You may tire of me as our December sun is setting 'cause I'm not who I used to be
No longer easy on the eyes but these wrinkles masterfully disguise the youthful boy below
Who turned your way and saw something he was not looking for
Both a beginning and an end
But now he lives inside someone he does not recognize when he catches his reflection on accident

On the back of a motorbike with your arms outstretched trying to take flight, leaving everything behind
But even at our swiftest speed we couldn't break from the concrete in the city where we still reside
And I have learned that even landlocked lovers yearn for the sea, like navy men,
'Cause now we say goodnight from our own separate sides like brothers on a hotel bed


Lyrics submitted by sethbrown

Brothers on a Hotel Bed [DVD] Lyrics as written by Christopher Walla Benjamin Gibbard

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Spirit Music Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Brothers on a Hotel Bed song meanings
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186 Comments

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  • +13
    General Comment
    A couple has become emotionally distanced. At the end of the day, when they go to sleep together just like any other night, it is awkward and uncomfortable... just like it would be for two brothers forced to sleep together in a hotel bed. Comparing their relationship to that of brothers also suggests that any romantic spark is gone, and they are merely "familiar" with each other, like family members.
    Lineskon June 04, 2012   Link
  • +12
    My Interpretation
    This song is a masterpiece. I had no idea that it was written by Walla, I assumed Gibbard was the author due to it's similar metaphorical wordsmithery. At times I'm surprised at the observations people make on this website as they so often seem to deviate from my initial contemplations. My thoughts tend to be more abstract and fragmented I feel, thus leading to alternate conclusions about meaning. Thus it was with this song. While I must admit, the common interpretations result in a greater level of overall clarity,I can't resist adhering to my original musings. Luckily, after glancing through some of the responses I found that I wasn't quite so isolated.I resonated most with Overmyhead's response near the beginning of the thread. I felt that the song was talking about one man. The relational aspect between two people appears to me to be at the periphery of the songs general message. I like to think it's about getting older, but still fealing youthful inside. It's the dichotomy that exists between your inner soul and your outer body. As the man gets older he begins to recoginze that his body is a deceptive fascade no longer matching his soul. He looks in the mirror and the person who he sees is different than how he thinks of himself. It's like he's trapped within himself. He feels young, strong, and vibrant, but the reflection disagrees with all of it. He senses the constriction in the same way one who anticipates a removal of gravity to let them fly would. I also feel like the song is about imagination. The man's powerful imaginative being is unable to penetrate the reality of his situation, which contains absolutely no mechanism for flight. The last line seems nearly haunting to me. I imagine a man sitting on a hotel room bed looking across from himself at a mirror on the other side. He says goodnite to himself (his reflection in the mirror) which he now thinks of like a brother. Within the last line he comes to terms with the seperation between his soul and body, but takes the notion to new awkward heights of dissassociation by imagining this different entity that stares back at him as a brother who he is familiar with but sepperate from.
    SteveOatmanon April 30, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General Comment
    i think its about a couple being stuck, either in a situation or arguement. the most amazing line: "cause now we say goodnight from our own seperate sides like brothers on a hotel bed". obviously there is tension between the two. best song off of plans.
    whyitsjustmeon August 06, 2005   Link
  • +5
    General Comment
    Good on ya, Walla. I've got to disagree with the idea that "Turned your way and saw / something we was not looking for," is a negative lyric. To me it describes the beginning of every romance on earth, getting blindsided by something you didn't realize was devastatingly attractive to you. And the following line "Both a beginning and an end," shwos the idea of knowing immediately that this is THE relationship, THE girl, and that this was the beginning of something that could only end with death. I think it's got to be one of the most romantic descriptions I've heard outside of "Brand New Colony," and the motorbike verse only heightens this, giving us the picture perfect image of youthful abandon against the idea of losing love the hardest way - to old age and fatigue.
    Navelgazer33on September 04, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General Comment
    To me it's about two people in a relationship, but over time they've both grown older, changed. "you may tire of me, as our december sun is setting" Life grows short with the two of them (december sun, well, at least in the northern hemisphere). Life just seems to become mundane, but "even at [their] swiftest speed. [they] couldn't break from the concrete" So to me it's about people growing apart, and dealing with life as it comes to an end. I really hope Walla writes some more songs in the future.
    enderuon August 21, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General Comment
    After I read what people thought..I had to give my two cents. This song to me isn't about a relationship growing apart. It's about growing up, and realizing who you are. "But now he lives inside Someone he does not recognize When he catches his reflection on accident" and the part about seperate sides of the hotel bed..you don't even know yourself anymore. Who you were, and who you are are two completely different perople now, and trying to figure it all out is terrible.
    shelovesbrandnewon September 23, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    This song was written by the guitarist Chris Walla, the first song by the band not written by Ben Gibbard.
    ClickForthon August 19, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    "That even landlocked lovers yearn/For the sea like navy men." I think that could mean like when you break up someone always says 'there's plenty of other fish in the sea' maybe the reference to sea could have something to do with getting out there, and trying new things, with new people. I agree with most people on here, I think it's firstly about an old man, looking back on his life, when he was carefree and young, and then about the relationship with his partner. Beautiful song.
    Music=Loveon April 13, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    yeah, I think anyone who's ever had to share a hotel bed with their brother understands what he's talking about.. like it's awkward and uncomfortable and you both sleep as far apart as you can, turned the other way. like even though he and his wife are still together, they aren't attracted to each other anymore and they just sleep together in a platonic way like you would if you were in bed with your own brother. I think it's about someone who got married at a young age and realizes that he's getting older and isn't as attractive as he was when he was younger and he's starting to realize his wife has noticed and how much tension there is between them. It's a simple yet beautiful song. and I'm sure everyone has already said what I did lol
    xjaclynnxon May 18, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    i never really understood this song until i was listening to it randomly, i also had a lot on my mind, mainly relationship issues. my ex fiancé and i would fall asleep next to each other facing the opposite directions in our own bed. it was really sad really.
    hrly999non January 23, 2011   Link

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