was the version the Chicks followed, it had the same arrangement with the pause after the first verse. Silver Bell is an awesome album that fits nicely between Flaming Red and 1000 Kisses, which otherwise you might never believe came from the same artist. It can be downloaded from copies made of promos from a lot of places on the internet. Anyway, the superior version, with the slow, whispering first verse, is on Impossible Dream. I bought that album just for that song and was blown away by it and everything else on it.

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i also prefer patty's silver bell version better. she also has one on an unreleased album that is my favorite. less mumbled.

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The first two verses are the first person point of view of Patty's father. He must have been abusive in some way. The third verse is clearly from Patty's point of view and how she regrets the loss of the chance to be closer. She missed her chance to heal the relationship, maybe she was too young.

BTW, if you have access to both listen closely to the Dixie Chicks version and either of Patty's. You'll very clearly hear the difference between a performer and an artist. There is whole level of talent between them.

Nope!

Has nothing to do with her father. All three verses are from the point of view of a ghost, a man who has all kinds of regrets about how he didn't live the way he should have. Patty's dad is a cool dude.

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if you ever really want to know the meaning of the song...look up the music video. you'll be suprised

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I felt the Dixie Chicks' video captured the true meaning of this song. We see 3 generations of a family where mistreatment occurs. However, at the end, the daughter chooses to show her own child affection; even though her father lacked it with her growing up.
The "songbird" is the daughter, it's also the father when he was a young child. The woman singing is from her father's perspective, and the way he treated her and her mother. In the video we see the father's mistreatment by his own mother which leaks onto his inability to show true love and affection to his own child. "I think I broke the wings off that little songbird, she's never going to fly to the top of the world.." He realizes that he's crushed the relationship with his daughter. He knows that his actions over the years has broken his daughter inside. "I wish i'd known you, wish i'd shown you, all that I was on the inside, But I'd pretend to be sleeping when you'd come in the morning, to whisper goodbye, go to work in the rain, I don't know why.." The father is reflecting on how he wanted to show his daughter love and affection, but never could, mainly because he was never shown affection as a child either. If anyone knows the attachment theory, this song embodies the importance of early attachments and how the lack of secure attachments can affect someone throughout life. One of my favorite and most personal songs.

My Interpretation

@songbird1919 Something else I wanted to add:: I always wondered if patty griffin intended the "songbird" to refer to herself

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