"Fire Escape" as written by and Mark Foster....
I like to stick to walls
Deserving conversations and lifting them when they fall
I am a fire escape, my spine's made of iron
My heart pumps that old red paint

Save yourself, save yourself, yourself
Save yourself, save yourself

I see the seasons change
And all the young faces come and replace the dying ones
Sit out on Lexington and Vine
And all the pimps and prostitutes wave you down at stopping signs

Save yourself, save your yourself, yourself
Save yourself, save yourself

Los Angeles I've been waiting for you
To pick yourself up and change
The city you made, this ocean and sand
Its founded on lights and self made men

I've watched the dreamers find their legs
And I've seen the ones that come get reduced to bones and dregs

'Cause I am a fire escape, my spine is made of iron
My heart pumps old red paint

Save yourself, save yourself,
Save yourself, save yourself

Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by emptyhome, koralamode

"Fire Escape" as written by Mark Foster

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, SMIMS COFFEE AND TEA MUSIC PUB

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Fire Escape song meanings
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  • +5
    My InterpretationI believe he is saying he is a last resort to others. His heart pumps out old "red paint". Red Paint here meaning blood, in which he pumps out towards everything. He is making a metaphor with himself on how he is a fire escape, making him safety for others but not getting anything else in return. He wants others to save themselves and not just rely on him being the one doing all the business, but to think for yourself and fight your own battles.
    bmulchroneon March 24, 2014   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationTo me, this song represents the despise you develop for a city in which you've lived for too long and/or have had too many negative experiences in. The protagonist of the song is obviously an introvert who spends his time observing things and has therefore come to a conclusion others fail to see.
    His sensibility to his surrounding has led him to a deep hatred for the city he finds himself lost in.
    We learn that he prefers to listen to conversations instead of being an active component of them; he sticks to walls and makes himself invisible in hollywood, one of if not the most attention-grabbing place in the world.
    Even when he finds himself in Lexington and Vine he seems disinterested, at least for the superficial attractions tourists long to see. Instead, he becomes a passive part of Lexington neighborhood and develops an interest for the hopeless existence of pimps and prostitutes in a place that's supposed to make dreams come true. The lack of desired change of his city disappoints him to the point that he directly lashes out on L.A. for being a city which was already founded on dishonesty and couldn't find it's way out of it's covered misery. Admitting that some artists found success in this city,he also remarks the beings who found nothing but decay and whose tragic story stays in the shadow of the few succeeded
    Though he hates his city so much, he stays there as a "fire escape", to warn ingenious newcomer that they should escape, and to save lost souls. Finally, even though he hates L.A, he stays there to not give up on the people who still believe in it's false idyll

    Besides, Mark Foster tried to create a band in L.A and played in various Bars and Pubs to attract some attention, but no one recognized his talent. Spending his life alone in such a big and superficially glamourous city without getting anywhere, he found an escape in drugs. So I guess his antipathy for L.A sterns from this...
    emptyhomeon March 20, 2014   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningI saw Foster the People in concert. Before they performed this song, Mark explained the song.
    Before he became a known artist Mark lived in a crappy apartment in LA. He saw a fire escape at the apartment. He imagined all the crap that the it has seen and experienced over the years and wrote a song from the fire escape's prospective.
    robmsulon June 15, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with webzontin's comment: it is sad when you see it was a metaphor for a person saving others. the fire escape gets walked on and left behind as people use it to get out of a situation that is dire.

    In time, the paint might chip (wear and tear on the soul), but the iron (the person) stays strong as the years go on, no matter who has stepped on it to help themselves, and they often never even look back to the fire escape. The fire escape is basically the person that gets used telling all the people that have used it that they should see what the fire escape (person) has seen through their eyes, and that all these people should learn to save themselves.
    vengeforon April 25, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is song is about the failed place that is Hollywood.So many youngsters dream of making it big in Hollywood but don't know what it's really like behind closed doors to be famous this culture of music has destroyed so many people's lives so he warns you save yourself from the disaster that is being famous being caught up in this generation and all it has.He see so much go on in the world of fame now he sees new artists and actor's replace the old ones for example when Lil Wayne was a big deal now it's rae sremmurd.Los aAngeles I am waiting for you to change for the good & let go of its history of crime lost souls & dreams fakers & pimps & prostitutes.He's seen all the dreamers become famous & He's seen all the others get caught up in the making it big concept & ending up poor hobos bankrupt and even dead.So again he says save yourself from this illusion that they sell to us don't follow in the footsteps of those wwho got caught up in this 'fame' lie so save yourself basically from this generation of twerking taking drugs prostitution & so.
    Jackie Simonon October 31, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI interpret this song as being about someone whose on the outside. He observes the daily goings on and whilst everyone goes on with their lives, they ignore the bare facts like the fact we're all dying the minute we're born. The ultimate goal in life is to die and people are blissfully ignorant to this. These thoughts have blighted any of the possible beauty that may be in the world and now all he sees are the atrocities. He's telling other people to 'save themselves' and to stop the illusion that they seem to be under before they are completely consumed by it.
    DumbWithLoveon June 21, 2015   Link

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