Starched white shirts, so neatly pressed by domestic muses
Feed delusions that everything is working out right
But your ribs can't withstand increasing weight
As your heart gets heavier and sooner or later
It falls to the tips of your toes

And every day tastes like inhaling
When you just lit the wrong end (that plastic burning scent)
Your only friends are on the exit ramps of gridlock caravans
You try to ask how they've been
But the metal and glass is too thick


Lyrics submitted by jephque

Gridlock Caravans Lyrics as written by Benjamin Gibbard

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Gridlock Caravans song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • 0
    General Comment

    This song is about a relationship that's falling apart. And it's beautiful.

    I wonder why they left this off of The Photo Album?

    toadtwson August 25, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I hadn't thought of a relationship falling apart. The line "You try to ask how they've been, but the metal and glass is too thick." Made me think the song is about visiting someone in jail. This is definitely an awesome song.

    strykerchickon April 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    my song, mother fuckers

    j.acobon May 12, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    does anyone else think there is a connection between this song and "this place is a prison" by postal service? I do. this was never really released fully to the public so Ben finished his thought (this song) and made it into a song for the public aka TPIAP.

    dancehallhipson June 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think this song is about feeling different from other people - whether it be through experiencing love when others haven't, having an epiphany about life, or whatever. But you press your shirts and feel all clean and enlightened, and you think everything's going to work from here on out but it only gets worse since you become distant and can't find anyone to relate to.

    This song is probably about love, since he talks about his heart being too heavy for his chest to hold as if he's just been overwhelmed with emotions and that's what makes him feel distant, like no one else knows what he's known or how he's felt.

    I wish I knew what he was talking about lighting, something with plastic at one end. But the last few lines are about the distance he feels; the "friends" he has, who are supposed to understand him, are on the exit ramps to gridlock caravans; they're all getting off but there's no stopping the train he's on and the farther away they go the more muffled their voices become. Until finally you can't even talk to them anymore because the metal of the caravan and the thick glass of the windows drowns out the sound.

    Whatever this song is about though, there's that hint of genius. One of Death Cab's best, for sure.

    gun left behindon October 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    That plastic burning scent line is talking about lighting the wrong end of a cigarette.

    marexvitalison January 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    That plastic burning scent line is talking about lighting the wrong end of a cigarette.

    marexvitalison January 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song feels like a rehab sort of emotion. It seems uphill, as per the lighting the cigarette backwards, delusions of things working out right etc. The friends part reminds me that the speaker has changed and can't get back to old friends because of the barrier caused by the rehab.

    I don't really see why mentioning the word "heart" has to indicate love.

    eucilon February 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I meant to add this: it's a neat way of saying "you have a sinking feeling in your heart" -- not really that you're heart is packed full of feelings so its heavy.

    eucilon February 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    "starched white shirts so neatly pressed by domestic muses feed delusions that everything is working out right." This song reminds me of an exstremly domestic household. Almost like the life of a soccer mom, and her having problems with her husband or family, but she just keeps trying to be a "super-mom". "your only friends are on the exit ramps of gridlock caravans. you try to ask how they've been. but the metal and glass is too thick. " This gives me the image of a mothers "friends" the women who all drive (caravans, minivans) their kids to like baseball practice and the fake niceness they give off. Like those people arent her real freinds they dont care, they dont want to hear.

    Phoenix7589on December 06, 2005   Link

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