The film was a bust, but we stayed to the ending
Hair all a-mussed but your clothes didn't look so bad
And back on the street, the rain was descending
In cold dirty sheets, so under the awning we sat
And then you hailed yourself a yellow cab

And I sat for a time by the valets in line
And I read what you wrote on the card
Above a cowboy you drew a big talk balloon
Saying, "Try not to take it so hard"
But there's this nagging suspicion that won't leave me alone tonight
It's just that everything I try to do, nothing seems to turn out right

We laid on our backs and stared at the ceiling
Messed with your slacks, but ended up just holding your hand
The rain will remain, the TV was telling
A drip of the drain as your legs lifted
Brilliantly bent and fall to resting on the ottoman

So we turned off the tube and we crawled to your room
Leaving discarded clothes in our wake
And we both had some fun, though I twice bit my tongue
And it lasted too long for my taste
And there's this nagging suspicion that won't leave me alone tonight
It's just that everything I try to do, nothing seems to turn out right

And there's this nagging suspicion that won't leave me alone tonight
It's just that everything I try to do, nothing seems to turn out right

A wink and a wave and you're off to your family's
I sit and watch as the taxi's lights distantly fade
I guess I always thought it'd end this way

Lyrics submitted by fridgebuzz

Everything I Try to Do, Nothing Seems to Turn Out Right song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI just finished reading a fairly lengthly interview Colin Meloy gave awhile back for a Seattle weekly paper; Meloy had mentioned this particular song as being one of the few he had ever written that was autobiographical in nature. Starting out with the bad movie date then moving onto an unfulfilling sexual encounter, the male character in the song doesn't seem surprised when the woman casually waves farewell as she rides off to supposedly go visit her folks. All along he has had this persistant gut feeling that their short liason would not have led to anything serious even under the best of circumstances, but this insight still doesn't make their final parting any less painful for him. Ultimately, this is a well-written and all-too-real account of this man's guilt and fustration whereas he and the woman he had the brief fling with couldn't make this evolve into something more romantically meaningful. I can definitely relate to this song as oftentimes just the process of dating, much less attempting to establish an intimate bond with another person, does involve a lot of rejection and hurt feelings. Falling in love is no easy task!
    pharmageekon January 05, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment - odd that everyone assumes its a woman being sung about.

    I don't see any gender indications in the song?
    Unless you'd say "slacks" is only used to indicate womens trousers?
    slowdowon January 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNo comments yet? This song is beautiful. The lyrics tell a story that we can all relate to. Everything I try to do, nothing seems to turn out right. The Decemberists are an amazing band.
    guitarchikon April 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou're right. this song is beautiful. i can't stop listening to it. i love how each song is a story.
    thehappysongon May 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentleaves you with such a sad feeling lingering around.
    empirestateon July 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhere can i find this?
    angelsandangleson October 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song leaves you with a sad sort of feeling that you could have done more, but the singer is really being overly dramatic. That's why I find it endearing.

    He says "I always thought it'd end this way", but if you read the lyrics she's really just going to visit her family for a few days.
    fricativeon October 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentangelsandangles it's on the Billy Liar single along with "Sunshine", well worth the purchase.
    knobsackon January 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTarkio-ish, almost. Good song. Should have been on Her Majesty or Picaresque.
    Cynothoglyson January 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDifferent from any other song by these guys, but equally beautiful... For the record, the lyrics are "big talk balloon," not "big dark balloon" in the 2nd stanza... just listen to it.
    Arrianon April 30, 2006   Link

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