Hey Jack it's me,
I don't mean to bother you but somethings been on my mind.
At the end of this road that climbs the horizon will be reached in a matter of miles.
And when the wheels cease to spin the walls and the fences will grow higher than redwood trees.
And I know your demise.
And I fear what will happen when the road fails to flow under me.
Oh Jack you see, I felt like your mirror with the wind whipping through my hair.
When the wheels ceased to spin and I cased my surroundings, I realized I hadn't gone anywhere.
When the problems I'd left with couches in alleys, where no one would ever claim.
And the hardest part was sifting through the pieces of the rain soaked and rotten remains when I got home.

Lyrics submitted by marexvitalis

Couches in Alleys (feat. Ben Gibbard) song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentI agree that it's addressing Jack Kerouac. He's saying he really identified with him (felt like his mirror) while he was on the road, but now he can't keep leaving his problems behind him the way people leave their old couches out in alleys. Just as no one claims the couches and they become "rain-soaked and rotten," so too do his problems, and when the road runs out, and he has to return home, he is trapped behind walls and fences having to deal with the whole filthy metaphorical mess. I guess in a way he's asking Kerouac for his advice on this situation, though he acknowledges it's the very thing that brought about his demise. A little depressing, but beautifully done.
    Portchoon August 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song gets me thinking. thinking about where it is im going and how imortant it is, that i make it there.....the music is great..... i guess ben can't stay away from the beat machines........
    GtSouthon January 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song but i don't think i understand it-- who's jack? and exactly what are the problems ben gibbard's sorting through when he gets home?

    i haven't come across any lyric listings of this song online, but i always hear "the wind whipping" instead of ripping, and "when the wheels ceased to spin in my case-like surroundings," instead of incase my surroundings, and "rain-soaked, forgotten remains" instead of rain-soaked and rotten. i'm not sure though. :o)
    partayattaylorson February 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with you about the whipping, I think its actually "and I cased my surroundings" and I think the last part is correct...let me know!

    As far as the song, I think he is telling someone that he has been in their shoes, and down the road, and it never really took him anywhere he never changes, and the hardest part of the whole thing was going back to what you had before!
    AugustOfOmahaon February 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can only assume that he is talking about/to Jack Kerouac, given the subject matter and his affinity for "On the Road."

    I have always loved the book and can really identify with escaping life through a tangeable means (ex, car), but also realizing that your problems don't go away when you do. But it was sure fun getting the hell away from here anyway, even if it meant coming back to this shit.
    ciao meowon March 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou know when you hear a song for the first time and you're just silent because it leaves you speechless? That's the silence I just experienced. It's cool what is said about walls and fences being higher than redwood trees. Like when you draw fences on either side of a road and they start forming a triangle until they reach the horizon line. They reach higher than the trees. It's such a simple concept written so beautifully.
    SeEiNgStArSon July 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI loooove the melody of this song. Not to mention the lyrics.

    Although Styrofoam seems similar to the Postal Service, there is just something there that sets them apart. Even when Ben Gibbard is singing for Styrofoam.
    musicforlife!on January 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is beautiful...what really brought me to it, though, was Tyler Shields' outstanding work on the music video. It you haven't seen it, I advise you to. myspace.com/tylershields It's simply amazing. The video, the lyrics, the sound of the song...ugh. Gorgeous.
    katemarieon July 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is simply most inspiring.
    i-i cant seem to put it any other way.
    h_e_y_jackon September 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGibbard is a total beat-nick. Totally about "On the Road". If you've read it, you'll love the song that much more.
    JimDillonon January 31, 2007   Link

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!

Back to top