You knew in five minutes
But I knew in a sentence
You knew in five minutes
But I knew in a sentence

So why do we go through all of this again?
Your eyes are flutterin'
Such pretty wings.
A moth, flyin' into the
Same old flame again
It never ends

It's not like I dropped the bomb,
On my conscience mom
It takes fightin' day and night
To make such a good thing die

Out, everyone out
I give too much shit at home
In my heart and mind
It gets me every time, it gets me every time, it gets me every time

So why do we go
Through all this shit again
Your eyes are flutterin'
Such pretty wings.
A moth flyin' into me
The same old flame again
It never ends, it never ends, it never ends, it never ends


Lyrics submitted by a scar in the sky

Old Flame Lyrics as written by Win Butler Regine Chassagne

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Old Flame song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +2
    My Interpretation

    I think it's about a guy who is seduces women so much that he is sort of stuck in this phase in his life that he cant get out of. It starts off with him seducing a woman (You knew in 5 minutes but I knew in a sentence) and in his mind he grows tired of the same old routine and he simply wants it to be over with (So why do we go through all of this again). The woman's interest in him is clear (her eyes are fluttering) and she flirts with him back (such pretty wings - which means he finds her attractive). And the woman (a moth) falls for his game like every other women he has been with (flying into the same old flame again). And his plans work once again and proves that (it never ends).

    Then suddendly he starts to grow a conscience (Its not like I dropped the bomb on my conscience, mom). And he finds himself at a constant war (Fighting day and night) to stop his ways (To make such a good thing die)

    He finally breaks down (Out, everyone out) but he soon relizes that he simply cant give it up (In my heart and mind, It gets me every time) and it leads him back to where he started, Seducing another woman.

    asylumspadezon December 28, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    "You knew in five minutes - But I knew in a sentence" that's so beautiful... it's like love at first conversation....

    baybaybonbonon October 19, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    The breakdown at the 1 minute mark, proceeded by the emotive vocal delivery cuts to the core of me every time.

    A_Raging_Bullon January 12, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Great track on the EP Album.

    Pretty obvious what it's about, a former lover. Implying that she is so beautiful, "such pretty wings" but trying hard not to get with her again "so why do we go - through all this shit again

    angeloson August 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    "You knew in five minutes - But I knew in a sentence" that's so beautiful... it's like love at first conversation....

    baybaybonbonon October 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    "It takes fighting day and night to make such a good thing die"

    I think that's one of the most sincere and heartfelt things to say about love that's been lost -- not to mention that it's very true.

    r0uskuon December 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Out, everyone out - I give too much shit at home In my heart and mind - It gets me every time

    i think that implies that he mulls it over in his head too much. then again i could be thinking too much. :)

    hoydenon January 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Is it "on my conscience, mom" or "on my conscious mom"?

    UCanDanceIfYouWant2on July 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The opening line: "You knew in 5 minutes, I knew in a sentence." Refers to the belief that within 5 minutes of meeting a man, a woman makes up her mind whether she would sleep with him or not.

    All it took was a sentence for the man. It's a great line in a great song.

    ANTJoker9on July 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Very simple, but executed excellently, song about an on and off relationship that doesn’t ever fully stop.

    “You knew in five minutes, / but I knew in a sentence.”

    I agree with saying that this refers to the five-minutes theory. Upon meeting, they were both very attracted to each other.

    “So why do we go through all of this again? / Your eyes are fluttering, such pretty wings, / a moth, flying into the same old flame again. / It never ends.”

    Clearly, about a relationship that keeps going on and off. He questions why they continue doing, reiterates on her beauty (that moth eyelash is a lovely image), and recognizes that they are seemingly addicted to each other despite the danger.

    “It's not like I dropped the bomb / on my conscience, mom.”

    I believe this is him confirming that he knows what he’s doing, knows that the continued relationship is damaging. He knows. It doesn’t stop him.

    “It takes fighting day and night / to make such a good thing die.”

    I love how this slightly has a double-meaning. Fighting, as in arguing, and then fighting as in trying hard to make it stop working. Here he recognizes that is is a good thing, they are a good couple, but it’s the fighting (in either sense) that ruins things.

    “Out, everyone out. I give too much shit at home / in my heart and mind, it gets me every time.

    “Out, everyone out” is squalled with such emotion. I imagine someone just getting fed up, feeling like he’s trying so hard, giving himself to this relationship (home means perhaps a marriage?) and feels like he is getting nothing in return.

    “So why do we go through all this shit again? / Your eyes are fluttering, such pretty wings, / a moth flying into me, the same old flame again. / It never ends.”

    The repetition is wonderful in that it reinforces the idea of never ending. The addition of “shit” again shows much anger, the heightened vocals. It all adds so much emotion. And it never ends.

    pricillacoxon December 13, 2007   Link

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Well, in my opinion this song is about being a young & maybe a little naive &/or introverted girl and finding yourself loving a man who is at first very charming, carefree & outgoing, and seems at first to be without limits, as in "There was a time you opened up every doorway you didn't mind if everything wasn't your way" then that man starts to gradually become more introverted & shows their more possessive/obsessive side to you as the relationship progresses, even while they keep up the appearance of being carefree & outgoing to everyone else, "Don't pull away that goes against what you told me I look in your eyes I realize what you've sold me is love in a vacuum" so you confront them about the way they're acting and of course they deny it, "I think you've changed but you insist that that's not true" quite possibly they are an addict of some sort, my guess would be cocaine, &/or showing very obsessive behavior towards you (early on in the video for this song we see the man hanging a picture up, it is a very large portrait of Aimee & it is prominently displayed in his/their apartment for the duration of the song), thus their "love in a vacuum", "You look so strange, so distant that you're hardly you Now I can see how you have been acting different You say it's me but I know that it isn't it's love in a vacuum" but still you are in love with them and don't want to leave them and you know that they are truly in love with you and they don't want you to leave them either, maybe they are convinced you can save them from themself, maybe they are so broken that the possibility of an overdose &/or suicide attempt is very real and you want to get through to them that their behavior not only dangerous but it is also just pissing you off and if they don't wise up they run the risk of loosing you, as in the lines "You will be lonely if you leave me alone", so you want to save them but can't get through to them due to the addiction &/or emotional problems they have, "Love in a vacuum and that's not enough love in a vacuum You will be lonely you'll be the only one who feels this way You will be lonely if you leave me alone You will be lonely you'll be the only one who feels this way it's just not enough" you want them to understand that the love they are giving you is not enough when it is filtered through the vacuum of their drug addiction &/or emotional impairment, "You will be lonely you'll be the only one who feels this way it's just not enough and just wait you will be lonely Love in a vacuum Love in a vacuum and that's not enough Love in a vacuum". 'Love In A Vacuum' for me is a hauntingly truthful acute argument on the loneliness of obsession and almost inevitable loss of love that follows people who are broken in some way or another; the obsessives, the coke heads, the drunks, addicts or the just-plain-old emotionally broken; a razor sharp, lyrically driven, deceptively poppy, yet ultimately-depressing-in-the-best-way song. Quintessential Aimee Mann.