Rylan, you should try to get some sun.
You remind me of everyone.
Rylan, did you break your mother’s heart
Every time you try to play your part?

Is it easy to keep so quiet?
Everybody loves a quiet child.
Is it easy to seem so grounded?
Wanna be alone in la-la-land.

Rylan, you can take the quick way out.
You can turn blank white in a blank white house.
They say that you're a pervert, you’re a vulture.
Don’t you wanna be popular culture.

Is it easy to keep so quiet?
Everybody loves a quiet child.
Is it easy to seem so grounded?
Wanna be alone in la-la-land.

Is it easy to live inside the role?
All the little kids are high and hazy.
Everybody got no where to go,
Everybody wants to be amazing.

Rylan california’s rotten.
Dressed like blue to be forgotten.
Each occurs on sunday morning.
Keep the conversation boring.
Stay with me among the strangers.
Change your mind and nothing changes.
Don’t let show any emotion
When you fly in to the ocean.
Rylan, you should try to get some sun.
There's a little bit of heaven in everyone.

Is it easy to keep so quiet?
Everybody loves a quiet child.
Is it easy to seem so grounded?
Wanna be alone in la-la-land.

Is it easy to live inside the role?
All the little kids are high and hazy.
Everybody got no where to go,
Everybody wants to be amazing.

Rylan, you should try to get some sun.
You remind me of everyone.
Rylan, you should try to get some sun.
A little bit of heaven in everyone
Rylan, you should try to get some sun.


Lyrics submitted by ewagner20

Rylan song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +4
    My InterpretationIt is about how a shy and introverted person (seems to ba child or teenager in this song, but you can easily expand it to all timid or withdrawn people) can feel underappreciated in a world dominated by extroverts. His parents would like to see him come out of his shell more, but he disappoints them when he fails to do so: "Rylan, did you break your mother’s heart / Every time you try to play your part?"

    Ryland does feel isolated himself as well, and his thoughts are so dark the narrator even makes an illusion to suicide: "Rylan, you can take the quick way out. / You can turn blank white in a blank white house." Other people seem to be living very different lives. They are so mysterious it seems to Rylan as if there is an impenetrable mist curtain between him and the outside world: "Is it easy to live inside the role? / All the little kids are high and hazy." Moreover, he appears to have gained a low self esteem as a result of his loneliness: "They say that you're a pervert, you’re a vulture. / Don’t you wanna be popular culture?"

    His perceived rejection of him by other people leads him to develop a twisted sense of superiority; he considers most other people to be shallow and insensitive. "Is it easy to seem so grand? / Wanna be alone in la-la-land."

    This is not the right attitude at all, however, and the narrator urges Rylan to take initiative. Rylan constantly has epiphanies, thinking he has finally figured out what is holding him back, how he can finally live his life the way he wants it to, but the narrator points out to him that his epiphanies are merely illusions because he fails to act on them: "Change your mind and nothing changes." In the choruses, the narrator advises Rylan to change his pessimestic attitude and to start approaching people. He must develop his social skills and learn to cope with rejection, just like everybody else. "Rylan, you should try to get some sun. / You remind me of everyone. / Rylan, you should try to get some sun. /A little bit of heaven in everyone".

    He is not better than anyone else, despite his higher sensitivity: "Everybody got no where to go,
    Everybody wants to be amazing."

    All in all, this is another great The National song. It is amazing how Matt Berninger can see through certain characters and explain them in these very poetic and sympathetic ways. Most rock bands are pretty shallow, but Matt Berninger shows amazing emotional complexity in all of his songs. Maybe he drew a little bit on his own experience for this song, although I would not want to go as far as claim he is shy or even very introverted, considering he is the lead singer of a rock band. He does need wine to combat his stage fright every night, so I would definitely count him more on the introverted side of the spectrum. Definetely not shy though, I think he is introverted the way Barack Obama is.

    Yes, I look up to the man.
    Thorenuson March 22, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionThis song destroys me.
    please_add_account_delete_optionon September 30, 2014   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionI think it's "every time you TRIED to play your part" and "is it easy to seem so GRAND". And I hear "eat your pearls on Sunday morning," though granted that doesn't make much sense.
    dreamalldayon December 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdo you think rylan is a boy or a girl
    ireallylikebagelson January 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with Thorenus. I think in this song the narrator is talking to a teenager or child (a son or perhaps himself when younger).

    Beautiful song!
    Sebastian1on April 13, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe key idea I'm getting, is that of someone so entirely obsessed with blending in and being socially normal, that they have completely lost any distinguishing features, however manage to deceive all but the speaker.
    "Rylan, you should try to get some sun." seems sort of like a plea in my mind, with sun being used in the sense of some light in his life
    "You remind me of everyone." is probably my favourite line, showing how this person's lack of personality can be used to represent society en masse.

    Though the element of fitting in is present, this doesn't seem related to wanting to gain status or be socially acknowledged at all, Rylan in my mind has always been anxious about others, and genuinely does not know how to be like other people, making his actions stunted and insincere, because of how numb he feels to life in general.
    "Rylan, did you break your mother’s heart
    Every time you try to play your part?"
    the "play your part?" presents him as sort of contrived, his near autistic behaviours alienating him inwardly from his mother, who struggles with an emotionally incapable child.

    "Is it easy to keep so quiet?
    Everybody loves a quiet child.
    Is it easy to seem so grounded?
    Wanna be alone in la-la-land." fairly self explanatory in what this shows

    "Rylan, you can take the quick way out.
    You can turn blank white in a blank white house." Idea of "blank white" erased, obvious reference to suicide

    "They say that you're a pervert, you’re a vulture." although he attempts to fit with everything, it slowly shows how detached he is, making him seem weird.

    "Is it easy to live inside the role?
    All the little kids are high and hazy.
    Everybody got no where to go,
    Everybody wants to be amazing" because of how contrived the society he lives in is, it is easier for one who is truly pretending, to stay unnoticed.

    "Change your mind and nothing changes." has created the image and semblance of a personality but without true ability to think and feel freely without guidance of social norms.
    500on April 28, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so beautiful. I'm holding out for a deluxe edition of Trouble Will Find Me (like the one of HV all those years ago) with a studio version of Rylan on it.
    lucietooon September 18, 2014   Link

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