"Amsterdam" as written by and Gregory Alan Isakov....
All inside our Amsterdam she hides
Watery-eyed
That howling wind, she's waving hi
Her other hand's in mine

Oh silhouette
She's growing tall and fine
She's got my back
She'll follow me down every street
No matter what my crime

All inside our Amsterdam she flies
Hoarding the kites
That howling wind, she'll take everything
But she's easy on the eyes

Churches and trains
They all look the same to me now
They shoot you some place
While we ache to come home somehow


Lyrics submitted by FarnzCo530

"Amsterdam" as written by Gregory Alan Isakov

Lyrics © THIRD SIDE MUSIC INC.

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Amsterdam song meanings
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  • +3
    My InterpretationThe song is about our subjective abstractions of spirituality, and how these ideas follow us throughout our lives: (watery eyed that howling wind/she's waving hi, her other hands in mine)-- this language is very transitory, incomplete, just like our ephemeral notion of our (spiritual) home.

    Churches and trains shoot us someplace, but we ache to come home somehow.
    timothron February 17, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI suspect this song is ultimately about what pulls us (meaning humanity) towards addictions/drugs. Allow me to support my point...

    All inside our Amsterdam she hides ...(suggests we all have the potential--note the use of the word "our"--for addiction inside and initially we don't know it...)

    Watery-eyes ...(an illusion to grief/trauma as the root of this potential for addiction?)
    That howling wind, she's waving hi ...(I think he's brilliantly punning here in his genius way.)
    Her other hand's in mine ...(allusion and foreshadowing of the hold and downward cycle of addiction?)

    Oh silhouette
    She's growing tall and fine ...(description of how the addiction "grows" as She becomes more tall and fine and alluring as it takes hold)
    She's got my back ...(I think this has a double meaning as this is both the perception of someone caught in addiction, especially early on--it feels fulfilling, good, soothing, etc. and then it progresses to "she's got my back" but more in a controlling sense.)
    She'll follow me down every street ...(this is when it is becoming more controlling, more obsessive, and the addiction stalks.)
    No matter what my crime ....(an allusion to how it permeates everything and all corners of life and gradually takes over?...)

    All inside our Amsterdam she flies ....(Again allusion to the permeating nature and again flying, reference to getting high?)
    Hoarding the kites ....(Now the addiction piece seems in the driver's seat and is hoarding the highs... (kites) as it begins to take over...)
    That howling wind, she'll take everything ....(Hint at the dark/scary edge with the use of the word howling...as the addiction starts to demand and takes everything from someone)
    But she's easy on the eyes ....(allusion to how someone is hooked...she's beautiful and the appeal of addiction is to try to heal/cope with our shit/trauma/grief/etc....)

    Churches and trains ...(the blurring of addiction means that...)
    They all look the same to me now ....(everything looks the same due to how addiction makes us so focused on getting the next high it changes our perspective and we don't see any distinction between churches and trains, as they all feel like the same place, now)
    They shoot you some place ....(another brilliant play on words--the man is a freakin genius with words--as shooting up on drugs does indeed take you some place)
    While we all ache to come home somehow ...(ultimately he has compassion and understands the root of addiction is not some character flaw but rather that we are all aching to "come home" to heal ourselves and heal our trauma.)

    Wow, absolutely incredible on so many levels! Always seems to be another deeper layer often embedded in his word choice and command of poetry seems deliberate to me and usually hints at the deeper meaning...And then the title.... The title of Amsterdam? What is Amsterdam known for? Its red light district? Opportunity for substances...?

    I always love his songs more once I think I've seemingly figured something out and then there's more... totally underappreciated genius, in my opinion .;)
    ColoradoGirlon July 25, 2019   Link

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