"Placeholder" as written by and Steven P. Smith....
Looking at all the rows
All these records look like big zeros
Got your picture on the back of a forty-five
A placeholder till you take up mine
A placeholder till you take up mine

I'm the person you'll never need
The biggest loser on sixteenth street
The invisible man with the see-through mind
A placeholder till you take up mine
A placeholder till you take up mine

Break off of in someone's laughter
You can tell right there
He's still a square
He likes the way that you look now
Like an open book

Just like my favorite song
Some pretty words that didn't last that long
Like a package sent priority overnight
Placeholder come and take up mine
Placeholder come and take up mine
Placeholder come and take up mine
Placeholder come and take up mine

Lyrics submitted by Merks, edited by Jate

"Placeholder" as written by Amani Smith Gary G-wiz

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Placeholder song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThe interpretation I always got from this song, especially the last line, is not necessarily that he was replaceable, but that he didn't feel comfortable in his place in the world and wanted a way out. He wanted to neglect his duties and obligations as a person and just get away from it all, thus "Placeholder, come and take up mine." Quite sad, and relatable for me at least. R.I.P Elliott
    meeptroidon February 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbefore i go on about this song. i want to tell you guys about my religous beliefs. i don't believe in any prophets. but i do believe there is a god. if you read alot as i do you would realize our world is to perfect for there not to be one. alright... since i got that cleared out the way. i think this song is really about life/death and god.

    "just like my favorite song. some pretty words that didn't last that long. like a package sent priority overnight" - i believe it is stating life is short

    "a placeholder till you take up mine" - i think he is talking to god and pleading for him to take his soul "up" to Heaven when he passes.
    lazyteen69on January 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsuch a good song r.i.p
    turjake2on October 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'the invisible man with the see-through mind'

    if elliott's talking about himself and not a character, then I disagree. I would give anything to understand what went on in his mind.
    rollercoastersonjaon January 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song.
    AngDiaon April 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"just like my favorite song
    some pretty words that didn't last that long."

    i always thought this referred to a person--another bad relationship. regardless, this song is the best.
    wallflower_punchon April 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"if you read alot as i do you would realize our world is to perfect for there not to be one."

    story books are not real there are no happy endings
    the world is a fucked up horrible place
    i believe in god but not because the world is perfect
    it is far from it
    personno.1on May 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah, to the person who said that if you read a lot you'd realize that there's a god:
    a LOT of well-read people believe there's no god.
    and unless you're seeing the perfection in the actual books themselves and not the stories or positions they take, then yeah, that might be a little bit of "perfection" for you. but just because a book is published doesn't mean that it holds any sort of truth. it's easy if you're genuinely happy to see perfection everywhere, but it's much easier to be not genuinely happy and to see the negitivity in everything.
    if you're trying to balance the two extremes and still find perfection, go ahead. but if you ultimately do find perfection in everything, then you haven't lived enough.

    i, for one, don't think that it's about death or god or anything like that. i just thought it was about how nothing's really constant, and eventually, just like a favorite song or something, he will be replaced by the next thing. and he's just waiting for it to happen.
    musicalchairson May 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAll of ES's songs are so lovely but I'm particularly fond of this one. I miss Elliott Smith. I just do.
    rekkidbrakaon May 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's just simply another one of his unrequited love songs, surely you Smith fans are seeing the pattern here. His song topics were mostly 'drugs' 'girls' and 'suicide.' This is one of those 'girl' ones.

    "all these records look like big zeroes" pathetic fallacy, to describe his mood, he's down, he feels like a zero, a loser "The biggest loser on 16th Street" this is the effect unrequited love has on most people.
    "A placeholder until you take up mine" A placeholder, someone who holds a place, he's holding this place for this girl whose picture is on "the back of a 45." He wants her to "take up" his.
    plastic-manon August 09, 2007   Link

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