Oh no, God damn
I missed the last train
I killed the party again
God damn, God damn

I want to sleep in my bed
I want to clean up my head
Don't want to look this dead
Don't want to feel this dread

I killed the party again
I ruined it for my friends
"Well, you're so silent, Jens"
Well, maybe I am, maybe I am

Now at the central station
No time for being patient
I feel like going home
But at the same time, I don't

Black Cab

And I've heard all those stories
About the black cabs and the way they drive
That if you take a ride with them
You might not come back alive

They might be psycho killers
But tonight I really don't care
So I say turn up the music
Take me home or take me anywhere

Black cab

You don't know anything
So don't ask me questions
You don't know anything
So don't ask me any questions
You don't know anything
So don't ask me questions

Just turn the music up
And keep your mouth shut

Black cab

Lyrics submitted by RoboLuncheon

"Black Cab" as written by Jens Martin Lekman

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Black Cab song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThis is a surreal, elegiac lament set to rock music. The harpsichord riff (which, I've read, is lifted from "I've Got Something On My Mind" by the Left Banke) combines with a hypnotic, pounding guitar line, and together they push the song along. To me, the driving repetitiveness of the instrumental track has a leavening effect befitting the motion of a cab ride.

    The lyrics are about a man dragged down by weariness and defeat who finds a kind of solace in a ride in a black taxicab. Failing to catch the last tram home accentuates his depression, which stems from feelings of social inadequacy at a party he attended that evening. A taxicab is a temporary escape, a roving island where he can take his mind off his troubles. Being the silent type, he doesn't feel like talking to the driver about his problems. Instead, he loses himself in the movement of the cab, dissolving his pain in the music that he asks to be turned up.

    The black taxicab hints of danger and caprice. "Black cab" sounds like "black cat," a sign of bad luck. And apparently black cabs have a shady reputation ("If you take a ride with them / You might not come back alive"). So hailing a black cab and telling the driver to "take me home or take me anywhere" is a risky decision, perhaps even a suicidal one. Maybe the singer has a death wish, or maybe he just wants to invite a little excitement into his life to shake him out of his despair. Either way, his thinking and actions are irrational.

    The sound of bells pealing at the end of the song can mean many things, but for me it evokes church bells welcoming parishioners to services on a Sunday morning. That would fit if the party took place late on a Saturday night, and the extra-long cab ride lasted until daybreak. Another possibility is that the bells are signalling the funeral of the singer.
    drewdcon August 06, 2006   Link

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