this church is rotten from the top down.
this church is rotten from the top down.
but i, i am going to clean house tonight.
and it's going to go back into the earth it rose from.

these walls can't keep the world at bay.
no, these walls can't keep the world at bay.
our time, our time is limited and precious.
but this place, this place is limitless and pernicious.

would you all just follow me out into the open?
leave your coats and handbags, damn it all.
can't you see the floors are smoking?

this church is not long for this world.
this church is not long for this world.
and if you're wondering who to blame,
i want to praise his name with songs and feasting.
follow me to the open field
where the truth will be revealed if you're really listening.

hosannah, hosannah, i am saved by the blood of the lamb.
one day when i was lost, he died on that cross,
and i am saved by the blood of the lamb.

Lyrics submitted by shewouldnt

Transjordanian Blues song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentListening to other John Darnielle songs, I really have no idea what any of his songs actually mean. And I also cannot figure out his opinion on God. Maybe this is way off, but this is what it means to me.

    Anyway, this song has a bunch of biblical references, and I like it because it mimics some of my opinions on the Christian church.

    When the Israelites were led out of Egypt by the Lord they were promised a wonderful land flowing with milk and honey. To get to the Promised Land, they had to cross the stormy Jordan river. Anyway, a few of the tribes of israel decided, "Hey, let's just settle here, it's nice enough.", and did not cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. By doing this they missed out on the incredible things God had for them in the land he was giving them.

    So basically, I believe this song is about how humans have forgotten the wonderful things God has for them and settled for less.

    "rotten from the top down"- disgust in the church and the way it functions, maybe regarding corruption of priests, etc.

    "walls can't keep the world at bay"- many Christians live in there little bubble and are afraid to be a part of the world. Jesus ate with prostitutes and tax collectors, went to parties, and loved everyone. He did not hide inside a church.

    "leave your coats"- humans are so focused on material possessions and such and do not even realize that the powers of Satan are at work in their midst (floors smoking)

    This church is not long for this world:
    I always thought the lyrics were "this church DOES not long for this world". As in why are you focusing on worldly things such as the "coats and handbags" instead of focusing on God

    If your wondering who to blame...
    ... why do you say I'm not following after God? Well read the Bible, Jesus talks about exactly what it means to love the Lord and the church in this song is not doing it. Obviously they have no knowledge of the Bible and do not know that it's Jesus who told them what they are doing is wrong.

    Truth will be revealed if your really listening:
    Often times jesus and other rabbis ended teachings or parables with the phrase, "let those who have ears, hear!" I feel that thats how Darnielle is finishing his song. Even after hearing this, most of the Christian church will not understand it, and will not change, and will not know the truth about the Christian faith. The American church is so guilty of this. So many people claim they are Christians and go to church, yet have never opened a Bible or simply do not follow the way of Jesus.
    listentonatoon May 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is about a person who is going to commit suicide by cop.
    GentlemanSkeletonon March 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPlayed an amazing version of this at ZOOP2.
    HopeSoForYouon June 17, 2009   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