"Counting Blue Cars" as written by John Robert Richards, Scott Preston Alexander, George Edward Pendergast Iii, Rodney Browning and Gregory James Kolanek....
Must have been late after noon
I could tell by how far the child's shadow stretched out
And he walked with a purpose in his sneakers down the street
He had many questions like children often do

He said, "Tell me all your thoughts on God
And tell me, am I very far?"

Must have been late after noon
On our way, the sun broke free of the clouds
We count only blue cars skip the cracks in the street
And ask many questions like children often do

We said, "Tell me all your thoughts on God
'Cause I'd really like to meet her.
And ask her why we're who we are."

Tell me all your thoughts on God
'Cause I'm on my way to see her
So tell me, am I very far
Am I very far now

It's getting cold, picked up the pace
How our shoes make hard noises in this place
Our clothes are stained, we pass many cross eyed people
And ask many questions like children often do

We said, Tell me all your thoughts on God
'Cause I'd really like to meet her
And ask her why we're who we are

Tell me all your thoughts on God
'Cause I'm on my way to see her
So tell me am I very far
Am I very far now?

Tell me all your thoughts on God
Tell me all your thoughts on God

Lyrics submitted by sadlilemogirl, edited by davidst, terriebari

"Counting Blue Cars" as written by George Edward Iii Pendergast George Pendergast Iii


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Counting Blue Cars song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentThis is the most incredibly existential song I've ever heard. I'm surprised that nobody else has explicitly recognised this (although it's certainly been implicitly recognised in the discussions about its concern with the search for God).

    Existential philosophy is based on the idea of each individual finding his/her own answers to, and forming his/her own relationship with, the value and meaning of life, morality, and the existence of higher forces. This is exactly what the narrator of the song is doing. The supposition of God being female is an individualistic act of resistance to an accepted norm, ie. that God is a masculine identity; the narrator makes his own decision about 'who' he thinks God is, and does not rely on widely accepted beliefs.

    The lyrics burn with a sense of somebody desperately trying to figure out the best way to form a personal relationahip with God. There's a great sense of fear ('Am I very far now?'); if the narrator must decide for himself what the best way is of understanding God, he has no (earthly) way of knowing if his understanding is worthy of God's appreciation.

    (Sorry about the essay)
    GotMeNowon January 30, 2008   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThe band have addressed their view over and over again about religious beliefs but hard core Dishwalla fans already know this. Find out for yourselves and for God's sake buy their CD's and support the band. None of them are living plush believe me, they have no substantial money and now work day jobs.

    The Bass Player Scot Alexander is Mormon (famousmormons.net/…) which is not considered Christian to most *cough* Christians. The guitarist Rodney Browning Cravens when the band received the Billboard music Rock Song of the Year award for Counting blue cars in 1996 thanked the religious right for "organizing the radio boycott against us" that brought peoples attention to the song counting blue cars. Hardly Christan like. I remember all the right wingers up in arms about this, they've grown even more evil as the years have past. JR and Rodney write almost all the lyrics exclusivity for the band and always have while the band assists with the music.

    I read this thread and it remind me of how segmented and bigoted the church is with all of it's denominations arguing for hundreds of years. As if God has a phallus or Vagina. No one even knows if God exists, it's impossible, none not one have been dead from this life yet to know for sure. Faith and fact are by far two different things.
    UndeadBardon December 24, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe song takes place in several different periods of a person’s life.. Where dawn is birth, the beginning, and night is the end.

    In the first verse he talks about the midmorning and a child asking some of the first BIG questions. Is there a God.. and if so, what my relationship to him? He only has a couple broad questions at this point.

    In the second verse we hear from the storyteller directly. From his perspective it’s late afternoon and his life is still carefree. He’s older but and still has the same questions but has fleshed them out. He’s formed an image of God. Here’s what he’d like to ask her.. He discovered and accepted his mortality and knows at the end of the road he’ll meet her.

    In the third and last verse, it’s getting cold.. (sounds like I’m getting old..) .. Time’s flying faster.. life isn’t so carefree..It’s been a bit harsh.. He’s a bit worn.. but he still has the questions for God.. the eternal questions that we all ask and all look for answers to.. How did we get here? Where are we going? Why are we who we are..
    tjholmeon September 21, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti did this song for a school project earlier this year--and the assignment was to relate a song to an event in history. i related this to the holocaust--i interpreted it as a gradual losing of faith-due to hard times or illness. i saw it this way because the beginning of the song starts out early in the day--and it ends at night-when its cold and thier clothes are tattered after enduring so many hardships in life...just something to think about
    gottalovethehitson July 06, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOK to touch the religous thing...there is information showing that in the original Judaic beliefs, there might have been both a male god and a female counterpart. The name escapes me though. Point is, the bible(Christian, Judaic and Islamic) has always been changed by it's patriarical male sholars. Its very possible that that god is a female, or a set of male and female, or something undefinable. Im not any of these(dont believe in the patriarical, judeo-christian god), but i know what im talking about!

    DOGMA RULED...Alanis Morrisette (awsome singer, shes sooo great) was so funny as God....
    TurnDowntheSunon March 17, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think most people who have posted thus far are missing a ton of this song.

    I believe that the speaker in the song, and very likely the child as well, are homeless. Here's why:

    1: The song describes a full day of walking (mid-afternoon, late-afternoon, evening) in an urban setting.
    2: The speaker tells the time by the child's shadow rather than by a watch.
    3: The speaker and child occupy themselves in simple ways - counting cars, skipping cracks, etc.
    4: As it gets cold, the song turns more melancholy and quiet; they pick up the pace, suggesting a fear of the cold.
    5: Their clothes are stained, and the people they describe the people they pass as cross-eyed. Since I doubt many people are actually cross-eyed, I think this may mean angry-faced, using 'cross' as the synonym for angry.
    7: As an earlier comment suggested, the two may suffer from a mental disorder such as OCD (which is far more prominent among the homeless).

    Based on this, I think the song is a homeless person narrating a day spent with his or her child; they are among many people, but they can't really communicate with them (much like a child is surrounded by adults, patronized or ignored). They occupy themselves, observing the world around them, and thinking about God. I think they may even be angry at being abandoned by God, and so they have many questions for her.

    That's my seven cents.
    BigKirch25on February 22, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with the interpretation that it's either a) about simple childhood innocence and/or b) about spreading the "word" of god. Verse three is definitely about a church:

    It's getting cold, picked up the pace : some people view churches and the life of god as emotionally "cold"
    How our shoes make hard noises in this place : churches are always quiet
    Our clothes are stained : as in, we are stained with knowledge and are no longer innocent like kids?
    We pass many, cross eyed people : not literally cross-eyed; crosses of church are in their eyes, etc.
    And ask many questions
    Like children often do

    I also agree with the fact that "her" just sounds better. If indeed Dishwalla didn't put a very deep meaning into this song, it doesn't matter because it's possible that even Mark Twain didn't mean very much by Huck Finn -- he was at best a storyteller, after all. A person could write something about Diet Coke and then the world would say it's about how the world is fizzling, or something to that extent. I think religion is the easiest interpretation point because it's so skewed.

    But not that I don't think that's what this song is about.

    P.S. Someone needs to spell-check this song, because the "It's" in the 3rd verse needs an apostrophe and the "must of"s should actually be "must have"s.
    rushtapeon June 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti interpret this as a child dying.... ive always thot that mb the counting blue cars and skipping cracks part is just supposed to represent the simplicity of being a kid...... and that dying is way too complex of a thing for kids because kids should be concerned aout little things, like avoiding the cracks in the sidewalk and in little games., like counting how many blue cars are on the road.

    i also believe that the reason for referring to himself as a child says that death is too complex for even him to understand.

    but the part that throws me off is the "cross eyed people." u no how when ur cross eyed u see two of everything? i think that mb there isnt really a kid, just a simpler, childish side to him that just doesnt understand death or god... all the big questions that everyone gives up wondering about when they get older. theyve got "more important things."

    any thoughts?
    goodgollymissmollyon June 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThere are two sides to this. I went to Dishwalla's site. They said they weren't remotely religious.
    One could say the song is about a child's curiosity of god. A dark side...could decipher the lyrics about a child abduction.
    I watch too much A&E, but those animals play games with the kids to occupy them.

    Its getting cold picked up the pace
    How our shoes make hard noises in this place
    Our clothes are stained
    We pass many, cross eyed people
    And ask many questions
    Like children often do

    I'm just saying....I'm a three dimensional thinker.
    sid97xon December 30, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that this is a song about someone dying. The child's shadow isn't anyone in the song, probably something he remembers. I think someone was shot, the whole walking with purpose thing drives that away for me. Then the chorus is tied into the end of each verse, when someone's dying they question faith and ask questions. In this case I think they are accepting death, or in shock because they were shot. Asking if they're very far now, and saying that they're on their way to see her, shows they feel like they are dying. I think the blue cars are police cars. The person dying says he's getting cold, so they move faster through the hospital, where they're shoes make loud noises, probably because they're moving very fast, and the linoleum floors. They have blood stained clothes, and the other patients and staff look at them like 'what the fuck' or you could say looked at them cross-eyed.
    tolaekomson January 29, 2009   Link

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