The streets were deserted and the house was dark
Down in the basement there was the faintest spark
Three boys hoping to make their mark
International echo

They said it was nothing but a worthless toy
Sign right here and you can be employed
Woke up startled in the state of joy
International echo

The roof is shaking and the house is ablaze
I've been wide-awake for days
I thought I heard a signal breaking through
And at this distance that is hard to do
Could be seven inches
Could be twelve
Drop the needle on it and let it revolve

I felt a pulse and a drum tattoo
I was just thinking about you

Send out a message and it's sure to rebound
What's that I hear?
What is that sound?
Seems to be coming from under the ground
International echo

It can't be repeated
It can't be resisted
It went out straight and it came back twisted
If you didn't see it then, then you probably missed it
International echo

Must be something in the atmosphere
Let me be your volunteer
I thought I heard a signal coming through
In a language that I never knew
Give me seven inches
Give me twelve
Drop the needle on it and let it revolve

I felt a pulse and a drum tattoo
Even though it was taboo

They paid me money for playing pretend
And they said this must be the end
I was just following the popular trend
International echo

Beer from the bottle and wine from the grape
Stood up straight, got bent out of shape
Now I'm just looking for some way to escape
International echo

Everything I said just seems automatic
Radio plays nothing but static
I think that I'm about to flip my lid
My waitress said that she might be my kid
Give me seven inches
Give me twelve
Drop the needle on it and let it revolve

Did you hear me calling you?
'Cos hear I go
International echo

The streets were deserted
The house was dark
Down in the basement there was the faintest spark
Three boys hoping to make their mark
International echo

Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings

International Echo Lyrics as written by Allen Toussaint Elvis Costello

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

International Echo song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • No Comments

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!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Show Me a Little Shame
Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
He certainly did earn that reputation.
Album art
Battle Royale
Word Alive, The
This song is def a twin to "Unfair" (a song she has been quoted as saying is about falling in love with someone who is already in a relationship) so it is presumably about the same person. Given the references to buying an apartment and not being able to see her love interest "after tonight," it's most likely that she's moving away and she'll "wait a day to break the bad news" (i.e. notifying him that she's leaving once she's already gone). And, of course, the fact that she sees in him a fellow "idealist" and "dreamer" (terms commonly given to people with the INFP personality on the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)) portends that she'll always be left wondering if they would've been perfect together.
Album art
Light Up The Sky
Van Halen
The song lyrics were written by the band Van Halen, as they were asked to write a song for the 1979 movie "Over the Edge" starring Matt Dillon. The movie (and the lyrics, although more obliquely) are about bored, rebellious youth with nothing better to do than get into trouble. If you see the movie, these lyrics will make more sense. It's a great movie if you grew up in the 70s/80s you'll definitely remember some of these characters from your own life. Fun fact, after writing the song, Van Halen decided not to let the movie use it.
Album art
Bee Gees
@[Diderik:33655] "Your a holiday!" Was a popular term used in the 50s/60s to compliment someone on their all around. For example, not only are they beautiful, but they are fun and kind too ... just an all around "holiday". I think your first comment is closer to being accurate. The singer/song writers state "Millions of eyes can see, yet why am i so blind!? When the someone else is me, its unkind its unkind". I believe hes referring to the girl toying with him and using him. He wants something deeper with her, thats why he allows himself to be as a puppet (even though for her fun and games) as long as it makes her happy. But he knows deep down that she doesnt really want to be serious with him and thats what makes him.
Album art
Silent Planet
I think much like another song “Anti-Matter” (that's also on the same album as this song), this one is also is inspired by a horrifying van crash the band experienced on Nov 3, 2022. This, much like the other track, sounds like it's an extension what they shared while huddled in the wreckage, as they helped frontman Garrett Russell stem the bleeding from his head wound while he was under the temporary effects of a concussion. The track speaks of where the mind goes at the most desperate & desolate of times, when it just about slips away to all but disconnect itself, and the aftermath.