I died in a car crash two days ago
Was unrecognizable
When they pulled me from the gears
No one's fault, no one's bottle
No one's teenage pride or throttle
Our innocence is all the worse for fears
The other walked away alive
Arms wrapped now around his wife

My lover sits, the silent eye
In a hurricane of warmth and word
My mother trembles with the sobs
Whose absence seems absurd
My sister shouts to let her see
Through the cloud of crowd surrounding me
My colleagues call for silence in my name

I died in a car crash three months ago
They burned me 'til I glowed
And crumbled to a fine gray sand
Now I am nothing, everywhere
Several breaths of strangers' air
And all thoughts ever written in my hand
They plant my tree out in the yard
It grows but takes the winter hard

My lover puts a knife to wrist
Says tomorrow comes, hold on a while
My mother tosses in the sheets
And dreams me holding my own child
My sister plays our homemade tapes
Laughs as tears stream down her face
My office door now bears a different name

I died in a car crash four years ago
My tree drinks melted snow
Just eight feet tall a pale and fragile thing
Bee stings beaches bright vacations
Sun burnt high-school graduations
A sparrow healing from a broken wing
This year a glimpse of second chances
Tiny apples on my tree's branches

My lover hears the open wind
And crawls blinking into the sun
My mother leafs through photographs
And thinks "yes she was a lovely one"
My sister can't decide her truth
Asks aloud what I might do
In a conference hall my brief efforts engraved

I died in a car crash
A lifetime ago it seems
Been a decade or two or three
They've just released a new design
Bars and bags front and behind
My fate now an impossibility
Safely packaged hurtling down
The highway hardly make a sound

My lover very much alive
Arms wrapped now around his wife

Lyrics submitted by sparklefaerie

Passage Lyrics as written by Vienna Teng


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Passage song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment
    There is no "moving on." The "silent eye of warmth and word" is the sympathy of friends and family that is empty and meaningless during the shock of the first few days. "trembles with the sobs/whose absence seems absurd" refers to sobs of true grief. Not just emotional pain, but physical pain like someone scooped out your stomach. Muscles clench in spasims, breath will not come, and you feel as though you will collapse into the hollow left within your soul. Because grief is not a presence, it is an absence. You can build around that absence and "crawl blinking into the sun, but the hollowness is always there, ready to pull you in. Three months in, and the shock becomes emptiness and despair. But it isn't "tomorrow comes, hold on a while" that keeps you alive, its an unwillingness to compound the hurt for everyone else. Hope for strength comes later. I read an interview and she actually just imagined all of this, which seems incredible too me. Its been two decades for me, and I have married and am even expecting my first child. But there was no "moving on" of "getting over it;" it still hurts just as much as that bright sunny fall day in 1987. But over time, you gain the ability to hold back the hollowness, and balance that with pleasure, love and joy again. which is that much more meaningful with the contrast. For me, that is the message of the song. That the loved ones we loose are always with us, caring for us and wishing joy and love to balance the loss. That this is a life-long process, and that feeling happiness does not refute your love for the one you lost but reaffirms it.
    Normal1on March 09, 2008   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaning
    "When I saw Vienna in LA, she performed Passage, and as is custom she explained the ideology behind its creation. She said Passage came about while traveling the US on tour and noticing the broken twisted rails, black skid marks and tiny crosses that criss cross the highways. Remnants of auto accidents and realized that those accidents effect those directly involved, but their loved ones as well. Good luck with the memories." Source: viennateng.com/forum/…
    mkamelgon September 19, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    a song about what if when you die rather than moving on, you watch as, though your life did have meaning, and you see your family mourning, you also see them moving on. the very last line is so sudden its like the intial car crash that got her there in the first place. there is something to be said when you write a song about your death and how everyone else moved on, AND it still isn't the most sad song you've written. I'm sorry, melancholy. nice word , melancholy. Her d4eaqth wasn't so horribly significant,while yes her lover was broken, her mother cried and her sister was more than a lttle upset, so what if she didn't run iinto a burning building. no self loathing, no tears. But she still stoicly looks upon her tree, and that immpossibilty of her fate with newer safty devices.
    Tachikomason August 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    what a haunting song.
    caitelleon October 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    So haunting, yet so beautiful. I love Vienna Teng. This kind of reminds me of a celtic song
    Falling_Femmeon January 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    It shows you how life goes on. Very moving. Die heart fan
    grave_paradiseon March 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    it's rare that a song has the capacity to completely pull the rug out from under me. but i swear my best friend's friend's ghost was singing this song when i heard it for the first time today.
    ElectraInsteadon June 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    It's so sad, but it talks about keeping on going, even if you are devastated by a loss.
    silveralpaca123on September 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    I believe the three is symbolic of her always being there and watching over a slowly healing family, friends, and lover.
    Kamiyanaon February 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    typo: three was supposed to be tree.
    Kamiyanaon February 06, 2009   Link

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